Perricone MD- Shower Mask

If you've read my 5 winter skincare tips post, you'll know about the importance of avoiding hot showers. This applies all year round; water that is too hot will remove the natural oils from your skin and can leave it dry and sometimes itchy. This is something I personally have had issues with since I was a teenager, back when I thought washing my face with Lynx shower gel was completely normal (facepalm). Most modern men now are well aware of the fast growing industry of male grooming, and generally taking better care of ourselves, and this includes men now using face masks. Mr Porter for example reported a 300 percent rise in 2015 of men's beauty and grooming products being sold in the two years since the page had been added to the site. See what I mean?

Since I've been writing this blog my knowledge of products and male grooming is slowly growing. I know what to look out for, what to recommend, and what not to buy. I've also become very fond of Perricone MD products. They have a huge range available for men and women, including moisturisers, eye creams, serums, supplements and makeup.

Perricone have been keeping me well groomed for a while now and I'm always excited to sample new products. The latest is the Pre:empt series refreshing shower mask*. Basically it's a mask you apply before your shower to help add moisture to your face, and protect your skin from the damage of hot water. The mask works instantly and is activated by the steam from your shower. A nice cooling, soft green gel,  that you can feel working from the start. It will stay on your face while you shower too, you can wash it off when you're done in the shower, or leave it on for a further 5-10 minutes after.

The mask contains extracts of turmeric, olive leaf, green tea, and cress sprouts. This is what you'll see labelled as Dr Perricone's Nrf2 Antioxidant Support Complex, which basically using the natural ingredients can help your skins ability combat environmental aggrevators such as pollution, dry heat, and other daily substances that can damage the skin.

For me this is a good product, it works well and I found it saves time as we don't always have the time to sit and have a deep, cleansing clay mask with cucumber to cool the eyes before work do we. It is a product you can keep easily in your travel bag, over-night bag, and obviously to sit well in your collection at home of male grooming treats. To find out more about the amazing range from Perricone MD visit their site here.

BoohooMan- Suit Style


Any man will agree you just can't look any better than when you're wearing a fresh suit. Menswear and style is based around tailoring, and all men need at least one good suit if not a couple. A good suit is a symbol of power, class, and can turn any man into an instant 'man about town.' Most of us will see the best suits by Armani, Hugo Boss and Ralph Lauren worn by celebs on the red carpet...and that's the only time we'll see them. Unfortunately, I don't have a couple of grand lying about for a high end designer suit. But luckily for you and me, boohooMAN have recently launched their first full range of tailoring. They have a really cool mix of some classic pieces, including waistcoats, jackets and blazers, and some proper nice tailored trousers.

I choose a couple of bits from the selection so decided to go for the slim fit double breasted suit blazer*, and slim fit suit trousers*. The pair together make up the suit I'm wearing in this post and as you can see, it looks mint. The classic navy with the square pattern looks classy and modern. As for the quality it is good for the price. The range (as with all boohooMAN clothing) is affordable and should do you well if you look after it.

I'm 5'10 and of a stocky (ish) build and I'm pleased to say the suit fits like a dream. The trousers could do with taking up an inch or so, but overall, for an of the shelf piece, I'm really pleased. There is some extra room around the shoulders which makes for more comfort taking your jacket off, or pulling it on. The slim fit trousers fit really well, they are not spray on like the styles some brands seem to offer when they label things 'Slim Fit'. I have to say I am impressed, you can get a suit and some accessories from boohooMAN for just under a hundred quid. Most of the pieces in the range aren't particularly wild either, so they can become part of a good capsule wardrobe. If you love what you see, check out more of what's on offer here.

Bolin Webb R1-S Monza Razor

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The first thing you'll notice about this razor is that it looks like it should be picked up. Much like if you had the choice of stepping into a Porche or a Ford KA, I know which one I'd prefer, and I'm quite sure I know which one you'd choose too. Design is everything, it's why you have an iPhone, the smart timepiece on your wrist, the device you're reading this on. It all started from you being drawn in visually. Bolin Webb razors do just that. For most men a razor is an item we all have, even if we don't shave daily. Based on the adoring curves of classic British sports cars, Bolin Webb have turned this everyday bathroom item into something I now want to display. But it's more than just how the razor looks. The ergonomic design means it fits like a glove.

The Bolin Webb R1-S Monza Red* is the model I have been enjoying since the start of the year. Its handle curves around the four fingers on your hand, while your thumb seems to fit perfectly on top. It just feels absolutely right. The Monza has a nice weight to it too, which brings a solid feel and in my opinion, a better shave compared to a fly weight desposible razor.

You won't see a bricklayer with a cheap trowel, you need a tool that will last. Bolin Webb handles come with a 2 year guarantee and are built to last. Not only did Bolin Webb win best new product at the NYnow 2015 awards, they have recently scooped the 'Best-of-the-Best' award at the Red Dot Design Awards. And it's a thumbs up from me.

Bolin Webb offer a very impressive selection of razor handles to sit beautifully in your bathroom. The R1 collection has an assortement of mood warming colours too, including the R1-S in Signal Orange. The British brand based itself on the love of classic design, mixed in with some inspiration from some our our finest sports cars. All razor handles are compatible with Gillette blades which are included when you purchase your luxury razor.

You can see the entire range on their website here, including the new Prestige Range. Bolin and Webb offer not only unique and bespoke design razors, but they include a range of accessories including face blam, shaving cream, and some razor stands.

Browns Brighton

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Browns recently got in touch and asked if I wanted to try their new menu. Obviously I said yes. At the time it was my first cheat meal of 2017 after a good six weeks of clean eating. For me this was perfect timing, a well earned treat.

Browns Brighton can be found in the lanes and is easily spotted with it's huge logo and large, inviting windows. Inside is a well arranged lay out, decorated with classic pictures on the walls, mirrors, large potted ferns and finished with rich mahogany tables and seats. In the summer the front shop windows open right up giving you the chance to enjoy the weather and soak up some local life too. The atmosphere is relaxed and has a kind of 1920s feel to it, ambient lighting mixed with the wondeful decor makes for a delightful visit - even if just stopping for a quick lunch.

Naturally after a generally low carb diet for six weeks, what do you want to eat by the pound? Cheese.

And if there's cheese you need wine, red wine. A bottle of red enjoyed generously with a baked Camembert, with crusty bread and a rhubarb and tomato chutney.

Rosie loves pasta, as do I but the steak menu could not be turned down, it was much needed protein anyway, post gym etc. The 'Tender Beef' specials menu if you're a meat lover can't be ignored. Something I only learned of on the night is that Browns rear their own cattle, this is from a grass fed calf, to being served on your plate. With this comes the highest quality cuts of beef, tender, and oozing flavour.

We ordered the Cote de Boeuf, a single slab of meat that was absolutely huge, the biggest I've had on a plate anywhere in fact. This comes served with onion rings, chips, portobello mushrooms, asparagus, a bearnaise sauce and topped with some equally as hearty tempura prawns. This is a plate I would advise eating if you've brought your appetite! This is a lot of food!

After another glass of wine or two I made the tough decision of opting for a dessert, purely down to being stuffed already due to half cow I'd previously consumed. The chocolate fudge brownie is on another level, drizzled with honey combe ice cream and a sweet toffee sauce.

Luckily living in Brighton I have the option to walk home, much needed after such a feast. The menu is of top qaulity, bringing a high standard of service, cuisine to cater most palettes. You can dine in Browns for two, or why not book a table for more. The food is top notch and ticks all the boxes. Where to eat in Brighton? Browns is the answer.

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.

Eating clean at the bodyfuel cafe, Hove


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.


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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