Stylish commuting. On ya bike!

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London brand Vel-Oh has been on the British bike scene since early 2014, but is only now getting the full recognition it deserves for the high quality products it produces.

The three in one Worker Bag from lifestyle brand Vel-Oh was originally created for those commuting by bicycle and incorporated four key elements, waterproof, lightweight, stylish and versatile. Those elements have helped make it popular as an everyday bag, perfect for the office and just great as a weekend or flight bag.

The Worker has adjustable cotton webbing straps allowing it to be used as a back pack, tote bag or regular carry bag. A capacity of 30 litres gives plenty of space and side poppers keep the bag looking neat. There are two side bottle pockets and a padded 15 inch laptop pouch.

Made from high quality heavyweight 100% waxed cotton from British Millerain, to keep the contents dry while super strong magnets on the top and front pouch ensure that those contents are safe and sound. There is a leather front pouch pocket with an easy access pocket carrying an embossed Vel-oh logo as well as a large embossed leather back panel.

The bags are the ingenious idea of husband and wife team Zulfi and Greta, two urban cyclists. As commuters they noticed that cycling bags were either aesthetically challenged and practical or vice versa. They started discussing why this was and how they could create the best of both worlds. They spent the next nine months working on a symbiotic approach to this problem and creating a product that the cyclist would find both practical and desirable.

Zulfi and Greta’s goal is to bring form, function and style to the cycle to work commuter, with the emphasis on all of their products now being handmade by the two wherever they are.

Vel-Oh (my god…) they’re good

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The Vel-Oh three-in-one Worker Bag does a great job of combining function and style and exceed themselves in achieving a chic urban vibe.

The symbiotic approach that the company has taken to create a product that can keep up with the needs of a city cyclist, makes you feel like you’re buying a product from a company that truly understands your needs.

Vel-Oh‘s new collection comes from the team going back to the drawing board and taking inspiration from the two key fundamentals of Vel-Oh. Form & Function. A range of bags that Vel-Oh feel is right for the cycle inspired market. These new styles have a sleek look that wouldn’t feel out of place in the office,but have the practicality of being able to cycle to work with. Revisiting how you carry locks, lights and your personal belongings and have incorporated these into our new range, the brand is definitely worth a look if you’re on your bike every morning.

If you want a bag that is made for cycling, but don’t want to lose any of the stylishness of a cool day bag, this is the look for you.

Shop here.

Why you need a shirt subscription & how to start

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You can get subscriptions for just about everything these days. Razors, pet toys, beauty products, wine accessories, bow ties, snacks, and more. So with so many options, why would someone look at Christian Benedict, a men’s shirt subscription service as something they want, or need? Well, the benefits of getting some simple, stylish, fresh clean shirts posted through your door are vast, and hopefully we can convince you to take the plunge into a world that’s more convenient, more reliable, more stylish, and where you’ll have more money in your pocket to spend on other cool stuff.

#1 MEN NEED NEW SHIRTS MORE THAN THEY’D LIKE TO ADMIT

Face it guys, you probably need new shirts more than you think. Whether you wear your shirt on their own, layered with a blazer or sweater, or even as an undershirt — they simply don’t last forever. Your shirts eventually get pit stains, or maybe food on ’em, or in some cases they simply lose their shape over time. And guys simply don’t know how to say goodbye, well that and we’re also a tad lazy, which leads to wearing shirts we shouldn’t any more. By getting a shipment of shirts every 30, 60 or 90 days you eliminate awkward shirt moments forever. Crisp, new shirts will leave you walking out the door with confidence. Confidence breeds success, and face it — the ladies love confident successful men.

So first things first, head over to Christian Benedict.

When you arrive you’ll see a clean cut website that’s easy to use, with prompts to take you through the process of your signing up to your spanking new subscription service. Once you’ve decided how often you’d like to receive a new shirt under the “ ” tab, you’ll then get to pick your first shirt!

There you will find…

Three shirts are available that are 100% cotton; Light Blue Button Cuff Shirt, White Button Cuff Shirt, Pink Button Cuff Shirt. (it’s not too confusing or tricky).

Once you’ve chosen your first one, you don’t have to stick to it for the duration of your subscription! Around two weeks before you’re due another shirt, Christian Benedict will send an e-mail showing you the entire range. Within that e-mail you’ll be able to pick another shirt by clicking on the appropriate image.

Smashing.

#2 A SHIRT THAT FITS RIGHT IS HARD TO FIND CONSISTENTLY

Finding a shirt that fits great is just not easy. For instance, you may find some nice regular fit shirts one month at Topman, or H&M that you think have saved your world. You love them. You wear ’em to work, or out with your girlfriend on a Friday night. One day you start to realize that the sleeves are shorter, it’s a little tighter (and you haven’t even eaten bad this month), and for all intents and purposes it’s a completely different shirt. It is basically an alien shirt. So, here is the beauty of custom fit. At Christian Benedict it’s easy.

In this step of the subscription process, take your measurements and know what you need – it’ll take the hassle out of everything.

Using the drop down menus to enter your measurements is fairly simple – it also acts as a guide to know if you’re along the right lines if it’s your first time measuring. You can change the measurements anytime once your signed in and if you’re not happy, let Christian Benedict know, they want to get this right for you. (There’s a friendly no questions asked returns policy – you can return it for free).

Don’t panic if you do not know your measurements, the size guides will help you achieve that perfect fitting shirt and are really easy to follow to discover your measurements. Discovering your fit is the general size of the shirt and will determine how closely the material hugs your torso.

Christian Benedict generous fit is their ‘Regular’, whilst they call their medium ‘Slim Fit’. ‘Extra Slim’ size is their smallest size.

#3 SIMPLE SHIRTS NEVER GO OUT OF STYLE

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A simple shirt is easy to dress up or dress down and well worth having in your wardrobe.

After punching in your measurements, you’ll need to hit your details into the system. Your name and surname, whilst providing an email address and a password to set up a profile on the Christian Benedict website. Once you have completed all the stages you will be ready to receive your brand new shirt, there’s no commitment so you can cancel any time and you only pay around the time that you receive each shirt.

The whole process is really simple and visually easy to follow. Put it this way, it saves you having to visit town and get pissed off with all the shoppers walking slowly!

#4 SUBSCRIBING TO FRESH CLEAN SHIRTS IS FULLY FLEXIBLE!

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Your package arrives with speed and is packaged safely and securely, inside includes:

  1. a 100% cotton formal shirt;
  2. a small gift (these change monthly);
  3. an insert detailing our referral program;
  4. an insert and pre-paid address label relating to the returns process;
  5. and a gift box.

Now that we’ve given you a few of the keys as to why Christian Benedict’s shirt subscription service is so great for guys, we’ll give you the most important reasons to become part of the CB Shirt club.

You know what you’re getting, the size is tailored to you (so the fit will be impeccable), you know when you’re getting your shirt, the service is time saving and fully flexible (i.e. can be cancelled whenever) AND you don’t have to leave the house to know that you’re going to look great at every opportunity.

So there you have it. Sure, you can fire up your monthly subscription to artisan cheese if that’s your thing, or relish in opening up a box filled with carefully curated grill tools or something, but what good will those things be when you’re dressed like a slob in your stained, 3-year old shirt?

A shirt subscription from Christian Benedict is not only a nice to have, for most men it should be a necessity.

For more information regarding Christian Benedict please visit here. Or alternatively drop us a comment or a message and we’ll point you in the right direction!

What do we really want for our Stag Do?

stag party

Your best mate has stopped coming out as much, he’s under the thumb. Then he drops the bombshell that he’s getting married and it blows the whole pack apart, how are you all going to continue?

Ahh well “he’d drifted anyway.” But then, he pulls it back from the gutter and pops you the question…”will you be my best man, mate?”

You’re over-the-fucking-moon. Mainly because it’s your one and only chance to stitch him up royally and get away with it.

So, us men want to have an unforgettable time and send their brother off through the gates of marriage and into a life of monogamy and baby farts, right? Well, yes, but in order to actually organize an unforgettable stag do, you as the best man need to plan every single earth-shaking, knee-trembling moment.

So, let’s get you prepared for the night of the groom’s life.

Men want inebriation

You don’t plan on being sober right? Not a single amazing story in history has ever started with “and then I told him I’ll just have a glass of fresh lemonade”, who even drinks that? No, you need to organize and plan the amount and variety of alcohol involved, as well as the management of barfing and post-barfing damage control.

Start the party off light with beer and cocktails, and when the crowd gets warmed up, you can move onto the heavy artillery. A key tip to remember is keeping the groom only slightly above tipsy at all times, so that he can enjoy the entire party and actually have recollection of it in the morning. You don’t want the groom to fall asleep before midnight and as for the rest, well, they’re free to make their own mistakes.

A location that has it all is Bierkeller. Floor to ceiling beers and ‘bants’.

Men want games

Men's stag Do - Zorbing and playing football

A stag do doesn’t start at night, and certainly doesn’t entail only drinking and ruining a hotel room. No, a real stag do starts in the morning and ends with the following day’s walk of shame. If you want to organize a dynamic and memorable stag do, you want to take the crew for some sports and games in the great outdoors.

Start in the morning with some rugby to get the blood flowing and try not to dislocate anything or break a bone before the party starts in the evening. Move onto more extreme sports, like dirt bike riding and zip lining, and then go to the beach for some jet skiing along the coast.

Then, let the crew go home for an hour to get dressed and ready for the night of their life, and pick them all up in a limo that will take you to the first destination of the night. Start the night off with some poker and whisky and lead it into a private club where you will play drunken darts, listen to loud music and shoot some pool. After that, the party can begin.

Men want women

Hooters girls working in Hooters

What’s a stag do without female entertainment? A little eye candy making you do some “hard” time? There are plenty of female entertainment options available, and while you can go the traditional route and take your party to a strip club (or bring the strip club to you), you might want to do something unique and organize a more personal experience the crew will never forget.

There is a new type of female entertainment around, including gorgeous women and personal waitressing. At Sydney Topless Waitresses, you can hire perfect girls to wait on your boys with their sexy charms and professional skills, making sure that every single guest is taken care of and having the time of his life.

If you’re looking for a city break in this country, head no further than Nottingham. Home to the last UK based Hooters, you can drink copious amounts of lager, eat endless chicken wings, thighs, or ‘breasts.’ Cheeky.

When it comes to it, we are simple enough fellows, we don’t ask for diversity but we do know what we want. Planning an unforgettable stag do doesn’t have to be rocket science, you just have to know the basic formula: drink just enough, play hard, and surround yourself with gorgeous women. Simple.

Do him proud, be the best-man, you can.

The Ultimate Guide to Shaver Options: Which Shaver is the Manliest?

Man shaving face in the mirror with electric razor

You will spend about 45 days of your life shaving. That’s 1 092 hours or 65 520 minutes of dragging a blade across your face and watching your beard go down the drain. The latest trend of full beards have picked up quite a bit in the last while. But many men are still clean shaven, either because they don’t like hair sprouting from their face or their employer would frown upon the bushy look.

The Manliest Shaving Method

Since the creation of the first disposable razor and thereafter the electric shaver, lots of men have opted for the convenience of these fancy inventions. But lately men are realizing that it’s not all about buying the cheapest foam and throwaway razor blades.

A lot of men are rediscovering the pleasures of an old-school wet shave with a straight blade razor or safety razors. Add a bit of fancy soap and a cool shaving brush, and you’ve got your very own barbershop at home! The Economist has reported that sales of disposable razors are falling. This includes prominent brands such as Schick and Gillette.

After a while shaving might start feeling like a schlep, a daily chore you are obliged to do. But when you remember that it’s your manly privilege to make hair sprout from your chin, you’ll start looking at shaving a bit differently again. Your daily shaving routine can be a moment of self-indulgence each morning or evening. Take a moment out of your busy daily routine to deliberately slow down and take care of yourself.

There is just something about the traditional straight razor that makes you feel like a real man. They are also sometimes called a “cutthroat” razor, living on the edge of getting it right or slicing your throat open. When you’re done, admiring your clean cut face, it’s a great moment of satisfaction.

You could also opt for a safety razor, which is a little bit less dangerous. You can pop in a fresh blade every few weeks. Both straight and safety razors are much more environmentally-friendly. There’s no plastic involved. And both razor types will give you a closer shave than any electric shaver ever could.

Selecting Your Gear

Shaving & Grooming from ManlyStuff.ie

The following are a few items that will make your straight or safety razor experience more pleasant. The razor, a scuttle and a brush. You can decide whether you want to use shaving soap or just stick with shaving cream from a can. And don’t forget the aftershave to keep the germs away after using an open blade on your face.

The scuttle is also called a “lather bowl”. It basically looks like a flat cup. This one is very important if you will be using soap, you can whip up a lather storm with your brush in it.

Next the shaving brush. Don’t go for the cheapest option you can find. Rather look for a badger or horsehair brush that will last you a lifetime if you look after it properly. You want a brush with a lot of hair packed close together to assist with the lathering process as well as applying the foam to your face.

The sharpening strop is important if you decide to use the straight blade razor. When do you need to sharpen the blade? When it starts pulling your hair out, instead of cutting it.

The debate of shaving soap vs. shaving cream is in the end a personal choice. But if you want to stick with the full-on traditional shaving experience, try investing in a good soap.

And then, selecting the actual razor. The following are a few options, including complete kits with all the gear you need to start experiencing the traditional shaving method.

BOG Shave Ready Straight Razor

A classic straight razor with modern appeal. This is a high quality razor that will offer you the best shave of your life! With the 4” stainless-steel blade you will be able to quickly tame your beard. The blade folds into the handle for convenient storage inside the tin carry case or safely in your bathroom cabinet. You also get a luxurious velvet bag to neatly fit into your suitcase when travelling.

Shop here.

Parker SRB Straight Edge Barber Razor

A professional grade stainless steel blade that is much stronger than cheaper aluminum. The snap/lock blade holder guarantees you insert the blades securely. Five Shark stainless steel half-blades are included with purchase. These are designed to fit in perfectly in straight edge razors. The end of the blade has a rounded tip to minimize cuts.

Shop here.

KingOfHearts™ Classic Barber Beard Shaver

Everything you need to start your traditional shaving experience! The shaver has a classic wooden handle with the straight 6″ stainless steel blade fitting tightly into it. This whole kit has a great vintage feel to it. The synthetic bristle brush will outlast your trial and error lathering attempts. The straight razor sharpening strap is made of split leather that will help you maintain an impeccably sharp razor at all times.

Shop here.

GBS 5 Piece Shaving Set

The set includes a stainless steel barber straight edge shaver and leather case, a badger-hair chrome brush and chrome stand and a chrome shave soap bowl. You also receive 25 free blades plus a GBS soap.  With this razor you can save money on expensive cartridge refills. The razor will not rust or tarnish. The stand is great for drying your brush properly after use.

Shop here.

Be a Man, Put a Naked Blade against Your Skin

Man shaving face in the mirror with electric razor

So, are you brave enough to switch to the traditional shaving method? Or are you too scared you might slice an artery and bleed out while trying to prove your manliness?
Once you’ve experienced the glorious feeling of an ultra-close shave, you won’t go back to any other method. In the beginning you might cut yourself a few times, but once you’ve got the hang of it, you will agree that using a straight edge razor is truly the manliest shaving method of them all.

This article was contributed by Andries from manomics/shaving. Manomics.com is a men’s lifestyle site that focuses on topics such as grooming, health and fitness.

How to style a classic side-parted haircut

Men's hair style at the barbers

The pompadour is a classic men’s haircut that refuses to go out of fashion. It has been reinvented time and time again and continues to remain amongst the most popular choices in barber shops all over the world.

Originally named after Madame de Pompadour, who was King Louis XV’s mistress, the classic pomp was made most famous in the 1960s by the King of Rock himself, Elvis Presley. Today, the pomp has many modern variations and has been worn by key celebrity influencers such as Brad Pitt, Jon Hamm, Zac Efron, and David Beckham to name but a few.

To celebrate this classic slicked-back look, The Bluebeards Revenge has teamed up with industry-leading barber Tom Chapman. The Devon-based barber owns Tom Chapman Hair Design in Torquay, and is the proud founder of the Lions Barber Collective charity.

Below, Tom has given expert tips on how you can create the perfect pomp in the comfort of your own home. A word of warning; if you combine his tips with our video, you can expect some serious hair envy from those around you!

It all starts at the barbers

Man having hair styled at the barbers

To create the perfect side-parted pomp, you’ll need your hair styled a certain way. A typical pompadour features short sides, a short back, and longer hair on top that’s swept upwards. Ask your barber for a tapered cut with plenty of length on top and you can’t go wrong. For a more comprehensive example of what to ask your barber for, watch this barber to barber video.

At home

Start by washing your hair in warm water to make sure any previous hair products are removed. Then, rough dry your hair with a towel and apply The Bluebeards Revenge Matt Paste as a pre-styling agent.

A side-parted pompadour does require some maintenance, so you will need to invest in a hair dryer if you don’t already have one. Trust me, it’s worth the investment.

Blow-dry your hair and use The Bluebeards Revenge Quiff Roller to add volume to the pomp. Getting the best results from a quiff roller requires some practice, especially if you’re wielding a hair dryer with your other hand. It’s all about gently twizzling the brush through your locks and guiding the hair backwards to give the pompadour its iconic slicked-back look. Don’t forget to use a comb to exaggerate your natural side-parting for a bolder finish too.

Finally, finish the look by applying The Bluebeards Revenge Pomade. Take a small amount of this water-based, high-shine product and rub it between your palms and finger tips, then slick it through your hair from front to back. Use a comb to create a tight and tidy style, or just rough it up a little with your hands for a more rugged look.

And there you have it – a modern take on a classic men’s hairstyle that’s suitable for both the office and a night on the town. Enjoy!

Take a look at our previous article with The Bluebeards Revenge and Tom Chapman where we look at the hottest hair styles for 2017, here.

 

Vintage style leather luggage that gives back!

Gentleman's Leather travel bag leather brogues

For several months now we’ve been seeing MAHI Leather pop up around our social media platforms and if you’re one of those guys who’s darting across the country on weekends and living out of a bag, you’re going to want to hear about MAHI.

They jumped out to us because of their classic look; the products reflect an air of the sartorial gent. Think David Gandy.

It’s important that you, as a travelling man, recognise the significance of a strong, durable bag – it is to be seen as an investment and will take away a lot of the stresses found with travelling due to them achieving the three qualities we all look for when considering a travel bag: quality, capacity and portability.

As welcoming to success as they are, MAHI have a great passion for helping others and giving back – they work alongside FRANK Water Charity by donating $1.50 from every bag sale and have so far raised an incredible $7.5K.

To learn more about how MAHI’s donations help to aid FRANK in their work, click here.

Interview Time! MAHI Q&A

We’ve thrown MAHI straight in our hot seat and asked them some questions to find out a little more about the brand…

Clothes fodled with leather bag for weekend awayGents leather wash bags

How would you describe MAHI leather? What is it in a nutshell?

MAHI Leather is a brand that offers high quality, luxury luggage and bags at an affordable price. We cut out the middle man when delivering so everyone gets a product, made to order, delivered directly from our family run workshop in India. Not only do we want to sell beautiful products, we also want to do some good along the way – every bag sold see’s $1.50 get donated to FRANK Water Charity who provide water & sanitation to the people of India. It’s our way of giving back to a country where we have found inspiration, employees and even our brand name.

• How did MAHI start and why?

MAHI is a product of our main company; we’d tried to start other companies but this one really stuck. The charity work and emphasis on our own passion and values within the brand was something that we wanted to resonate with our customers. It started off small and has really taken off over the past few years. It’s more than just selling a bag. It’s crafting something for a customer, personalising it and then getting it delivered to them directly. All the while doing some good in the process.

• What goes into deciding what you stock, to ensure it matches the MAHI values?

A lot of the time, deciding on new products and designs is a gradual process and develops alongside our brand. If one of our designers has a basic idea or is inspired by something, may be a certain style of bag, we look at ways that we can make it our own and think about the value it will add to our range. As much as we want to evolve and change, we want it to be organic and in keeping with our brand image and vibe. Basically, we wouldn’t make something or do something that wouldn’t make sense for us. In a year’s time, our look and values may have changed but that will be a very progressive thing.

• How long does it take from idea to design to sale for one of MAHI’s products?

Generally, it depends on what we’re going for, what the design is and how easy it is to get it right. We often make several attempts of perfecting a design and creating samples so that we have a product that we feel is good enough for our customers and our brand.

• What are your personal favourites that MAHI stock?

It’s definitely a tough decision. The MAHI Classic Duffle, I think, is wonderful simply because it’s so simple, stylish AND it’s actually very practical. The only thing to worry about is which colour to have it in.

• MAHI has grown really quickly and successfully with hard work, what would you say is key to making your brand successful?

I think the best things you can do as a brand is not only to know yourself, what you stand for and what you want to do, but also get to know your target audience. Also, ask people outside of the company for their thoughts – how they perceive the brand, for example. Look for a fresh pair of eyes to give you a new perspective. You’ll be surprised at how it can change the way you see the company and the direction you’re going.

• Do MAHI have any new products in the pipeline?

We’re currently brainstorming ideas for new products and running through technicalities with designs. Our main goal this year is to get a MAHI on wheels!

• What does 2017 have in store for MAHI?

Hopefully plenty of success! We really want to grow as a brand, introduce more products and raise awareness for FRANK Water Charity.

mahi-leather-header-3Leather bag for travel

We’re huge fans of MAHI at highstreetgent.com and hope to see more and more from them over the coming months and years. To shop the full MAHI Leather collection, please visit their website here.

Burning the candle at both ends?

Sleepy man tired in bed

Burning the candle at both ends is symptomatic of modern life. Relentless pressure to excel in the workplace has driven 13 per cent of us to put in at least 49 hours per week at the office, and 75 per cent of us manage to do so on far less than eight hours of sleep.

Throw in the occasional bender, a gruelling workout schedule and the plate-spinning act that is your social life and it’s no wonder that “fatigue” is more of an epidemic than an excuse.

The telltale signs of tiredness run the gamut from the familiar (puffy eyes, sunken skin) to the plain dangerous (slow reflexes, hallucinations), and are often accented by a dangerously short temper. In the interest of preserving your health – and, indeed, that of those that come within punching distance – we have compiled some tried and tested life-hacks to keep fatigue at bay.

LAY OFF STIMULANTS

A tired looking man trying to keep eyes open

It may sound counterintuitive, but relying on stimulants to help you make it through the day isn’t the wisest idea when you’re running on empty. Jump-starting the body with caffeine or, indeed, the diabetic nightmare that is Red Bull will only ensure you crash ­– messily, possibly perilously – a matter of hours after consumption.

Energy is a cellular function that depends on the vitamins and minerals you have in your diet, and not on the amount of refined carbs you can scarf down in the blink of an eye. Ergo, when cells are fuelled in the correct way – ie, on a varied Low-GI diet – you feel energised and ready to take on the world. If your diet is poor, they’re likely to go out of business and leave you feeling lethargic and groggy.

A good-quality supplement will stand you in good stead.B12 is a water-soluble vitamin that the body cannot store for rainy days, so you’ll need to incorporate it into your pill-popping regime or, better yet, get it in injection form. Alternatively, The Nue Co.’s Energy Food + Prebiotic covers all bases with an organic blend of naturally uplifting maca, beetroot and goji berries. Brown rice protein delivers a steady supply of energy throughout the day while prebiotic inulin stabilises blood sugar levels so you don’t crash and burn after lunch.

Another alternative, if you’re dedicated to hitting the gym still, is a protein from P-FIT P-FIT offer the highest quality grass fed whey protein you can buy, in which Taking the right amount, at the right time, can re-energise, recharge and help shape your body: helping you look and feel better than ever.

HIDE THE SIGNS

Young man yawning in front of computer screen with a coffee.

If the eyes are the windows to the soul, then your soul is desperately sleep-deprived and agitated. The skin that surrounds your peepers is so delicate and thin that even the slightest hiccup in your sleeping schedule will show up in the form of puffiness or, worse yet, dark circles.

Puffiness is a sign of fluid retention in the tissue, a condition that is exacerbated by a diet rich in salt and alcohol. The fluid can be drained by placing two freezer-fresh metal spoons on your eyes (or far more easily with the rollerball product listed below). Dark circles, on the other hand, are usually caused by dilated blood vessels that become visible beneath translucent skin.

In terms of curative solutions, an anti-fatigue eye treatment is the one specialist unguent that should be in your grooming routine. The cool Anti-Fatigue Eye Gel by Clinique For Men will help drain excess fluid while revitalising the senses.

Energise and refresh your complexion with Grüum’s energising gösta facial tonic – this little bottle could be the answer to many of your skin nightmares, reducing unwanted shine and preventing clogged pores. gösta’s natural ingredients are kind to your face, with a light and zesty citrus scent.

LEARN THE ART OF POWER NAPPING

Home Interior, Living Room, Stomachache, People, Adult

Afternoon siestas make perfect sense. A little power nap has been shown to improve logical reasoning, reflexes, mood, memory and learning. Crucially, naps also sort out tiredness more effectively than a long, deep snooze. Much like interval training, the trick to power napping lies in the duration and frequency of the naps. Sleep scientists concur that an efficient snooze should be somewhere been 10 and 30 minutes; anything more will cause you to feel even more sluggish than you were to before, a condition called “sleep inertia”.

The power nap was made socially acceptable after a Nasa study in 1995 that analysed the impact of siestas on 747 pilots. An average rest time of 25.8 minutes “demonstrated vigilance performance improvements from 16 per cent in median reaction time to 34 per cent in lapses compared to the No-Rest Group.” So, if HR haven’t installed sleep pods in your office yet, get on their case.

Our top tip is give yourself 30 mins to lie-down, set your alarm, if you’re really tired you’ll be asleep in 4 to 5 minutes and when you awake 25-26 minutes later you won’t feel groggy and tired, just refreshed!

So…whilst we don’t recommend burning the candle at both ends for a sustained period, if you are, hopefully the above will help you!

 

7 Tips for Buying a Car on a Budget

car

Purchasing a new car is amazing! Just imagine being behind a wheel, listening to a powerful engine, driving for hours and hours with nothing but the road in front of you. There’s nothing more liberating than putting the pedal to the metal and feeling like a real man. However, even the realest of men need to think about money and can’t buy just any car they see. If you’re looking for ways to buy a car on a budget, here are a few helpful tips.

Define the Budget

First of all, define exactly how much money you have. Once you determine the number, start searching for the best option you can afford. Nevertheless, keep in mind that your car money is just for your car and don’t spend it on groceries or bills. Since you’ll have to pay for various taxes, fees and warranties, define your budget and don’t forget that the true cost of owning a car is much higher than the sticker price.

Invest What You Have

If you already own a car, use it as a down payment for a newer model – it’s not like you’ll be driving it after you get a new one. A down payment significantly affects your costs and if you manage to make your down payment higher, your monthly payment will be lower. Moreover, this is a great way to get rid of your old vehicle. That way, you’ll be ready to start fresh and save some money in the process.

Month After Month

If you financial situation is unstable, make projections and figure out how much you’ll be able to spend on your car in the future. Think about gas, insurance, maintenance and registration – not being able to afford these expenses can turn out to be a major problem. A great way to determine how much you can spend on your car is the 20/4/10 rule. According to it, you should put down 20% of the car’s value, spend about 10% of your monthly income on expenses, and complete the financing process in under four years. This doesn’t work for everyone, of course, but might help you stay afloat.

Maintaining on a Budget

After purchasing a cheap car, you can continue saving money on smaller expenses. Instead of buying brand new tires and seat covers, use the ones from your old car. If you plan ahead, you can save a lot even on essential things – using Nulon engine oil, for example, instead of other brands means you’ll be getting a high-quality product and the absolutely best value for your money.

Perfect Timing

If you’re purchasing a new car, yet still want to save a dollar or two, plan a visit to the dealership carefully. Most companies offer discounts from time to time and lots of people hence buy cars in December, at the end-of-the-year sale, or in the summer, just before new and expensive models are introduced. Try looking for slightly damaged cars, too: a few scratches here and there don’t mean anything, but will lower the price significantly.

Ask for Help

Getting all the help you can get is essential. You are probably not an expert, but you surely know someone with more experience. Ask your brother, father, neighbor or friend to come along and take their opinion into consideration. A knowledgeable car enthusiast will tell you how to pick the right model and help you stick to your budget.

Don’t Trust the Salesman

Even though salesmen are supposed to assist you, not everyone is as honest as you might think. Remember: the more money they take from you, the higher their salary is, so be very careful. Ask questions, especially when getting a used car, but don’t fall for their tricks – and they surely know lots of ways to trick you. So, don’t be gullible, but stay strong and determined!

Save More Money

Once you get the perfect car, find out how to save money in the future. Finding affordable parts, saving money on gas by carpooling, and avoiding damages and frequent repairs will certainly do the trick.

6 Signs You Really Need a Break From Work

Businessman Working Summer Beach Relaxation with Laptop

It feels like a life time since the last time you had a holiday, it was yonks back! The weather is still pretty glum, with a bit of blue-sky breaking now and again, but you’re fed up, right?

Are you sitting at your desk dreaming about a weekend in Barcelona or at least 4 weeks’ minimum in the Maldives? However, just wanting a tan and cocktails aren’t the only reasons to pack up and have a break.

A study from University College in London found that overworking can lead to a 33% higher risk of having a stroke, and a 13% increased risk of a heart attack. Taking a holiday doesn’t make you a bad worker though and will actually make you a better worker as you can return re-energized and therefore better able to tackle challenges and stress. Here are six signs that you really need a break from work.

1. You keep messing everything up

You send emails to the wrong people, your spreadsheets are complete chaos and you’ve spilt your coffee over several others desks. If you’re finding yourself making constant mistakes, it’s because your brain is in overtime and you’re too stressed to focus on small tasks. It’s time for a rest before you break a leg or even worse, your company laptop.

2. What does enthusiastic mean anymore?

You never used to mind getting up for work and enjoyed a challenge every day, but now you just don’t care and you couldn’t be less enthusiastic even if you tried. It’s because you haven’t had some me time in god knows how long right? Chances are, by taking some time off, you’ll find that enthusiasm about your career again and start putting the effort in again.

3. What even is sleep?!

You can’t remember the last time that you had a full night’s sleep and you’re up all hours of the night worrying about work. It’s time to book a few minutes off before you turn into a zombie! Not enough sleep is bad for your health and will have a knock on effect on the rest of your life, don’t risk turning those around you against you because of your grouchy sleepy moments and ditch the desk.

Man frustrated at work ready for a holiday

4. Everyone is so annoying

You’re usually the funniest one in the office, but you’re just finding everyone really annoying recently and you’ve lost your sense of humour at work. Not only will this make you lose friends at work, you’re not being yourself and chances are, your boss will notice this, especially if it’s making you a bad worker and incorporative with other team members.

5. You’ve lost your social life

You’ve actually become so obsessed with work that you’ve forgotten how to live life outside of it. You forgot all about your gran’s birthday and the drinks at the pub with your mates on Friday evening because you were still in the office at 10pm. If you can’t think about anything other than work, you’re going to drive yourself and those around you crazy because you’re so self-absorbed.

6. You look a complete mess

Even if you’re not always looking your best, you look even worse than what you normally do because the lack of sleep and life in general is having such an effect on you that you look super miserable all the time, your hair isn’t brushed and your eye bags suggest you’ve been in punched a few times the previous night. You need some fresh air and time to rejuvenate as well as catching up on your sleep and go somewhere where you can fully relax and switch off from work mode.

So, before you dive into a pool of despair, we suggest you plan a weekend break or a get-away so you have something to look forward too! So if you think about it, taking a holiday is actually GOOD for your career. Just keep in mind that you should always give plenty of notice before taking time off and prepare any work or necessary cover ahead of time, so that your boss is not left in the lurch when you’re gone.

What we really want as Valentine’s Day gifts

It’s all well and good when Valentine’s Day comes, if you’re in a relationship that is, but more often than not, there’s a bit of stroppy behavior when we receive a naff gift.

We have to go through the turmoil of seeing everyone we know getting engaged on Social Media, but is that really the best gift…engagement? It’s so cliche! Put that ring box away, don’t be disappointed when you’ve not been proposed too, and think of a thoughtful gift you’d like to receive or give to your other half!

As chaps, we’re a little lazy when it comes to buying what we like to call ‘the essentials’, so we’ll be truly made up and may even drop the ‘L’ bomb if you get us something we’re unlikely to buy for ourselves.

So in brief, here’s some quick ‘one-glance’ ideas, (ladies take note) of what we really want to be opening on Valentine’s Day, and you don’t have to spend a fortune….

valentines-day-image

Featured: Circulr, Bluebeards Revenge, Gruhme, Skull & Bones, TOPHAT London and August International.