MANSOME: MORGAN SPURLOCK GETS GROOMING

Probably not the height of investigative journalism but Morgan Spurlock’s forthcoming  film on the rise of male grooming looks pretty entertaining nonetheless. Besides, anything that involves Jason Bateman and Will Arnett (of Arrested Development) or the great Zach Galifianakis automatically gets our seal of approval – even that crappy sequel to The Hangover.  Watch the trailer for Mansome and stream a short newsbit on the feature film (via the WSJ) after the jump…


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THE WAR ON THREADING

It looks like the Taliban’s peculiar penchant for guyliner has had a knock on effect among the troops in Afghanistan.

In spite of staunch Islamic beliefs about grooming and dress, many barbers throughout Afghanistan have started offering a bit of brow threading for US troops. One perfectly-arched solider tells the Wall Street Journal that it was an honest ‘miscommunication’ that landed him with a pair of Joan Crawford’s brows rather than a military approved buzz cut.


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FAQ: TO CHUCK OR NOT TO CHUCK?

Q: I’ve had the same pots and potions sitting on my bathroom shelf for the past couple of years. Do they go ‘off’? They still seem to work just fine…
Andrew, by email.

A: Over 40 million products sit in bathroom cabinets collecting dust. Don’t ask me how market researchers came up with that figure, but they did.  While such clutter doesn’t do much for the Feng Shui of your lavatory, it does, however, keep the toiletries industry alive and kicking. We often buy a product with the best of intentions but, much like that last Coldplay album, it stays sealed in cellophane, never to see the light of day.


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Shortlist MODE

After months of blood, sweat, tears and tantrums, the first ever issue of Shortlist MODE – the new fashion bi-annual from the brains behind Shortlist – launches this evening. Am so proud to be part of this title, not least because I get to work with some of the most talented stylists and editors in the biz. More importantly, I get to write completely self-indulgent features about how the 70s redefined masculine identity through hairstyles (no, really…).
Get your free copy at key locations around London, Leeds, Birmingham, Glasgow and Manchester from this evening and all tomorrow. And, yes that’s David Gandy on the cover…

UPDATE: You can now read my feature Pump Up The Volume here.

shortlist.com/style/mode


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L’HOMME GRUAU

Celebrate pre-Photoshop graphic design by attending the forthcoming exhibition in honour of renowned illustrator René Grau, the man responsible for some of the most enduring fashion and beauty images of the last century (and whose surname we  have no idea how to pronounce. Anyone?).

Darling of the haute couture world, he was employed by Givenchy, Balmain, Rochas and Lanvin as well as countless glossy magazines… but it was his position as Artistic Director of Advertising for Dior that earned him the most kudos.


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THE WHITE STUFF

The idea of  altering one’s skin tone might incite racial debate on these shores but in Asia, where skin whitening products are a ubiquitous (not to mention hugely profitable) part of the beauty industry, there’s no shame in wanting to achieve a more ‘wheaten’ hue.

In 2005, Indian firm Emami  was the first to offer whitening products for men, followed closely by the L’Oreal stable of brands and Nivea, making the market worth some £12 billion.The success behind skin whitening lies in the cultural belief among some Asians that the lighter one’s skin tone, the higher their social standing – a hangover, no doubt, from the colonial days when darker skin tones were negatively perceived.
Vaseline (who, rather worryingly, released a product with the promise that it would achieve ‘an Aryan glow from head to toe’)  has just launched a Facebook app aimed at men featuring Bollywood actor Shahid Kapoor.  The software allows users to adjust their profile pics so their skin appears lighter.
In spite of its instant success, parent company Unilever isn’t prepared to comment on how their campaign might be perceived as a way of perpetuating an outdated and racially-insensitive mode of thought.


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