It is around this time of year when the guilt of a gluttonous December begins to set in. Pacts are made in an effort to atone for seasonal indiscretions, for the puffy skin, breakouts, bloating and lethargy. We will work out more often, drink less, give up some abhorrent vice or another. Today we are met with the option to ‘detox’ or cleanse – words that were absent from public consciousness five years ago, unless you were undergoing rehabilitation from drug or alcohol addiction.
On demand services, you may have noticed, are a hot trend in the app world. In an age of instant gratification, we can get anything from a chauffeur to a Chinese meal with little more than couple of swipes. Enter PRIV, an app that brings masseurs, stylists, personal trainers and beauty therapists right to your doorstep / deskside. An ideal solution for the time poor and / or infinitely lazy, the on-demand app (an abbreviation of the word ‘privileged’) sources the best wellness professionals in the business, and allows you to book them by their bio, ratings or availability. The app is currently operating in New York, Los Angeles and now London.
Few brands are quite as blunt as Skyn, the Icelandic ‘anti-stress’ skincare brand whose Hangover Kit suggests they know a thing or two about knocking back shots (FYI, Iceland’s national spirit, Brennivín is often translated as “Black Death”… The less I tell you about my experience with this local beverage, the better).
This ingenious kit includes firming eye gels to deflate puffy peppers, a ‘relief’ pen to mask dark circles, a cooling lotion to allay the feeling of a construction site in your skull and a ‘fresh start’ mask for the inevitable sense of shame that sets in around lunchtime the next day. Worth around £30 / $47.50, this emergency kit is a sure-fire way to hide any evidence of over indulgence during the festive period.
My latest contribution to Mr Porter is now live! To read the full feature, click here.
Whichever way the precarious life-work scales tip, it’s sleep that always seems to get the boot. We are designed to spend a third of our lives sleeping and yet 43% of the American workforce say they “rarely or never” get a good night’s sleep on weeknights. Thirty per cent of Brits claim they are sleep deprived or verging on insomnia, which suggests that some 19 million of us are not getting to sleep, or, if we are, we’re certainly not staying that way for long.
It takes a confident man to rock a floral fragrance. And while extracts of rose and iris are becoming increasingly popular in men’s fragrances, Odin’s new White Line is a study of the whole plant, from stem to flower. Vert Reseda, the most guy-friendly option from the cult brand’s new directional range, is minimal but bold. All green, all the time, the fragrance` opens with galbanum and reseda flowers, followed closely by peony and gardenia, creating a soft, morning dew feel. (And, being endlessly creative in that New York-y sort of way, the bottle comes packaged in a sculpture box designed by paper artist Matthew Shlian (www.mattshlian.com) – natch.)
In a bid to promote a healthier lifestyle – and thus better-looking skin – Lab Series have teamed up with Jawbone, makers of the UP24 band. The Lab Series x Up Challenge, which runs until the end of November, encourages men to monitor their lifestyle choices (sleep, hydration, food choices etc.) via the intelligent UP app. In doing so, Lab series will offer users personaliSed lifestyle tips in return. Countries will be rallied against each other by the UP system, with the most invincible and least sleep-deprived land being the winner.
The seemingly disparate worlds of beauty and medicine are prone to chance encounters from time to time. In fact, it’s not at all unusual for scientific breakthroughs to make their debut in the world of cosmetics where there’s comparatively less red tape, fewer legalities, trials and tests to contend with.
After all, cosmetics companies aren’t promising to save someone’s life so much as make them look a little more attractive while they’re living it. This, of course, means that the beauty biz can be incredibly quick to market with technology or data that might take years to appear in the medical arena. For a medical product or device to gain approval from the relevant authorities, it has to undergo years of clinical testing and rigorous studies.
Contrary to popular belief, hipsters do not have a monopoly on beards. In spite of their well-intentioned efforts to craft an edgy look, they don’t have a patch on London’s Sikh community.
Photographed by Amit and Naroop, The Singh Project features 35 portraits of Sikh men and their mighty beards. “Many religions determine the way their followers look, but none have such a dramatic and definite ‘look’ as Sikhism,” say the duo of the defining characteristic. “And yet, with 30 million Sikhs in the World, there are almost as many ways to wear the turban and beard as there are Sikhs.” As such, they have photographed Britain’s Sikh doctors, boxers, temple volunteers, IT professionals and, er, magicians – all of them sporting an impressive barb and carrying the name Singh (Sanskrit for lion), which is given to all baptised male Sikhs.
As a (fairweather) city cyclist, I’m all too aware of the grooming blunders that come with sweating it out in a tight helmet. More problematic than an inevitable case of helmet hair are the zits that occasionally dot my forehead. The lining of a cycle helmet doesn’t just collect dead skin, crystallised sweat and pollution, it’s also a breeding ground for bacteria, which transfer onto the brow and cause a pimple party.
Aveda‘s Grooming Destination is not an entirely new concept. It materialised in the past as a pop-up offering at their lauded Institute on High Holborn. And while the makeshift barbershop was a stroke of marketing genius (it just so happened to coincide with the menswear shows), the majority of visits were from editorial staff and models who were well-connected enough to bag an appointment while it was open (alas, the pop up space could only accommodate one barber chair).
A range of creative hair products that live up to the inexplicably mad name of Hanz de Fuko (not an actual person – we checked). From hybrid products such as Claymation (the bastard but beloved lovechild of wax and clay) to grease absorbing styling powders and sugar-based gels, there’s no end to this brand’s innovation. The organic products aren’t gimmicky ‘two in one’ formulas; they’re viable one-stop solutions for guys whose styling routine involves mixing and matching countless products to achieve a desired look.
Straight out of San Francisco, the HdF range is finally available in the UK at Selfridges and online at Niven & Joshua.
The abstract and often incomprehensible places in which perfumers find inspiration rarely give any indication of what the actual juice smells like. And yet Frapin’s Nevermore is worth a sniff if only for its romantic and slightly creepy backstory. As lore has it, a mysterious figure visits the grave of poet Edgar Allen Poe on his birthday every year. In his wake he leaves three red roses and a flask of Cognac (Frapin also happen to make France’s finest cognac – natch).