What is in my manbag for my new job.

Hi all,

Well last week I started a new job, and with that came the old problem of what will you actually need for that job. First things first, this is a shared office space with 10-15 other people and we don’t have designated desks. This is new to me and I have to say I like the fact that I am not confined to a small area, but the obsessive compulsive within me did freak out (just a little bit). On day two I brought some flash wipes in to tackle that issue but have also been using the following products which I will be keeping in my locker (once I get assigned one!)
Firstly I took the “Cuticura original anti-bacterial Hand Hygiene Gel” ( I got it on offer for £1 from superdrug 100ml) it does exactly what the long name suggests – it kills 99.99% of bacteria, it soaks in to your skin well and doesn’t leave that filmy feeling you can get from some similar products. On the whole a good product, did you sense the but coming?… There are two small buts. Firstly, I find it quite drying, it loses the natural moisture in the skin and used too much ( and trust me I do!) I can make them sore. And secondly it smells like hospitals – clean but not all that pleasant.

Lucky for you guys, I have a solution for each of these problems, both of which have bee added to my manbag! Let me introduce to you… The derma intensive Q10 hand and nail cream. I managed to get hold of this bargain of a product from the Covent Garden branch of TESCO’s ( now I know what your thinking, and frankly I agree, but I cannot argue with this product) I am gonna hit you with the two tiny negatives first. A) it’s a tiny bit runny in consistency B) it’s the colour of that pink medicine you used to get from the school nurse. That’s it. It has Q10 in it, with shea butter and vitamin E, which makes for a really moisturising hand cream. It’s just a good product and well worth a purchase as it is 79p. Bargain.
Now in terms of the smell, I recently purchased a couple of scented hand sanitizers from bath and body works (more specifically from eBay! But hey ho!) they are 29ml and cost me £2.50 per bottle which is a little expensive, but I was intrigued and thought I’d give them a shot. As a general rule B&BW products smell exactly as they are described and so I went for Georgia bourbon peach, yummy mummy marshmallow, and the much more cryptic fresh sparkling snow! (Which smells bizarrely of fruit and snow!!!!) whilst fairly expensive to get over here, they are nice gifts and generally different and I stand by them.
The final Item I discovered I needed was compeed blister plasters. New shoes equals new blisters, but these things are amazing. ( they literally become one with you skin!)

Thatisbeyond…Bargain hunter’s hand rescue!

Bargain hunter’s hand rescue!

Having just holidayed in Portugal (it’s the life I know!) I have returned to England and to its dismal weather, not to mention the dryest and most chapped hands known to man and this stuff just about sorted it out! 79p From TESCO’s … Bargain.

That is beyond the lynx effect!

Now I don’t know about the lynx effect ( in my lifetime I have never known a girl go crazy for the smell of a £1 shower gel) but it seems to be a staple of most of my gym going mates. Maybe this is because its cheap? Maybe it’s because of the advertising? Maybe it’s because they have no taste? But whatever it is, the fact remains that the gym showers and changing rooms stink of this unnatural smelling stuff!

There are several acceptable fragrances in the lynx range, Africa is definitely palatable ( in the sense that it doesn’t offend my nose) but I have received many a bottle for a stocking filler and some of them are simply shocking! Lets take, for example, the one that smells like chocolate. Who thought that was a good idea? I want to smell like chocolate about as much as I want to smell like a pork pie or a Cornish pasty. But that’s not the worst bit, it actually smells like fake chocolate which is, to coin a phrase from my youth, mingin’!

Here is my quick guide to the acceptable fragrances and how or when is suitable to wear them.

1) pick a fragrance you like and stick to it, do not be the guy who has the shower gel, deodorant and after shave all in different fragrances and wears them all together, it’s not big, it’s not clever, and you’ll be so fragranced, she’s unlikely to need to use her glade plug in for the next month!
2) Africa is a good scent if your going out, it’s quite strong and its recognisable. It was the new one out when I was a teen so for anyone in their late twenties, you may well remind her of a secondary school crush. Do not wear this one to dinner.
3)Attract is a bit more out there, it’s a bit quirky but not overpowering there is nothing else that smells like this. It’s clean though and would suit any age group.
4)metal is not a traditional fragrance but is a good morning smell to wake you up, it strangely reminds me of cola bottles ( but I suspect that is just me!) this is completely inoffensive but makes me feel…zingy
5)remember you can probably get a more suited fragrance for around the same price from another brand, good advertising does not a good product make!
6) you can disregard everything I say, it’s only my opinion after all! As I said I like some of their stuff but we as a nation are obsessed with the stuff and I don’t know why!!!!!

Have we not noticed that the girls aren’t flocking after us solely based on our £1 deodorant ? Maybe I’m just too old and decrepit ?

Having said all that I’m gonna buy a travel sized bottle of Africa for my holiday! But …There’s a time and a place!


Now lets talk about fragrance!

This is a topic that almost all bloggers and youtubers that I have encountered find really bloody difficult to describe – but I feel up for a challenge and so … Here goes!

In my teens ( which was frankly half my life ago) I used to wear a nice little fragrance called skin wear by ted baker. The reasons for this were numerous, firstly it was relatively cheap at £18 for a big bottle of it, the bottle was quirky with its bright coloured “skin”, but most of all, there was a point when even the popular girls at school would comment on how good I smelled! (not one to pass up on this I obviously bulk buyed the stuff by the gallon) anything for abit of attention!!!!! This fragrance is undoubtedly a light one that is fresh and young but besides all that, it is still a fragrance that a lot of people notice and comment on. I rediscovered this a few years ago and was shocked that a 60ml bottle was just £10 (the perfume shop, in superdrug) I totally got back into it, and my wife was pleasantly surprised by its return (it had been a few years!) My aim isn’t necessarily to tell you how amazing it is, (I love it,but you might not) but instead to talk to you about the day that once again I was thwarted by there being none of this left anywhere!
The shop assistant told me they now only had one Ted Baker fragrance left and it was tedbaker by ted baker ( that is a lot of ted baker!) a small gift set containing a shower gel and a 30ml edt costing £10. So I thought why not? And I will tell you why… Not.
Whilst this is a pleasant smell, it is not to my liking, they are poles apart in complexity, this is heavier, stronger, muskier… I seriously would not have guessed these were made by the same people if I didn’t already know. And that therein is the problem – i like a brand of fragrance that has a through line, so whilst the aroma is different it has the essence of what attracted you to the brand in the first place.

As I said before its not horrible, it’s just not to my taste, this is at the joop end of the spectrum (although admittedly not as strong) I think I will use this through autumn and winter but not repurchase. It has a big gap to fill because let’s face it what fragrance was ever gonna beat the one when I discovered … Girls, properly. So as long as they keep making skin wear, I will keep buying it. And my wife will keep loving it!

Nivea men – Silver Protect

As a larger male, I sweat a fair amount! I am just putting it out there! Over the years I have very much been of the school of just buying whatever deodorant or anti perspirant is on offer, and this has got me into some (quite literally) sticky situations!

Any product that claims 48 hour protection is frankly rediculous, but lets face it, really how many people go 48 hours without have a wash of some description??? I know I certainly don’t – but this product none the less is pretty good. Lets lay all the cards on the table –

It does not leave that thick white dust on your underarm hair ( some products are like letting a fire extinguisher off under your arms).

It contains silver (here comes the sciencey bit) silver has healing qualities, it’s used in good quality plasters to help healing and therefore must be helpful in sensitive areas.

It’s not too astringent and therefore as long as it is carefully placed, it’s a good product for an under the underwear spray as well.

There is no alcohol or colourants in its formula.

Really there are no major negatives, this is not a product that has a strong fragrance, it’s not a mask for body odour but should help prevent build up.

Nivea are a good brand and do not just repackage the same product for men and women, the technology behind this is developed specifically for men and having used this for a month or so, you can really tell. Sometimes the fact that a product is doing a good job, is noticeable because its work has gone unnoticed and this for me is that product.

I bought this on offer from asda (£1 for 250ml). But it’s standard cost from boots.com is £3.25

I would really recommend this to you, it might not send you jumping for joy down the street, but it may just be what you have been looking for.

Thatisbeyond…Olympia beauty

A few weeks ago, I attended Olympia beauty with my wife. I did not know what to expect from it, and ordinarily this would not be my scene at all, but I was pleasantly surprised that a small proportion of the arena was actually dedicated to male grooming.

There were two standouts for me at the show, and I was lucky enough to get to road test the skills of Pat Bryan of the wet shaving company. Pat and his wife run courses in how to “perform” wet shaves And run a kind of shaving school, if you will, and it was at pat’s expert hands that i got to have my first wet shave!!! I have to say as much as I was up for it, there is something very daunting about being watched by avid beauty therapists ( and all I had to do was sit there!)

I am a convert! Not only was this the best an closest shave I have ever had, but there is a sense of occasion about it too. Honestly, if the hairdressers that do ladies hair offered this service, I would sign up every time while my other half gets her hair cut!

Pat practices a technique called ‘shaveology’ which incorporates elements of traditional wet towel shaves ( straight from the barbershop), massage and male grooming, to create the perfect gentleman’s treatment.

Firstly, I got the hot towel treatment, I’m paraphrasing here but it opens up the pores and softens the skin etc and also just feels good! He carefully places this around my head, covering the hair growth areas and generally just encouraged me to relax. Next he used an old fashioned shaving brush ( you know like the posh men had on the tv in the eighties!) and used a hard soap to lather up a Santa Claus beard in a matter of seconds! There is something stylish about wet shaving, I had never experienced it before, but I got the feeling that this was something sacred and quintessentially British! ( I should add that while we do have a certain tradition of this, the products that were used were Turkish and American) None the less it was very gentlemanly, and Pat was not put off by by probing journalistic approach or any of the several passersby who stood dauntingly close to my face! Ultimately, this is a great product and one I would thoroughly recommend to you all to experience. I can’t really comment on the action of the shave, as I couldn’t see it but I must say it was a very close shave. And true to form as pat predicted as the shave was finished, I brushed under my nose and the corner of my mouth – apparently if you only shaved those two areas most men wouldn’t notice you hadn’t done the rest as that is the only place we ever check!

You can get a luxury shave for £30 for a half hour session or a the ultimate shave package which includes shoulder massage for £55 in Winchester, but also they are a school and they offer training courses about your everyday shaving routine and teach you how to shave in the best way for your face and hair growth. A snap at £80 for a 2 hour course.

With christmas around the corner, this is a great gift that I would love to receive.
Go to www.wetshavingco.com for more details.

The second brand that I loved ( in fact I picked up one of their men’s shaving kits) is Eve Taylor. I know very little about their brand other than their products are aromatherapy based, and the kit that I picked up is an assortment of ( super) fragrances that all work together for the ultimate in home shave. The range is called et men and I picked up a kit with 5 full size products in it. Check them out online, but I promise you it all smells amazing.


I will being doing a full review on the kit in due course but I have to say,for me, these two brands were the stand out of the show.

Talk soon

Grooming dramas!

So… Every now and then a guy has to shoot off for an audition or some filming at the other end of the country at very short notice! ( I wish it happened more often than it does!) but when it does, you need to be prepared for any eventuality and also have it fit in your manbag! so here are the products I take with me to ensure I am in ship shape for what ever life throws at me.

Whether on a tube, train, plane or boat, you are gonna need to travel – cue the sweating, the grime and the breathlessness when you inevitably miss your connection in Didcot Parkway! For this eventuality I pack the very long titled – l’oreal skin perfection 3 in 1 purifying Micellar solution. This great for unblocking the pores and toning the skin, but also just leaves you feeling cleaner. It’s suitable for sensitive skin and is essentially kick ass water! At £4.99 (or 2 for £5 currently on superdrug.com) its reasonably priced as well and will double up as a pre bed or first thing in the morning cleanser. (Your mrs can also use it as a travel make up remover too … Score!)

No matter what the situation, a guy needs to smell good, right? But equally everyone has a different idea of what smells good. (There is nothing worse than going into a compact audition studio and there being an overpowering odour of any description, it will register in your face, and that is not always a good thing.) I go for a fragrance that I like but is also not too strong. For this I choose ted baker’s skinwear ( this is not a new fragrance, I have been wearing this since the late 90’s!) it’s fresh and modern and a clean smell with a hint of spice. For the standard 60ml bottle it’s around the £11 mark at superdrug (which frankly is a bargain) for a gift though go to debenhams.com and order their limited edition bottle ( £24 for 100ml).

Listerine mouth wash, simply because you don’t always have a sink etc to clean your teeth properly, so make sure you don’t still have crumbs in your teeth by using one of their travel sized bottles (a limited variety available asda.com £1.12) my favourite is the purple one!

No one wants to employ someone with scabby lips ( a direct quote from my other half) therefore I would of course pack a lip balm, either the blistex mediplus (which I previously reviewed earlier this week) or the Carmex lip pot original (£2.69 for 7g boots.com) both of which have the cool tingly sensation and don’t make you look like your wearing your sisters lip gloss.

Penultimate item is the
Collection lasting perfection concealer. CAUTION for a film audition do not go near any kind of concealer, they will see every speck of it through the lens and your chances of being a tough guy in the next big action film will be down the drain. For film, au natural is best and if your good, you’ll get the job and they’ll hire a professional to sort your face out! However this product is great and offers great coverage for tired dark circle and used sparingly can sort out the odd spot too. Colour picking is hard and I am no expert but don’t be afraid to ask, and explain exactly why you want it and how you will use it. Generally though, it is probably worth going a shade lighter than your skin colour. (£4.19 boots.com and available in 4 colours)

Lastly I take a hair brush, a razor and a travel size shaving gel ( note I did not say travel size shaving foam) just in case. Again asda, boots superdrug all do travel size products and have a good selection in most stores. They almost certainly all sell empty travel bottles for less than a few quid in case you want to only take a little of what you have at home!

So check out some of these items and see how they work for you. When you are on the go, like I am, you start to really realise whether a product is good or not for you personally – if it is it will become a staple, if not mens grooming is an emerging market… Another product will always be just around the corner!


I don’t know if anyone has noticed, but the weather has been more than ordinarily crazy recently. With had the winter rains and howling winds, beachy type sunshine, followed by overcast humidity and freezing cold nights!

All these changes are playing havoc with my lips! I have reverted back to a truly excellent range of products that are really reasonable and readily
Available. And they are made by Blistex. Their whole range is kind of androgynous ( so no need to worry about the implications of using them on the the tube!) and the two that I have found most beneficial for my cracked lips are : the Blistex intensive moisturiser, and the Blistex MEDPLUS for lips.

The intensive moisturiser comes in A small white tube (5ml) and does as you would imagine from he title it would, it softens and moisturises the dry area to help ease the causes of cracked lips. You can really feel it working deep into the lips, and is a bit of a miracle product. I was away this weekend and out in the cold weather for a charity gala all day, and had forgotten my intensive moisturiser (which was a big mistake that I will not be making again) my lips are now destroyed and I am having to use the moisturiser much more regularly to fix the problem than usual. My routine normally is that I will us this three times a day if I am out and about. And it seems to do the job! Blistex intensive moisturiser is around the £3.50 mark and is readily available from your usual high street stores and supermarkets. (Which considering how good it is, is a bargain!)

The Blistex MEDPLUS for lips is a great partner product and costs around £2.50 for a small pot.
This product tastes of cocoa butter and is nourishing without being a moisturiser. It is a conventional balm but does not have that annoying glossy texture that some other products do. And more importantly than that you can actually feel the product sinking into your lips! There is a kind of tingling sensation which really feels like it is getting to the root of the problem.
I heartily recommend these two products, especially as we’re heading into the colder months, get stocked up, while you can!

Thatisbeyond…Molton Brown for Men

Who knew Molton brown had a range for the modern man? Bought as a gift for me as a leaving present, I was not really sure what to expect. I knew of their high end hand soaps and bubble baths etc, but I had no idea that they had a mens range, let alone a range specifically aimed at the sports market. The brand and sports do not necessarily go hand in hand together, however I was intrigued to see what these high end (in the £15 to £30 a product range) had to offer.

In my gift box I received three products : the bracing silverbirch thermal muscle soak, the 4in1 Sportswash and the body-warming sports balm. (The latter two coming from the mens sports range).

Firstly I should say that all of these products are great and do exactly what they should do! Which is always a good start! The thermal muscle soak is my most used product – essentially warming bath salts, they are bright green and smell kind of woody. They claim to “soothe muscles, flush toxins and boost skin condition” and In honesty they do all of these things the aroma is proper relaxing and achy muscles are noticeably more relaxed after a long soak in these bath salts. This is a great product. It has style and I also love the packaging which looks great and is functional as it is metal and therefore unaffected by the moisture in the bathroom air. (£19 for 300g www.moltonbrown.co.uk) and what’s even better is you don’t have to use that much to get the effects of it!

Both of the other products are from the sports range. They are aimed at the active, gym going male that takes a bit of pride in their appearance. They are the same fragrance and I do not hesitate to say that they both smell very good! It’s manly but not in a 1950s old spice way it’s light and almost citrusy with a definite woody aroma as well.

The 4 in 1 sportswash (£16 for 200ml www. moltonbrown.co.uk) claims to be for body, face, hair and shave. I have not yet shave with it but for the first three boxes, it absolutely ticks them and it really does smell good. The letdown for me however is the packaging ( and yeah in the long run what does it matter? It’s only gonna go in the bin right?) but I really think that this packaging does not sell the great products that are inside it. It comes across as just another product on the high street, which this is not.

The star product in this range is the body warming sports balm. It is a natural warmth that is created and is perfect for pre or post exercise. And boy does this work, the effects are stronger and longer lasting than your traditional muscle warmer from the high street, not to mention the fact that it smells insanely better. I have been doing a lot of running, and this has been a godsend to me. At the time of purchase this was £18 for 200ml but is not currently available online. My one word of warning gentlemen is … Please make sure that you wash your hands properly after you use this product, trust me when I say that you don’t want this too close to “sensitive areas” if you know what I mean. THAT is a whole other story in itself!

This is a great line of products, which despite their price, I think are great. I will certainly repurchase the the muscle soak and the sportsbalm, I just wish the design in the sports range was better and more suited to a high end product.