Review of Perricone MD Shower Mask groomingPerricone MD has launched this new face mask that is designed to be used in the shower. How is a mask meant to be used in the shower you ask? Well, while you're shampooing, shaving, lathering up, the heat and steam of the shower activates the ‘Refreshing Shower Mask’ gel formula. And as an added bonus, it’s designed to protect your face from hot water, and the gel consistency clings to your face, so it doesn't wash away.

The purpose of the mask, which has a cooling factor, is to revitalise leaving skin feeling smoother and softer, while using Dr Perricone’s Nrf2 Antioxidant Support Complex to support your skin when fighting off environmental and oxidative stress. Ingredients such as squalene and jojoba are included to moisturise and increase skin elasticity.

TheChicGeek says, “Now this is a mask idea I can get on board with. Anything that is easy to use and effective will make it into a man’s regime. Men like to try and multitask, even if they are bad at it. Move over sheet mask, we’re going ‘in-shower’!

Firstly, it doesn’t suggest how often you should use this, but it seems quite gentle, so I’d say maybe twice a week. It’s a green gel, not too thick, and goes on easily. It’s tempting to just wash it off, like you would normally a face wash, but you resist. Resist I say! It does also depend on how long your showers are, but by the time you’ve washed your hair and body it should be pushing 5 mins. *checks hot water bill* It does warn it may tingle in a cooling way, but I didn’t feel any reaction. 

It didn’t ‘set’, or change and washed off easily, which is usually quite satisfying with a mask. The end result: my face felt extra clean and well prepped afterwards”.

Left - Perricone MD - Refreshing Shower Mask - 74ml - £32

Published in Grooming

Frederic Malle Outrageous Review The Chic GeekFrédéric Malle relaunches Outrageous perfume - it was originally released in 2007 as an exclusive to Barney's - a stunning blend inspired by the exotic scene of Brazil - a colourful explosion of bergamot, tangerine, green apple against cinnamon, musk and ambroxan. Created by Sophia Grojsman, the idea for Outrageous poured out of a Caipirinha cocktail in Brazil: samba on the beach, bursts of orange and blue in low light, crashing waves and the ecstatic laughs of the young and sexy. It’s dramatic, festive and colourful, what Frédéric likes to call “clean sex appeal”.

TheChicGeek says, “Frédéric Malle works a curator of fragrance, commissioning various perfumers to create scents for his house, which is now owned by Estée Lauder. 

While the list of ingredients in Outrageous is very fresh and natural it is difficult to pick out one specific note. What I’m getting here, at first, are rubber car mats. So, very Balenciaga AW17 and not, entirely, a bad thing. This dries down to something more natural and soapy and then ends up smelling like ‘Cologne Indélébile’, another of Malle’s fragrances. There’s nothing wrong with this scent, but Outrageous it is not”.

Left - Frédéric Malle - Outrageous - 100ml - £130

Published in Grooming
Thursday, 23 March 2017 14:40

Tried & Tested Le Cèdre - Miller Harris

Review Miller Harris Le Cedre Perfumer's Library Fragrance Men'sPart of Miller Harris’ premium ‘Perfumer’s Library’ collection, Le Cèdre is the latest unisex addition. For the adventurer, it is a spicy tale of cedarwood and black orchid. It features top notes of pink and black pepper, a heart of black orchid and mimosa and, of course, the base of Texas cedarwood and musk.

TheChicGeek says, “I really like the top of this. The black pepper is raw yet clean. The black orchid isn’t the Tom Ford type, but something softer and more subtle all on the warm foundation of the cedar wood. The only issue is that the pepper quickly disappears and it would be nice for it resonate longer. I would say this is on the masculine side of the unisex fragrance spectrum”.

Left - Miller Harris - Le Cèdre - 100ml - £155

Available May 2017

Published in Grooming
Wednesday, 22 February 2017 13:15

Tried & Tested The Mole Clinic

The Mole Clinic Review Tried TestedThe Mole Clinic has opened their third outpost in Moorgate in the City of London. Skin cancer is one of our most common cancers. Detected early, it is easily removed. Melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, is extremely difficult to treat, but if caught early it is 100% survivable.  

The MOLE Clinic is the UK’s leading independent and award-winning centre for screening and diagnosis of skin cancer which identifies any abnormal moles which may be at risk.  There are two types of moles we should be keeping an eye on as a precaution against skin cancer and these are ‘visually abnormal’ and ‘new or changing moles’.  

Left - The price for the MOLECheck is £135. For more information visit www.themoleclinic.co.uk

The Mole Clinic offers Skin Cancer Screening, Digital Mole Mapping and Cosmetic Mole Removal. 

The MOLECheck normally takes around 45 minutes, although it can vary depending on the number of moles the patient has. It starts with a specialist nurse recording any risk factors that the client may have for skin cancer. Then she will be checking all of the visible moles and freckles on your body from ‘head to toe’. If any abnormal moles are identified then you will have the option to have the mole quickly diagnosed for skin cancer with their TELEDerm service, a non-invasive technique which captures highly magnified images of moles and offers previously unseen views beneath the moles surface to identify cancerous changes. 

The nurse will also advise the patient on appropriate preventative steps that should be taken and how the main signs of skin cancer be spotted. The MOLECheck is recommended annually for most adults, however those in a high risk group for skin cancer may wish to consider to have a check every six months.

TheChicGeek says, “I’ve wanted to try The Mole Clinic for ages. I have skin cancer in my family and being a ginger I only have to look out of the window to get sunburnt. I’m careful, but I was burnt as a child. I’m not particularly moley, more freckles, but I think it’s important to learn what to look out for.

While improving, dermatology in the UK has been patchy at best and it’s good to speak to those who know what to look for.

During the MOLEcheck you meet a nurse, she asks a few questions about family history and also lifestyle, like whether you use sun beds or have been sunburnt before. You then strip off - wear your best underpants - and the nurse examines you from top to toe and even between your toes. It wasn't as hi-tech as I thought it was going to be, but it doesn't need to be if you're in the hands of somebody who knows what they are looking for. She’ll ask you about anything that stands out. Looking at moles is a bit like picking mushrooms: most look harmless enough, but only a trained eye can spot a deadly one or spot the difference. If unsure, ask the advice of an expert, hence the USP of the MOLECheck.

Anything unusual the nurse will take a picture of and send to a doctor at the clinic for a second opinion. I received the full, confidential report the next day and the doctor recommended I seek 'Urgent Referral’ for a mole that I hadn’t noticed on my lower back. Looking a bit like Halley’s Comet, it is irregular in shape and colour which are the signs to be aware of. You can choose to continue the private healthcare with The Mole Clinic, or, like I did, take the report to your GP who can refer you to a specialist. As a suspected cancer you receive an appointment within 2 weeks. Hopefully, it’s nothing, but without this check I wouldn’t have been aware of it.

Update - I had a check up with the hospital and the doctor said there was nothing to worry about. He said if you suspect something ask your GP for a 2 week cancer referral.

It’s also worth noting that not all skin cancer is connected to moles. Non melanoma cancer is usually a scab that doesn’t heal within 3 months. With my family history and skin type I think I’m more vulnerable to this type of cancer, but always check yourself and monitor anything changing shape or colour. If unsure speak to your doctor or, if you can afford to, use a service like this one.

With summer coming up, while checking yourself please think about protecting yourself too: no sunbeds, avoid blistering and use a high SPF.

The Mole Clinic was a very professional service which I would recommend and I hope checking your moles and skin will become as common and routine as going to the dentist". 

Moorgate/Bank:  Mon, Wed: 8am – 7pm; Tues,Thurs, Fri: 8am – 5pm, Oxford Circus:  Mon, Wed, Fri: 8am – 5pm; Tues,Thurs, Fri: 8am – 7pm, Harrods Pharmacy:  Wed: 10am – 7pm

Published in Grooming
Thursday, 16 February 2017 17:31

Tried & Tested STOER Skincare for Men

Review STOER skincare for men Harvey Nichols cosmetic droneA new men’s grooming brand, Stoer, pronounced 'store', is named after a remote place in the Highlands of Scotland where the founder, Marianne Morrison, spent her formative years. 

This technologically advanced collection of ‘skin-smart’ products introduces novel and effective ‘Cosmetic Drone’ technology, a first for the male skincare market. 

Left - The ‘STOER Skincare for Men’ collection includes: Foaming Face Wash, Detox Face Scrub, Firm & Protect Moisturising Serum, Energising Eye Serum and Vitamin Power Mask.

Cosmetic drones focus on delivering the brand’s unique Clima 5™ formulation of active ingredients directly into the skin layer where they work best. Each active has been individually sourced from extreme climates in 5 global locations (Mexico, Japan, Scotland, West Africa and the Alps) to underpin the value of protecting the skin against pollution and the elements, whilst rejuvenating, energising and improving skin health.

TheChicGeek says, “The drones are coming! There are 5 initial products in the STOER range, with 2 more to follow. It’s interesting they’ve launched without a moisturiser, but I think this is down to a production issue rather than a deliberate absence. A moisturiser with SPF 30 is to follow, as it says so on the back of the serum. 

I’ve not heard of ‘Cosmetic Drone’ technology before, but it makes sense if your trying to get the right product to the right place rather than relying solely on skin penetration. According to the information, each active is entrapped in a unique microscopic ‘Cosmetic Drone’ capsule to deliver the actives to a deeper layer of the skin. This revolutionary system targets specific cells and releases the active ingredients where needed.

I always think a new range lives and dies on its moisturiser, but I’ll have to pass judgement another day. I tried the serum and eye serum, which both have a nice lavender scent. This is particularly relaxing when applying in the evening, just before bed. 

I used the serum like you would a moisturiser and applied the eye serum after. The eye serum definitely had that blowing-in-your-eyes effect which means something positive is happening. The serum and eye serum are light and disappear quickly and you’re not conscious you’re wearing it. It’s non greasy and oily and leaves the skin feeling nourished for the day.

The other products: face wash, face scrub and power mask are pretty standard: easily applied and washed off.

While not cheap, these are reasonably priced. If you didn't want to buy all of them I would go for the serum and eye serum: some men are willing to pay for new technology, especially if it delivers results quickly. STOER seems like a welcome edition to the men’s grooming market and, as we've been told, drones are in our futures, we may as well get used to them in our skincare and medicines."

Available at Harvey Nichols from £24 from 11th March

Published in Grooming
Wednesday, 25 January 2017 13:53

Tried & Tested Grüum

Review Gruum grooming made in uk The Chic GeekTailored to your face. Delivered to your door. Grüum is a new concept in male grooming that they say will revolutionise how men shop for their bathroom essentials. 

Founded in the UK by four friends who thought there was something missing, grüum was created to deliver personalised quality, simplicity, form and function.

The grüum concept is designed as a monthly subscription service and is free from EDTA, parabens, sulphates, SLS, SLES, artificial fragrances, colours and made in the UK. 

Grüum kits starting from just £6 per month.

TheChicGeek says, “Men are inherently lazy. We’re not very good at replacing our products, especially razor blades, using them even though they are well past their best. I like these new start-up mail-order/internet grooming brands - see the Dutch Boldking here - they offer something fresh and seem to speak in a modern way to guys.

The website looks good and you answer a few questions to see which kit/products suit your needs.

I think I got sent a deluxe kit as it had everything in it: from beard oil to face wash to razor and blades.

This clean Scandi-type packaging, which is everywhere ATM, all starts to lack personality and isn’t very memorable. It also doesn’t make the products feel ‘special’.  

I felt the kit centred around the razor so decided to focus on that and the complementary shave products. The razor design, in particular the handle, is good, but the razor feels and shaves like a cheap, plastic disposable. I used the shave gel, but no amount of product made this comfortable or easy. I used the face wash and daily moisturiser on a recent trip to Berlin and the packaging and sizes make this ideal for travel.

Nothing stood out here, but then again I didn’t use every product. I think it’s important they get the razor right as this is the fulcrum in most men’s grooming regimes and a bad one doesn’t start your day on the right foot.”

Feb' 2017 - Update - After reading my review, Bethanie, one of the co-founders and Marketing Director, sent me their new tweaked cartridges to try. They don't look any different, but they are a massive improvement. The shave was much more comfortable, even with the long stubble I had, and a regular amount of product.

Published in Grooming
Wednesday, 25 January 2017 11:53

Tried & Tested JOOP! WOW!

Review Joop WOW fragrance men'sJOOP! WOW! awakens all the senses with captivating top notes of bergamot, cardamom and violet-leaf. A blend of rich absolutes: irresistibly sensual fir balsam, darkly masculine tonka bean and dangerously warm vanilla surabsolute. The foundation is the supremely woody base, noble combination of distinctive woods, vetiver and cashmeran, a memorable signature, full of masculinity, intensity and texture.

TheChicGeek says, “Joop fragrances became synonymous with toilet attendants in dodgy night spots and as such the brand was tinged with the dreaded ‘naff’ label. It’s never really resonated as a fashion brand here, unlike in Europe, and as such doesn’t have much identity.

Pronounced Joop with a J here, or with a Y on the continent, it wasn’t cool enough for people to look pretentious by saying it properly. 

Left - JOOP! WOW - 60ml EDT - £39

Time for a clean slate then. Coty, the brand license owner for fragrance, has made an effort with this one. The scent is good. It’s warm, woody and amber-like without being sticky which often happens at this price point. 

There’s masculine favourites of vetiver and tonka bean in there and a few gourmand ingredients such as vanilla and green notes such as geranium.

I just think there’s a disconnect between the name, the fragrance and the imagery and bottle. The image is of a mature (gentle)man, the fragrance is quite grown-up and the bottle looks likes a miniature of whisky, while the name ‘WOW!’ seems more immature, fun and for the younger, social media generation. 

I actually like the name WOW! it’s quite pop, but it seems more suited to maybe a Marc Jacobs fragrance then something with the serious and old-fashioned hashtag #thescentthatmakestheman

The simple bottle design doesn’t have any shelf appeal and isn’t gimmicky enough. I think they want the One Million crowd with this one.

The fragrance isn’t wow, but then what is? But, it’s good.” 

Published in Grooming

Review Maskorea Grooming Mask The Chic GeekThere are currently 3 sheet masks in the Maskorea range including Too Many Late Nights, aimed at younger skin, Instant Glow and Turn Back the Clocks, for more mature skin. They each contain a 3-step treatment experience including natural cleanser, 30 minute sheet mask and overnight moisturiser.

Left - Maskorea - Instant Glow Sheet Mask  - £7.99 from Amazon or www.maskoreamasks.com

A unique 3-step product that includes a foaming pre-mask wash, a serum-infused cellulose face mask and a luxurious post-mask anti-ageing night cream to provide a total regime for ultimate results.

Face Mask The Chic Geek Grooming MaskoreaTheChicGeek says, “Thanks to Instagram and the American Psycho/Patrick Bateman-type image they have on the wearer, these sheets have become more popular, recently.

There’s not much the Koreans don’t know about skincare so you feel like you’re in a safe pair of hands. 

Right - Patrick Bateman or The Chic Geek?!

The mask comes in three parts: a cleanser which is a soft, soapy cleanser, the mask, which is really wet, but that helps it cling to your face - the facial hair parts it struggles with though - and then a gel-like after treatment of anti-ageing night cream. 

Men like a one off treatment and this is easy to use and not messy. Some masks, particularly clay types, take ages to wash off and get into your hairline. 

You leave the mask on for the 30 mins, so this isn’t a rush job. The anti-ageing night cream is quite tacky and leaves you with the 'Instant Glow' as promised. My skin felt cleaned and fresh. Next time I would shave first and then apply so it sticks to those areas better. This would be a really nice treatment after a day at the beach or a hot day. Put the mask in the fridge and use it extra cold. 

Now, where did I leave that chainsaw?!”

 

Published in Grooming
Tuesday, 03 January 2017 15:49

Tried & Tested Boldking Razor

Review Boldking Razors The Chic GeekTheChicGeek says, “I went to a recent event that Kiehl’s had to celebrate Thanksgiving and they had a complimentary barber doing facials and wet shaves. We got to talking about which razors we used, I said I liked Gillette’s Flexball and he said he used a brand called ‘Boldking'. I hadn’t heard of them, I asked what was good, and he said that the razorblades were spaced far apart to stop them clogging, which is one of the biggest bugbears of shaving and razors in general.

I thought nothing of it and then, as what always happens, through the mystery of the internet and a greater power, an advert for Boldking came up on my Instagram feed. The conversation I had with the barber came back and I clicked through to their site and asked them to review one of the razors, which they kindly agreed to.

Boldking was founded in 2013 and is based in Amsterdam with the aim of making shaving enjoyable and affordable again.

Left - A Boldking Starter Set - £12

So, here goes. Firstly, the branding is really good. Gone are the muscles and steamed up mirrors: replaced by cute graphics and chatty instructions. This feels modern, it feels like there’s no pressure to be a certain type of man, it’s simply about shaving and doing a good job. 

I think I got sent a deluxe box, but the basic ingredients are the same. A black rubber shaving handle that has a clever suction cup to stick the blade to the mirror or wall. Please note this other shaving brands, this is a great idea: you know where it is, plus the lube strips don’t stick to anything.

You then clip one of the four cartridges on and you can see the blades are visibly spaced further apart. 

Did it clog less? Yes. Razors usually clog around the coarser and thicker areas around the chin and nose. This made shaving easier and faster. You simply shook the razor in the water and everything came out without any banging on the side of the sink.

The negatives. The plastic rubber handle does feel a bit disposable and cheap. The razor was a bit bouncy, again because it’s cheaper, but like all razors, once you got used to it, it was fine.

What do I like? The price is good. A ‘Starter Set; which has 4 cartridges and ‘Aftershave Cream’ is only £12 and that includes free shipping from Holland. 

Secondly, it works. Shaving isn’t exactly enjoyable, but it is quicker and less annoying. Think less banging on the sink. 

Thirdly, the brand feels cool. It feels contemporary. It also feels honest and caring: they offer a recycling service, but do you have to pay £1.50 for the envelope. 

Overall, it’s thumbs up for a small company up against the Goliaths of shaving. 

Boldking is only available online through their website www.boldking.com

Published in Grooming
Tuesday, 03 January 2017 12:22

Tried & Tested Jo Malone Myrrh & Tonka

Review Jo Malone Cologne Intense Myrrh TonkaJo Malone takes a trip to Namibia and uses the potent sap of the myrrh tree in the latest fragrance in their Cologne Intense range. This species of myrrh grows on mountains in the northern region of the country. In the dry season, the resin from the omumbiri myrrh tree is collected and left to cure in the African air for a few weeks.  No tapping ever occurs in the region to ensure a sustainable wild population of these exotic myrrh trees.

TheChicGeek says, “This is very warm and gourmandy - that’s the almond and vanilla. It’s an oriental wood with the myrrh being the focus. It contains classic masculine fragrance ingredients too, such as lavender and tonka bean, but overall it’s the sticky warmth that resonates and tonka bean adds depth with a metallic edge. The myrrh isn’t distinctive, but like amber and oud, these tree resins have the warm depth people look for in modern fragrance”. 

Left - Jo Malone - Myrrh & Tonka - 100ml - £105

Published in Grooming
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