A Cut Above: Dress to Impress in Any Interview

 

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The pressure is on. You’ve found your dream job and landed yourself an interview. Your new task? Impress the interviewer and prove you are worthy of the role. Easy? Not so much.

Interviews are intimidating. You’re sat in front of people whose sole purpose is to judge you and your abilities. Unplanned questions, spontaneous testing, unfamiliar faces, indistinguishable rooms — the whole process is unpredictable. Preparation may be the key to excelling in an interview, but with so many uncertainties, it can feel like you’re entering a minefield.

Thankfully, there is one thing you have complete control over: your look. ‘Dress to impress’ or ‘dress for success’ may seem like tired cliches, but like all good cliches, they are grounded in fact.

Dress for success: the facts behind the cliche

First impressions are important. An average interview may last around 30-45 minutes, but your interviewer will have already made their initial judgements about you within the first seven seconds. It may sound unlikely or unfair, but it’s the way the human brain functions. We’re a visual species. Have you ever come across a dark alley and immediately made a detour? Or decided against buying that Gucci watch from a market stall? We all use visual appearance to make snap judgements.

Your interviewer is no different. They will base their first judgements on your immediate appearance. A dirty, ill-fitting suit suggests that you’re lazy and disorganised, whilst a sharp, tailored suit suggests that you’re smart, well put-together, successful — regardless of if this is true or not.

Remember: you only have one chance to make a first impression. The rest of your interview will be an opportunity for an interviewer to test their judgements. It’s far easier to reaffirm positive assumptions than to try and disprove negative ones. Don’t believe it? In a survey by Adecco, they found that 75% of hiring managers identified bad fashion choices as the top mistake made in interviews.

Fake it ‘til you make it: the lab coat effect

Would you feel more comforted by a doctor wearing a lab coat than a hoodie? Or feel more safe with a policeman in full gear instead of jeans and a t-shirt? You’re not alone. Studies conducted in the 20th century found that certain clothes inspire trust and faith in a person’s ability. Clearly, fashion informs our perceptions of intelligence, capability and reliability. But, did you know that your fashion choices can have the same positive effect on you?

A study at Northwestern University found that when people wore a lab coat, they performed better in science tests, and when donning an artist’s smock, became more creative. The conclusion? Our clothes change our perceptions of ourselves. If you dress like a boss, you’ll trick yourself into feeling like a boss. Asserting confidence and assurance is essential in an interview. So, try faking it ‘til you make it!

Interview clothes basics: 6 fail-safe fashion tips

Every interview is different. We no longer live in a time when a black suit is the only appropriate outfit to wear for an interview. Tech companies and start-ups have changed business fashion. So, it’s important to take the time to do the research and find out what the company’s dress code is.

Still, there are a few fail-safe tips that you can apply to any interview. Follow these six steps to give yourself the best chance of nailing your interview and getting your dream job:

 

  • A tailored suit is the only way: A poor-fitting suit is never a good look. If you’re buying your suit from a one-size-fits-all high street shop, chances are it doesn’t fit properly. You don’t have to go to a tailor or spend a fortune; there are cost-effective online tailors to check out. Invest in a suit that really fits and you’ll always look your best.
  • Breathable fabric: No-one blames you for getting flustered in an interview, but no-one wants to see sweat stains. Invest in a good shirt made from a breathable material like wool or cotton to keep those sweat patches at bay.
  • Colour code: Bright, garish colours belong on the beach, not at an interview. Keep it simple with neutral colours: white shirts, tanned shoes, understated trousers and jacket. Remember, you’re the main show, not that statement shirt.
  • Get grooming: No matter how dapper your suit or how polished your shoes, dirty nails and scruffy facial hair will leave a bad taste in the interviewers mouth. Before an interview, go for a haircut at a trusted barber, clean shave or tidy up your facial hair, cut and buffer your nails. It’s the small things that count.
  • Make it your own: Accessorise your outfits. You need to stand out from the crowd in an interview. Simple accessorising is the easiest way to do this. A smart tie, customised cufflinks or a leather watch will add a unique flourish to your look.

Stay calm and collected. Follow these steps and remember the rule: ‘dress for success’.

Anthony Horner is the director of Empire Outlet: a luxury menswear company that provides high-quality suits and accessories for affordable prices that will not break the bank. Empire Outlet operates online and serves customers around the world.

Top tips for delivering the Groom’s Speech

Top tips for delivering the Groom's Speech

We suspect Harry will have a bit of professional help with his groom speech but if your wedding date is also looming, here’s a few groom speech hacks from the wedding speech experts at Speechy to help you nail it.

Cut the crap

Hmm, not very romantic but let’s face it, there’s a lot of waffle in your average groom speech. Old fashioned etiquette is partly to blame for making so many speeches generic and boring.

The only thing you need to remember is to thank

  • everyone for coming
  • both sets of parents
  • the entourage (best men, ushers, bridesmaids etc)
  • any special people like children or grandfolk

Don’t get sucked into thanking specific people who’ve travelled far or anyone you’ve paid (like the caterers or the venue). A long thank you list turns a good speech bad.

And don’t even think about giving out gifts during the speech. Deliver any gifts personally earlier in the day.

Start by making people smile

You don’t need to backref the father of the bride’s speech (unless you have something witty to add) and you don’t have to address your friends and family as ‘ladies and gentleman’. Prioritise humour at the top and get people smiling ASAP. You’ll relax as soon as they do.

Having said that, don’t resort to generic wedding gags. You’re looking for laughs, not groans.

Remember the adage ‘it’s funny because it’s true’. Have fun with the reality of the day and the people there… for example:

‘We’re so pleased you could join us on this rather special day. It took a lot of planning, negotiation and a few tears… but we finally found someone who was willing to sit beside (best man). The magnum of Champagne will be coming your way soon.’

Or

‘Can you believe it? (Bride) has finally given up her dream of marrying Ryan Gosling and realised a short, follicly-challenged Project Manager from Aberdeen is the man for her!’

Your opening lines don’t need to illicit a belly-laugh, but they do need to get make people smile.

Top Tips for delivering the Groom's Speech

Prove, don’t tell

A heart-warming tribute to your bride should be the focus of your speech but remember every groom thinks his bride is gorgeous, kind and generally amaaaazing. The only way for this to sound genuine is – prove, don’t tell.

Stories say more than words. Instead, recount the anecdotes that show your bride’s qualities in action.

Is she a library-lover, a technology fiend, a devoted foodie? Nailing her individual and quirky characteristics shows you ‘get her’ and her friends & family will love you for it.

Finally, avoid words like ‘soulmate’, ‘beautiful’, or anything that’s overused.

Keep it short

Write your first draft, then cut it in half. As Earnest Hemingway said ‘The first draft of everything is shit’. Editing it down will make it better.

Your maximum wordcount is around 1300 words but there’s nothing wrong with a speech that’s 800 words.

Stories and jokes are better if they’re punchy. No one ever listened to a speech and said ‘if only it was longer’.

Make a promise

Yes, you’ve said your vows but what does getting hitched mean on a practical level? What promise can you make your bride which will show her she married the right bloke?

Can you promise to turn up the heating? Listen to Justin Bieber? Make her favourite key lime pie? Learn to put up a tent? Whatever it is, make it something that only she would really appreciate.  

Get your Mrs involved

There’s a big trend this year for Mr & Mrs Speeches (where the bride and groom deliver a joint speech). It makes a lot of sense and it’s also a lot of fun, adding a real moment to the day.

Of course, a bride doesn’t have to do anything on her wedding day that she doesn’t fancy but suggest it to her. It means she gets to personally thank her friends & family and it also allows you to develop your double-act routine.

For advice on how to write your joint speech, check out the Speechy guide here. The good news is it involves wine!

Cheat

Probably the best tip for those grooms with a looming deadline (or grooms who want to hang out in the sun a bit longer). Take inspiration from our American counterparts who increasingly view wedding speech services as a savvy investment.  

Sure, all blokes want to deliver an original, honest and heart-warming speech but not all of us are natural writers. Speech writers are there to help bring out the eloquent genius lurking inside every groom.

And there’s plenty of ways they can help. Speechy have developed a groom speech template that’s a bit different to the norm. It relies on your input so takes a bit of thought, but it results in a unique speech that still sounds like ‘you’ (only a bit wittier).

Speechy is staffed by a team of ex-BBC scriptwriters so you can also hire them to review your speech or you can commission them to write your own bespoke speech from scratch. Which service you opt for really depends on your budget, ability and general enthusiasm.

Top Tips for delivering the Groom's speech

Prepare to deliver

A confident delivery is half the battle. Check the acoustics of the venue & hire a mic if necessary (so many speeches are ruined simply because the guests can’t hear them).

Try to memorise the speech but don’t be afraid to use notes on the day (your brain will be scrambled). Talk slower than feel natural (makes you sound more confident) & leave pauses for laughter (sometimes people need a moment to ‘get it’).

Avoid alcohol before the speech. As much as we love the stuff (we so do), the idea of Dutch courage is a complete myth. Booze has been proven to actually increase the stress hormone.

Finally, try to enjoy delivering your speech on the day. Remember you survived the stag do. You’ve got this.

If you need a bit of help, visit Speechy here.

How to write the best, best man speech

best man speech, wedding, being the best man

Even Bear Grylls reckons a best man speech is one of the hardest things a bloke can come up against. Yes, a fella who circumnavigated round the British Isles on a jet ski and drinks his own wee, thinks wedding speeches are difficult.

And despite the plethora of online templates and advice, delivering a best man speech is not getting any easier.

A decade ago you could wing it. You could Google some gags and expect granny hadn’t heard them before. You could roll out the Powerpoint and embarrass the groom with some childhood photos and guests would think you’d made an effort.

These days, not so much. The best man speech is still the most eagerly awaited but they’re often meet with good-natured groans rather than genuine laughter. They’ve become a caricature, with the traditional characteristics exaggerated to grotesque effect.

Seriously, that line about the honeymoon and the groom ‘going to Bagnor for two weeks’. Or the ‘humorous’ fake telegram from the football team saying they found the groom useless in most positions but wish the bride good luck. Cringe.

Cheesy gags and meaningless one-liners is not what a best man speech is meant to be. So here’s Speechy’s guide to writing a speech fit for a wedding in 2018. Take note comrade.

Humour

Best man, best man speech, wedding, wedding speech, high street gent

If you can take your jokes and use them in a speech about another groom, then you’re doing something wrong. Yes, we’ll allow you a few one-liners to break the ice but other than that, you’re on your own.

Certainly take inspiration from other best man speeches, but only the good ones. Check out how others have taken the personality of their mate and used that as the basis of their humour. As Homer Simpson so sagely says ‘It’s funny because it’s true’.

Start thinking about the things that make the groom unique. Everyone’s a nut-job, so what are the traits that his friends and family will recognise as truly ‘him’.

Ask yourself lots of questions – what’s his worst habit (wearing skinny jeans), what’s his guilty pleasure (Dire Straits), what might he love more than his bride (Abduls kebabs). You get the idea. Once you have good content to play with, the comedy should flow.

Don’t be scared to take the mick, it’s how British blokes show we care. Do, however, be scared of mentioning exes, stag do tales, in jokes and anything crude (innuendo’s fine, dirty isn’t). Also don’t tell any stories that might mean your mate needs to apologise to his wife.

Find a Theme

Best man, best man speech, wedding, wedding speech, high street gent

This is how your speech goes into the Premier League. Rather than just a trail of anecdotes, think of a way to theme your speech and tie everything together. This way you’ll capture the audience and no one will be checking their Whatsapp under the table.

So how do you think of your theme? Think about the groom’s personality traits. For example…

  • Is he a pseudo-intellectual? Use quotes from great thinkers throughout history to contrast with your mate.
  • Is he a bit of a geezer? Present the bride with an insider’s guide to understanding how his bloke-brain works.
  • Is he a football fan? Give a post-match analysis on his courtship with the bride and predict how well he’ll score as a husband

The theme doesn’t need to be overly clever to work.

Prove, don’t tell

Cut the clichés that most best men fall victim to. When it comes to ‘the nice bit’, rather than use adjectives, make sure you provide the evidence.

Don’t just say ‘he’s been there for you’, explain that he picked you up from the Hogs Head at 2am when every taxi refused to take you home. Tell everyone how he helped you get to grips with pensions and confess that you still owe him fifty quid. Highlight the real reasons he’s a top bloke and your speech will sound refreshing.

Big up the bride

In 2018 the bride needs to be more than an afterthought and you need to say more than she’s ‘made your mate happy’ and ‘looks beautiful today’. If you don’t know her well, then make an effort to do some digging. Find out about her and reflect that in your tribute to her.

Don’t feel you need to be overly gushing or pretend she’s a perfect princess. A good tribute can still be affectionately humorous.  It should reflect the sort of girl she is – even if it is a feisty Pinot-fiend with an adult-addiction to Monster Munch!

Props

Don’t bother. Most props just feel tired these days. Write a good speech and you won’t need them.

(Though one bit of kit you might need is a microphone. Check the groom has hired one if the acoustics of the venue require it. So many speeches are ruined simply because people can’t heard them).

Videos

It’s a total cop out from a delivery point of view but if you’ve got the skills and resources to invest in creating a cool video, then we’re all for it. Reconstruct moments from your past exploits together, visit the seminal locations from your teenage years, interview past teachers or ‘witnesses’ to bad behaviour.

There’s lots of good best man videos online but remember, like the traditional speech, less is often more. Even with a kickass soundtrack, you still want a duration well under ten minutes (though, in reality, that would take A LOT of filming!)

We hope this advice helps you nail it.

Speechy is the one-stop-shop for all your wedding speech needs. Whether it’s a template or a bespoke speech you’re after, Speechy can help you craft an awesome speech that will add a special moment to the wedding day. Visit speechy.co.uk.

You’re more than a cliché…

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If you’re one of these guys, who relies on the cliche of popping the question on Valentine’s Day, brace yourself because around 15,000 women will say ‘Yes’ to a marriage proposal – and 3,000 of them will accept an engagement ring they actually hate!

While researching his best-selling book on how to pick the perfect engagement ring for your partner, diamond jewellery expert Lewis Malka found that a fifth of all women were less than impressed with the ring they were expected to wear for life.

Not that it came as a surprise to Lewis. He wrote ‘The Engagement Ring’ because over the years he had been asked by so many women to make alterations to the ring their fiancé had given them. With St valentine’s Day just around the corner, Lewis says guys need to do lots of research before making a purchase.

A new, up to date edition of the book has now been published and contains a wealth of straightforward, clear advice to help people through the decision-making purchase.

Lewis, a well-known figure in Hatton Garden where his workshop is located, said:  “The book is an essential guide for people looking to buy their dream ring and goes behind the scenes in the diamond trade in an attempt to dispel the myths around engagement rings and guide purchasers on their journey.

He added, “After a house and a car, an engagement ring is often the most expensive purchase you’ll make in your life. Choosing the perfect ring doesn’t have to be complicated. It requires a basic understanding of what to look for in the diamond and its setting – and a comprehensive understanding of the person you’re asking to marry you.

“I can help you with the first bit. The second bit is down to you!”

The Proposal

ring-631383_1920

If the ring is naff and the proposal is on the most obvious day of the year, you better make the actual engagement special. How about whisking her away to a romantic city break?

It’s the ultimate Valentine’s gesture. A romantic weekend away in a chic hotel, a delicious candle-lit dinner followed by a marriage proposal. What could go wrong? The surprise could be ruined at the airport. Not intentionally of course. Hand luggage searches in security could accidentally unveil the ring.

This is where East Midlands Airport (EMA) step in. Anyone taking an engagement ring with them through security at EMA can now contact the airport in advance of their travels to obtain a ‘secret code’. When this is mentioned to security staff on arrival, the passenger carrying the ring will be directed to a separate security lane, away from the glare of travelling companions.

Matthew Quinney, East Midlands Airport’s Head of Security, says: “It would put a big damper on someone’s meticulously planned romantic trip if their big surprise was revealed even before they’ve boarded the plane. Arguably, there are more romantic places to be proposed to than in our security hall. So, out of courtesy to those who have been planning this moment for weeks or months, we have put in measures to ensure we’re not the cause of failed marriage proposals. After all, we want customers to return again and again.”

To find out the secret code, passengers should email love@eastmidlandsairport.com in advance of their travel or, alternatively, send a direct message on Twitter to @EMA_Airport.

7 Reasons Why You’re Not Losing Weight


Trying to lose weight is one of the hardest things you could ever do. Of course, it’s not as hard as giving birth to triplets, writing a 1000-page-long dystopian/encyclopedic novel like Infinite Jest or building a successful multinational company, but it’s just as challenging. The problem with losing weight, however, is not the process of adopting new habits, but sticking to the plan. When you’re putting in a lot of hard work, a slow progress can really bring you down. Here are seven most common reasons why you’re not losing enough weight.

Cheating on Your Diet

Having a diet prescribed by a nutritionist is probably the best way to ensure weight loss as it’s created especially for your body and is the most suitable for you. All you need to do is stick to it for long enough, which is something research proves as well. Only with a thoroughly thought-out diet will you be able to achieve permanent weight loss, so stop trying to be innovative and just listen to an expert’s advice.

Balance Hormones Properly

This is another thing people forget, but scientists agree it’s quite important. While some claim hormones have nothing to do with weight, others point out how vital cortisol, thyroid, estrogen, testosterone and other hormones are when it comes to regulating weight. So, if you’re not slimming down, you might want to visit an endocrinologist who’ll explain the real connection between hormones and weight loss and why a proper balance of hormones is crucial.

Cut the Sugar

Sugar is among the most serious opponents of weight loss and some scientists even classify it as an addiction. Due to that, it’s understandable why it’s so hard to stay away from sweets, but, if you want to see real results, controlling your sugar cravings is essential. There are several ways to do it, from switching to fruits to tricking your mind with water, and you just need to find a method that works for you.

Lift, Push, Run!

Hitting the gym is arguably the best way to lose weight and ensure long-term success. Unfortunately, it’s not enough, claims a 2015 study, and you won’t do much if you rely only on standard gym exercises. Therefore, taking things to the next level is much more meaningful – investing some money in personal training with a trustworthy trainer like Gym To You, for instance, could do the trick. It will help you lose more weight in less time and continue doing so until you reach your goals.

Relax and Sleep

No matter what you’ve heard, sleeping doesn’t make you gain weight. On the contrary, it relaxes you, gives you more time to process food and prepares you for an intense morning workout session. Both sleep experts and dietitians agree that more sleep equals less weight, which is why it’s important to establish a healthy sleeping pattern. Keep in mind that your weight will decrease only after you manage to get better sleep and stop being sleep deprived.

Forget Everything

Although it’s been proven that anxiety causes weight loss, this isn’t something to look forward to. Constantly being under stress can wear you out quite quickly and you need to be mentally stable to tackle your weight problems adequately. Therefore, try to eliminate stress from your everyday life before embarking on this complex journey.

Ask for Help

When losing weight, accept all the help you can get, from supportive friends and family to medical professionals and a few other things. Among the most popular ways to lose weight permanently is turning to fat binders that prevent fat molecules from staying inside your body. That way, they help you regulate the amount of fat you consume and essentially make you skinnier. With so many of these on the market, make certain you’ve done your research before picking which ones to take. For example, millions of people worldwide opt for medical fat binders that are effective and supported by nutritionists and pharmaceutical experts as well.

Other Reasons


Some of the other reasons you can’t seem to lose weight include not drinking enough water, eating too much, skipping on protein and being physically inactive. If you take care of these issues, you’ll start seeing progress and quickly reach your desired weight.

10 Things You Must Do While Visiting Sydney

Whatever your reason might be for visiting this glorious city, and the available time you might have – it’s not enough. As soon as you hit the clubs on your first night, or get a glimpse at their majestic beaches, you’ll instantly want to spend at least one whole lifetime (if not more) in this insane, but versatile place.

The hotspot for thrill-seekers, foodies, culture vultures and laid-back locals, no matter who you are, you’ll fit right in the colourful crowd of Aussies, and you can expect a whole range of activities to spice up your trip. Now buckle up and enjoy the ride!

Climb the Harbour Bridge

Travel to the Sydney harbour bridge, Australia

Sydney harbour bridge, Australia

This one is a no-brainer. This architectural masterpiece is the stamp of the city and an adventure with a gorgeous view, so it’s not only worth the rate, which is $200 plus, but also a bucket-list type of an experience.

Even if you opt for the quickest version named the express climb, you’ll find yourself in awe of the bridge’s raw power as you go deeper into its steel arches. You’ll be able to see the entire Harbour, a huge portion of the city itself, and the iconic Sydney Opera House.

Take the plunge

No visit to Sydney can be complete without a dive into the ocean. If you surf, even better, the city offers a whole range of surfing-friendly spots such as in Manly or Bondi, which also leads you to another perfect, unavoidable experience – coastal walks.

Bring your board or just your shades (and a bottle of water, otherwise you’ll go nuts), and test the waters of all the cool beaches from Bondi to Coogee, where you can also find excellent whale-watching viewpoints, or from Spit to Manly, and head to some of the locals’ favourite brunch spots to kick-start your early morning adventures.

Put on your foodie hat

There’s no better way to have an authentic taste of the city than to indulge in its exquisite cuisine. Few places can be on a par with Sydney’s rapidly growing food scene, so fuel your stay with some of their delicious fresh meals, proudly made by the ingenious local chefs.

Della Hyde in one of their most beloved restaurants in Darlinghurst and a perfect start that will give you plenty of energy for your busy itinerary. There’s no point in roaming the city on an empty stomach – it just ruins the whole experience. Have a taste of their steamed dumplings with a tasty dipping sauce, round it off with a delish cocktail and you’re good to go.

Have a drink at the Opera Bar


Whilst you’re at the harbour, you may as well grab a drink at the Opera Bar. Time it right and you’ll watch the sun set behind the Sydney Opera House and grab a prime opportunity for a picture. It’s all open plan and airy, so you can enjoy the sun all year round.

Situated right by the waters edge, Opera Bar is often described as the best beer garden in the world. Be swept away by the panoramic views of the Sydney Opera House, Harbour Bridge, CBD and beautiful Harbour. Whether it’s breakfast, a lazy lunch, a pre show dinner date or simply a cocktail; Opera Bar is truly perfect for any occasion.

Kayak

Sydney’s rich bushland, versatile creeks and hidden oases are perfectly accessible if you’re ready to roll up your sleeves and get those paddles moving. You’re in the city of water sports, for crying out loud, the effort is half the fun!

You can go it alone or join a group, but don’t miss out on the Narrabeen Lagoon, the Lane Cover River or the Royal National Park – they are all beautiful, mysterious and worth the paddle.

Sydney Zoo

No true Australian experience can go without a wildlife encounter! Head out to the Sydney Wildlife Zoo to meet the friendly wallabies, cuddly koalas, wombats and the ferocious saltwater crocodiles. You can even book a behind-the-scenes tour and have an up-close greeting with some of the friendliest lizards and mammals you’ve seen.

The keepers can take you through the Kangaroo Walk-About, the Koala Encounter and the Butterfly Tropics, and follow up the visit with enticing stories and facts on the local wildlife.

Royal Botanic Garden

Even if it’s just for the afternoon picnic snack, this incredible work of art is teeming with the friendly locals, and there’s always a spot in the shade for you to rest and absorb the Zen energy of the green surroundings.

You’ll get to see some of the most exotic plant species from Australia and the Pacific region bundled up in the Royal Botanic Garden, and you can join a free guided tour which starts every morning at 10:30 from the heart of the park.

The Blue Mountains


Get your hike on! If you fancy amazing views, and a break from city life, you should definitely hire a car and head 2 hours in-land to meet the mountains and three-sisters.

The Blue Mountains is a rugged region west of Sydney in Australia’s New South Wales. Known for dramatic scenery, it encompasses steep cliffs, eucalyptus forests, waterfalls and villages dotted with guesthouses, galleries and gardens. Katoomba, a major town in the area, borders Blue Mountains National Park and its bushwalking trails. Echo Point affords views of the storied Three Sisters sandstone rock formation.
If you’re on a budget, it’s your best mate. It’s definitely underrated and worth the visit. Remember to ask what the blue haze is…not all is what it seems!

Head out to Cockatoo

A well-kept secret of the local Aussies, the Cockatoo Island is more than just a fun destination for a spooky history lesson on the convicts, but also a cherished BBQ spot for a Sunday of relaxing. Beautiful beaches, yet another kayaking chance, tennis courts, and a perfect campsite, the island is chock-full of fun if you plan your stay well.

Bondi to Coogee Walk


Combining beaches, rockpools, parks and spectacular coastal views, the Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk winds its way along 6 km of picturesque coastal paths at the edge of Sydney’s eastern suburbs. Starting by the iconic Bondi Icebergs, just above the Bondi Baths, the walk takes between 1-2 hours at a leisurely pace, offering plenty to see and do along the way.

Make your way up a set of steep stairs near the start of the walk and marvel at Aboriginal rock carvings in Marks Park, one of the walk’s highest points and a prime whale watching spot during the migration season between May and November. Heading towards Tamarama you’ll pass by Mackenzie’s Point Beach, one of the smallest beaches in the State which is only accessible at low tide. The beach is not suitable for swimming, but is a popular surfing spot and a great place to relax by the water.

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.

 

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.