How I'm sleeping better with Leesa.

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You can eat well, hydrate, live in the gym, but all of this does not matter if you're not getting a good nights sleep. Most of us will know what it feels like to have a restless night, and to rely on match sticks to hold our eyes open the following day. Obviously your lifestyle is a major factor on how much sleep you get, but one of the main things that many people often overlook, is a good quality mattress. One of my old mattresses had springs that would often pop up in the middle of the night, not only waking me up with a loud twang, but usually digging into my hip or thigh. Much to my discomfort and inturrepted sleep, I did not do anything about this for a long time. It seems to be something we just tend to deal with, and carry on with. Don't be that person, we spend around a third of our life in bed! So make sure it's comfortable. This is where Leesa can help.

 A few months ago when Leesa got in touch, I said I would 'think about it' in regards to testing out one of their mattresses. The one I had (that's now long gone) seemed ok, It wasn't too old, no dodgy tempremental springs, so why would I want a new mattress? After some more reading and a little convincing I decided to go ahead, and since then I've not looked back. I've suffered from back problems for some years now, mainly pelvic-tilt, which to those of you who aren't sure of the condition it's basically when your pelvis moves too far forward, or backwards. Often caused by too much abs work, and not enough lower back. To help with this I often used to sleep with a pillow between my legs to help keep my hips in line with my shoulders and stop so much twisting going on. In a nutshell my back needs some work doing. Since I've been sleeping on my new Leesa mattress though the results have been very convincing.





The Leesa mattress itself has three layers of foam- a top layer of cooling foam, a contouring foam, both of which are 5cm thick, and a bottom layer core support, 15cm thick. I've tried memory foam mattresses before and often had mixed feelings, too soft, or not giving the support where they should. For me this is mainy around my hips and shoulders, the points of your body that take most of the pressure if you sleep on your side. The 3 layers in the Leesa mattress somehow work together and provide the ultimate support. With all this working in a dream-like harmony my sleep is now better, and my hips are alligned perfectly no matter what position I wake up in.

The order process is easy, pick a mattress, type in your address, payment details and you're done. A few days later you'll be greated with a box, yes you did read that right. An upright box, that at first looks like it contains anything but, a double mattress. As you can see in the photo you get a rolled up mattress, shink wrapped and ready to go. Simply take off the plastic and roll it out. Within an hour it will have risen up into a full blown double mattress, so don't be alarmed if you think it's too slim, like I at first did. Give it time, you'll be surpised.

Apart from me now sleeping better and enjoying a pain-free back, Leesa have lots more to offer. For every 10 mattresses sold, they will donate one to local homeless shelters, for more information on this visit their site. Under their 100 night risk free trial, if you feel the mattress isn't working for you within the first 100 night's, Leesa will collect the mattress and donate it to a charitable organisation, whilst giving you a full refund. If I could say one bad thing, you could find you just don't want to get out of bed, it is that comfy... be warned.
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Eating clean at the bodyfuel cafe, Hove

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If you've not noticed by now, it's mid Febuary and each and every one of us is 'back on it', by that I mean the fitness wagon. I've sucessfully made it past January and still going strong. If you have too, well done! Keep going, summer bodies are made in the winter.

I'm almost into week 6 of my 12 week plan now and the results are showing. I've got more energy, I've lost a fair bit of body fat, I've added some muscle and my strengh is growing by the day. All of this though does not come without the diet, or as we should really say 'heathly lifetyle'. A diet is a temporary thing, diets end, a new approach to healthy eating is a new and on-going relationship. Change the way you eat and and keep it that way, after all, you simply can't out-train a bad diet.

I've been living out of tupperware boxes and the Sunday meal prep is now a standard issue habit, fail to prepare, prepare to fail. This is mainly for my work lunches and snacks, small pots of nuts, protein powder etc. However we don't normally all walk around everywhere with bags of tupperware, I know I don't if im heading into town shopping for example. This is where the need comes in to eat clean out and about, and avoid the temptation of a dodgy commercial burger brand, 'the big yellow M'.

The bodyfuel cafe in Hove invited Rosie and I to come in and sample their menu, of course I was happy to pop down. Situated on Church Road in Hove, the bodyfuel cafe is a medium sized cafe with plenty to offer. Breakfasts, lunches, smoothies, and tasty healthy snacks with your body in mind.

After smashing up the gym for a good Sunday session I had my post workout appetite with me. I went for the steak, poached eggs and avocado with chilli on rye-bread; full of healtly fats and protein packed to keep the lions (arms) fed - I make poached eggs on bread at home all the time, but this was ten times better. The avocado is smashed, and seasoned with chilli, which is a nice touch, along with a medium-rare steak cut into strips - delicious.

Rosie went for the smoked salmon and poached eggs on sourdough bread, equally as packed for 'dem gainz', which is also served with smashed avocado and chilli. As for the smoothie to wash down this well earned post gym grub, Rosie had the smoothie named, 'not naughty definitely nice' which consists of almond milk, banana, raw cacoa, nut butter, vanilla, honey and cinnamon. You can add a scoop of protein powder to this but she opted out as she had just had a shake before the gym.

Myself on the other hand, trying to become a member of the Swoldier Nation, obviously wanted added protein in my smoothie. I went for a 'blueberry power', which is made up of banana, blueberries, nut butter, pumpkin seeds, ground cardamom, and almond milk. This is also advertised as a post strengh training smoothie.

The good news is this is only a fraction of the menu, so I will be going back for more, and there is plenty to choose from. As well as the monsterous meaty treat I ate, there is a full range of meals and snack to suit everyone; gluten-free options, vegans and vegetarians. Winning. Definitely head down and take a look, or call them up to get something delivered to your house or work. Even if you're not a gym lover, it is still good, healthy, and very tasty food for everyone. Take a look at their menu here.







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Hawkins & Brimble - Vintage Rituals for the Modern Man

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Although I am currently sporting a beard, and by beard I mean that of something that resembles Gary from Team America after his taliban make over - patchy, perhaps an early continental map of the East India shipping company - I have actually been clean shaving a lot more lately. This is down to two things; one being that my beard trimmer isn't performing to great, so I clean shave the hacked up mess it leaves behind, and the second is purely down to the amount of male grooming products I'm testing out lately.

Hawkins & Brimble is a British men's grooming brand that, in their own words, 'epitomises cool Britannia', and I could not agree more. I get to see new products a lot writing about male grooming, and this brand really sets itself apart from the rest. The branding in my opinion is perfect. The colour scheme looks traditonally British, the font on the boxes are that of a classic gents barber. It is simple, and it just works. As well as it all looking quite dapper, the products themselves are top notch.

Hawkins & Brimble use all natural ingredients, which as you may know if you've seen me write a fair bit about it lately, I'm more concious than ever of what I'm putting on my skin. You'd be surprised if you look at just how many high street brands of face wash contain alcohol, which during these winter months (or in fact at  any time of year) is a recipe for dry skin and irritation. These products contain no alcohol, no parabens, no colourants, they are tested on men, not animals, and are vegtarian friendly.

What you will find in the products is Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Argan Oil, Vitamin B5, Olive Oil, Almond Oil, and Cocoa Seed Butter. All of which your skin will thank you for.

I've been using the Hawkins & Brimble gift set, available here, which compromises of the following items; Pre Shave Scrub, Post Shave Balm, Shaving Cream, Shaving Cream Brush, Moulding Wax and Beard Oil

After a shower I apply some of the Pre Shave Scrub to my face, and you guessed it, have a good scrub. This will help remove dead skin and dirt from your face, which in turn stops it gettting stuck in your razor which can cause shaving cuts. The scrub itself contains small bits of broken walnut shell to help scrub away the dirt, and it contains Almond Oil which helps to soothe and soften the hairs and skin pre shave. Once your face is ready after using the pre shave scrub, you can move onto the hardware, the wonderfully asthetic Hawkins & Bramble Shaving Brush. The brush is well made and looks the part in your gentlemans area of the bathroom.

Next you will need the Elemi and Ginseng shaving cream. This little round metal pot is where the magic happens. If you're not too used to using a brush and shaving soap, the best way I find is after letting the bristles soften in some hot water, dab the brush quite firmly into the pot in circular motions. This will get it loosened up a bit and flowing. Once you've got a small amount of foam forming with the brush, either put it into the lid of tin, or I use the palm of my hand. Do this a few times until you've whisked up a nice lather to apply to your face. If you still can't master the art, YouTube has some good tips for the process. Now you've got a nice coating on your stubble, proceed to pick up your best razor and away you go. Another perk of the shaving soap is that it smells incredible, if you don't want to wear a cologne all day the scent this leaves on your face is a clean, and plesant one indeed.

Once you've washed off the soapy lather you can now add the Post Shave Balm. Simpy apply to your face as you would any post shave moisturiser. This one contains the Almond Oil, Olive Oil, and Cocoa Butter I mentioned earlier. It will leave you feeling cool, smooth, and ready to proceed with your daily duties as a man of the world.

The beard oil does exactly as you'd expect, it softens up those facial hairs and leaves your beard smooth and shiny. This is down to the main ingredient, Argan Oil, which is high in Vitamin E. You can see what I think of it by viewing my instgram, theclassicmaleblog, and looking out for my stories.

I really can't fault any of the products I've been using, Hawkins & Bramble have just kept it simple, and I'd be very surprised if this new brand with a tradional touch does not become a market leader within the modern mans grooming range. Highly recommended by The Classic Male, It's a yes from me.
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5 Winter Skincare Tips For Men

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The modern man should look after his skin, especially his face, and even more so in the winter. I've mentioned on here before that Clint Eastwood said he wishes that he had moisturised, and I'm not surprised after a life living in a Spaghetti Western. Personally, over the last few years, especially since writing this blog, my knowledge of not only how to make myself look better, but actually look after my skin, has improved greatly. Being the tender age of 31, I have no plans to look like the left over Christmas Turkey by the time I reach 40. Hopefully this little guide will help you avoid that awful fate too.


1. MOISTURISE 

The classic office, and indeed on-going argument, often between men and women, (but we won't go into that) is the central heating row. The radiators are one of the main culprits that will not be helping your skin over winter. Pumping out dry heat, removing moisture from the room and your skin; they are my pet hate if too hot. You can help tackle this though by using a good, and rich moisturiser. This year I've been mainly using these products.

The Body Shop Seaweed

This oil control lotion is quite thick, despite being labelled as an 'Oil Control' moisturiser. You don't need much to make a difference; a small amount goes a long way, and it does feel like it should, thick and rich. It's made mainly of seaweed (if you hadn't guessed) which is mineral rich, and contains SPF 15 to help protect from UV rays in the winter sun. It does say it's for combination/oily skin, which I would agree with, however I would not say this is an anti-shine moisturiser as it's so thick. Luckily the end goal here is to stop your face drying out, and this will most definitely not let that happen.

Perricone MD- Face finishing moisturising tint* 

This is a high end product, which is reflected on the price tag (rrp £59) but with that comes over 20 years experience from the brand founder, Nicholas Pierricone MD. A board certified dermatologist, researcher, scientist, New York Times, 'best selling author' the list goes on. Now if I'm honest, the word 'tint' did seem a bit daunting, am I going to look like someone from TOWIE, or a round orange fruit from California? The answer is no, this is not a fake tan product, it simply adds a gentle glow to your existing skin tone. Even us blokes can agree we all look better in the summer, than we do with our winter faces. It is loaded with vitamin C, and packs a healthy SPF 30 in it too.

Perricone MD Re:Firm Eye*

A good under eye cream is a must all year round. One thing I do find after leaving the house into the icy cold winter blast is my eyes can sometimes water. I'm not crying no, it's your eyes natural way of saying 'mate, is is cold, we're drying up here' thus adding some extra tear juice to help that out. Obviously one side effect of this is soreness around the eyes, usually due to rubbing them dry. This under eye cream will help add moisture, and it helps against the damage from the cold on your sensitive under eye area. A little goes a long way, warm it slighlty between your fingers and it'll turn from a gel to a serum. You can shop for Perricone MD here.


2. LOOK AFTER YOUR LIPS

If you're not generally aware of the winter taking it's toll on your face, one thing that won't take you long to notice is your lips. I've worked in a -17°  wind chill on a roofing job before, and the first thing to feel this was my lips. If however like myself currently, working in a normal (or roasting) office environment, you still need to keep your lips in check. A brand I've been a fan of for a while now is Anthony. They have recently released this little beaut of a lip balm packing a strong SPF 25, consisting mainly of mint and white tea. It contains avocado, a natural moisturiser with antioxidant properties, Shea Butter, which is well known for it's rich in moisture properties, and vitamin E which is key for skin improving properties. It feels lush on the lips too, a nice menthol, cool mint feeling, and you only need a small amount as it's quite thick. Has a matte finish too, so you won't be left standing looking like a lady boy. Anthony products are available from Space NK.

3. AVOID HOT SHOWERS

I'm not saying bath in ice water, but if possible, turn the temp down a bit. Water that is too hot removes your skins natural oils, which will just leave your face feeling dry and tight, and even worse, itchy. Avoid this by keeping the water temp down, and your time in the shower. The same goes for washing your hair, I tend to do it less in the winter, no more than three times a week. This will avoid drying out your scalp and leaving you flaky and itchy on top.

4. TAKE SUPPLEMENTS

Perricone MD Omega 3*

These Omega 3's are like no other, the fish oil is derived from Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon. This is the most purest form of Omega 3 available, which means it's going to even better for your hair and skin. Why take Omega 3? Apart from the usual known benefits of joint protection and flexibility, it's a great way to boost your mood and help get you off the sofa, and to the gym. It is also known to boost serotonin levels which can help fight depression, that most of us struggle with in long, dark and cold January. The benefits of a strong Omega 3 like this are huge, including anti-ageing properties, increased skin radiance, lowered insulin levels, and stabilised blood sugar levels, helping us keep to that insane diet we all start in January.

Perricone MD Super Berry Powder*

This super berry power is a nice little treat indeed. A box contains 30, 6g packets which can be added to smoothies, yogurt, or mixed with plain water. Each packet contains a mix of raspberry, blackberry and cranberry, which are packed with powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatory benefits. These are known to help with things such as heart disease, arthritis and ageing, tired skin. Blueberries have had countless studies to show that they help fight against skin damage and slow down the ageing process. And finally Acai, natures Red Bull, used by tribes people for over thousands of years for increased energy and focus. Could this replace my morning coffee..?

5. EXFOLIATE


Apparently we produce less skin cells in the winter due to the colder months, but it is still essential to remove dead skin cells. I'd say if you've got normal skin to exfoliate no more than once a week, however I do it 1-2 times a week, purely because I feel I need to. Removing dead skill cells will leave your fresh and clean, but again, don't over do it or you'll do more harm than good. Here's a link to my exfoliator of choice and why I use it, GoldfadenMD.

So there is my guide to help you stay looking good, and feeling even better. I've always said, look good, feel good. To keep it simple stick to a plan similar to what I've talked about, drink more water, avoid hot water, and moisturise. You can't go wrong,after all... Winter is coming..



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NEW // Original Shine Bar

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I'm always getting told off by the misses for using up expensive shampoo (an argument I can imagine that happens in many households) so she recently bought home this shampoo bar for me to use instead of her £15 a bottle stuff. The Shine Bar has been created by hairdresser and owner of Shine hairdressers in Brighton, Jonathan Harries, who wanted to create something simple, unique and environmentally friendly. It's designed for daily use on short hair, so is ideal for men who still want to use high quality products at home without getting an earful. 

With normal bottles of shampoo, it's easy to waste product that you can't get out of the bottom of the bottle and the plastic bottles often end up in landfill, but the Shine Bar has zero waste. The bar dissolves down like a bar of soap so there's no product waste, and the packaging it comes in is biodegradable.You just need to make sure you pat it dry and store it out of the shower, so that it doesn't disintegrate. It's also made up the road in Lewes which is good, I'm always in favour of locally made products. 

The Shine Bar is made with quinoa which, although I don't like to eat it,  is good for conditioning the hair and also treating dandruff. With a few quick rubs on my head, the Shine Bar lathers up into a thick mousse with it's lemon and ginger scent, which leaves my hair feeling clean and fresh. Another thing I liked about the shine bar is that is does feel like an actual shampoo wash, I've tried some natural products before that just don't have the same effect. 

The bar is ideal for the gym bag and travel, as it's small compact and isn't a liquid. All in all it's not a bad little thing to have. I'd say it works very well for short hair, if your hair is longer, you probably need to foam it up a bit more, but I'm confident it would work well too. Either way it's definitely worth checking out. You can get your very own Shine Bar here.
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Green People Mens // Christmas Collection

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Yet again it is that time of year, and Christmas is approaching. So for many of us it's time to start thinking, if only a little bit, about gifts; what to get, for whom to get, and when to start buying. Personally I usually nickname Christmas 'Stressmas' but to be honest, that could be down to me doing my Christmas shopping at 7pm on Xmas eve and coming back with somewhat below par gifts. You know what I mean. And on that note I will be adding some gift ideas to my blog from now on and up until the end of December to hopefully help you out and give you just few ideas.

This time last year I was contacted by Green People to have a look at their extremely popular men's Stag gift set, which was a really nice, novel treat - something different from the normal high street brands. So naturally when they very kindly got in touch with me again this year, I was more than happy to collaborate.

This year, Green People have released their very uniquely wonderful butterfly gift sets. The beautiful designs from their in house designer, Anna Parkinson, really does set these apart from anything else available. A warming collection of colours and the butterfly designs are more than eye catching to say the least. Green People as you may have read in my previous post, aren't all about profit. A donation from each gift you purchase will go towards supporting the Butterfly Conservation, which help to protect and preserve British butterflies and moths and the environment they live in.

I was very kindly sent the Hydrate men's skin kit* and the Energise men's body set* to review. So below is what I thought...



HYDRATE


The hydrate pack is made up of an exfoliator, a face serum, and a face wash. The face wash (81% organic) is real treat. The ingredients alone, based on orange and Aloe Vera, are enough to invite you in. It also contains plant proteins and seaweed to help retain your skins elasticity. The orange is the main scent of this wash which is a lovely warming, and awakening morning citrus burst any time of day.

 The face serum, which packs an even more impressive 89% organic ingredients, consists mainly of seaweed and green tea, both of which are rich in antioxidants. This hard hitting organic serum for men can help to fight the ageing process which again, in my opinion, as I'm starting to crack on (31 years young) is all good news to me. It contains lemongrass and rosemary essential oils which smell incredible, and the rosemary oil is something I'd say helps you relax to encourage a better nights sleep.

And finally the exfoliator which is made mainly of grapefruit and bamboo, and when I say mainly it is a whopping 92.7% organic! How's that for a natural product hey?! Obviously following on from that it is micro-bead free. The bamboo particles work as the scrubbing agent in the exfoliator and as with the face wash, this has a wonderful grapefruit citrus burst aroma too.



ENERGISE

The energise kit consists of two men's body washes. Orange and Clove is an invigorating wash both for your hair and your body. It's packed with vitamin E (great for your skin) and Cypress which will help to retain the skins natural oils, ideal if like myself, you're sometimes guilty of having your shower too hot!

Mint and Eucalyptus is the second part of this duo, again a hair and body wash. Also containing vitamin E and packing some pineapple properties and yucca, all of which are great for boosting your skin. Both washes mention on the back about retaining the skins natural oils, especially after the gym or swimming. As you know with hitting the gym often comes the need to shower often, so it's important to make sure you're not drying yourself out. Keep the shower temp down and keep it quick. As for swimming, most pools contain chlorine (bleach) which is the reason I don't swim in most pools, find a UV filtered pool if possible.

Well there we are, my thoughts on these great men's gift sets from Green People. Stocking filler or not these are an ideal set for men, something different and as mentioned earlier, supporting a brilliant cause. Both sets are vegan friendly and 100% certified organic products.
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Diesel BAD // Review

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Most men these days have, or will have had, a signature scent. For whatever reason we tend to choose our smell, and generally stick to it. I'd say I was probably the same; I like to try new things as I'm a yes man, but when it comes to buying a new cologne that's a harder sell. That was until I was contacted to see if I wanted to try out the new Diesel Bad*... 'why not' I said to myself.

If you're a regular reader (hopefully!) you'll know I always start with how something looks. Am I drawn to it? Does it set itself apart from the norm? The Diesel Bad bottle does. The matte black bottle looks like it's black leather, with a smooth to touch, but rough looking finish. The bottle itself is actually in fact made from micro-engraved glass. It also has BAD lettering engraved on the bottle which is in a golden, clear glass so you can see inside the bottle, which for me is a really cool and contemporary touch, and it's topped off with a rose gold nozzle.

So how does it smell? In my honest opinion it does smell good. Unlike a lot of fragrances which are just too overpowering, this is just right, but I will add I only use one spray from the bottle, as I have found it will last all day with ease. It's moderate scent which carries rich undertones of tobacco and has a natural woodiness to it. It's also packing some warming, yet mild hints of citrus and lavender. Overall this is a masculine smell I've been wearing often as it's something personally I quite like.

When to wear it? If I'm honest I'd happily wear this a few times a week but perhaps not always in the office as it's not going to be for everyone due to the rich and rugged tobacco tones. However, like an excited child, when I did receive this I had to get as many people as possible to have a sniff, and most people have given it a thumbs up. So that's for you to decide. At the end of the day, like I said in the opening paragraph of this review, everyone has their own scent and style, so as with all fragrances, pop into a shop and have a go on a tester. I would recommend giving this a go for sure.

Have you tried the new Diesel Bad? Let me know what you think, comment below or hit me up on my twitter(@richieday85) or instagram(theclassicmaleblog)

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