Displaying items by tag: Tried Tested

Wednesday, 16 June 2021 13:56

Tried & Tested Dunhill Driven Fragrance

men's fragrance new Driven dunhill review tested tried the chic geekDunhill Driven is said to be inspired by the man who is fearless, has confidence and persistence. A fragrance for the man who is a warrior at heart, it opens with a blend of bergamot, lime, red apple and plum. The heart of the fragrance delivers freshness with a blend of cardamom, cinnamon, and jasmine, all harmoniously combined with velvety rose. The base maintains a warm depth, with notes of amber, amyris wood, vanilla, cedarwood and musk.

Left - Dunhill - Driven - Available at The Fragrance Shop EDP 100ml - £64

TheChicGeek says, “Dunhill has had more brand directions than a compass and aesthetic reinventions than the cast of Friends. Creative Directors have come and gone - it's currently Mark Weston, formerly of Burberry - and the brand has pin-balled from one new look to another over the decades. The current vibe is fashion cool, but as a style observer, they need commit before I do.

As for the fragrance, it is well thought out. Great name, referencing the Dunhill motorcar heritage, while feeling modern with the packaging and branding. The monochrome design on the box is pulled from a current runway shirt. The bottle is great with its large black gear top.

Dunhill has done some great men’s fragrances over the last few years. This feels safe and commercial. The three main scent pillars are a top of red apple, middle of cardamom and base of cedarwood. It would have be nice have something more forward thinking with a name like Driven, but it’s an easy wear and if you’re a fan of Boss Bottled you’ll love this.”

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Published in Men
Wednesday, 09 June 2021 15:13

Tried & Tested Proverb Refillable Deodorant

Proverb Refillable Deodorant Grooming MoisturiserProverb Refillable Deodorant harnesses natural, plant powered ingredients to keep your underarms dry, fresh and sweetly scented without any aluminium.

Founders, Kirstie and Luke, combined their passion of a skincare expert and an ex-professional athlete, both obsessed with creating products that deliver better health & performance. This is no eco bandwagon, it’s their life’s work - the refill comes in 100% compostable paper.

Left - Proverb - Refillable Deodorant Starter Pack with Two Refills - £29, Refillable Starter Pack - £17

There are five scent options: Wild Mint & Eucalyptus, Wild Mint & Eucalyptus – Active, Coconut & Tonka, Coconut & Tonka – Active and Sensitive & Unfragranced.

Choose your Refillable Case colour. You get this outer case free of charge. You only need this once and then ongoing you just buy refills to save single-use plastic. Available in white, grey and yellow.

Ingredients include candelilla and carnauba wax, plant-based waxes to create the deodorant stick and also helps soften the skin. Milk of magnesium is used it to balance the skin’s natural pH while killing odour causing bacteria.

TheChicGeek says, “Sales of deodorants and antiperspirants are down during the pandemic. According to the consumer giant, Unilever, who makes Lynx, Sure and Dove, consumers appeared to abandon personal hygiene while stuck at home. The company said in its last financial statement, ‘Deodorants declined high-single digit as the deodorants market was also impacted by lower consumer usage.’

But, return we will and you couldn’t wrong with picking up this from Proverb. While the environmental credentials are fantastic, what really matters is how you feel and smell. This makes you feel confident and the smell is great.

It is expensive, but it feels quality and they explain their pricing on the website which is a nice touch. I tried Wild Mint & Eucalyptus, I’m not sure if it was ‘Active’ or not, and I’m not really clear on the difference, you just want the one that works the best, but it smelt delicious even geranium like, which I love. Very green and clean. And the smell lasts. This is definitely going on TheChicGeek Recommends list.”

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Published in Men

The Other Saint SPF Grooming MoisturiserPaying particular attention to the daily effect of the elements (e.g. UV rays) on premature ageing, The Other Saint is a new grooming brand taking a simple two-pronged approach to face care; repair your skin and prevent further damage. They, firstly, help to repair damage already done to your skin, then secondly, help to protect your skin from further damage, all by us- ing a variety of natural derived actives & antioxidants.

Left - The Other Saint - SPF 30 Protective Moisturiser 50ml - £22.50

TheChicGeek says, “I have to admit I had a false start with The Other Saint. They approached me last year and asked if I wanted to try and review their products. Looking at SPF being a central message, which I’ve never understood why more brands don’t as I’ve been banging on about this for years, I was looking forward to them arriving.

Four products arrived with not a single one containing an SPF. A little perplexed I tried the did try the products - if you like coffee, the Caffeine High Exfoliator is basically the scrapings from a barista’s busy day.

New PR, new approach, and I asked for something with an SPF and the SPF 30 Protective Moisturiser arrived.

With most moisturisers containing SPF you are aware of it. It often feels less silky and drier. If I did a blind testing you would never guess with this one. Which I rate highly. It is light and at SPF 30 it is giving you significant protection. A product that makes you want to apply it more is a winner.

The tub packaging doesn’t do the product justice, while being compostable pot, it doesn’t feel as premium as I would like. I’m not sure what ‘Vegan friendly’ means either, it’s vegan or it’s not?”

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Published in Men
Friday, 26 March 2021 19:53

Tried & Tested Montblanc EXPLORER Ultra Blue

Review tried tested mont blanc explorer ultra blueBlue is the colour of the sky and the seas; the colour of ice-covered mountain peaks and expansive lakes and the inspiration for Montblanc’s fragrance Explorer Ultra Blue.

Three noses, Givaudan’s Jordi Fernandez, Olivier Pescheux, and Antoine Maisondieu have come together. The top notes are a zesty fusion of Italian bergamot and citrus of the finest quality, with the addition of a touch of pink peppercorn to deliver a fresh spicy note with woody facets.

A marine accord is the beating heart of the fragrance. The blue aquatic depth that comes from fusing citrus with the marine and airy notes evokes the freshness of Alpine landscapes, with the subtle hint of a sea breeze. The fresh, iodine, salty and airy notes contrast with grey amber notes. One final stop on the island of Sulawesi in Indonesia delivers the base notes of patchouli that defines the structure of Montblanc Explorer Ultra Blue.

Left - Montblanc Explorer Ultra Blue - EDP 100ml - £72

TheChicGeek says, “This is a fresh woody fragrance. It’s easy on and easy off. It’s a burst mountain forests, but it’s not a stayer. and quickly disappears. It’s cohesive without a single note dominating and also nothing jarring. It feels mature but not old fashioned. The idea was for it to be glacial, without being cold, like breathing the air of the mountain forests. The patchouli here is said to be original to the fragrance, being distilled to remove the dark and earth facets,

The bottle is the same iteration as the original EXPLORER but in a rich blue colour way.”

Launches nationwide May 2021

See TheChicGeek’s Tried & Tested of the first Montblanc EXPLORER here

Disclosure - A sample was gifted by Montblanc for review

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Published in Men
Monday, 15 February 2021 16:00

Tried & Tested Aguulp Gut Test

Review tried tested aguulp gut test healthAguulp is a new health and wellness brand offering liquid supplements to improve gut, brain, immune health and recovery after a hangover. They have also developed an at-home gut health test. Everything is new to the market.

Aguulp is created by a team of scientists, is clinically developed and trialled, and includes co-founder and musician Stephen Manderson aka Professor Green, who spent a lifetime battling gut and mental health problems, which led to him creating Aguulp.

The Gut Test is an at-home to lab gut health test. It measures short-chain fatty acids – a more precise indicator of gut health than DNA-based tests. You send your sample to Aguulp’s lab and receive a comprehensive health report with advice on how to improve your gut health.

Left - Aguulp - Gut Test - £80

TheChicGeek says, “Firstly, this was very fast, I received my Gut Test results back within the same week. The results are from a mixture of a questionnaire and a stool sample posted to their lab. It’s really simple to collect and the instructions were simple and straightforward. The questionnaire asks you about your diet and habits etc.

Your gut score is how successful your gut is at producing key biomarkers, called short-chain fatty acids, based on your current gut microbial diversity and abundance, genetics, sex, age, diet and lifestyle. Fortunately, diet is the main factor shaping our gut microbial communities. I was 6.5/10. Over 8 is ‘Ideal’, under 4 is ‘Low’.

I had a few further questions about my test which Aguulp kindly answered:

CG : How individual is the test?

A: The same laboratory extraction and analysis is carried out for everyone, but the results and dietary and lifestyle recommendations are personalised because each of our gut microbiome’s are unique. Gut testing is a snapshot in time, so we have made the test as powerful as possible, whilst remaining affordable with rapid results, this means you can retest yourself periodically to see if the changes you have made work for you.

CG: My result was ‘Borderline’, is this something to be worried about?

A: Borderline or ‘Average’ is not cause for concern, but you do have room for improvement. To put this in to perspective the UK average is 5/10 and the healthy average or ideal score is 8/10 so with your score of 6.5/10 you are half way in between. You have an increased risk of developing, or developing further, gut-related health issues. If you already have gut-related health issues, you have found the solution: by improving your gut health you will improve the underlying issue and remove or lessen your discomfort in time. For your information we have revised our reports and now Borderline is categorised as Average as to lessen people’s concerns.

CG: What percentage of people are Borderline?

A: Approximately 50% of people are borderline, 30% low and 20% ideal, so 80% of people have plenty of room for improvement to improve their gut health and reduce their risk of developing gut related issues.

CG: If I can do one thing to help, what is that?

A: Eat more prebiotic fibre and/or consider a prebiotic supplement such as aguulp for gut. Approximately 90% of people in the UK do not eat the required 30g of fibre per day, which is a major contributory factor in the rise in modern illnesses in western culture, such as digestive inflammation leading to IBS, Crohn’s, asthma and allergies, mental health leading to stress, anxiety and depression and other risks leading to type 2 diabetes, obesity and a weaker immune system. Food sources include whole grains (oats, bulgur wheat, brown rice, quinoa, whole-grain bread, whole-grain pasta), fruits (apples with skin, pears with skin, bananas, strawberries), vegetables (carrots, beetroots, broccoli), legumes (kidney beans, lentils, peanuts) and nuts and seeds (chia seeds, almonds).

CG: I eat a lot of sugar, what does this do to me and why should I cut it out?

A: There are many reasons and healthy benefits as to why you should limit your sugar intake from reducing blood sugar spikes, reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes, cancer, depression and heart disease, the list is long. From a gut microbiome perspective, regular intake of refined carbohydrates or sugar feeds the pathogenic opportunistic or ‘bad’ bacteria and reduces the number and diversity of probiotic or ‘good’ bacteria. Again, this is not good news from a gut health perspective, which is a central hub interconnected to the other organs of the body and so has knock on effects.

CG: I was ‘Borderline’ on coffee, but I said in the survey I didn’t drink coffee?

A: If you did drink coffee in moderation, this has been shown to actually help to improve the bacterial diversity in your gut and contributes to a healthy microbiota, therefore your score was Borderline as there is potential room for improvement. However, excess consumption will increase caffeine levels, which may affect other aspects such as restful sleep or de-stressing. Additionally, if you have digestive issues such as IBS, Leaky Gut Syndrome or Crohn’s Disease, it is recommended to avoid coffee. For your information we have revised our reports and now the section on coffee has been removed as to concentrate people’s attention to areas which are more important and can make a bigger difference to gut health.

CG: Can consumers ask questions about their test results?

A: Of course, we are trying to break to taboo with poo and fully encourage any and all questions. We have designed the customer journey so that you are not forced to speak to anyone about your stools or digestive health if you don’t want to. We have also carefully designed the technical content on the website and report so that the information is nice and easy to understand so that you can ‘digest’ the information yourself, you do not need a medical degree to understand or a doctor to interpret it for you.

CG: Is there any information on your supplement products and tests before and after using them?

A: Yes we carried out a clinical trial, the summary in on the website here

"It’s good to see Aguulp are standing behind their product because they offer a package of two tests - one before and one after - with a combination of their ‘Brain’ and ‘Gut’ supplements in-between. They say the 'health shots' use liposomal technology to protect nutrients from being destroyed as they’re making their way through the body, delivering 98% nutrient absorption, compared to 20% from some traditional pill-form vitamins."

Takeaway - Everything is about ‘gut health’ at the moment, and I am a firm believer - *gulps apple cider vinegar*. You get out what you put in. It also feels central to everything in our bodies. This test is affordable yet expensive enough to be scientific and offers a nice breakdown with different elements. To be cynical, there’s always going to be room for improvement, especially from a brand that wants to sell you months' worth of supplements.

I was low on fuel for bad bacteria, and I know I eat too much sugar. (I’m trying dark chocolate to control my chocolate addiction while trying to cut down the sugar). I was ‘Borderline’ on coffee, but I said in the questionnaire that I didn’t drink coffee, but they answered that above. I also need to fast more and avoid food or drink (water is ok) for at least 12 hours a day.

I'm yet to try their supplements but these results certainly make me curious. Pass me the oats!"

Review tried tested aguulp gut test health

 

www.aguulp.com

Disclosure - The Gut Test was complimentary from Aguulp

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Left - Aguulp clinical trial results

Published in Men
Wednesday, 10 February 2021 10:56

Tried & Tested JustWears Men’s Underwear

Review tried tested justwears underwear men'sJustWears is a new brand of eco-friendly men's underwear. Dubbed ‘a palace for your phallus’, JustWears boast a unique, ergonomic pouch design. They keep your meat and two veg separate and are proven to improve sperm count and were seen recently on BBC Two’s Dragons’ Den where they received two offers.

Made from ‘MicroModal Air’ fabric -  from sustainable Austrian Beech trees produced in a non-toxic and renewable process - they 50% more absorbent and breathable than cotton.

The remaining wood left over from the process of making them is recycled to supply energy back to the JustWears factory in China, making them CO2 neutral and biodegradable.

JustWears Boxer Briefs come in two different designs: Active - with Pouch - the perfect athletic cut with JustWears’ signature pouch, and Pro - without Pouch - the ideal daily wear.

TheChicGeek says, “I wanted to try the ‘Active’ style with pouch because this is what makes JustWears' underwear different. I’ve always liked micro modal, as a fabric choice, particularly in T-shirts, because it is easy care and works great with stretch.

These are extremely comfortable and feel supportive. You put your cock in the front pouch and the fly opens from the bottom part of this section. Unlike most flies,Review tried tested justwears underwear men's which are often ignored because they are awkward to access.

You forget you’re wearing them, which is always the sign of a good pair of underwear, and the separation actually stops you from needing to adjust yourself. There’s no anxiety! The eco credentials are a bonus.

Apart from the black colour way, I’m not crazy about the other colour choices, so they could do something slightly more contemporary or sexier with the colours or designs going forward.”

Left - JustWears - Boxer Briefs - From £12.48 (If buying 9 pairs)

just-wears.com

Disclosure - A sample was provided by JustWears

Buy TheChicGeek's latest book FashionWankers - HERE

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Review tried tested justwears underwear men's

Published in Men
Thursday, 04 February 2021 18:22

Tried & Tested JOS Grooming Original Beard Serum

tried tested JOS grooming beard serumHairstylist Jos Gibson has nearly two decades’ of experience concepting, designing and teaching for fashion brands, runway shows and editorial. His career started at legendary haircare brand Vidal Sassoon in 90s Manchester, and by the 2000s, Jos had become a leader in mens’ grooming working with brands such as YMC, Sunspel, Fred Perry Japan and A.P.C.

Whilst working behind the scenes on editorials for menswear titles such as GQStyle and Fantastic Man, Jos noted the lack of skincare and beard products that worked well for men on set. He began to experiment with new ways of grooming and caring for the skin, hair and beard that became the precursors to his own range of products.

High- quality plant-based solutions are combined with a fragrance that evokes the Japanese concept of Shinrin-yoku or Forest bathing. The JOS Original Beard Serum uses a blend of wood oils, frankincense, cedar and Japanese hinoki cypress, paired with green ora of vetiver and thyme. These specially blended precious oils contain plant phytoncides which together create a unique anti-stress fragrance which is said to not only heals our mind and improves our immunity but connects us to the natural world.

Left - JOS - Original Beard Serum - 30ml - £16

TheChicGeek says, “I always say the easier something is to use, the more you’ll use, and this being in a roll-on format feels ingenious. While a simple idea, it feels faster and more portable than previous beard serums. You simply apply when the beard or facial hair is wet.

The fragrance is a traditional woody scent, but in the green glass you really do buy into his whole Japanese forest concept. It’s well priced, and you even get manly joss sticks using the same wood and plant oils thrown into your purchase at the moment. What’s not to love?”

Josgrooming.men

Disclosure - A sample was provided by JOS 

Further ChicGeek Reading - How To Enjoy Wearing A Face Mask

Buy TheChicGeek's latest book FashionWankers - HERE

Check out TheChicGeek's new shop of fabulous plants & books - Give me Penis Cactus!

Published in Men
Wednesday, 27 January 2021 20:17

Tried & Tested Vitruvian Man Organic Grooming

tried tested review vitruvian man organic groomingInspired by Roman architect Vitruvius’ philosophy, the Vitruvian Man brand and products are said to embody three central themes - functionality, strength and elegance. Their uniquely clean and green formulas are vegan, cruelty-free and dermatologically tested. They are formulated with scientifically proven actives that are ethically and sustainably sourced. Their mission is to be honest, to inspire and to implement solutions to aid mental health and wellness.

Men’s skin is as sensitive to natural stressors as female’s skin, building a healthy foundation for the skin should be at the heart of any skincare regime it says.

TheChicGeek says, “I think they had me at ‘Ginger Juice’! The most famous Vitruvian Man was Leonardo da Vinci’s, who beautifully illustrated that a man’s arm span equalled his height.

Aiming to square a man’s grooming regime is the, new to me, Vitruvian Man. The 2in1 low-foaming gel cleanser and toner contains an anti-bacterial ginger juice formulation which thoroughly removes dirt and oil without drying your skin and maintain your skin’s natural tonal balance and is infused with nutgrass root juice’s anti-inflammatory and anti-irritation properties for an overall detoxed and refined appearance.

The ‘Resurrection Cream’ contains SPF 20 and is therefore less loose and more clay-like than the ‘All Day Hydrator’. One pump is loads from both the ‘All Day Hydrator’ and ‘Supreme Eye Cream’, you could probably do with half the amount and they do leave the skin feeling slightly tacky.

All the products smell great, particularly the face wash, with ingredients including resurrection plant (desert plant), snow mushroom, ginger root and nutgrass juice.

This is a quality range of 4 products. It feels researched, cared for and thought about. I like any day cream with a decent SPF and the rest of the products fit together with Vitruvian logic. It also feels fairly priced. Thumbs up from me." *arms outstretched*!

Above - Vitruvian Man - Anti-Pollution Cleanser and Toner, £32, All Day Hydrator, £40, Supreme Eye Cream, £63, Resurrection Cream SPF 20, £52

www.vitruvian-man.com

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Disclosure - Samples were gifted by Vitruvian Man for review

Published in Men

tried tested review katerina steventon calming cleanser no 1This is Dr Steventon’s third product and the No.’1’, her first cleanser, in her ‘Signature Routine’. The other products are ‘4’ and ‘9’.

A new cleansing hybrid formula designed for deep cleansing without dehydration, it promotes softness and suppleness and soothes the skin. A unique combination of modified plant oils (coconut, evening primrose), gentle surfactants, hydrating glycerin and calming aloe vera leaf extract.

Left - Dr Katerina Steventon - ‘1’ Calming Cleanser 50ml - £35

TheChicGeek says, “The first time you use this, do it in front of a mirror because it is so gentle you’d be hard pushed to believe anything was actually being applied without the geranium fragrance. The formula turns white on contact with water, and it is super soft, almost as soft as water.

Use the spatula, provided, to apply a pea sized of the light green gel which turns to a milky cleanser. This offers a refreshing cleanse without stripping the skin of all of its oils and is a pleasure to use. It feels gentle while giving you the after feeling of being super clean. I’m a big fan of geranium so I couldn’t think of a better fragrance.

Dr Steventon, as a facialist, is a big advocate of massaging the face and taking time, if only seconds, to give you and your face some TLC."

Recommended Directions - AM/PM. Wash your face with lukewarm water. Massage a small amount  of Calming Cleanser ‘1' lightly into your skin in a circular motion. Rinse off gently. Avoid direct contact with eyes.

Read TheChicGeek reviews of the other products in her range - Anti-Ageing Serum ‘4' & Radiance Eye & Lip Serum ‘9’.

www.katerinasteventon.com

Buy TheChicGeek's latest book FashionWankers - HERE

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Disclosure - Samples were gifted by Dr Katerina Steventon for review

Published in Men
Friday, 21 August 2020 15:18

Tried & Tested Beyl Made For Men Skincare

tried tested review Beyl Selfridges grooming eye cream moisturiser cleansing gel

Founded by management consultant Pieter-Jan Beyls, who wanted a skincare range that delivered for his active and varied lifestyle - extremes of temperatures, humidity and pollution from the daily commute, to air conditioned offices and humid gyms, BEYL's formulations auto-adapt to hot and humid, cold or dry skin conditions and protect against city pollution, thus preventing premature ageing, dull skin tone and promoting healthier looking skin.

Above - BEYL - Purify & Refresh Cleansing Gel 150ml - £35, Firm & Revitalise Eye Cream 15ml - £65, Clima-adaptive Anti-pollution Moisturiser 50ml - £85

BEYL is tailored to work on the three different levels of the skin: the surface, at barrier level and deep into the dermis at cellular level.

Working with a team of experienced scientists over 3 years, following multiple user trials and clinical tests, a simple yet effective, scientifically proven, three-product system was created: cleansing gel, eye cream and moisturiser.

TheChicGeek says, “BEYL, as a new brand, has done the right thing by keeping it simple. Too many brands launch with too many products. Launching with three standard, and useful, products means you get completely involved with the brand and quickly.

This is really good; a fusion of naturally derived actives – power botanicals, microalgae, glycoproteins, and nutrients work at different levels and I saw a noticeable positive difference in my skin.

The result is an uncomplicated, yet thorough and effective three product routine that works with each man’s unique skin and adapts to the changing environments that we face on a daily basis leaving a balanced, energised and healthy looking skin.

This is premium priced, so here’s the science bit:

On the Skin surface - Encapsulated Vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant, works to increase the skin’s antioxidative capacity against free radicals, thus protecting the skin as well as improving skin hydration.
At the microbiome level (epidermis) - A prebiotic microalgae actively restores the homeostasis of the skin by protecting it from inner stress signals, cortisol and adrenaline, restoring its natural circadian rhythm & balance. Broad spectrum pre and probiotic properties maintain a balanced and diversified microbiome.

At the cellular level (dermis) - A glycoprotein promotes keratinocyte growth and fibroblast adhesion for skin regeneration and rejuvenation. It additionally helps the skin retain water and gives a cryoprotective effect due to its ability to modify the morphology of ice crystals.

The only negative, the cleansing gel could be dispensed slightly smaller because you don’t need a lot and at £35 you’ll want to enjoy and savour every drop. My skin looked visibly healthier. I’m completely sold."

Takeaway - Premium, but worth it.

Available at Selfridges and BEYL 

Disclosure - Samples were gifted by BEYL for review

Published in Men
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