BORROWING FROM THE GIRLS By Belinda Morris
Yes I know that there’s masses out there these days to keep you gorgeously groomed… and it’s created just for you. And I know that we’re always saying “oy, hands off our stuff – use your own moisturizer/hair gel/shampoo…”, but I’m now going to do a bit of back-pedaling in a bid to make you do a little lateral thinking, product-wise.
Actually, I’m not really saying you should nick her things, like right off her dressing table; this is more about knowing that there are products out there, probably designed for and certainly used by women, that you might benefit from. There are probably bits of you aching for attention that you weren’t even aware of and your life might be immeasurably improved by addressing their needs.
Oh yeah, like what?
Ouai Dry Shampoo Foam (150g - £24)
This is a revelation! All clever girls know about dry shampoo – a spray-on powder, which sort of does the trick in a masking kind of way. This is different – it’s a mousse-like foam which contains something called diatomaceous earth, which removes product build-up and dirt. Another ingredient is panthenol, which hydrates and conditions the hair. So, you just shake it up then apply a palm-full of the mousse onto your dry, dirty hair and scalp. Cleaning without the need for water. And it also works wonders if you’ve thrown on too much product (it’s a boy-thing too) – just use the foam and get a clean slate.
Available from www.panachecosmetics.com
Lee Stafford Coco Loco Heat Protection Mist (£5.99 – 150 ml)
It’s not just girls who use hairdryers, ergo it’s not just girls’ hair that suffers from over-heating. Just saying. It’s just that canny girls know that they can do something about it… like use a heat-protecting product. Like this one, which contains conditioning coconut oil which will nourish and repair damaged hair (and smells delicious) as well as a shield which, while gentle, will protect hair against heat up to 220°C. Just spray on all over before you use your hairdryer. Ta dah!
Available from branches of Boots.
Bumble & Bumble Bb Curl Pre-Style/Re-Style Primer (250ml - £20.50)
And it’s not just girls who have luscious curly locks – the Gypsy/Byronesque look is a thing right now and if I’m describing you, you may be interested to know that there are products out there to tame and pamper those potentially wayward curls of yours. This styling primer nourishes and re-energises curls in two stages. On day one – after washing in other words – it helps to detangle and hydrate hair, making it easier to work with (and curls need work) and on day two (and beyond) it refreshes dry curls, giving a suggestion of hold while also hydrating. Magic!
Available from Bb Network salons, bumbleandbumble.co.uk and selected stores
Now I have to own up here and admit that I’m rather partial to grey hair on men – a sprinkle or all over, it’s all as attractive to me and certainly hasn’t held back the likes of George Clooney. But I’m aware (at first hand) that not all men hold my views. Maybe you bite the bullet and dye it, maybe you’re toying with the idea… either way the cosmetics industry has been working on the ‘between colouring’ roots issue and there’s no reason why men shouldn’t take advantage of the developments as we women are doing (me included). I’ve tried two products recently:
Bumble & Bumble Bb Color Stick (£23)
With five shades to choose from (from blonde to black) these chunky sticks have been formulated with a combination of mineral-based pigments, dry fibres and microspheres to create a velvety texture for easy blending. And there’s a ‘Stay-Put Seal’ which holds the colour in place so it’s not messy to apply and is also water-resistant. You just stroke it on, blend in with fingers, then wash out.
Available from Bb Network salons, bumbleandbumble.co.uk and selected stores
Root Fix (£14.95)
If you want to cover a larger area of grey and are handy with a spray can, you might want to give The Root Fix a try. It comes in three shades: Light Brown, Dark Brown and Black and will touch up grey roots (or blend in unwanted sprinkles of grey) between salon visits. And if you can’t quite decide whether you want to go down the professional colouring root, this could be a painless and inexpensive way to test the water. And it washes out, so if you don’t like it… instant correction!
Available from www.amazon.co.uk
M&S Beauty Body Butter (200ml - £7.00)
(Coconut, Olive, Shea… plus other fruity flavours)
This super-rich emollient for dry, winterized skin is not gender specific, but the betting is that women are more familiar with body butters than men. Why?! We should all feel great to the touch. What’s not to love about stroking skin that’s smooth, supple and… smells gorgeous? The coconut version of M&S’s Beauty Body Butter is sultry summer in a tub, but if you want something slightly less obvious, Shea is warm and sensual too… and not overtly feminine, ditto the olive variation. Just scoop out a generous dollop and massage onto arms, legs, torso… it absorbs rapidly leaving no residue.
Available from selected branches of M&S and online
La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL 50+ SPF Ultra Light Tinted Fluid (£17)
I reckon with this suggestion it may be a big ask, but bear with me. If you’re planning on a holiday in the sun and you’re happy to be out in it all day, or, if you’re very fair and have sun-sensitive skin that goes red at the slightest appearance of the sun, you need a good sun protector – a high enough SPF to make a difference. La Roche-Posay has 30 years experience in being sun-safe and its Anthelios range takes protective technology to heights beyond UV, from proven results against infrared damage (and pollution). This ultralight fluid also comes in a non-tinted version, but both look and feel invisible on the skin, the tinted one simply adds a hint of warmth that might not otherwise be there!
Available from www.laroche-posay.co.uk and Boots and selected pharmacies
Autograph Serum Concealer (£12)
Don’t tell me that you don’t sometime wish that it was completely normal for men to wear foundation – just a little something to cover up those grey circles under your eyes or sudden red blotches around your nose? Well, I’m not going to advise anything too radical (although go for it, there are those who do), just a little understated help that women have been using forever – a decent concealer. It can take a bit of hunting to find one that suits, but to save you the bother, may I suggest this serum version by Autograph at M&S. It’s been formulated to feel weightless, so wont drag the skin (good for delicate areas) and wont look like you’re wearing make-up (I promise!)
Available at branches of M&S and online
Voya My Little Hero Facial Serum (30ml – £53)
If you read these grooming posts occasionally you’ll know that I’m into serums… for everyone. Dry, stressed, dull skin isn’t just a female issue and a good serum will penetrate deep into the skin to help repair and restore. I’ve tried and loved many and my most recent discovery is a beaut. Containing 99% organic ingredients, this nourishing oil sinks immediately into thirsty skin making it feel less taut and rough to the touch. Voya creates its skincare on the West coast of Ireland, the line has evolved from acclaimed seaweed baths that first opened in 1912. The therapeutic, anti-inflammatory properties of certain hand-picked wild seaweed are combined with other natural actives – in this case rosehip, avocado and camelina oils – to restore moisture balance, improve elasticity and to protect, nourish and add anti-ageing benefits.
And if you’re uncertain about oil, don’t be – this leaves no greasy residue, just a pleasingly soft feeling. Wear it under your usual moisturizer.
Available from www.voya.ie and selected spas
Jalue Ice Therapy (£39)
Here’s something you may not have tried – but it might have been tailor-made for (some) men. It basically takes the idea of a pack of frozen peas on a troubled, overhung brow, a stage further. The brainchild of doctor’s daughter, Azerbaijani Jale Demirchi, it combines two Russian traditions – ice therapy and herbalism. The kit comes with a reusable silicone cone and four muslin bags of specially selected herbal infusions (chamomile, sage, nettle, rose and oak bark), which calm, nourish and provide anti-ageing benefits for the skin. No, you don’t drink it – it goes into the cone, which then goes in the freezer. You then apply the frozen cone in a sweeping, circular motion over your face and neck (after cleansing). Cryotherapy is known to increase cell rejuvenation, improve skin tone, reduce inflammation and boost collagen levels. Oh, and works wonders on a hangover…
Available from www.jalue.com