Category: General

Are you trendy?

Let’s talk about following trends. Over the years, I’ve found myself on both sides of the argument, whether to adapt and change your style and consumables with what’s on trend or being plugged by the rich and famous, or to just do your own thing. Sometimes, as it happens, you end up following a trend before it was cool… If that’s happened to you, I’m sure you’ve had a moment of rage when someone you know assumes you’re only doing it to be cool. Music fans, we know this well.

When it comes to making a decision, I’ll admit I now take it on a case by case basis. For example, when ripped jeans came into fashion, whilst I was tempted, I get unbelievably cold and couldn’t imagine having holes in my pants. I also realised I couldn’t go without shaving through the winter… the hairs would pop right out! When it comes to food, I love when the trends go more towards healthy eating because it makes it easier to make better choices when you’re eating out, but you’ll see me dead before I jump on a diet bandwagon.

Then we come to beauty and cosmetics. I find that whilst the industry is just another trend-following mass of influencers, brands trying to get ahead of the curve, and journalists with varying ranges of relevant knowledge, generally they tend to be on the money in innovation and topical fixes. We’ve seen AHAs come up for a resurgence of popularity, from the wake of the ground-breaking news that physical exfoliators (your scrubs) are actually causing micro tears in your skin and aggravating conditions like acne. Naturally, we need to look for an alternative. Because there are so many specific ingredients within the AHA banner, and more when we introduce BHAs, they don’t just have five minutes of fame before the outlets rush for a new star for their spotlight. Different brands have an opportunity to shine different products, and use the same buzzy word for different outcomes. It makes me quite happy, like we’re getting a little peace in the beauty world.

But the real winner, our trend apex if you will, is hyaluronic acid. This hydrating ingredient has been highlighted in everything from body care, to skin care, lip care, eye care, hair care and makeup, and is it any wonder with rising temperatures? Is it any wonder after we’ve spent a year drying our skin out inside, and now will spend a year in the outdoors as much as possible doing the same? Is it any wonder when it’s such an effective treatment for dry skin, and oily skin? I mean, it’s impressive we didn’t stumble across it sooner. Thankfully, we’re not just on our own with those two fateful words, it comes with the documentation, advice, and reviews that rocket it to safe stardom for the rest of us who don’t have a clue what’s going on! It’s easy to type how to apply hyaluronic acid into google, and get hundreds of hits helping you buy and use the ingredient based on the product. I’ve definitely learned a thing or two!

So, what’s your ripped jeans story? Or perhaps, your hyaluronic acid or AHA? Let me know!

Difficult buying presents

When I was younger, having a lot of men to buy for at Christmas was, I thought, a blessing. It was all gaming gift cards, socks, booze, drinking card games and other amusing tat. But now, I can see it for what it is… a curse. In their late fourties, doing well financially and preferring afternoons with their families at the park instead of getting pissed down the local pub, they now know exactly what they want and just buy it for themselves. Or their partners beat you to it. In my desperation, after years of this, I admit to considering just tucking a £50 note into an envelope.

It might also just be festive fatigue. Going shopping in December is just an absolute nightmare. People, everywhere! Children, everywhere! I just can’t bring myself to browse when I have to wait in a line just to get through the door. I never actually did follow through with the cash, but I have done a case of their favourite beer, which at the time felt incensere. I even had one of them myself to drink at his insistence!

I decided that this year, with all the extra time indoors to think, I would perfect the art of giving Christmas gifts for him. Obviously, a little googling is all you ever really need to do to get started, but I wanted to help out the local small shops around my town seeing as they’ve had so much struggle. Turns out, small businesses tend to sell crafty, artsy items and not my usual go-to for your average guy. However, it’s 2020 and time to stop assuming that men can’t love things that appeal to the creative side. Furthermore, they are part of this dying earth, and can improve their sustainability just as much as the rest of us! Reusable bags, fruit & veg mesh bags, metal straws, plants! I just feel like kicking myself for not getting to this point sooner. If they’re going to be responsible men with goals and bedtimes and rules, they can damn well make space in their lives for better attitudes surrounding planet earth and our global climate change crisis.

Obviously the other challenging aspect of Christmas is all that damn waste. But this way, at least we’re negating some of the damage and guilt with forward moving.

Unpopular Opinions

What’s your unpopular opinion, which you would stand by against all odds? I know I like to make hard statements, and go on about what I believe, but I’m sure you have some differing ideas which I’d love to give a platform to! This blog isn’t an Eric-is-always-right show, just an Eric-has-a-lot-of-opinions-he-can’t-write-about-at-work show… So think on it okay? I love a friendly argument.

Natural skincare, an opinion.

Yes, this week I’m going to tackle whether or not the products that come primarily from the earth are better than those we synthetically produce in labs. I’m no hacky sack vegan, so you don’t have to worry to much about me saying that beeswax or animal fat-derived glycerine is murderous. I’m usually pretty chill. But when it comes to the natural vs synthetic debate, I lean pretty heavily to natural.

The question I’ll ask is this: why did scientists and cosmetologists develop synthetic products in the first place? Either you believe that they did it for the greater good, or they did it to make production cheap. I believe the latter. I guess I don’t have a lot of trust for the same generation of people who thought countless amounts of plastic was any good. You see, it feels to me that only recently companies are having to consider their environmental impact on the world, and globalisation has allowed each consumer to have so much choice that big companies are no longer able to sell their terrible products to unknowing customers. The natural movement is the right thing, IMO!

I know retinol, and some chemical exfoliants, are citing as the best reasons for non-natural ingredients, and I suppose there can be some exceptions… except there doesn’t have to be! Bakuchiol is on the rise to overtake retinol, and there are plenty chemical exfoliants which can be derived naturally. One of the things I particularly like about natural ingredient sourcing, is many are biproducts of other industries! Suddenly unwanted fruit skins, or leaves and husks, or whatever, aren’t just waste, or mulch. They can all be used in a positive way. So as long as you do your research into natural skincare and the brand you like, I would always encourage people to let in the power of Mother Nature into their skin.

Now people often say to me, ‘Eric, why are you so passionate about this stuff?’. Well, I like having nice skin! Sue me! And I want to know that the products I use are from plants and animals that god gave us with the intention to use purely.

And no, I’m not some anti-vax science-is-all-fake crazy person either, I am very supportive of research into medicine, green energy, and other things that leave a positive effect on our earth. Science is about moving forward, and somehow sloughing off your skin with a synthetic chemic to look younger sounds like some fad we’re going to look back on one day and cringe at. How old fashioned we’ll say. It’s just so easy to have nice skin without all that unnecessary fuss. That’s the world I want to live in.

A man’s only as worthy as his beard is soft..

This might be TMI… but I am sick of meeting men on nights out that don’t condition their beard.

I like to go for a dance, that’s not a crime, and neither is spotting a nice looking lad across the floor and plotting to get at least a peck by the end of the night. I’m young, okay! All of my friend do it, or at least did before they met the one. If you can like someone after seeing them stumbling across a sticky bar sloshing around a half downed VK, vomiting on their way to the bathroom, finishing their drink, shrugging and dancing back into the thick of it, you’re going to be right as rain sober. And yes, that did happen to a friend. They’re still together… But she’s put a cap on his frivolities after that vomit happened on her favourite pink shaggy rug. Don’t think about how long that would take to clean up at 2am when you’re tired and grumpy too much, it’s not a wholesome thought.

After witnessing that, and seeing her kiss him with a bit of sick on his shirt, I always find my target at the start of the night and watch them like a hawk. Some say it’s creepy, but I’m just protecting myself. I also like to move quickly, I don’t have entire days to groan hungover and prefer to be in bed by at least midnight. Get in around ten, spot your man, tailor your meeting so he’ll buy me a drink, dance, pash, home. Easy.

Image result for club dancing

Except I’ve found that recently, too many men think they can grow a beard but clearly don’t invest anything into it. Scratchy! Itchy! Rubs my chin raw! And don’t even get me started on the little scratches that end up inside my nose. How?? But this story does have a direction. A few weeks ago I spotted my man and executed my plan without a single flaw. He was all over me, if I’m honest. Didn’t even skimp on my drink. But he did have one of the most uncomfortable facial hair situations I’ve ever come across. Looked like a god, so whilst I was under the influence it was an easy choice. But the next morning it was a problem.

It wouldn’t have been a problem if I didn’t find him an actually genuinely amazing guy. He made me waffles for breakfast and asked If I wanted to go for a nice walk to his favourite coffee shop. I fell hard, fast. I’m still with him, and I seriously think this is a soulmate situation. Imagine that- from a kiss con at a club!

So I had to make sure he was perfect in every way. The beard either had to go, or had to get soft. He was fussy, almost everything I showed him he turned his nose up at. No, don’t like that scent, no that looks too thick and greasy. Please don’t buy that, I won’t use it. Until, in my desperation to no longer have a bight red patch all around my mouth, I found this premium beard kit. I didn’t get an enthusiastic yes, but I did get a shrug and ‘okay’. Okay! Praise the lord he said okay! I’d bought it before he had time to take another breath.

It was a serious game changer. His beard is SOFT and my god is the smell intoxicating. I’m obsessed. We’re waiting for another, larger order to arrive to completely Percy Nobleman-ise his grooming routine. He actually looks a bit like the comic character (yes, we also bought the comic). If I thought he could be the one before, I’m certain now!

Image result for percy nobleman comic

Deal Breaker: The Moustache

The idea of women being attracted to facial hair is one of those things that everyone has an opinion. Some people believe that facial hair is hottest thing a guy can wear and other people are of the opinion that facial hair is the most horrible thing a guy can do to try and boost his look. There’s also the third faction of people in this argument where facial hair doesn’t really factor in all that much when it comes to a guy’s attractiveness. To clarify that last group don’t necessarily mean having facial hair or not doesn’t matter but their preferences just aren’t dictated by the presence or lack of facial hair. If we’re being honest my opinion is that facial hair should be one of those things that you can make a judgement call on depending on how it looks on the individual in question looks with or without it. There are going to be guys who rock with facial hair and look absolutely horrendous without it and the opposite of course is also true. If you’re sitting there thinking that I’m being way to superficial that’s cool but when it comes to dating I’d probably prefer it if when I look at you I don’t have to fight the urge to look away and hold back a giggle but hey that’s just me.

Here’s something I can with a lot more certainty than just my preferences though and that’s the fact that the moustache by itself is definitely a more acquired taste. Don’t get me wrong it can look good but you have to understand something and that’s the fact that the whole unruly rugged look doesn’t really work as well with just a moustache. Now if you’re really set in sporting that moustache solo I highly HIGHLY recommend you at least style that thing. You can’t just use regular wax either since just like beard hair is different from head so is moustache hair so moustache wax is a must have in this case. And don’t just pick the first moustache wax you can find either because remember that your moustache is placed directly beneath your nose so go for the ones with a mild scent if any at all.

The impact growing facial hair can have on your dating life

We can all probably admit that having a beard can provide a massive ego boost for you as it makes you feel a bit more manly and rugged. If you’re sitting there saying “facial hair doesn’t define your manliness” fair point and good for you. But if you can look at a man with a full well maintained beard and moustache combo and not think “damn I wonder if he wrestles with bears” then you and I aren’t going to be able to see eye to eye.

Guys with beards rejoice for there are studies conducted out there showing that women prefer a man with bit of stubble or a full beard versus clean shaven men. There are also studies that say the exact opposite and claim that women actually prefer clean shaven men. Seems like someone somewhere probably has an agenda but that’s not really all that important. Either way you really shouldn’t rely solely on your facial hair to attract a partner because no matter what school of thought you align with that if you can’t talk to the girl once she’s decided she finds you easy on the eyes.

A good understanding of the dating game is pretty much required if you’ll be wanting to attract women but a more important facet for bearded men to focus on would be the issues you might run into when you are actually already dating someone. The beard can physically hurt, same goes for moustaches, beards can get a little wiry when they longer and even when they barely count as stubble they can prick your special lady friend. That’s just one issue that might come up but a good approach would be to just make sure your beard is in the best shape it could possibly be. Proper beard care can help your beard smell fresh, feel nice and soft (maybe even fluffy), and of course in the event you might want to shave your skin would be smooth and soft as well. If you’re not sure where to start for beard care then you may want to look into beard kits and that’s exactly what it sounds like it’s a kit for beard grooming. There’s no telling what real issues may arise while dating but it helps to be prepared.

There’s a Lot to Share

Still interested in joining the impact and making your own impact?

Stay connected and wait for more ideas and tips on how to do it!

There ‘s a lot that I want to share with you in time. It’s just up to me now to find the time write it all down!

Cleaning Your Beard With The Right Product

Hello gentlemen!

Did you enjoy reading my previous post about the beard brush? I hope you learned something from it, although I have to admit I didn’t find myself particularly great when it came to writing about that subject.

Previously I have talked about using beard combs and brushes for producing a positive impact on your beard. But in all honesty,  do you think those grooming tools are enough to create that good an impact?

I believe any grooming tool should be used alongside a grooming product that you can also apply simultaneously. A brush or a comb is no good without the help of other products that you can apply to your beard too. This combination really helps you achieve the healthy and manly look that you’re aiming for. ­­­

There are many of them actually, and most of them are essential for your beard care.  I am going to discuss only one of these for now. Before working on the style of your beard, the very first thing you must not forget to do is to clean it, to avoid it from itching. By doing so, you will need to use a specially designed shampoo for your beard.

I know some of you are thinking that maybe you can just wash your beard with a regular shampoo that you use for your hair on your head. Well, my answer is a big “NO” to that assumption. Using regular shampoo for your beard is not advisable as these shampoos are formulated for the hair on your head only. There are different chemicals in the regular shampoo that are good to your scalp and hair on your head, but can actually be quite harmful to your facial hair and skin.

Beard shampoo is designed to clean the hair on your face without drying the skin underneath. This is one particularly nice innovation in cosmetics. Many beard shampoos nowadays are formulated with advanced ingredients that not only help to clean your beard and protect your skin from losing necessary oils, but also nourish your facial skin and hair at the same time, keeping them smooth and soft.

Cleansing is indeed a very important part of any grooming routine. The main thing is you just have to choose the right product for it. When it comes to cosmetics you must be knowledgeable enough to use the right product for any specific area on your body to avoid unwanted results.