END OF YEAR REVIEW: THE 2016 MEN'S GROOMING REVIEW

2016 has provided us with another terrific year of men's grooming brands, products and stories, and we think it's safe to say that the past 12 months have an even bigger improvement on the previous lot. As always, The Male Grooming Review has had the absolute pleasure of featuring and reviewing some of the most exciting aspects of the male grooming industry, with so many innovative and effective brands and products landing on our desk throughout the year. So, here, we take a look back at the some of the key highlights of our year, uncovering the very best of the men's grooming, style, beauty and health sector.

Winter - A new year - New brands!
Our first feature of the new year was Skalp - the safe, non-surgical solution for baldness in men (and women).  This 'tattoo' treatment is fast becoming a popular hit with men looking to conceal baldness, with a simple, affordable solution. Hair loss has always been one of the main issues within the male beauty sector, and so it is little surprise to see such a company succeeding where other perhaps haven't quite hit the nail on the head.

January saw the launch of the three new and exciting additions to the popular Bull Dog skincare range for men. The new products released were the hand cream, the lip balm and a new moisturiser. We had the pleasure of reviewing the Intense 24h Moisturiser, of which we rated so highly that it made its way onto our Male Grooming Awards list. This is a definite must try for those of you who are already big fans of the Bull Dog range.

On the topic of skincare, another great formula that was featured on The Male Grooming Review was Perricone MD Face Finishing Moisturiser Tint - A rather splendid skin cream that leaves your skin hydrated, revitalised and looking more evenly toned. If you're willing to spend the extra buck, then be sure to try out this little gem.

We uncovered an absolute gem of a hair care range in February, with the discovery of OGX - a large range of unisex shampoos and conditioners containing some excellent additives for the promotion of healthy hair. The Argan Oil shampoo and the Biotin & Collagen shampoo were two particular standout performers, and the feedback of the range from our male readers has been amazing. What's more, you can bag these shampoos for as little as £5 for your local supermarket or Boots pharmacy store.


Spring - Skincare leads the way...
The turn of spring season saw a dramatic rise in skincare products, which is actually quite normal after the vigorous winter season. We made quite a crafty little discovery in the way of Colour Of Man Tinted Moisturiser. This innovative product comes in three shades, acting as a moisturiser, concealer and fake tan, all-in-one. 


If you are looking for a skincare range that is both affordable and easily accessible, then you may want to consider trying the BRYT Skincare For Him range - a new collection of men's grooming skincare essentials that we actually spotted in Waitrose supermarkets a few short weeks ago. This collection doesn't revolutionise the male skincare market, but it is a good range that should be on your hit-list to try. 

In March, we discovered one of the best razors you are ever likely to try, in the shape of the DORCO PACE6+ - a gorgeously presented shaving tool that is part a convenient subscription service - saving you time and money in the long run. We loved this razor so much that it won 'Best Razor of the Year' category in the Male Grooming Review Awards 2016.
We made another rather neat discovery during the very busy month of March. Alluvian Aquatic Botanical Male Grooming Solutions - Drawing from traditional practices, sourcing wild harvested aquatic botanicals, organically farmed plant based oils, and recycled packaging, and enhanced with organic and geologic elements, Alluvian manufactures a transformative collection of body products that are well suited for men living in modern day society. Alluvian was created for a society that demands a high standard of sourced ingredients, sustainable practices, and a return to American craftsmanship.

We also go the chance to touch on a bit of style in late spring, with the feature of Shikkuu Guides This unique service creates a true bespoke event around the customer and equips them with advice on such things as dressing for their respective body shapes and selecting the fabrics and colours that most suited the brand identity.


Summer - Gillette fights back!
With the growing popularity in shaving subscription services, it was only a matter of time we would see the big guns fighting back. And that's exactly that the shaving powerhouse Gillette did, by creating a subscription service of their own. We believe in supporting the smaller brands in the male grooming sector, so this news wasn't the best for the health of the industry, but only time will tell how this episode pans out.

One of the true highlights of 2016 was the discovery of Aura-Soma Pegasus - A colourful line of unisex fragrances that ooze in style and sophistication. This affordable range of stunningly scented perfumes offers a wonderful variation for whatever your occasion.

August was almost purely dedicated to National Hair Loss Awareness Month - four weeks that help raise the profile of combating hair loss and thinning hair. We covered a range of interesting hair loss related articles such as: Top 8 Hair Loss Products to Try; Viviscal for Men Review; Can Saw Palmetto Stop Hair Loss?; The Effectiveness of MSM Powder for Hair Loss.

Autumn - It's Facial Hair Season... 
Autumn is always an exciting season for men's grooming, with plenty of events and fund raising charities on the go. As we expected, autumn 2016 was a rather eventful few months - with Shave Season, Movember, NoShaveNovember and Decembeard. If you're wondering why there are so many men sporting beards at this time of year, then you certainly know now.

We got to review some truly outstanding men's grooming brands throughout October and November, including RADDAR7 and Hemmingsworth. We were also absolutely chuffed to bits to see one of our favourite brands, ZEOS, make it onto the shelves of Boots.


And finally, we were delighted to bring you The Male Grooming Review Awards 2016, recently.We always have a lot of fun doing these awards, and this year was the toughest yet. The male grooming industry continues to boom, and so great credit should go to each and every one of our winners.

So, that's us over and out for another year. Thanks to all the brands that have featured and supported The Male Grooming Review over the past 12 months. We appreciate you. We'd also like to thank our readers and followers, as without you guys this website would not exist. Have a very happy new year. We'll see you all in 2017! :)

ZEOS® QU3 FOR MEN NOW AVAILABLE AT BOOTS STORES

Life is complicated enough, looking your best should be as simple as possible. That’s why ZEOS® for Men has teamed up with one of the best known online health and beauty retailers boots.com to continue the revolution in hassle-free male grooming.

Giving boots.com customers the chance to join the revolution in male grooming.

At ZEOS® they believe in bringing you products designed for men who want to look great but don’t want to spend too much time worrying about it. Boots.com puts a wide range of favourite brands and products at your fingertips with fantastic deals, advantage card points and next day collection for free at your local store*. It’s the perfect partnership.

The driving force behind the ZEOS brand is Bobby Chotai who is delighted to be working with one of the UK’s biggest retailers.

“This is the latest in a series of exciting announcements for ZEOS,” Bobby explained. “Our products are fast becoming must-have grooming tools for guys who don’t want stress, urban pressures and a hectic life-style to put years on them. These are guys who’d rather live life to the full than worry about a complicated regime to look good against all the challenges life throws at us. ZEOS is quickly becoming a favourite of male grooming bloggers and working with boots.com will enable us to make our products more accessible to everyone.”

ZEOS® products are now available for purchase now at boots.com.

5 SHAVING TIPS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT

It’s estimated that male facial hair grows between 125mm and 150mm per year, adding up to an average of 3000 hours of a man’s life shaving- that is indeed 125 days of your life spent shaving. 

Since it’s a task that you are going to be doing so often, you might as well learn all the tips and tricks to hopefully ensure you get the job done quickly and easy. The guys at Cornerstone [www.cornerstone.co.uk], a flexible subscription service for men’s shaving supplies, know a thing about shaving so here are five shaving tips you should know about to ensure you start your day right.

EXFOLIATE 


If you want a smooth shave you need to start with the basics: preventing ingrown hairs and removing dead skin cells. Pick a scrub that doesn’t contain any nasty plastic microbeads and use it two to three times a week to get an even closer finish.

SHAVE AFTER SHOWERING 


If you’re in a rush you are more likely to put too much pressure on your skin, miss some spots and cut yourself, so take your time. To save some precious minutes, what you can do is shave immediately after you shower as the steam will open your pores, perfectly priming your face for shaving. Plus, your stubble will be softened from the warm water making it that much easier for the blades to cut through it.


AVOID BLUNT BLADES 

An old blade will only cause you razor burn and skin irritation. It’s false economy if you think you’re saving money by using an old, blunt razor. All you’ll end up doing is causing skin irritation, razor burn and ingrown hairs, which will lead you to go buy products to remedy the damage! Make sure you have a fresh set of blades ready for when your current blades become dull. With Cornerstone’s flexible and convenient subscription service [www.cornerstone.co.uk/subscribe], you won’t have to worry about buying new blades as they will sent some fresh ones straight to your door just when you need them - because who has time to go to the shop for replacement blades?

HYDRATE AND REPAIR YOUR SKIN
 


Shaving can dry your skin and cause irritation, so avoiding a moisturizer can save you a couple of seconds every morning, but it will do more harm than good in the long run. To soothe and re-hydrate your skin, choose a post-shave balm or moisturiser, but make sure it doesn’t sting! If it does, it’s probably because it contains alcohol, which ironically only dries and irritates your skin even more.

SHAVE WITH AND NOT AGAINST THE GRAIN


Shaving techniques can make a big difference. To achieve a clean shaven look, we always recommend going with the grain. Going against is a definite no as it’s more likely to cause skin irritation as well as ingrown hairs as you end up cutting hair too short, which is more likely to grow back under your skin and cause shaving spots. When you shave with the grain, the razor won’t drag or pull your skin giving you a closer (and less painful) look.

Do you have any tips of your own? Share them with the Cornerstone team on Twitter [@Cornerstone_HQ] and Facebook [CornerstoneHQ]!

DISCOVER THE RADDAR7 LOOK

RADDAR7 garments are enigmatic and individualistic, inspired by ideas from the fringes of the imagination: the unconscious, the elemental, and natural and supernatural forms. 

 RADDAR7 create wearable art that expresses the unbounded imagination of the wearer, exploring the indefinable and the spontaneous in boldly original designs. They commission up and coming artists to create original art inspired by the ideas at the heart of the brand. Themes, details and moods from the artwork metamorphose into a unique printed textile.

Every RADDAR7 garment is a collusion between art and fashion.

To view the Look book click here.

For clothing loans, client gifting, image requests or interviews with the designer please email info@mrcpr.com

SUPER SIX: NOVEMBER GROOMING PICKS!



1 Beard Clippers (any brand)
It's Beard Season, and many of us won't be reaching for those razors until at least the new year, therefore you'll want to get yourself a decent beard trimmer that will keep your facial fuzz neat and tidy throughout NoShaveNovember and Decembeard.

2 Jack Black Hair Thickening Shampoo
We tend to shed hair the most during November, therefore a good hair care routine is essential. Try Jack Black's Hair Thickening Shampoo, for a fuller, stronger looking barnet to get you through the autumn months.

3 Lip Balm (any brand)
As the colder season sets in, you'll want to avoid lip chapping - therefore make sure you keep your lips lubed throughout the day for a healthier look and a less painful pair of lips.

4 QU3 Face & Body Moisturiser
Never forget to keep moisturising throughout the colder months of the year, and don't neglect your body either. Find yourself a good multi-purpose moisturiser that will keep your skin revitalised, refreshed and hydrated.

5 Recipe for Men Facial Scrub
We tend to collect a lot of dirt on our facial skin throughout November, with the cold weather outside and the central heating inside. Make sure you scrub your face three times a week to keep your pores cleansed and free from dirt.

6 Beardition Really Good Beard Shampoo
With it being Beard Season, many of you guys will want a good range of products to keep your facial fuzz in tip-top condition throughout the colder months of the year. Why not go natural with Beardition's beard shampoo, helping you keep your beard clean, conditioned and ready for the winter onslaught.

THE LUXE GIFT FOR HIM THIS CHRISTMAS BY HEMMINGSWORTH

The recently debuted luxury British menswear label, Hemingsworth offers the perfect range of swimwear for those seeking the sun this festive period.

The impeccably crafted collection is produced by expert tailors in London and features eight stylish shorts in its, 'Clipper' collection. Every pair of Hemingsworth shorts is designed to allow for maximum comfort and all-day wear, making them a truly versatile garment.

Hemingsworth shorts utilise lightweight seersucker and cotton-blend fabrics and are the perfect gift for men who seek adventure and appreciate the finer details in life, which are reflected in their meticulous design.

A pair of 'Clipper' shorts features buttons carefully crafted from Tahitian Mother of Pearl, zips made to order in Italy by Lampo, and buckles cast and finished in Germany to the highest specification. It is this attention to detail that elevates Hemingsworth shorts into a space that hasn't been occupied before making them a must-have this Christmas.

The shorts blend traditional yarns with the latest modern fibres for a feel that is reminiscent of soft cotton with the advantage of being quick drying, making them perfect for quick dips by the pool. Each pair of shorts is chlorine, salt water, light, rub, shrink and colour tested, ensuring a timeless, quality gift.




The Hemingsworth collection is available now priced from £180.00, in sizes 30-38" and in eight styles and classic colours: Sharkfin, Light Blue, Navy, Yellow, White and Seer Sucker (Pink, Blue & Green). For additional information please visit www.hemingsworth.com.

5 ULTIMATE HALLOWEEN BEARDS

Facial hair aficionados Ruffians have teamed up with leading razor brand Dorco, using their Pace 6 Plus to create five ultimate looks to ensure you’re raising hairs this Halloween.

Make sure as well as your spook-takular costume, you creep it real with your facial hair game. Whether you’re looking to sport a ferocious mane, carefully styled goatee or a devilish tuft of hair on the chin – your facial fuzz is the perfect extension to your outfit and we’ve got you covered. After all, a good barber is a man’s best friend…

Channel your inner Wolverine and let your beard run wild and free. Use the 6 blades at random to keep the hair looking choppy and the trimmer blade to add extra definition. Combs are out, big and bushy is most certainly in!

  • Start with a full beard to pull off this look.
  • Apply a thick layer of shaving foam to the face, trim down the moustache and shave off all neck hair.
  • Use the trimmer blade at the back of the razor to remove cheek hair, keeping most of the beard along the jawline. Next, shave an inverted triangle into the chin area.
  • Backcomb your hair, and dress with Wolverine claws and a ripped white vest (or shirtless if you’ve got the abs to pull in off!) to complete the look.

They're creepy and they're kooky, mysterious and spooky… get your moustache in check this Halloween, Gomez Addams style using the nifty trimmer – perfect for all those tricky areas!
  • You’ll need a ‘tache for this one! 
  • Apply a thick layer of shaving foam to the face.
  • Remove all facial hair, keeping only a moustache above the upper lip.
  • Using the trimmer blade remove hair from the top of the moustache, creating a thin, long line of hair - pencil in with black liner for extra definition!
  • Finally, slick your hair back and throw on a dark bow-tie to really give you the edge.

Proving you don’t always have to be loud and proud, recreate silent comic actor Charlie Chaplin’s iconic ‘tache. Offering a true one stroke shaving solution, Dorco Pace 6 Plus glides effortlessly across your face to keep the fuzz above your upper lip.
  • A fuzzy upper lip is needed to nail this one.
  • Start by trimming down any stray beard hairs before coating the face in shaving foam
  • Clean shave the entire face, keeping only hair above the upper lip.
  • Using the trimmer blade, shave the ends of the moustache – your moustache should look thick and short! Fill in with dark eyeshadow to create a fuller look.
  • Whack on some eyeliner, adopt a dopey expression and black bowler hat and voila!


James Bond is the ultimate dude. A ladies man with not a single hair out of place, Dorco Pace 6 Plus will make sure you’re ready for whatever obstacles stand in your way. A combination of Vitamin E, Aloe and Lavender Oil makes Dorco perfect for a full-scale wet shave and will keep skin smoother than a baby’s bottom.
  • The quickest and easiest of the lot, this look is easily achievable no matter how much face fluff you own.
  • Coat the whole face in shaving foam and remove all hair, including the neck. Don’t forget to moisturise afterwards!
  • With a sharp suit and an air of mystery, you’ll be fighting them off in no time.

Sail the seven seas as Captain Jack Sparrow and embrace the plaited beard and jewels in abundance. Whilst you’re at it, gain full control with the non-slip rubber handle as you master the rough and ready look.


  • The more facial hair the better in this case!
  • Cover the mid to upper cheeks in shaving foam and remove all hair. Keep the majority of the beard across the jawline and on the chin – think thick and fuzzy!
  • If your beard can go the mile, separate it in half and make two plaits, adding a bead on the end. If your beard can’t, stick two plait extensions onto the chin using eyelash glue – works a treat!
  • Tie a bandana around the head, add jewellery and pull out any remaining hairs to ensure a rugged look



Order from Dorco UK’s online shop at www.razorsbydorco.co.uk as a one-off purchase, or arrange delivery straight to the crypt via the flexible online subscription service.