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Male Grooming, Gifts and Accessories - Information and advice for Gentlemen

  • The difference between beard oil and beard balm

    With the wide range of beard grooming products available, it can be overwhelming to figure out what each product is for. Perhaps you have found yourself stroking your beard, pondering the difference between beard oil and beard balm. Which is the right choice for your lush facial growth?

    Beard oil: the ultimate nourishment

    Beard oil is a blend of essential oils to nourish the hair and underlying skin. It makes your beard soft and luscious, and gives it a wonderful fragrance. Since it is an oil, it penetrates the skin easily, helping to reduce that annoying beard itch. If you suffer from beardruff, this is the product that you need.

    If you have a short beard, beard oil should be your go-to beard grooming product. It will soften the hair and give it volume and sheen. Anecdotal stories claim the hypnotising fragrance of beard oil helps in luring mating partners, but this claim is up for questioning.

    Beard balm: nourishing and taming the whiskers

    Beard balm also has essential oils, but what makes it different is the presence of beeswax. The oils nourish the hair and skin, while the wax helps in controlling the unruliness. Generally, beard balm is meant for larger beards or growth of a few weeks onwards. However, you can still use it for shorter beards.

    Beard balm helps nourish the hair and skin, provides your beard with an enviable fullness, and allows you to control and style the facial ruff. You can even use the balm as a moustache wax. It has a mild yet attractive scent.

    When to choose beard balm over beard oil

    Beard balm is for those days when you want to tame your facial hair growth. Its thick consistency coats individual hairs, making the beard look fuller and giving it lasting control. You can achieve this without any shine as beard balm has a matt finish – no one will know you have applied anything to your beard.

    If you have a short beard, then beard oil is perfect for you. It is not meant to style or shape your beard. Remember that short facial hair is more manageable. The oil is designed to provide nourishment to the hair and improve its health while reducing the itchiness. On the other hand, longer facial hair requires controlling and taming. That is exactly what you can achieve with beard balm. The moment the hair on your face is more than four inches long, it is time to use beard balm and make your untameable whiskers neat and orderly.

    As you can see, beard oil and beard balm have similarities but offer different results. The important thing is which product will help you achieve your desired result an keep your beard looking awesome. One of the best ways to achieve that neat and suave look is with The Brighton Beard Company Creampot Tom's Lime & Basil Beard Balm. It conditions, smoothens and softens your whiskers, while repairing and preventing split ends. Its soothing lime and basil fragrance is irresistible. Your partner will love the scent and symmetry that this beard balm gives your facial thatch.

    The Brighton Beard Company Creampot Tom's Lime & Basil Beard Balm

  • Japan and the art of the blade

    Japanese sword. Vector illustration.The Japanese art of the blade is legendary. The forging process is subtle and careful, and was mastered over centuries to give the world stylish, aesthetically pleasing and functional blades that can be wielded with finesse and flair. To fashion the blades, smiths must possess superior physical strength, patience, dexterity and a keen eye to discern the limits of the material and maintain the beauty of the blade.

    Forging the blade

    Traditionally, smiths in Japan used tamahagane, steel produced from iron-rich sand in a tatara smelter. Even today, many modern Japanese smiths forge blades using the steel produced in the last tatara smelter located in Yokota, Shimane Prefecture.

    This steel, however, has insufficient quantities of carbon, which is necessary to make the metal strong and durable. To compensate for the quality of steel, smiths have devised a unique folding method. Here, different blocks of tamahagane are taken and then forge-welded into a single block. This block forms the outer layer of the blade.

    Then starts the laborious task of hammering the block and folding it multiple times to remove impurities and homogenise the carbon content throughout the metal. This requires great skill and accuracy, and helps achieve high-quality steel.

    The folding process yields the jihada — patterns which Japanese blades are renowned for. Each session of hammering out and subsequent folding forms layers. Usually, the smith folds the metal 14 times to produce more than 16,000 layers.

    The finished blade proudly displays the jihada, which is visible in the ji, or the surface between the ridgeline and edge. The direction of folding determines the kind of jihada a blade has.

    The outer hard skin of the blade is called kawagane, which is wrapped around the ductile core called shingane. The two layers are then heated and hammered into a single block. This process also helps weld the two layers together.

    After forging the basic form, the smith uses files and planes to give the blade its final shape. Now, all the smith has to do is prepare the edge.

    Hardening the blade edge

    Hardening the blade edge, or Yaki-ire, is the most difficult and important part of blade-making. The hardening process allows the blade to retain its sharpness.

    The process begins by coating the blade with a mixture of water, clay, ash, and few other ingredients. This clay mixture is known as yakibatsuchi. Every smith has his own recipe to make yakibatsuchi and will not reveal it. After applying the mixture, the blade is heated gradually until it reaches critical temperature. Just by looking at the colour of the metal, the smith can determine this temperature. On attaining the right temperature, the blade is plunged into a trough of water.

    The hardening process causes visible changes in the blade surface. Based on the way the clay mixture was applied, it produces a range of patterns, like hamon, suguha, and sambongsugi. If the smith is satisfied with the finish and quality of the blade, the polishing begins, and gives the blade a mirror-like sheen.

    The Japanese blade is a masterpiece that requires expertise to achieve a perfect blend of art and technology. Imagine the results you will be able to achieve with a blade that is tough, durable and sharp. Look no further than Feather Hi-Stainless DE Razor Blades (10 Pack). They have the distinction of being among the sharpest razor blades on the market and above all, they are manufactured in Japan. The quality of the stainless steel and platinum coating ensure a smooth shave and durability, just like the Japanese blades from a bygone era.

    Feather Hi-Stainless DE Razor Blades (10 Pack)

  • Subbuteo – Memories of a Misspent Youth

    SubbuteoThe next best thing to having a kickabout is to sit back on the sofa, arm yourself with a console control, and go head to head against your friends on the latest football video game. Playing these footy games with your mates gives you a welcome break for a couple of hours from the real world; a few beers, a slice or two of pizza not to mention the over-sized bags of crisps and an enjoyable time is to had by all.

    But it wasn’t always this way. Before the days of FIFA and Pro Evolution Soccer, there was another footy game that gave both children and men the opportunity to engage in friendly competition with their mates on a weekend. Subbuteo was/is an iconic table top sports that invokes a feeling of nostalgia in legions of middle aged men. Sure, you might have been able to do a few more “productive” things with your time, but there was nothing quite like the feeling of flicking the ball into the goal against a fellow player who you hadn’t defeated for a while. At the time – it was the most important thing in the world.

    Subbuteo might not be well-known among today’s youth, but for a few decades it was one of the most popular pastimes among football fans all over the country. Flicking the miniature players on hemispherical bases at a fun-sized football could pass hours of time, and during the period in which Subbuteo consumed the nation, the table top game remained noteworthy for several reasons. This included:

    • An attempt to turn Subbuteo into an Olympic sport in the early 1990’s.
    • The emergence of several hundred different kit designs for players and teams.
    • Huge development over several decades (as far back as 1947 when the game was invented by a man named Peter Adolph).
    • The game being sold worldwide and translated into over 16 different languages!
    • Going beyond the form of football. Over time, rugby, snooker, hockey, cricket, speedway and even horse racing got transformed into figures for flicking.
    • Committed players recording their own commentary and writing up their own match programmes for Subbuteo games.

    The glory days of Subbuteo may be over now, but it still has a cult reputation in the UK, with hundreds of games still being sold even today. If you’ve still got your tattered box stuffed away in the attic somewhere, it might be time to bring it down and have a few games just for old times’ sake. You can even crack a few cold ones while you’re at it with the Thabto Subbuteo Bottle Opener – a lovely little collector’s item available online at Henry Tibbs. Made from solid plated zinc, this bottle popper isn’t just a convenient little accessory for your man cave – it looks the part too.

    Subbuteo bottle opener

  • How to Stay Well-Groomed In 2016

    Close Shave Close Shave

    Looking good 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year is a challenge. There’s absolutely no getting around that fact. There is a dizzying array of grooming products out there on the market in the modern day, and if you’ve been left scratching your head at what you ought to be buying to keep yourself looking suave, you can rest assured that you’re not alone. Discussed here are several key tips on how to stay well-groomed all year round. After reading this information and taking it on board, you’ll look back on 2016 in later life and come to the conclusion that this was the year where you really learned how to look your very best without breaking a sweat.

    Find Your Fragrance

    It may sound funny, but certain fragrances can suit you more than others. This is simply case of trying and testing, and whilst that might sound a bit of a chore, it really is worth it in the long run. Take note of the kind of compliments you get when you wear a particular type of aftershave or deodorant, and soon enough you’ll hone in on the scent that you were born to wear.

    Understand Shaving

    A lot of men don’t really understand shaving. Indeed, many believe that it’s simply a case of cutting away the hairs when they’re looking a little long – but there’s far more to it than that. This year, take a dive into the depths of high-quality shaving and arm yourself with the kind of kit that will offer you the kind of look you always wanted.

    Some men look terrific with a bit of stubble, others look fine with a blossoming beard, and many look better when they’re completely clean-shaven. It’s simply a case of finding the right look for you and, more importantly, accepting that look when you find it. Don’t force the beard just because the actor who’s flavour of the month is wearing one. Experiment with styles by using superb shaving kits.

    Another handy piece of advice to take on board with regards to your facial hair is to find an excellent local barber. The staff at this establishment will be able to provide you with all kinds of great advice on what look type of look suits you best.

    Cleansing Routine

    It’s not feminine to have a morning cleansing routine for your face. In fact, it’s enormously healthy and hugely beneficial in the long run. Get your hands on a sweet-smelling facial scrub and lather up every single morning to get rid of dead skin and eliminate problems that arise as a result of blocked pores. After just a few days, you’ll soon notice the difference in your appearance.

    High-quality grooming is important, and one of the most essential elements of the styling process is shaving. The Edwin Jagger Imitation Ivory 3 Piece Shaving Set available online at Henry Tibbs has everything you need for a perfect shave in 2016, including a Gillette Mach3 compatible razor, a Pure Badger shaving brush, and a gorgeous imitation ivory stand for you to hang them on. Give yourself a great shave every morning by getting your hands on this brilliant three piece shaving set from Henry Tibbs today.

    Edwin Jagger Imitation Ivory 3 Piece Shaving Set

  • How to Wear Cologne

    Czech & Speake No 88 Cologne Spray, 100mlThere are a wide variety of skills that every man ought to develop and master during the course of his adult life. How to shave. How to talk to potential mates. How to change a tyre. A few of these may vary depending on who you speak to or what society you find yourself in, but one particular trait that every male on God’s green earth really should learn is how to wear cologne.

    Believe it or not, many men tend to agree that whizzing a bottle across the skin with an itchy trigger finger is the only way to go about applying a scented boost to your body. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth. Wearing cologne isn’t quite as simple as that. For an easy way to remember how to get the most from your cologne bottle, cast your mind to the “three T’s” – Tactics, Time and Type.

    Tactics

    We know what you’re thinking: a few dashes of cologne on your neck ought to do the trick before you head on out the door for work, a night on the town, or a hot date. In truth, being a little more tactical about exactly where you spray your body can yield greater results and keep you smelling fresh in all the right places. For example, a light dab underneath each ear will work wonders in most cases – especially if you’re in a noisy environment and someone is leaning in to speak to you. Any other parts of the body that tend to get hot on a typical day are also other good places to apply cologne. Everyone is a little different, but for most men these locations are the neck, the wrists, the underarms and the chest.

    Time

    Applying your cologne at the right time of the day is also another important step. Freshening up with a quick spray from time to time during the day might keep your scent topped up, but it’ll also mean that you drain your cologne bottle in next to no time. One of the very best times to apply cologne is immediately after a hot shower or after washing your face with warm water. This process opens up the pores, and spraying on cologne at this time will see the fragrance nestle deep within the skin and emanate from you all day long.

    Type

    This can be a bit of a case of trial and error. The simple fact is that a certain type of cologne may suit you, but not necessarily someone else. Try a few different types out across the year and take note of which type gets you the most compliments. Remember that you’ll need stronger scents for the colder months, whereas lighter scents are much more appropriate in the warm, breezy air of spring and summer.

    For a suave and sophisticated scented addition to your bathroom cabinet, check out the Czech & Speake No. 88 Cologne Spray available online at Henry Tibbs. Arriving in a 100ml bottle, this aromatic spray will give you a distinct and appealing scent that will linger long throughout the day.

  • What Type Of Badger Brush Is Right For You?

    Safety razor and shaving brush on a wooden backgroundIf shaving every morning feels like a bit of a painful, laborious chore, chances are you’re probably not doing it right. A real shave is rejuvenating, refreshing and somewhat motivating too – sending you out the door with a soft, clean, handsome look on your face with a smile to match. To experience a comfortable and enjoyable shave you need the right tools, and there’s no better place to begin than by slathering on your shaving cream with a high-quality badger hair brush. Badger hair shaving brushes have been around for decades, and the recent rise in desire for high-quality grooming has seen the return of their popularity. There are different grades to choose from, and we’ve outlined each of them for you so that you can decide which is best suited to your shaving routine.

    Pure Badger

    Pure Badger hair is a badger brush in its most simplistic form. Widely available and often the cheapest form of badger brush on the market, Pure Badger is a great choice for shavers who have decided to make the bold leap from electric to wet shave in an attempt for a more successful morning routine. It’s the best place to start before moving on to more expensive strands of badger brush hair in later years.

    Best Badger

    Best Badger brush hairs are plucked from thicker areas of the badger such as the animal’s belly, and represent a finer texture for a smoother sensation when pressed against the skin. Prices are typically a little more than that of a Pure Badger brush, and Best Badger is probably the ideal choice for those who want to get good value for a reasonable price.

    Super Badger

    Super Badger brushes are a terrific accompaniment for a high-quality shave. A real step up from Best Badger, these brushes have even smoother hairs attached which are typically plucked from the back of the badger. They require careful handling and are for the more experienced shaver – who will find themselves enormously overwhelmed with how good a shaving experience the brush can provide.

    Silvertip Badger

    Silvertip Badger brushes are the very best on the market, and are unsurprisingly the most expensive too. The hairs on these brushes come from the neck of the badger, and offer the user a sensation similar to silk being swept across the skin. If you’re looking for the best of the best and don’t mind digging deep into your pocket for it – Silvertip Badger brushes are the way to go.

    If you believe a Super Badger Brush is the kind of shaving utensil you’re looking for, the Simpsons Chubby (CH2) Super Badger Brush available online at Henry Tibbs is the perfect choice. Simpsons is widely considered as one of the most highly respected shaving manufacturers in the world today, and the Chubby Super Badger is one of the most popular products they offer – providing every user with a luxury shaving experience.

    Simpsons Chubby (CH2) Super Badger Brush

  • The Greatness of Grapefruit

    Freshly harvested grapefruit on wooden backgroundPlump. Round. Juicy. Tender. What man doesn’t love the taste of a big, beautiful grapefruit? Delightful in the mornings and equally good as a tasty afternoon snack, grapefruit is a food that offers the tongue a real treat – but it is also packed with elements that are surprisingly good for the body and skin too. Listed here are some of the things that make grapefruit truly great.

    If you’re already a fan of this fruit then this will make for terrific reading. If you’re not, it might convince you to give grapefruit a go next time you’re writing up your grocery shopping list. So consider the benefits of this tangy fruit before you walk straight past it on your next shop.

    It Can Help You Lose Weight

    Putting on weight is so infuriatingly easy – especially during the holiday period when snacking suddenly becomes the norm. If you must gorge at various points during 2016 then choose to gorge on grapefruit. This citrus product is low in calories and high in enzymes, which means you won’t take much fat on board by eating them, and will burn away a lot of additional fat in the process.

    It Can Clean the Liver and Kidneys

    Your liver can really take a pounding during the holiday period with all the champagne and wine you’ve consumed. With New Year in full swing, the best way to stay in shape is by eating grapefruit – which actively cleanses both the liver and kidneys. The antioxidant properties help remove toxic substances from the liver, while the high content of vitamin C helps to increase urine pH levels and decrease the risk of kidney stones forming.

    It Can Brighten and Cleanse the Skin

    As mentioned previously, grapefruit is high in vitamin C –been proven in several different studies to have beneficial effects on the skin. Grapefruit is also high in potassium and amino acids, which respectively smooth out the skin and help to keep it supple.

    Tucking into grapefruit on a regular basis can be beneficial for your skin in all kinds of ways, but when it comes to shaving you can still come out in a rash if you’re using the wrong lubricant. Make sure you keep your skin rash-free by eating well and using the finest cream for shaving – such as the Taylor of Old Bond Street Grapefruit Shaving Cream. With a refreshing sun-ripened grapefruit and orange fragrance this rich cream protects and moisturizes the skin allowing for a luxurious shaving experience. Buy this cream online today at Henry Tibbs to keep your skin in terrific condition – even after a thorough shave.Taylor of Old Bond Street Grapefruit Shaving Cream

  • Food and Drink That Will Eradicate Your Shaving Rash

    food and wineWe’ve all been there; every single man has had to endure it at some point or another during their lifetime. The quick, final check before we head out the door is all good – sporting a smooth, soft, clean-shaven appearance – but then a glance in a different mirror just hours later reveals a myriad of tiny red bumps dotted around the neckline, chin and cheeks.

    Shaving rash is sneaky – and it can be an absolute nightmare when it creeps up in the minutes after patting your face dry with a towel. Moisturiser is of course the immediate go-to product when the red blotches begin to surface, but there are actually several other items available which also have similar effects when it comes to reducing shaving rash. The next time you feel an itch arising, you might be best clambering about inside your kitchen cupboards rather than your bathroom cabinet, as the following food and drink products have the ability to calm irritated skin at an impressive rate.

    Apple Cider Vinegar

    Apple cider vinegar is packed with anti-inflammatory properties – making it a terrific candidate for a shaving rash solution. All you need is a few cotton wool balls and a tub of this acidic seasoning. Simply dip the cotton balls in the apple cider vinegar and dab the damp cotton onto the rashy area. Allow it to dry for 5-10 minutes before lightly splashing water on top and washing away the solution.

    Lemon Juice

    The acidic properties loitering in lemon juice have made it a popular home remedy for shaving rash for decades. Simply squeeze a lemon so that the juice inside drops into a bowl, and then dip a cotton ball into this juice and apply it to the rashy skin. Allow it to dry for 5-10 minutes before washing it off with water.

    Teabags

    If you ever needed another reason to love the classic British brew, then here it is. Teabags are actually great for removing shaving rash on some men. Again, it’s the acidic elements inside this product that render it suitable for reducing inflammation in the skin. Simply pop a tea bag into some hot water like you would if you were making an ordinary cuppa, let it cool for 10 minutes, then dab the teabag over the affected area.

    Cucumber

    It might be great in sandwiches, but cucumber is actually even better for your skin – especially when it comes to shaving rash. Packed with vitamins that soothe itchiness and irritation, cold cucumber slices can be lightly dabbed against the skin to relieve it of itchiness within a matter of minutes.

    All of the above food and drink items can do wonders to get rid of that pesky shaving rash, but as so often is the case with many things in life – initial prevention is the greatest cure. If you’re finding your electric razor is causing your skin to erupt in red blotchy patches, you might be best going for a wet shave with the Feather AS-D2S DE Safety Razor – available online at Henry Tibbs. This stainless steel precision razor has been designed with perfect balance in mind, allowing the user to embrace a thorough, clean, decisive shave. This razor comes with a knurled hand for maximum grip, as well as its very own stylish matching stand.

    Feather AS-D2S DE Safety Razor

  • The Hidden Gems of Europe: Places off the Tourist Trail You Need to Visit

    Dotted World maps and globesEurope is a continent full of wonderful places. Many of these are widely known and frequently visited. Others are simply sitting there, waiting to be discovered by marvelling tourists from all over the world. Listed here are the hidden gems of Europe – places you never knew existed but need to tryto visit and some point during your lifetime. You won’t regret it.

    Skibotn

    A quaint, beautiful village situated in the municipality of Storfjord in Troms county in Scandanavia, Skibotn is one of Norway’s best kept secrets. An artic wonderland, this location is home to one of the most glorious sights you’re ever likely to see with your own two eyes – the magical Lingen Fjord.

    Ljubljana

    The capital of Slovenia is a devastatingly under visited location, especially when you consider how marvellous it is to look at both during the day and long after the sun has gone down. Awarded The Green Capital of Europe for 2016, this city is fresh, peaceful and eye-poppingly beautiful, overflowing with terrific natural features including leafy banks, wide blue canals, and gorgeous buildings.

    Beaune

    A cute little town situated in France, Beaune is considered to be the wine capital of the Burgundy region. Speckled with spectacular architecture and alluring shops, this area offers so much to tourists, especially if you enjoy the crisp, aromatic taste of a delicious fine wine.

    Mount Srdj

    Croatia is a country known for its party atmosphere to many British tourists, but natural sublime beauty can also be found within its regions. This no more true than the case of Mount Srdj. You can journey up to the top of this mountain by cable car, and drink in the sight of the mesmerising Adriatic Sea lurking below.

    Mellieha 

    Nestled quietly in the northern regions of Malta. Mellieha offers guests a wide variety of terrific natural sights, all magnified by the fabulous Mediterranean weather that encapsulates the country for so many days a year. With the bright sandy beaches, mouth-watering natural produce and lush, green fertile walk trails, it’s a hidden gem of Europe that has something to offer for just about anyone who is lucky enough to stumble across it.

    Regardless of where you may end up on your travels, you’re going to want to look your absolute best whenever you can. The Triumph & Disaster on The Road Travel Kit can go a heck of a long way to keeping you looking and feeling fresh for the duration of your time abroad. This handy little travel pack comes complete with bottles of “all over” wash, face cleanser, shave cream and moisturiser – all in convenient 30ml tubes. Each of them are designed specifically for keeping your skin looking supple and smooth every day of the week – no matter what corner of the world you may be in.

    The Triumph & Disaster on The Road Travel Kit

  • Prime Minister's Beards

    BeardsBritish politics is going through a bit of a turbulent time right now in the wake of the security concerns and continued economic challenges. The debates about how to handle the situation have been rife and animated, and whilst the seriousness and importance of these discussions is undeniable, taking the time to occasionally look at the more trivial, lighter side of governmental issues is a welcome breath of fresh air during a period such as this. What better aspect to examine than the history of beards sported by British political leaders?

    Last week we did a short feature on the great beards that we’ve seen on the other side of the pond in politics. Now we thought it’d be nice to take a look at the finest sets of facial hair seen a little closer to home. Listed here are the best beards ever worn by Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom.

    Benjamin Disraeli

    For the first beard in the history of British leaders, we need to travel way, way back into the 1800’s. Benjamin Disraeli – a Jewish PM who took charge of the country on two separate occasions during the late 19th Century – is the man rumoured to have sported facial hair for the first time in office. His style was a noteworthy one, too – a thick tuft sprouting from his chin whilst the rest of his face stayed clean-shaven.

    William Gladstone

    Some might find it hard to get past William Gladstone’s face of stone when they peer at one of his portraits, but if you cast your eyes to his cheeks you’ll notice some incredible sideburns blossoming out. These mutton chops were in office between 1868 and 1894, with Gladstone holding the position of British PM on four separate occasions.

    Robert Gascoyne-Cecil (Lord Salisbury)

    Whilst the likes of David Lloyd George and Harold Macmillan have both shown off spectacular moustaches during their stints in office, Lord Salisbury is the last PM to have sported a fully-grown beard as UK leader. And what a beard it was too – a great, big, bushy magnificent thing that you’d

    never see on a PM candidate in the modern day.

    Honorary Mention: Jeremy Corbyn

    Like him or loathe him, the leader of the Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn’s ability to pull off a warm and fuzzy beard with aplomb is admirable. Although he’s no George Clooney, Corbyn continues to wear his distinguished silver facial hair with a sort of defiance. Jeremy is flying the flag for modern British beards in politics, and if he were to ever be given the prestigious post at Downing Street, he’d be the first fully-bearded British Prime Minister in over a hundred years. For this he deserves an honorary mention on this list at the very least. It doesn’t look as though Mr Cameron will be sporting one any time soon…

    If you’ve got facial hair like these former British leaders, you’ll need to the right kind of products to keep your beard fresh and fine. Beardsley Ultra Beard Shampoo (Wild Berry, 237ml) is the perfect solution. This shampoo is formulated specifically for facial hair, containing ingredients that will keep oiliness at bay and ensure your beard is packed with a fresh fragrance all day long.

    Beardsley Ultra Beard Shampoo (Wild Berry, 237ml)

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