Thursday, 29 June 2017 12:28

Tried & Tested LQD Liquid Skin Care

Established in 2012, Lqd is a proudly Australian brand and a collection of superb and effective skincare solutions ‘designed specifically by men for mankind’. The Lqd range is targeted towards men who care about their appearance, with products that address common skincare concerns, such as dryness, redness, breakouts, and ageing. Lqd understands men’s skin, and has built a loyal following across the fitness-focused community— it is not merely women’s skincare, repacked and marketed to men.

Left - Fresh from Australia Lqd - Liquid - Skincare

Melbourne-based founders and life partners Anthony McDonough and Chris Glebatsas are the living, breathing embodiment of the brand, impressive physical ambassadors who both embrace a holistic lifestyle philosophy built around three pillars:  Diet, Training and Skincare.

McDonough originally trained as an organic chemist, and applies a no-nonsense practicality to Lqd’s innovative product line-up. “If you’re anything like me, you’re active.” he says, “and when you train hard, you shower often, so you need products to remove the sweat and grime of life that aren’t too harsh, with the ability to replenish the balance of oils in your skin. I searched the world to find products that lived up to this and after 20 years of not finding what I needed, I created Lqd to fill that void.”

TheChicGeek says, “LQD - Liquid - Skin Care launched with great fanfare during the recent London Men’s Fashion Week - LFWM. Fresh from Australia and said to be the biggest selling grooming brand in Sephora - that’s a big deal - I was interested to see what it had in store.

On first glance, on the branding and packaging, I thought this was in the ‘affordable’ category, but with Face Wash at £30 and Moisturiser at £45, this is ‘prestige or premium.

I tried the Face Wash, Eye product, ‘Calm’ moisturiser and ‘Hydrate’ moisturiser.  They also have a Blemish product, Shave and a Face Scrub.

Overall, these products are good and feel like quality. The face wash is a nice, thick consistency yet light and gentle. I presumed the ‘calm’ moisturiser was for after shaving and is a decent everyday moisturiser. I couldn’t tell any difference between the two moisturisers and was disappointed from an Australian company there wasn't any UV protection.

Left - The Eye product looking a little bit like a bottle of poppers?!

The negative I have is the branding and packaging. It doesn't look prestige and the logo feels a bit 90s sex education show - remember Margi Clarke?! - the Blemish and Eye products even look like bottles of poppers. I feel it needs more maturity.

It’s also a shame it doesn't feel more Australian especially considering the modern, outdoors/gym focussed start to this brand and something which Australia does well.”

Available exclusively at Harrods and directly from www.Lqd.co.uk

 

Tuesday, 20 June 2017 11:58

Tried & Tested Dorco Classic Razor

Based in South Korea, Dorco has over 60 years’ of expertise in offering advanced blade technology. With seven precision-aligned blades, this razor is said to be a world first and is, now, available in the UK.

The Dorco Classic has slimmer, denser blades to reduce any irritation to the skin.  It has an open structure design to enable easy rinsing, helping to keep blades sharper for longer.  A honeycomb guard bar with soft rubber surface allows effortless gliding over skin, adapting to the contours of your face. An advanced lubricating strip with antioxidants from argan oil and calendula extract helps sooth sensitive and dry skin, and heal razor burns.  

Left - Count them! All 7 blades of the Dorco Classic Razor

TheChicGeek says, “We’re entering “Razor Wars” within the grooming market with so many new or new to the market shaving brands launching. It’s a bit like the “Cola Wars”, but without the sugar! The dominant players challenged by young upstarts beating them on innovation and price.

Anything from South Korea always makes you sit up and take notice. They are insatiable consumers of grooming products and provide quality and newness to men’s grooming. 

It wasn't that long ago that manufacturers kept adding the number of the blades to their razors and this was the tah-dah moment of their new launches. I’ve never seen 7 before and they are very compact here.

On first impressions, this looks quite old-fashioned. The chrome and plastic is along the lines of a classic fountain pen and looks like a razor that would come with a matching chrome stand.

I tried it on fairly long stubble and it worked well with no discomfort. It rinsed easily, even with the large number of blades. I didn't really notice the lubricating strip doing anything.

I did think it would be more expensive then it is. Prices for the Dorco Classic start from £8.74 and there’s even free shipping for orders over £10. www.razorsbydorco.co.uk So, it’s very affordable, it’s just a shame it doesn't look more contemporary. 

If only our dads were as well groomed as we are. They can but dream! But, we, as their more knowledgeable sons, can also give them a helping hand. I’ve teamed up with L’Occitane - pronounced - locksy-tan - from the sunny fields of Provence in France to bring you the best of their men’s tailored products just in time for Father’s Day.

To stop you feeling overwhelmed, I’ve picked my top 5 favourites from L’Occitane’s extensive range of men’s products and gift sets, all inspired by the natural wonders of Provence and its many traditions, to cover every type of dad and price point.

To make your life even easier, enjoy complimentary gift wrapping in a Provençal-style box. Simply select 'Send my order gift wrapped' at checkout. That’s that sorted then. Happy Father’s Day!

Fresh Dad - Cedrat Collection For Men - £52

Nothing smells as clean and crisp as citrus in men’s grooming. Centred around the cedrat fruit, this is classic, fresh and masculine. Containing 3 products: a fragrance, a shower gel and, L’Occitane’s latest launch, a deodorant, these generous sizes will see your dad through the next few months. Blow the budget.

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Hero Dad - Eau des Baux Eau de Toilette - £46

Sensual and mysterious, this fragrance features top notes of red peppercorn and cardamom essential oil on a warm heart of Provencal cypress and incense. Les Baux de Provence is a legendary city-fortress in the south of France and the medieval Knights of Les Baux chose cypress as symbol of strength and courage. Perfect for your hero of a dad.

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Clean-Cut Dad - Cade Grooming Duo - £32

Enriched with a purifying and stimulating complex of cade - also known as juniper tar - essential oil, protecting shea butter, moisturising vegetable-based glycerine, soothing bisabolol and firming extract of birch sap, this set contains all the essentials for a perfect shave. The set includes a Cade Shaving Cream and Cade After Shave Balm. 

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Youthful Dad - Cedrat Energizing Eye Gel - £24

Men always show their age around their eyes, so you’ll dad will thank you for giving his a little TLC with this. Enriched with organic Corsican cedrat extract, with energising properties, the Eye Gel moisturises and revives the eye area, providing triple action. The skin of the eye area is immediately toned and the appearance of dark circles and puffiness is reduced. It helps to revitalise the skin around the eyes and the massaging ball in the roll-on tip gives a feeling of cooling freshness upon application. 

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Chilled Dad - Sleep Well - Good Night’s Sleep Ritual - £34

What if your dad doesn’t use grooming products and isn’t likely to? Well, breathe in, breathe out and relax… With a 100% natural scent, this Relaxing Shower Gel sends a relaxing olfactory message. To complete his new ritual and create a calming atmosphere, spray the Relaxing Pillow Mist before going to bed and the fragrant molecules create a soothing sensation, conducive to a peaceful, relaxing night's sleep.  

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Friday, 02 June 2017 11:49

Tried & Tested Azzaro Pure Chrome

A citrus-oriental-woody fragrance, Chrome Pure revisits Azzaro’s original Chrome fragrance’s emblematic freshness, creating a more textured and vibrant feel, with the addition of two new ingredients: the spicy-woody accents akigala wood and tonka bean join the white musks and mate leaves of the original version. 

TheChicGeek says, “Released in 1996, I’m not familiar with the original Chrome fragrance. As a brand, Azzaro, has little or no awareness here in the UK and even Googling images only brings up fragrance and no vintage or historical fashion images. 

This fragrance follows the typical tonka bean formula that have been popular over the last few years, but it does has a sophistication lacking in many.  Created by Jacques Huclier - he was the nose behind the epic Thierry Mugler A*Men - it’s fresh, but wait for the dry down as it's the best bit, where it gets soft, musky and almost gourmandy.

The bottle follows the form of the 1996 original and looks a bit dated, now, particularly the font, but if you’re a fan of this type of fragrance you could do much worse at this decent price”.

Left - Azzaro Pure Chrome - 100ml - £59

The scalp often gets overlooked, and, much like a plant, healthy roots equals a strong and vigorous plant. 

“Your scalp is simply an extension of your facial skin. And just like your face, your scalp needs cleansing, balancing, and protection. Once you think of it that way, it shouldn’t be hard to understand why you might need to be giving it a little extra care,” says, Justina Mejia-Montane, Vice President, Global Product Development at Aveda.

The Pramāsana collection is formulated with an exclusive blend of ingredients including: seaweed extract, helps control and balance sebum levels on the scalp. Lactobacillus, patented ferment helps preserve the scalp’s natural protective barrier and Tamanu Oil, a known anti-oxidant that helps to protect the scalp from pollution and other free radicals. The fragrance is a clean, fresh ‘Pure-Fume’ aroma featuring grapefruit, neroli, and cypress.

Left - Aveda - Pramasana Purifying Scalp Cleanser - £23.50, Pramasana Protective Scalp Concentrate - £35 

TheChicGeek says, “A product will come along and you’ll think why haven’t I thought about my hair like this before. Now, put your hands together, bend forward and say “Pramāsana”, it’s a combination of the Sanskrit words, ‘Prama’ (foundation) and ‘Asana’ (position in yoga). Now, uncross your legs!

You always feel like you’re in good hands with Aveda hair products. There’s an optional brush, which I didn't try, but having short hair. I don’t think I really needed it.

The first of the two products is the cleanser. You massage into the scalp, before shampooing and on wet hair, to instantly balance sebum levels creating a clean scalp foundation. 

This has that satisfying, two-handed massaging texture that really makes you feel like you’re really cleaning your hair. You then shampoo and rinse as usual.

Then, while the hair is still damp, it’s time for the 'Scalp Concentrate'. I found it was best to pipette it into your hand then rub it into the scalp. Aveda say to think about this like the serum step in skincare. It’s suppose to help protect from pollution and other free radicals which should go to some way in combating the excesses Oxford Street!

 I like both of these products and I think it’ll be particularly good for those with thick hair and those who use a lot of product. My mum actually said my hair looked nice, which she hasn't said for a while and didn't know I had used anything new.

My only negative, there needs to be more information on how often to use it. I wasn't sure if it was a weekly or daily thing, but I’ve been told “it’s as often as you wash your hair, so, yes, daily is good!”.