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I also blog about aftershave and beauty products over at - drop by and let me know what you think. Steve :o)

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since 13/08/2003


Soap & Glory Sugar Crush 31/05/2014


Soap & Glory Sugar Crush In the time that I’ve used Soap & Glory Sugar Crush Body Scrub there are two things I’ve struggled to avoid: Doing a comedy Candy Crush ‘sugar crush’ sound effect every time I pick it up; Removing the lid and inhaling the amazing fragrance of brown sugar, almond oil and sweet lime. There is an immediate flashback as the blended fragrance is identical to cola cubes, a staple diet of the young Stephen. This is something I’ve looked at in the bathroom but had never used until curiosity in the bath got the better of me. Ever since I’ve been addicted to what is one of the best body scrubs ever. Unlike most of this shizzle there is no real flowery blurb to give it the hard sell on how this will transform scaly skin, or buff your stuff. No, all you get with Sugar Crush is an outline of what is actually in it. Smashed brown sugar, sweet lime, almond oil and macadamia grains all blend to create a heavenly fragrance that smells so nice I really do want to taste it. The resulting blend of ingredients creates a gooey brown scrub - you can really see the grains of macadamia. Scooping it out is really easy and as you apply it to the skin the first thing you’ll nice is that the gooey texture is a doddle to rub over the skin. As it becomes watered down the grains start to work their abrasive magic. If you have dry skin you can’t argue with the abrasive nature of Sugar Crush - hell, if you use it too much I’m sure you’d rub down to bone eventually! There is no lather, but instead it ...

Mont Blanc Presence for Men Eau de Toilette 20/09/2009


Mont Blanc Presence for Men Eau de Toilette If you think of Mont Blanc the first thing that would probably spring to mind is overly priced writing instruments, jewellery and other assorted items from a luxury range that has diversified faster than speeding bullet, so much so that for a number of years they have offered male and female fragrances. Presence is one of the first fragrances released onto the market by Mont Blanc back in 2001 and while I prefer to stick with favourites from the Bvlgari fashion house due to my love of fresh, fruity fragrances Presence has skilfully worked its way into my affections. While fragrances are indeed all about personal taste what follows is a balanced and constructively critical review of a product I have now been wearing for over six months. The flowery marketing blurb from Mont Blanc tells you that Presence is about the presence of a man in a woman’s life. It embodies the wearer’s personality, charisma, aura and scent. It goes on to claim that the presence of the wearer evokes the emotions of the woman. Clearly while writing this sort of guff is like paying good money for old rope the key to a good fragrance in my books can be judged on a number of factors, most important is obviously whether it smells good to the wearer and those you come into contact with, longevity of the fragrance, price and overall the value for money it provides in comparison to other brands. My first bottle was a gift and if I had to go out and buy a bottle on the High Street I would struggle unless ...

Bvlgari (Bulgari) Aqua Homme Marine Eau de Toilette 04/10/2008


Bvlgari (Bulgari) Aqua Homme Marine Eau de Toilette Bvlgari, the fashion house well known for their unique and very expensive jewellery have over the last ten years expanded their business base to include the production of some of the finest perfumes and aftershaves available for purchase by the general public. My personal favourite is the original Bvlgari Pour Homme and it has been a mainstay in my sizeable collection of aftershaves for the last 9 years however when new products have been released by Bvlgari I have always found the fragrances to be both unique, sophisticated and well suited to my own skin type. Bvlgari launched Aqva in 2005 to much acclaim and following on from this success Aqva Marine Pour Homme EDT was released in 2008. Aqva Pour Homme Marine is available from a large number of high street retailers with prices for a 30ml bottle ranging £30 to £40, however online stores offer fantastic deals which see the price more reasonable and in the £18-£25 price bracket. I will be assessing the product in terms of value for money based on the more expensive high street retailer prices as this is where I personally bought my own bottle. Despite being a new product, the styling and marketing for Aqva Pour Homme Marine has been nearly identical to that for Aqva, and the similarities don't stop there. The bottle is identical to that of Aqva. While I found the bottle styling to be unique the first time around I now find it confusing when reaching for an aftershave first thing in the morning as I have both products. The ...

St Ives Ultra Gentle Apricot Scrub 24/09/2008


St Ives Ultra Gentle Apricot Scrub There is no end to the lotions and potions that suddenly appear in our bathroom for all skin ailments and imperfections. The one product that seems to be more used than most is the St Ives Gentle Apricot Scrub which sits in a white flip top tube with an orange wrap around picture of apricots. Normally I rarely run out of things to use in the shower, but as a replacement of my Thalgo Descomen Deep-Cleansing Scrub did not miraculously appear after I'd used it up I had to take the cheeky stance of stealing the product of choice used by the good lady wife. Marketed predominantly as a facial scrub, it promises to "cleanse deep into pores and remove dull, dead skin, gently revealing smooth, radiant, healthy looking skin" and as I am keen to turn back the clock to the days when blackheads, dry patches and broken skin were not a problem, now that time is upon me I am determined to keep myself as young looking as I possibly can. Could St Ives Gentle Apricot Scrub match the various products I've used over the years? Personally I have skin like a rhino, and I rarely suffer from any forms of irritation when using facial products, but for all those people who do, they should seriously look at trying this scrub as it has been produced and aimed at people with sensitive skin and after using it for a few days there was nothing to suggest that the ingredients had caused even the slightest hint of irritation. Whenever I use these products I have been told time and time again that I ...

BlackBerry Bold 9000 10/09/2008


BlackBerry Bold 9000 The commencement of a new job saw me presented with a brick like XDA device which truth be told was useless. E-mails had to be typed using a stylus which frankly took hours to write and every time the battery died it had to be sent back to IT while they rebuilt it from scratch after it managed to wipe every last trace of my documents and e-mails. After much sighing in front of my boss and several important e-mails going unreturned late at night and at the weekend she finally gave in and with much glee presented me with a BlackBerry 7100v, a model I had previously used, a model which to put bluntly was close to obsolete by the time my sweaty paws had gotten to grips with it again. Frustrated with the inaction of my peers I went out and spent £450 of my own money on the BlackBerry Bold, the new smart phone from RIM designed to rival the Apple i-Phone. The user interface for the Bold is very similar to the Pearl version with the icons and features being accessed using a trackball located just below the screen, however in terms of size and feel it is on a par in size with the 7100v, due to the large colour screen and the full QWERTY keyboard. With a weight of only 136g and dimensions of 11.4cm x 6.6cm x 1.5cm there is a clear move away from the theory behind the Pearl of making the smart phone as aesthetically similar to a regular mobile phone device as possible. In my opinion, this is a move for the better, making the device practical for use in a business environment. My ...

Thalgo Men Descomen Deep-Cleansing Scrub 06/09/2008


Thalgo Men Descomen Deep-Cleansing Scrub You want me to put WHAT on my face? I am a 30 year old male always on the lookout to try new exfoliating products in an attempt to turn back the clock to the days when blackheads, dry patches and broken skin were just a pipe dream. With a vigorous facial cleansing routine to ensure that my face radiates and projects a clean image I was more than impressed to find my wife had bought me a 50ml tube of Thalgo Men Descomen Deep-Cleansing Scrub. As a firm advocate of the Men Expert range by L'Oreal particularly the Skin Renovator, I am increasingly being won over by the range of facial products produced by Thalgo. . Thalgo Men Descomen Deep-Cleansing Scrub claims within the marketing blurb to rid the skin of impurities and smoothe away imperfections leaving the skin fresh, clean and invigorated. Most skin exfoliators I have used in the past state clearly that twice weekly use is more than adequate, however Descomen Deep-Cleansing Scrub should only be used once a week according to the instructions for use. The main ingredient is Algue Bleue Vitale which isn't not something I have heard of before, but the helpful notes included put my inquisitive mind to rest. Thalgo state that the product is specifically designed for men, but why? Thalgo claim that Men's skin is much thicker and richer in sebum and is easily stressed by the daily process of shaving. The Algue Bleue Vitale has the ability to be both anti-aging and anti-fatigue at the same time, calming down the skin to repair ...

Thalgo Delicate Exfoliating Pebble Soap - Bar 02/09/2008


Thalgo Delicate Exfoliating Pebble Soap - Bar Decorating exploits and I mean heavy duty DIY does nothing for my hands, in fact they suffer terribly from the strain and abuse placed on them by exposure to heat, paint and various cleaning fluids. After weeks of abuse, my hands were left dry, chapped and sore. With a job that means daily contact with the great and the good from elected officials, the media and the public the last thing I would feel confident about was whether or not my hands look and feel like they have just been through a grater. Normally I would use one of the many Lush products cluttering my bathroom courtesy of the good lady wife, but flowery and feminine was not an option when it came to my hands. I wanted something that was discreet and mildly masculine. Why exfoliate? Apart from the obvious benefits of how your skin looks, every skin type needs some kind of exfoliation, whether you have oily, dry or patchy skin. Exfoliation prevents dead cells from sticking to the oil which is naturally produced by your body blocking the pores causing infection and spots. Sometimes dry skin becomes sore and irritated and needs to be removed. My hands are no different and were in shocking need of attention. Products produced by Thalgo are not new to me, I have in the past used several of their other products and trust them implicitly. In search of a product to help and repair my hands, I opted for the Thalgo Delicate Exfoliating Pebble Soap Bar. Given the name, it is no surprise that the bar is shaped like a ...

Fudge Pump Up 27/08/2008


Fudge Pump Up The fudge range of hair care was recommended to me some time ago after I had initially complained to my stylist that my hair grew too quickly and most gels or waxes wouldn't hold the spikes in style for an entire day without having to re-apply the gel. At the time it was suggested I tried the Fudge Fat Head which £9.50 for a 100g tub was a lot more expensive than the high street brands I am used to paying for. The wife however takes a different view, constantly reminding me that you get what you pay for. Having become slightly bored of Fudge Fat Head I decided to try something else within the Fudge Range that would do just as good a job at keeping my spikes death defying straight tipped. Opting for Fudge Pump Up at only £8.46 for 200g I was slightly amused that I managed to find a product at the same cost but for double the amount, whether it worked or not it would be 1-0 to the Badger. The product states that it will "provide ultimate hold and add shine and moisture to your hair" which sounded perfect to me. The other thing to note is that most Fudge products have 'a hold factor' guideline from 0-15 which essentially rates the product on how good it is at holding a style in place once the product has been applied to the hair; in this case Fudge Pump has a rating of 8. Fudge Pump Up is encased in a bright orange coloured can and looks not too dissimilar to a can of hair mousse. This was frankly a terrifying prospect given that most hair mousse products I have ever used ...

Thalgo Oxygenating Mask 16/01/2008


Thalgo Oxygenating Mask Every now and then when browsing the Dead Sea stall in my local shopping mall I come across new and exciting products that I feel compelled to try. My last visit saw me bypass the Dead Sea stall and head towards the new stall selling a host of products from a company called Thalgo. Having never heard of them I allowed myself to be convinced into a purchase by the two rather attractive ladies who were running the stall. They were approachable and had an extremely in-depth knowledge of each and every product. After a brief chat about what I usually used to exfoliate and moisturise and a few compliments on the state of my skin they recommended the Oxygenating Facial Mask. Before slapping the mask onto my face I did a little research into Thalgo. They are a French company with over 40 years of experience within the health and beauty industry which assured me that I wasn't going to be applying a product produced by a cowboy outfit with a history of permanently scarring its customers. Thalgo, like Swisa and Dead Sea use the natural resources of the sea in their products, taking the line that the sea is a natural source of beauty, using their expertise in marine biology they are able to offer a wide range of products to suit everyone's needs when it comes to skincare. All this and much more is available on the Thalgo website where there is further detail on their background as a group, company and their expertise. The actual range by Thalgo incorporates products for men and ...

Blackberry Curve 8310 11/01/2008


Blackberry Curve 8310 Being a firm convert to the BlackBerry smartphone revolution I am lucky enough to receive courtesy of my employer an upgrade each year. The last twelve months have seen me dazzled and impressed with the BlackBerry Pearl, a device I didn't think it was possible to make any better as it was small, compact, jam packed full of useful tools and software and incorporated a digital camera along with lots of other functional tools. It was with heavy heart that I was informed over a month ago of our IT departments intention to replace any Pearl models with the Curve 8310. This was an upgrade I neither needed or wanted but after only a few days of owning the Curve 8310 I was once again as in love as it is possible to be with a piece of hardware. Incorporating the usual BlackBerry features of wireless email, personal organiser, contacts directory, digital camera, alarm and mobile telephone the Curve 8310 incorporates new and exciting features that were sadly lacking from earlier models, even the Pearl. Included within the basic software package, the Curve 8310 now has BlackBerry maps, the ability to store and play MP3 files and a more responsive speakerphone/voice activation unit. All things considered, the new additions to the model and tweaks made to existing features have made the Curve 8310 a very handy piece of equipment that I just could not be without when working from home or attending external meetings. The inclusion of more software, an upgraded battery and much more ...

L'Oreal Men Expert Anti-Tightness Cleansing Gel 10/01/2008


L'Oreal Men Expert Anti-Tightness Cleansing Gel Looking after your skin is essential if you want to stop the five signs of aging. Personally I don't go in for all of the clinical research conducted by the companies who want to sell the elixir of everlasting youth but do feel the need to take care of my face and in turn the way I look to the outside world. L'Oreal Men Expert, a range of products aimed solely at the male of the species is a firm favourite of mine, and having tried their moisturising lotion which produced fantastic results and the exfoliator that removed literally layers of skin I opted to try the Anti-Tightness Foaming Gel mainly for two reasons. The first being that normal soap and other leading exfoliators left my skin feeling quite dry and tight after it had been exposed to either bright sunlight or icy winds which meant that the benefits of using products that would eliminate dry and patchy skin were negated pretty much immediately and secondly, I was looking for a new product that would give me a kick in the mornings to bring me around. Taking my requirements into consideration, the Anti-Tightness Foaming Gel seemed to fit all of the criteria required. Marketed as a soap free, pH neutral gel the menthol enriched formula would in my opinion give me that cool sensation when in the shower leaving me both awake, clean and with skin that had been cleansed with impurities removed. At the same time if you believe the hype, the product would also help combat the five clinical signs of aging, crow's feet, and ... 06/01/2008

*INSERT PUN ABOUT NOVEL IDEAS* I am an avid book reader and due to space constraints within out flat, my wife suggested that we consider getting rid of some of my used books using whilst at the same time saving some cash on titles I wanted to read by mooching back books that I wanted to read. Initially being unsure as to how to use the site I used her account to get a feel for the mooching process before eventually setting up my own account. In a nutshell, is an online community where members have the opportunity to give away unwanted books in exchange for points, and when another member lists a book in their own inventory that you wish to obtain, you use your own accumulated points to mooch the book from them. So how does Bookmooch work? Firstly you need to become a member and this is free, the only cost members is the price of posting one of your own books to another member of the site. The Bookmooch website which can be found at and whilst it isn't the most excitingly designed website with over complicated graphics it is designed in a user-friendly manner and although I was expecting something quite complicated I found that within a few minutes of navigating around the website even I could fully comprehended how it worked. Once you have decided to become a member of there are a few registration questions to be completed in a similar manner to signing up to any community based forum or website. They ask you to firstly create a username and ...

Bvlgari (Bulgari) Pour Homme Soir Eau de Toilette 04/01/2008


Bvlgari (Bulgari) Pour Homme Soir Eau de Toilette Aftershaves come and go as far as I'm concerned, but firm favourites are constantly replenished should they ever look likely to run out. I regularly try out new ranges but always come back to old reliable aftershaves like Bvlgari Pour Homme and Bvlgari Pour Homme Extreme. It was with delight that as a Christmas present I received a 50ml bottle of Bvlgari Pour Homme Soir, one fragrance I had never even seen in the shops, let alone had the pleasure of smelling. One thing I could be sure of though through experience was that this would be an aftershave of quality and I wasn't to be disappointed as such, but the reasons why this will never replace Bvlgari Pour Homme as my favourite will become clear as you read on. The bottle is the classic Bvlgari Pour Homme design similar in looks to the female versions of the Bvlgari range. Instead of being rather flat the bottle is quite tall standing 15cm high and the glass has a "pinched" effect at the top where the atomiser and lid meet the bottle. I have attached a few pictures for ease of reference and I'm sure readers will agree that it is incredibly understated. With Bvlgari aftershaves there is no need for unique packaging as once you've tried it or smelt it, you know that it is the quality that will keep you coming back. The only thing that sets the Bvlgari Pour Homme Soir apart in terms of looks from the regular Pour Homme is the word Soir in tiny lettering on the bottle. The notes to Bvlgari Pour Homme Soir are outlined below ...

Davidoff Cool Water Game For Him Eau de Toilette 19/12/2007


Davidoff Cool Water Game For Him Eau de Toilette When it comes to aftershaves I have a large and rather varied collection, some come and go without ever being replaced whilst a few firm favourites are instantly replaced. Never being one to stay with just one brand I am obsessed with trying new fragrances and it was whilst out shopping I tried the tester to Davidoff Game, a tester that had me instantly hooked due to the slap in the face refreshing citrus aroma and relatively bargain price. Being a fan of the Davidoff Cool Water and Cool Water Deep range I had no hesitation in purchasing the full gift pack for £45, which included a 100ml bottle of the aftershave, moisturising lotion and shower gel. £45 may seem excessive but readers should bear in mind that 100ml of this aftershave (taking the other items in the pack out of the equation) will last for well over 6 months when being used on a daily basis and if purchased individually the price comes down to only £35 on the high street in places like Boots and House of Fraser. Alternatively it can be purchased from several reputable online aftershave retailers with prices as low as £25. The bottle to Davidoff Game is blue in colour, as are most of the aftershaves in the Davidoff range and totally unique in style. Made from thick glass the bottle is fairly heavy at first but the sunken sections of the glass makes it very easy to hold onto even with wet hands removing the risk of injury should you accidentally let it slip from your grasp in the bathroom. The actual amount of ...

Cerruti 1881 Homme Eau de Toilette 13/11/2007


Cerruti 1881 Homme Eau de Toilette When it comes to aftershaves I normally have a few favourites that are instantly replaced should they even remotely look as though they are about to run out on me. With a sensitive nose and obsession never to give off an Old Spice aroma my favourites tend to be light, fruity numbers that have long lasting staying power and the head turning factor that boosts the confidence. Currently my favourites include anything from the range by Bvlgari, Joop and Davidoff Game all of which are rock solid performers in the aftershave stakes. With a collection of aftershaves that now requires draw space in my bedroom one of the aftershaves that I tend to be use infrequently is Cerruti 1881 Pour Homme. Available from most larger Boots stores and many other high street retailers, a 50ml bottle of the 1881 Pour Homme version of the aftershave will cost anything from £30 to £40 making it quite expensive in comparison to other leading aftershaves on the market, however, shopping online can lead to some serious savings with prices of £26.50 online at sites such as or Given my recommendation in summing up this fragrance at the bottom of the review, I would strongly suggest testing the fragrance on the high street and then if you like it, placing an order online where the prices make it a reasonable purchase. The bottle to 1881 Pour Homme is actually quite unique in shape and look, with frosted glass and pale looking contents it gives the ...
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