In order to keep you ahead of the game and your grooming regime bang up to date, we take a look at some of the new gizmos, gadgets, lotions and potions that are going to be big news in the grooming industry this year…
The Gadget: Remington Vacuum Beard & Grooming Kit
A good quality trimmer is essential if you’re a man with a beard and want it to look its absolute best. However, in the past using one either resulted in a mess of beard clippings on the bedroom floor or – something I’ve experienced myself – a blocked bathroom sink.
Thankfully, Remington has solved the little ‘mess problem’ with their new Vacuum Beard & Grooming Kit. As well as packing the kind of features you’d expect in a trimmer (adaptable length settings, cordless action and a precision detailing tool amongst them) it includes a handy vacuum which collects beard clippings as you trim and stores them away in an easy-to-empty chamber.
The result isn’t just a neat and tidy beard but a neat and tidy bathroom too.
The Revitalizer: Shiseido Men Total Revitalizer Eye
With some of the most delicate skin on the body, eyes are naturally one of the first areas to show signs of fatigue and premature ageing. No wonder, then, that they need a little extra TLC when it comes to skincare. Regular moisturisers are often too heavy for the eye area so a dedicated eye cream or gel is essential.
This brand new one from Shiseido, available from the end of May, answers all your ocular needs. As well as hydrating and firming skin around the eye area it also contains a raft of ingredients designed to stimulate collagen production.
Keep it chilled (on a windowsill or in the fridge) and it’ll work wonders on those annoying eye bags too.
The Celebrity Fragrance: Gold Jay Z
Very few male celebrities have successfully launched fragrances for their fellow man. Cynical bunch that we are, we men seem rather less inclined to buy into the whole notion that wearing a celebrity fragrance gives us a little of their celebrity glamour.
Few men are truly famous enough and likeable enough to pull it off – but if anyone can do it, it’s Jay Z. His first foray into men’s fragrance, however, is a bit of a mixed affair.
Given that the man himself is a bit of a visionary, it’s surprising how safe and predictable Gold – with its notes of patchouli, vanilla and pink pepper – is, but what it lacks in originality it makes up for in commerciality.
The Razor: King Of Shaves Hyperglide
More than four years in the making, King Of Shaves’ new Hyperglide razor eschews superficial design tweaks and extra blades for something altogether more revolutionary.
Doing away with the lubricating strip that’s been a staple of razors since 1976, it instead features a high-tech water-loving polymer, originally developed for medical devices, that’s chemically bonded to the cartridge’s surface.
What this means is that once the razor hits water the entire shaving head becomes self-lubricating, delivering a super-smooth shave with the minimum of friction. What’s more, because of the way it works, you can even do away with traditional shaving preps if you wish, making it perfect for travel, gym bags and office drawers. Clever.
The Grooming Tool: G.E.A.R. Facial Hair Scissors
Part of a brand new range of grooming tools for men from Tweezerman, called G.E.A.R., these Facial Hair Scissors are an indispensable problem solver if you’re a man – especially an older one where unwanted hair is becoming the bane of your life.
The rounded tip and curved blades make trimming off rogue ear, nose and eyebrow hairs a cinch – and more importantly safe. Unlike many battery-operated trimmers there’s no snagging to contend with either.
The Limited Edition Fragrance: Hugo Boss Man Music
It’s always difficult for brands to keep up interest in classic fragrances, but Hugo Boss has a history of clever and novel reworks/limited editions.
This year’s limited edition version of Hugo Man is all about music, with the fragrance bottle getting a graphic equalizer motif. Each fragrance also comes with download codes for tracks like Edwin Collins’ Girl Like You, reworked especially for Hugo by uber-cool, up-and-coming acts like Kate Boy.
The fragrance itself remains as deliciously fresh, fruity and timeless as ever.
The Skincare Range: Molton Brown’s Grooming Collection
Given Molton Brown’s huge popularity with men (their Re-Charge Black Peppercorn Body Wash has become something of a grooming legend) it makes perfect sense that they should cater for men with a specially formulated skincare range.
So, this year sees the launch of their Men’s Grooming Collection: seven products based around the daily shave, including everything from a Balancing Face Wash, which cleanses without disrupting the skin’s natural pH balance, to a post-shave Recovery Balm containing barley extract to rebuild the skin’s natural protective barrier.
Usefully, they’re also formulated to help control excess oil too.
The Pocket Essential: Aesop Protective Lip Balm
A lip balm is one of those little essentials that men often forget to pack in their grooming armoury, which is ironic given how useful they can be.
Without any oil glands or protective melanin, lips are especially vulnerable to chapping, cracking and even skin cancer. In fact, men are up to thirteen times more likely to develop lip cancers, partly due to the amount of time we spend outdoors, not to mention the fact that we don’t wear protective lipstick.
This new lip balm from Aesop not only keeps your smackers supple but packs an SPF30 sunscreen, protecting them from both the sun’s UVA and UVB rays. It’s also flavour-free so it won’t encourage you to lick your lips after you’ve applied it.
The Designer Fragrance: Bentley Azure For Men
The start of 2014 sees a raft of new fragrances hit the shops, including Dunhill Desire Black, Valentino’s latest offering, Uomo, and Karl Lagerfeld’s new fragrance for men – a crisp, light, almost unisex affair that’s his most mainstream yet.
April also sees the worldwide launch of Azure For Men: a new fragrance from luxury car manufacturer Bentley. Fresher and lighter than the first two Bentley fragrances, it combines a raft of fruits like lemon, tangerine and pineapple with herbs like lavender and clary sage to create a scent that’s absolutely perfect for summer.
The Exfoliator: Perricone Blue Plasma Orbital
We all know that skin benefits from a little exfoliation – not only does removing dead cells brighten skin, it can make it look a little more youthful too.
Unfortunately, because the skin around the eyes is so delicate, it’s not advisable to use harsh chemical exfoliators or abrasive scrubs on it – which is where this clever new product from Perricone MD comes in.
Using an enzyme found in salmon eggs (sounds worse than it is) it’s non-acidic and gentle enough to be used around the eye area on a daily basis.