Johnny's Chop Shop

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Walk into any supermarket today and chances are you'll same the same old, big, and never changing brands as far as men's hair products go. You know the one; blue tubs, fibre putty etc. I'm not saying they don't work or that I've never brought a tub or two, but change is good right? So like I always say, if I get offered to try something new, then sure, why not.

So let me introduce you to Johnny's Chop Shop Barbers, yes they are very real and have their own barber shops for you to check out. One in Topman, Oxford Circus, another in Soho, Marshall Street. And as I'm sure you'll now be aware of, they have their own products.. drum roll please..

ASIAN WILD CAT HAIR CLAY


A bright orange tin with a tiger on!? It looks cool af. If you're a regular reader, you'll know I love anything that catches my eye. This makes me think of Rocky Balboa so I'm loving it. So the most important part, what's it like? Well It's actually pretty bloody good. Unlike a lot of matt hold clays, this is ready to go 24/7, there's no warming it up required. I was using it with my longer hair, and more recently I've had a shorter French Crop, it's worked amazingly well with both styles, and it comes of your hands in seconds under a cold tap. No awkward stickyness.

HOBO HAIR DRY SHAMPOO


I have never before in my life used, or even thought about using, a dry shampoo until now. The hobo hair dry shampoo with 'matt look cleanser with a builders dust vibe' written on the can is just that. I spent years as a builder and know exactly what they mean by that. I've found this most usefull when I've been to the gym, showered and not washed my hair, a quick blast of this will freshen it up and add some depth to your mullet.

TRIGGER HAPPY


The Trigger Happy Texturising Spray is basically like a sea salt spray for the surfer hair look. I've not surfed much since moving away from Dorset but hooking up some waves in the sea followed by hooking up some waves in my hair was always fun due to the post beach, salty volume it would create. The Trigger Happy does just that. One I'd say only to use on longer hair styles to give it some much needed surfer attitude! It's also packing caffeine for that extra buzz.

SHARP AND EASY SHAVE


The Sharp and Easy Shave Foam took me a while to test, purely on the fact that I rarely clean shave. However, due to several job interviews lately, I decided to get clean faced. The foam does exactly what it says on the tin, it's really cooling too which for me is perfect. Aloe Vera and cooling are always something I'll look out for if I do need to clean shave, no one likes razor burn right?


So there we go, some great, funky new products that work. Definitely pop into one of their shops if you're in town.You can always grab yourself some products here.
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Autumn Wishlist- Ft House of Fraser

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Autumn is here. Cooler evenings and the days gradually getting shorter, along with the infused array of warming colours, and the skeletal trees creeping upon us. For most though, including myself, it is prime time to get your AW knitwear back out, or start adding new items to your wardrobe. The spoilt choice of burnt oranges, rusting browns, and weaker tones highlighted by the shallow sun rays are idyllic to say the least.

With all this in mind I've put together a wish list for this season to hopefully get you started and inspired for your favourite autumn pieces from House of Fraser.

This Polo Ralph Lauren crew neck cable jumper is my favourite type of knitwear. The fisherman's knit; a timeless, simple piece. Shop it here.



This shawl neck button front marl cardigan from Denim and Supply Ralph Lauren is perfect for when the temp really starts to drop. A thick, chunky, stylish knit could be well complimented with a suitable scarf. shop it here.


A chunky knit scarf like this from Howick is ideal to break away from just a plain colour or texture when layering and will add detail. Shop it here

Sherpa jackets are, in my opinion, something that will never be out of fashion and always remain a classic. This Levi's Type 3 fleece is 100% my style as I love the more rugged, lumberjack look. Shop it here.
Boots are a must throughout Autumn and Winter, not only do they look the part, more importantly they are practical from keeping your feet warm and dry. These super tough Barbour Whitburn Heavy Comb boots will do just that. Shop them here

I can't wait to stock up on some new pieces for the Autumn season, and these are just a few of the items I would love to get from House of Fraser. To see more, click here. What's your Autumn style staple? Let me know in the comments or on twitter @richieday85.

Cheers, 

Rich



this is a collaborative post with House of Fraser
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Goldfaden MD. Ruby Crystal Power Exfoliator

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If you've read any of my previous male grooming posts you'll know I'm a sucker for new products. This one in particular is just that. An exfoliating face scrub from Goldfaden MD*, that uses real Ruby Crystals. Posh or what? An advanced physician strength exfoliator available to you and me over the counter. I will add it's not specifically a men's product - it's for him and her. You may have guessed that from the packaging, but either way due to its highly praised performance from both men and women alike, I wanted to try it.


What I will say firstly is this is a hardcore scrub, you need a very small amount to feel it working. In my own words it's like a sand blasting your face, which personally is great for me as I prefer a tougher more abrasive exfoliator. If you've got a more sensitive skin, or you're a lady reading this it may be one to avoid or I'd suggest trying a sample first. Saying that though, if it is the one for you, the results after are pretty impressive! It left my face feeling like a new born after just one go. Goldfaden MD isn't a face wash either, there's no foaming up etc, just a pure scrub that really does do the job.

The Doctor's Advanced Scrub contains some seaweed extract too, along with some hyaluronic acid and organic red tea, all of which will help to soothe and protect your skin. Bonus. 

This is a very high end luxury product, weighing in at £85 from Space NK. Saying that though you'll save money if you were to see a skin specialist for a day treatment or short course etc. I'd say a pot would last anywhere between 6-12 months.
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My Summer Staples// Zara

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zara men

primark

After finally finding the time to sit down and get some blogging done, I can now say I am back. We're now mid July, peak summer not that you'd have guessed. Due to the typical and always contraversial English weather, it's not been too hot just yet so for me, wearing this light summer knit from Zara Man is ideal. It's the perfect thickness for a cool summers evening, and it's a slim fit so if, like myself, you've recently been shaping your arms, it shows them off nicely! 

I'm breaking my usual style pattern of darker jeans too, light jeans here work well with the navy top and can be well complimented with light tan shoes, boat shoes or some loafers. All three items here are now part of my new capsule wardbrobe, which includes the staples of any outfit; classic white and grey T-shirts, light denim, dark and black jeans. These are key pieces to most casual outfits.
As far as the shoot location goes, today I've made it to my door step (laughing emoji). I don't live in London and as I'm not a pro blogger I don't always have time to pop to Shoreditch or SW4 to spend a couple of hours with a photographer. My point being you dont need to go far to get a result. 
I'm wearing my Daniel Wellington watch as my only accessory here, it's a simple watch and I love it because of it's minimalistic look, but quality rose gold finish. 

daniel wellington

So to round it off, or as they say 'shop the look', here it is all together:
Desert Boots from Primark (similar here from New Look)

I'm now off back to my steps for a glass of prosecco and to enjoy the last bit of sunshine for today! It is summer after all...



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Deliveroo breakfast

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Another sunny Saturday morning, refreshed after a much needed lie in and ready for a good hearty breakfast. Luckily now for me and you, Deliveroo have just launched their new 'Deliveroo breakfast' service available from 9am-12pm. As I'm Brighton based I decided go to for a LangeLees and choose from their tasty looking menu. I fancied a Saturday guilt free full english, or as listed on the menu, a 'Lange Lee's with black pudding' which is a hearty farmhouse sausage, hash brown, smoked streaky bacon, garlic sautéed mushrooms, baked beans, fried free range eggs and granary toast. And to wash it down, a bottle of freshly squeezed OJ. 

After tracking my order's journey on the app, the Deliveroo chap pulled up outside right on time, sporting his full Deliveroo branded lycra and parked his bike, came down the steps and handed me a hot breakfast. He was happy, so was I, simple good service.

 LangeLees have a good selection on their menu including breakfasts for vegans and vegetarians and pancakes. The misses (ball and chain, better half etc) went for eggs benedict of which you can see her review here.They also offer a selection of extras including chocolate brownies and shortbreads too! I however decided the full english was enough for now. 



Have you tried a deliveroo yet? Let me know how you got on. Hope you enjoyed the read, any questions comment below. Cheers. Rich

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Discovering Whiskey Tasting with Jameson

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A few weeks back I was invited down to Shoreditch by Jameson Whiskey for a unique and exclusive whiskey tasting experience. Naturally I didn't need my arm twisted to attend; a bespoke offer to meet the U.K ambassador for Pernod Ricard, Mr Liam Sparks, and to sample a brand new whiskey from Jameson, Caskmates. Other than a few beer festivals and roaming local pubs, this was a first experience for me at a tasting event where I'd get the chance to learn some tricks of the trade and ask questions from someone who had such an extensive knowledge.

I found out why certain whiskeys taste like they do - barrels are scorched inside to kill off germs built up after weeks of travelling across the ocean, thus giving that 'smokey' burnt oak flavour  you'll find in many whiskeys. However, my favourite was Jameson's new Caskmates, which had a sweet aftertaste of chocolate and caramel, which I was really quite surprised to discover I liked.

I found myself an hour or so into tasting several whiskeys from Jameson and the atmosphere is flowing to say the least. Some of the best in depth conversations I've ever had have been the result of a few drinks beforehand, and this was definitely one of those moments. Anyway, on to the whiskey...

About Caskmates 

This is where I'm gonna have to really try and put down not only how good this new drink is, but also roughly how it's made. I won't go into to much detail, not because I don't want to, but more to make it an easier read and, admittedly after a good amount of whiskey in me, my memory wasn't too kind to me the day after the tasting.

Basically, Jameson have done a collaboration with a mirco-brewer called Franciscan Well Brewery, which appropriately happened when the Jameson's Master Distiller and Master of Whiskey Science, Brian Nation and Dave Quinn, and Franciscan Well Head's Brewer, Shane Long, you guessed it... met at a bar in Cork.

Long story short, Jameson lent some of their casks to the guys at Franciscan Well Brewery to use for making their Irish Stout for a while. When being to returned to Jameson's Midleton Distillery, the casks were influenced by the Irish Stout, to then be refilled with Jameson's Whiskey. With me? Good.

The result (I love it) is really quite incredible. You still get the warm tones you'd expect from your favourite Irish Whiskey, but that's when the distilling process comes in. An after-taste that has been described by many as a whiskey with hints of butterscotch, coffee, and cocoa, mixed with the gentle hint of the hops from the Irish Stout, not to forget the perfect hint of charred, oak barrel.

Don't get me wrong this is still a whiskey; it does not taste like a sweet, awful new drink for girls, it is still very much a strong whiskey but with a pleasant hint of the above mentioned flavours. I'm not a professional in the industry of whiskey tasting, or any drink for that matter, but instantly you can appreciate what Caskmates is about here. If you're palette isn't quite up to drinking neat whiskey yet, with Caskmates I'd say you can definitely enjoy it neat over ice, no water required. It's like the edge has been taking off ever so slightly, and been replaced and enjoyable, smooth texture to finish.


The idea was for Caskmates to be more versatile; it is ideal for a side kick with a good craft beer as I've now tasted and could not agree more, to be used in cocktails or, as I've mentioned, enjoyed neatly on its own. The whole process is done in an impressive time too, the Jamesons is left in the barrels for about six months to create the perfect flavour and balance.

 Caskmates is a drink to look out for, very impressive and one for the Gentleman's drinks cabinet indeed. I really enjoyed the evening out learning only a fraction of the world that is whiskey tasting and the distilling process. I'd like to thank Jameson's Whiskey for the invitation, and again Liam and the guys for taking the time to share some of the extensive knowledge between them. You can find out more and order yourself a bottle if you fancy here.

I'm hoping to visit Ireland later on this year, definitely to visit the Jameson Distillery and then make a trip up to N.I to see the unique and wonderful Giants Causeway. Any Irish folk out there with recommendations of what I must see? Please let me know. I'd love to hear from you.


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Anthony: a skincare brand developed for men, borrowed by women

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Glycolic Exfoliating & Resurfacing Wipes

Finally a product that has had some thought and design put into it to break the mould from the rest, Anthony, a New York based company are just that. Luckily for us now they are available from Space NK in the U.K. A dual purpose face wipe with two sides; one to exfoliate and remove dead skin and grime, the other to cleanse,  soothe and leave you refreshed. What might sound too good to be true is far from it. These are now part of my over night and gym bag and should be part of yours too.

If like myself your job is from the crack of dawn until late evening, or you find yourself rushed off your feet more than often, having time to keep yourself feeling fresh and alert isn't always an option. Now though you can keep a pack of Anthony wipes* with you and the rest is history.

So how do they work?


 One side of the wipe has a dotted texture which will scrub and exfoliate your face and get off any grit and grime you've picked up throughout the day. The other side has a smooth texture and a cooling feeling to it, packed with Aloe Vera to add some much needed soothing and moisture.

whats in the wipes I hear you ask? 

The wipes are all natural (woop), alcohol free, free from at least eleven different nasties I won't write down because a) I'm not 100% sure what most of them are, and b)  neither will you. They do contain some cool and familiar things such as Witch Hazel extract, known to renew skin and tone up the crows feet, and Camomile and Cucumber, for moisture and soothing goodness.

Anthony face wipes are not tested on animals, have a cool slogan 'Developed for men. Borrowed by women' and very kindly donate a portion of proceeds from each packet to Prostate Cancer Research. whats not to like.



Wake Up Call Hydrating Treatment Gel

This is something I've wanted for years, thinking back to probably about 7 or 8 years ago actually. I had some Charles Worthington mens moisturiser, can't remember which one exactly, only that it had a cooling sensation after you put it on which was just the wake up call you need. After all this time Wake Up Call Gel from Anthony has delivered me that same cooling, icy fresh morning blast in a bottle. A menthol, cooling gel which in the early AM hours is the slap in the face I need to start me off.

Whats in wake up call? 

First up is Caffeine which, as you probably know, acts as a stimulant and helps against skin fatigue. Green Tea reduces that 5am puffer fish look, and is packed with antioxidants. Another active ingredient is Aqua Cacteen, a cactus extract, renowned for providing super high levels of moisture to your skin. The cooling blast comes from the added Menthol Peppermint extract, known for anti-bacterial properties and obviously it's refreshing feeling.

Both are ideal for an overnight bag, after the gym, in the car, you name it. Big thumbs up from me, well done Anthony.
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