Are you BeachGEEK body ready?! Well, no matter the answer - to be honest, I'm not quite sure what beach body ready means anyway!! - monochrome hides a multitude of sins while being as timeless as a 99 ice cream.
Strip the colour out of your beachwear and look for black and white stripes in various thicknesses. Team with dark sunglasses and matching sandals and you're good to go.
Just don't forget to apply lots of sun protection so you don't get a 'newspaper tan' - black, white and red all over!
Credits - Striped Top - Burton, Bag - Hunter, Swim Shorts - Hentsch Man, Sunglasses - Dita, Socks - Topman, Jelly Sandals - Hunter Gather, Bracelet - River Island, Towel - Scotch & Soda, Bat & Ball - Frescobol Carioca, Perfume - Atelier Des Ors, Day Screen Multi Protection - Clarins, Immediate Moisture Facial Hydrosol - Aesop, Thickening Tonic - Aveda
Shot by Robin Forster on #OlympusPEN
See more images below
Ideally if this is your first time growing a beard I would recommend a visit to a barber for advice. However, if you are unable to get to one, here are a few tips to help ensure that you get off to the right start.
Senior Barber at Gentlemen's Tonic, Imad Khaireddin
Whilst everyone experiences hair growth at different rates, you should typically allow the hair to grow in length for around 4-6 days. Ensure that your electric clipper has graded numbers and a half setting to allow for some flexibility in choosing your preferred length. The grades refer to the length of the hair in millimeters, for example grade 1 means the hair will be cut to between 1 -3 millimeters in length where as grade 2 represents between 2-6 millimeters in length.
Do make certain that you start with a dry beard. If you're unsure how short you would like your beard to be, it is best to start trimming with a higher clipper grade. You can then repeat the process with a lower grade if you wish. In cases where the thickness of the beard differs on various parts of the face it is best to use a short grade on the thicker areas such as the chin or moustache area, and a longer grade on the thinner areas to achieve an even finish.
When you are happy with the length, take some time tidying up your beard. Set your clipper on 0 and remove the clipper guard if you have been using one. The teeth should be closed. Tilting your head back slightly, use the flat side of your clipper to create a line from left to right above the Adam's apple. Use your own discretion but try not to take the line too high or too low. To create a natural finish to the beard, trim the neck area with the clippers on a grade lower than you used to trim the bulk of the beard. You can put a small amount of shave oil into the beard when finished to ensure it looks shiny and healthy.
Gentlemen's Tonic is a traditional yet contemporary barber in the heart of Mayfair. Combining traditional barber shop treatments such as wet shaves and hair cutting with spa treatments such as eyebrow threading and thai massage, Gentlemen's Tonic also have branches in the City of London, Houston, Texas and more recently Selfridges, Oxford Street. TheChicGeek is a fan of the post party "Hemingway" treatment which constitutes of a Bloody Mary, aromatherapy facial and massage.
The last of the cities to show, Paris puts the full stop on the SS16 menswear season. Here is TheChicGeek's lowdown on the trends from Paris:
If these are the souvenirs then we'd love to see the gift shop! Think Ryan Gosling in Drive.
From Left - Valentino, Louis Vuitton, Saint Laurent, Dries van Noten
Short sleeved shirts and T-shirts from the softest of skins.
From Left - Valentino, Louis Vuitton, Hermès
You won't be able to afford to dropout if you buy one of these, but at least people will think you're rich enough to!
From Left - Valentino, Saint Laurent
The Jacket Coat
Too big to be a jacket, too small to be a coat... introducing the jacket coat.
From Left - Paul Smith, Raf Simons, Dior Homme
Denim gains its place on the catwalk and Paris follows Milan with the commercial trend in anything designer denim.
From Left - Givenchy, Saint Laurent, Valentino, Valentino, Berluti
The 'Green Man' always heralded spring and 2016 is no different.
From Left - Berluti, Hermès, Berluti
Milan is home to many of fashion's megabrands. This powerhouse is full of the commercial sex appeal we've come to expect from the home of Italian fashion. TheChicGeek casts his expert eye over the details and trends worth coveting:
It could have something to do with the recent MET exhibition in New York, or simply the cycle of Chinese influence is coming around for another season, but look out for Mao collars and delicate Chinese decoration in relaxed, voluminous shapes.
From Left - Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, Dolce & Gabbana
Step straight out of bed, or straight in, depending on timings, with the new dressing gown type coats and pyjama shirts.
Below - Both - Bally
No, you're not seeing things. Colour and pattern are stylishly distorted to make the wearer standout while confusingly blending in.
From Left - Salvatore Ferragamo, Salvatore Ferragamo, MGSM
Call it ethnic or ASOS!, everything is untucked and in a longer length. Just be careful when wearing with shorts.
Below - Both - Versace
Comfort seems to be the key for technical fabrics today: a new ease of movement and travel focused.
From Left - Jil Sander, Prada
Shake that money maker! The money spinner for the majority of major fashion brands, it appears on the catwalk in recognition of the part it has played in creating these brands and the fashion landscape today.
From Left - Calvin Klein, Ports 1961, Calvin Klein, Ports 1961
Not so much Hitchcock as Attenborough with parrots to hummingbirds seen on the chests of menswear from Milan.
From Left - Gucci, Ports 1961, Dolce & Gabbana
I can see right through this trend which was first seen in London.
From Left - No.21, Gucci, Gucci
Just because - The new Gucci is slightly mental - good mental - in a Fight Club meets Peter Sellers kinda way. Love this dressing up box style.
Left - Gucci
LC:M hit a milestone, this season, when MAN turned 10 years old. What was a day, then, tagged onto the end of women's fashion week, has spawned into the LC:M menswear showcase we have today.
One of the few designers there from the start or thereabouts was Lou Dalton. While I've often been frustrated about the inconsistencies of her shows, this season, it felt like a shift change. While the music - Joe Smooth's Promised Land #tune - cited a 90s influence it was much cleaner than that. I know she's spent some time with Cerruti, recently, and it seems some of that Italian polish has rubbed off onto her own collection.
This is exactly what men want NOW: sporty, practical, colourful, chic and fresh. Men want to be liberated away from their totes and phones yet still carry whatever they need with them. Lou Dalton made a feature of these practical concerns with large, multiple pockets overblown onto the sides of jackets, trousers and shorts.
The new hands-free male wants to travel light while being prepared for everything. Gone are the frivolities of menswear to be replaced by this dressed sports aesthetic. The peacock is long dead and it's now about blending into the background, well, for a few seasons at least! This was a collection of desirable pieces which worked individually or all together and would seamlessly fit into any contemporary man's wardrobe.
The colour palette of orange, light blue and white, featuring a distorted gingham and multiple layers, gave it an innocence. It felt of summer, but would work just as well under the grey skies of Manchester. The best menswear is one which feels ageless, meaning any man could wear it. Linked by a modern attitude, these are the guys who look timeless yet change all the time. Lou Dalton defined this man for SS16
With thanks to Smart ForFour
Left & Below - Lou Dalton SS16
The home of TheChicGeek and menswear, London was a four day spectacular of the creative East London meeting the more refined West. Here is TheChicGeek’s scrapbook of men's trends for #SS16:
Designers have realised that we no longer want to be handicapped by our manbags while we still have the issue of having many additional things to carry. So, why not make a feature of your bulging pockets?
From Left - Lou Dalton, Hardy Amies
Men have become so brave, today, with colour that neon is no longer the scary super tone it used to be. More of an accent, think of it like your wardrobe highlighter.
From Left - Hardy Amies, Topman Design
Horizontal, vertical, anyway you like. It may look a little 'Inmate Chic', but, hey, it's all about the swagger.
From Left - Topman Design, Agi & Sam
The luxury item of SS16. This season, suede is a hybrid between a shirt and a jacket. Just make sure it's in the softest, butteriest suede in an earthy reddy brown tone.
From Left - Oliver Spencer, Gieves & Hawkes
Male lace or 'Mace' can be as dangerous as it sounds. It's probably best layered with glimpses, rather than full on out there, unless you're as a skinny as a Burberry model.
Left - Both Burberry Prorsum
Yabba dabba doo or don't depending on how you feel about animal prints. These should look like fun animals: the kind you'd win at the fair!
From Left - Coach, Burberry Prorsum
I always feel Winston Churchill's boiler suit inspires these kind of bomber/Harrington type suits. The new dress down dress up for those wanting to look put together while looking young, sporty and contemporary.
From Left - Dunhill, Topman Design
Peter Pan, Princess or plain old PJ, the shirt colour is light, relaxed and open for the forthcoming SS16 season.
From Left - Alexander McQueen, Hardy Amies
With thanks to Smart ForFour
CULT51 is a multi-active night cream, developed over two years, that combines the most scientifically advanced ingredients at the highest concentrated levels. It’s named CULT51 after its 51 anti-aging claims.
The active ingredients in this product work together with your skin’s own molecules to encourage growth and the generation of new skin cells, dramatically slowing the ageing process of the skin whilst also brightening and evening out skin tone.
CULT51 contains concentrated solutions of Botanical Heteropolysaccharides, Mannitol, Yeast Extract, Amino Acids and Peptides, Pomegranate Extract, Japanese Seaweed Extract, Vitamins B1, 2, 3, 6 & 12, Amino Acids, Oligopeptides, Walnut extract providing Phytic Acid and Polyphenols, UC Peptide, Synthetic Tripeptide, Liquorice Roots Extracts, Peach Kernel Extract, Vitamin E Complex, Hyaluronic Acid, Aloe Vera Juice, and a stabilised Vitamin C Complex.
TheChicGeek says, “Night creams are definitely something guys should consider as they get older. The skin does a lot of its repair work at night, so anything which aids and helps replenish this is surely welcome.
This is touted as an all singing and all dancing anti-aging cream. (Aren’t they all?!)The name and branding does look a bit 80s nightclub. That aside, the cream is rich and thick and it smells a bit like rubber. Still on the fence over whether I like this.
I’m always a bit dubious about rich creams on guys’ skin, as they are often too rich and cause spots and breakouts. This didn’t.
The main ingredient is ATP, which is also known as ‘fuel for life’, which naturally diminishes as you age. This product is said to increase that by up to 65%.
Also, as we age, we reproduce half the amount of hyaluronic acid we require, this is what holds on to the moisture in our skin, up to 1000 times its weight, but this chemical also reacts with light, so it good to be used, as here, in a night cream.
Did I wake up looking refreshed and plumped? Yes.
Did I wake up looking £125 worth of refreshed and plumped? I’ll need to carry on using it I think.”
Update - "More people than usual have been saying how well I look. It could be the CULT51!"
Above - CULT51 - 50ml - £125
A stimulating body cleanser that transforms into a rich lather to draw out impurities without drying the skin. It contains kaolin – a white clay that absorbs oil and impurities to cleanse the skin, ginger root extract which stimulates circulation and glycolic acid which helps refine skin texture and improves radiance.
TheChicGeek says “This is very light for a clay cleanser. The pure white colour is better as dark clay scrubs can stain the skin. It has a zesty lemon fragrance and you’re encouraged to work it up from the legs to the upper body – this must be for the circulation part.
Of course, you’d use this just like a regular shower wash and while it does lather up, you will really get through it quite quickly. At £30, it could prove quite expensive so maybe you’d be better off using this twice a week even though it is light enough to use everyday.”
Left - Dr Murad - Detoxifying White Clay Body Cleanser - 200ml - £30
TheChicGeek says "Standing in the shower like Patrick Bateman holding the Clarisonic face cleaner to my face as it whirls and beeps away, leaves me thinking I should be in a scene from the film 'American Psycho'.
The Clarisonic cleaner is a solid, waterproof bit of kit which is very gentle on the skin. It shows how you can exfoliate without being too rigourous. As men, we like to sandpaper our faces in order for them to feel exfoliated. With this you gently move it around your face not applying too much pressure. You wet the brush head and your face and put a cleanser on your face or brush head, whichever you prefer. Push the button and start around the cheek/nose area. It beeps when it is time to move to a different part of the face and then stops so you can’t over clean your face. It all takes about 60 seconds. It has another detachable head that can be used on the body, and you can change the speed settings to increase or decrease the head speed. I think the Clarisonic cleaner would be great if you are prone to acne breakouts on your body particularly the back.
I would recommend using the Clarisonic twice a week for exfoliating your skin. Anymore and it will leave the skin too dry, stripping it of any oils. If you have extremely oily skin then maybe use it more. I would suggest applying quite a rich moisturiser after - the Clarisonic also allows for creams and moisturisers to be absorbed better. I found my skin looked much smoother and healthier after a couple of weeks of using it and my pores were less visible which encourages me to carry on using it."
If you like your grooming toys then this is perfect.
The oval-shaped brush head of Clinique’s Sonic System Deep Cleansing Brush was specifically designed to deliver targeted cleansing in the hard-to-reach, contoured areas of men’s faces including around the nose, hairline and chin. Charcoal-infused bristles draw out debris to help keep skin clear.
Left - Clinique For Men Sonic System Deep Cleansing Brush - £79.00, Replacement Brush Head - £15.00, Clinique For Men Charcoal Face Wash - £18
To complement the sonic cleanser, the Clinique for Men Charcoal Face Wash is fueled by the purifying powers of bamboo charcoal removing dirt, debris and surface oil for tired, stressed and congested skin. Ingredients such glycerin attracts water to the skin to restore suppleness while also forming a barrier against future moisture loss and caffeine, an anti-irritant, helps to nourish and soothe skin irritation from razor burns and nicks.
TheChicGeek says “Men love gadgets and this is what Clinique is banking on, here. I’ve tried the Clarisonic face cleanser before – here - the first of this type of face cleaner when it launched 5 years ago, and this is much gentler. Sonic cleansing is a gentle way of giving your skin a thorough clean.
Right - TheChicGeek trying out the new Clinique For Men Sonic System Deep Cleansing Brush. So delicate no ginger paint was removed!
While they already have a female version of this, Clinique say they simply haven’t coloured it grey and repackaged for us guys. It’s the charcoal that makes all the difference, don’t you know!
It’s a very light and simple design. You do have to believe though. Are you a believer? *raises hands into the air* It’s so soft and gentle you have to imagine it working, rather than feel it. This isn’t a power tool that you can use on the woodwork after, even though we’d probably like that! It’s a delicate sonic cleanser which should be used for 30 seconds at a time. You will have to fight the urge to really rub your face with it.
Those 30 seconds go fast and you have to move it around your face quickly. You put your chosen face wash onto the brush - you don’t have to use the new charcoal face wash, which doesn’t come with it - then turn it on. Expect a box set with both products come Christmas time. (My only beef with these dark face washes or clay scrubs is that they tend to stain the skin dark and give you somewhat of a grey John Major type appearance).
Being realistic I’m only going to use the sonic brush once a day, in the morning, while in the shower. Initial impressions, I didn’t see any noticeable differences or feelings of cleanliness from my regular routine. The 30 seconds feels too short a time to get around the whole of your face and neck.
My feedback – The stand, which is good, should be detachable from the charging cable and should come with an optional ‘sucker’ so you can stick it on the wall in the shower. This will stop it from lying down and allow it to dry out between uses. It lasts 180 minutes, which means you’ll hardly ever have to charge it, which is one of the bugbears of bathroom gadgets.
Final thought - Using this is like the difference between a manual and an electric toothbrush, one will clean you better, but is more expensive and it’s, ultimately, a personal preference. I would say as our skin ages and becomes thinner, something delicate, like this, would be recommended rather than a coarse scrub to exfoliate and clean the skin.”
Available exclusively on www.clinique.co.uk from 27th May 2015 & nationwide from 26th June 2015