Wednesday, 13 September 2017 11:49

Tried & Tested Gentleman Givenchy

Review Givenchy Gentleman Fragrance

The classic touch of lavender is altered by noble iris, that master perfumers Nathalie Lorson and Olivier Cresp placed at the heart of the fragrance. Combined with smooth, sweet pear and in a subtle nod to the original 1975 release, a patchouli-leather accord structures this new woody floral fougère fragrance. 

Left - Gentleman Givenchy - 100ml - £66

Review Givenchy Gentleman Fragrance Aaron Taylor-Johnson

TheChicGeek says, “Off we went to Paris for the launch of this and even after two days it still wasn’t sinking in exactly which way around gentleman and Givenchy were arranged. The new fragrance is called Gentleman Givenchy and not Givenchy Gentleman - do you see what they did there? - which is the original 1975 fragrance and, to many, a classic.

Right - Face - Aaron Taylor-Johnson representing the "Gentle Man"

The new version is getting a lot things right: the face Aaron Taylor-Johnson is a good choice. He looks great in the ad. and the commercial, shot by his artist wife, it sees him dancing and looking hot. The bottle is the classic Givenchy shape and the idea of a “Gentle Man” is modern and reflects the change in masculinity over the 40 years since the original.

Review Givenchy Gentleman Fragrance

The main problem I have is, the fragrance smells like everything else. I’m not getting the original here and it’s certainly not memorable. Again, another fragrance not to dislike, but nothing to get excited about either.

With Givenchy’s pedigree they should have reintroduced the original with all its seventies-ness to a new generation and re-owned one of the great male fragrances. Givenchy is a storied brand and they have a respected history, they just don’t use it enough.

They have a new designer, Clare Weight Keller, and it will be interesting if she has any input into the beauty side of the business which has been neglected under the former Creative Director, Riccardo Tisci.”

Left - TheChicGeek giving good "Gentleman" on the red carpet in Paris

Below - TheChicGeek getting his Gentleman Givenchy on in the Eurostar lounge on the way home from Paris

Chic Geek Eurostar Lounge Givenchy Gentleman Paris

Published in Grooming
Thursday, 07 September 2017 22:20

Tried & Tested Beaufort London Iron Duke

Review Beaufort London Iron Duke Fragrance Perfume

The first fragrance in Beaufort London’s new ‘Revenants’ fragrance series is Iron Duke. A tribute to Arthur Wellesley, the first Duke Of Wellington (1769 – 1852), perfumer Julie Dunkley has created a strikingly powerful fragrance with animalic depths  – an apparition of the celebrated horseman, warrior politician and sartorial pioneer. 

TheChicGeek says, “I’ve become a fan of Beaufort London fragrances - read more here - and this is the start of a new collection based on the ghosts of great British figures. This is inspired by Wellington and his horse - Copenhagen - and the Duke’s penchant for brandy and drinking.

Beaufort London haven’t revealed the individual notes, which actually makes it more fun. I got a top of boozy cough mixture then the warm, leathery, animalic body of the horse. There’s some spice in there, yet it’s warm, sexy and leathery. It’s dirty, but has a modern naturalness to it, like a honey or something.

It’s keenly priced at £95, especially being a high concentration eau de perfume (30%), and the image on the bottle is by Leo’s - Beaufort Founder - friend, tattooist Robert Gisbourne-Ashby.

This is wearably animalic. If you want something even dirtier and grubbier then try Peau De Bête.” 

Left - Beaufort London - Iron Duke - 50ml - £95

Published in Grooming

Review Beverly Hills Formula Black Pearl Teeth Whitening Toothpaste

Beverly Hills Formula’s Professional White range offers a brand new advanced formula for superior whitening results using clinically proven ingredients to help remove surface and deep stains without harming the enamel.

Oral hygiene experts, Beverly Hills Formula, have been working on the ground-breaking new whitening formulation for over two years and it’s currently only available in the UK.

Black Pearl works by using activated charcoal combined with professional whitening ingredient Phthalimido-Peroxy-Caproic Acid (PAP) to help remove surface and deep stains without harming the enamel and is safe for daily use.  

Chris Dodd, CEO of Beverly Hills Formula which has been established for over 20 years, said: “We are very excited about our new Professional White range which has taken over two years in development, but it’s been well worth it because we believe we’ve created the best teeth whitening products which aren’t harmful to enamel and are aimed at consumers who expect superior results from a whitening toothpaste.”

TheChicGeek says, “If I got a smile like one of those “Housewives” I’d probably blind everybody when I opened my mouth. My goal isn’t ice white, it’s more a subtle British ivory, if you get my drift!

I’m always a bit sceptical about “whitening” toothpastes and I’m firmly in the camp of “this won’t do anything, but it can’t hurt”.

This is the first jet black toothpaste I’ve used. It isn’t difficult to rinse and there are no traces of it left after using, ie grey gums. I really enjoyed using this. I’m not sure if my teeth look whiter, but I definitely feel like my gums are better and my teeth feel really clean. This feels like a quality product.”

Above - Beverly Hills Formula Black Pearl Professional White Toothpaste - £10.99

 

Published in Grooming
Friday, 21 July 2017 09:46

Tried & Tested Bruzzoni Toothbrush

Review bruzzoni toothbrush The Chic Geek teeth

The new electric toothbrush from Bruzzoni’s ‘Wall Street’ collection combines minimalist Italian design with cutting edge Swedish technology. The Bruzzoni electric toothbrush has a luxurious soft leather-like feel and is comfortable to use, with a high speed oscillating brush head that keeps your teeth smooth and clean, and your mouth super fresh. 

It comes in two stylish colour options – deep matt black trimmed with rose gold metal, or sleek white trimmed with silver metal. You also get a neat, matching metallic induction charger base.

The induction charger gives you 40 minutes’ cleaning time when the toothbrush is fully charged, which you can do from any USB port or your bathroom shaver socket. Plus, it has an easy to read battery indicator that gives you plenty of warning so you know exactly when you need to recharge..

TheChicGeek says, “When I was invited to try a Bruzzoni toothbrush I thought anything that challenges the duopoly of Braun Oral B and Philips Sonicare can only be a good thing. I was sent the black option with the rose cold touches. 

Feeling all Gordon Gekko, it looks better in the pictures than in real and the ‘leather’ finish feels a bit ‘retro speaker finish’. I had been using a Philips Sonicare before this and you really notice the difference in head size. This is much bigger and doesn’t get to the back of the mouth as easy as the Philips. The round head action is soft and not ‘digger truck’ like the Oral B and sticks to the traditional 2 mins, 4 quadrant type clean. 

I’m a fan of good looking products, but I feel this is a couple of designs away from where is needs to be in both practicality and finish. It just feels a bit basic, but it’s definitely in the right area.”

Left & Below - Bruzzoni - Wall Street Electronic Toothbrush - £120

Review bruzzoni toothbrush The Chic Geek teeth

Published in Grooming
Thursday, 20 July 2017 15:15

Tried & Tested Coach For Men

Review Coach For Men Fragrance

Coach introduces a new fragrance for men. It is said to have a New York attitude and an American authenticity. Coach For Men starts with an energetic top note of crisp and effervescent green Nashi pear. A spicy burst of cardamom adds warmth, complexity and a subtle touch of sweetness. The scent ends with a textured base of vetiver—earthy, woody and green—layered with hints of suede and ambergris.

Left - One of the best bottles I've seen this year Coach For Men

TheChicGeek says, “In the battle for mainstream luxury - which is where all the money is BTW - Coach have a real energy right now. They feel like they are leading, rather than following, and have, finally, made Coach a recognised and desired brand in the UK and Europe.

This is their first men’s fragrance under their new license deal - they were previously with Esteé Lauder.

I really like the packaging: the ombré flacon and embossed logo with the name on the a leather tag is strong yet subtle branding. Even the textured calf-skin-like finish on the box is a nice touch.

The juice is commercial, but, that’s expected. The best bit is the dry down which soft and warm and without anything jarring or dominating.

Review Coach For Men Fragrance James Franco

The face is James Franco. I thought they would have chosen somebody a bit younger. Coach has been pushing a more collegiate, youthful feel and James Franco, pushing 40, is a bit done and has been used by other brands before. I personally think of Chloe Moretz and Brooklyn Beckham as Coach’s target image now: young and cool. But, this fragrance certainly works on its own."

Right - Too old for the new Coach? The Coach For Men face James Franco. 

Coach For Men - Out 12th September 2017 40ml - 100ml - £29 - £62

Published in Grooming

Review Creme De la Mer Moisturizing Matte Lotion

The new Creme De La Mer Moisturizing Matte Lotion is said to defy the laws of moisture with nourishing hydration from the sea combined with unique mattifying technology to help soften away the appearance of age, shine and pores. 

Their smallest moisture sphere ever is suspended in a buoyant gel layer to deliver nourishing hydration rapidly—with a fresh finish. A sea-sourced, micro-fine powder surrounds each gel capsule, creating a Mattifying Mesh Network that works intuitively to minimise shine for a beautifully balanced, refined looking complexion in even the hottest, most humid climates.

TheChicGeek says, “Creme De La Mer or La Mer, I’m not sure what it’s called anymore, has always been the pricey mainstream option. I’ve always found the original product, containing the famous ‘Miracle Broth’, a little rich for me, so was pleased to hear about this ‘Moisturizing Matte Lotion’.

I wanted this to be rich and nourishing while leaving a matt and non-shine finish, especially as the majority of men’s skins are thicker and oilier. 

Unfortunately, while matt, I didn’t get the glow I was wanting or expecting. It just seemed to disappear and not have any lasting effect.”

Left - Creme De La Mer Moisturizing Matte Lotion - 50ml - £180

Published in Grooming
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

 

Published in Grooming
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. 

Published in Grooming
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

Published in Grooming

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!”.

Published in Grooming
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