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  • Why Some Men Are More Hairy Than Others

    retro cartoon bearded manAt some point in every man’s lifetime, he’s made to sit opposite a stranger who’s sporting a glorious beard. When this happens, a sort of silent challenge is issued, and the man is left is wondering “if I resisted the urge to shave for a while, could I pull off a beard so brilliant?” Whilst many men are happy to stick to being clean-shaven, others will rise to the challenge and grow out their facial hair as best they possibly can. Some will be pleasantly surprised at the progress. Others will find themselves infuriated as their “beard” grows patchily and poorly.

    The simple fact is that some men are far more hairy than others – and this extends past the point of the beard and into other areas of the body, including chest, back, hands, arms, legs and, well, nether regions. Curiously, the issue of hair isn’t often questioned by the masses. The general consensus appears to be that you’re either hairy or you’re not – and that’s just the way it is. But the rate of hair growth in males isn’t simply one of life’s little mysteries; there’s actually science behind it.

    Genetics

    Hair is in your blood. Or, to put it another way, your genes. If your father was hairy, and his father was hairy, and his father’s father was hairy – chances are that you’re going to be hairy too. Some people are simply born with the genes that cause hair to sprout up all over the body.If you find it absolutely impossible to grow a beard, that’s simply the genetic straw that you’ve drawn. Be thankful you won’t have to pluck the hairs on your back any time soon.

    Protection

    That’s right; hair is actually there to protect you from dangers that might be lurking in the world – little things like bites from insects or general cuts and scrapes. During the stages of evolution, man was once covered in hair from head to foot – keeping him warm but also making it difficult for other species to sink their claws in. Of course, things have changed a lot since then and man’s hair growth rates have declined dramatically, but those who do carry stronger genes from their ancestors are likely to be safer from stings and bites than those who aren’t quite as hairy.

    Hormones

    Hormones can play a considerable role in hair growth. If you take any steroids or medicine that plays havoc with your hormones – you may notice a sudden and very noticeable change in the rate that hair shoots up. The simple fact is that some men have stronger levels of testosterone than others - and stronger hormones are likely to mean more hair.

    Whether you’re hairy, bald or somewhere in between, there’s no better way to keep your face and body fresh than by using Lucky Tiger Shampoo & Body Wash, 240ml. Available online at Henry Tibbs, this olive oil-based shower cleanser is designed to make you feel refreshed and invigorated after every single use – actively battling dry and oily skin conditions to give you the best possible appearance.

    Lucky Tiger Shampoo & Body Wash

  • Deodorant & Anti-Perspirant – What’s the difference and how do they work?

    D R Harris Arlington Roll-On Anti-Perspirant DeodorantDeodorant and anti-perspirant are just two different names for the same thing, right? Aerosol in a can that’s shaken, sprayed and applied to the armpits to keep sweat stains and odours away? Well, not exactly. These two products are in fact a little different from one another, and this blog will explain exactly what makes deodorant and anti-perspirant distinctive.

    What’s the difference?

    Put simply, anti-perspirant is designed to help you stop sweating, whereas deodorant is designed to battle the odours that occur during perspiration. These sprays, roll-ons or solid sticks, depending on your preference, combat alternative types of sweat glands that are widely found in the human underarm. It’s a case of one specific type of body care product battling one specific type of sweat gland.

    The sweat glands found in your armpits are the eccrine glands and the apocrine glands. The former produce water that is designed to cool you down and prevent your body from overheating, whereas the latter release the odours of fats and proteins inside your body and are responsible for the wicked smell.

    How do they work?

    Both of these body care products work in different ways to combat different types of sweat glands. Deodorants – contrary to popular belief – do not actually prevent you from sweating at all. Instead, these sprays and roll-ons are built to battle the bacteria released by the apocrine glands – masking the odour that arises as a result.

    Anti-perspirants on the other hand stop you from sweating altogether. Many of these products will have pleasant scents packed inside them, but their primary aim is to plug the eccrine sweat glands. They do this through use of ingredients such as aluminium, which stop the glands from weeping to ensure that sweating is never an issue.

    Whether you should be choosing anti-perspirant or deodorant when you’re scanning the body care shelves really is dependent on what your body is like. Everyone is different, and whilst some may sweat buckets and never smell badly, others will appear bone-dry but have odours lingering in their armpits all day long. Think carefully about which problem you tend to suffer from the most, and make your selection based on whether you have issues with sweat or smell. If you catch yourself clutching your nose when you lift your arms in the air, it’s time to try deodorant. If you’re traipsing around with soggy underarms every single day, anti-perspirant is the way to go instead.

    If you typically suffer the pangs of troublesome odours caused by sweat glands in your underarms, you ought to try the D R Harris Arlington Roll-On Anti-Perspirant Deodorant. This body care product is built with citrus and fern scents – allowing you to remain fresh, clean and confident all day long.

  • The world’s smelliest cheese

    Cheese boardCheese is great. There’re no two ways about it. Sliced, melted, grated; it’s simply delicious whichever way you take it. The only issue is, quite simply, some varieties stink. Given how closely the human senses of smell and taste are linked – this is sometimes enough to stop people giving some cheeses a try. Understandable? Sure. Sensible? Not necessarily. While the aroma of a certain food can often be a great indicator of what it will taste like, when it comes to cheese this theory can be kicked into touch. A stronger smell can sometimes be representative of a stronger flavour – but this isn’t always the case and shouldn’t deter anyone from giving a cheese a try. Some of the world’s smelliest cheeses are also the most delicious. If you can get past the initial waft of these dairy products you can give your taste buds a real treat.

    Listed here are four of the smelliest (and great tasting) cheeses you’re ever likely to find.

    Stinking Bishop

    Let’s start with an obvious one. When it comes to the case of the Stinking Bishop, the clue is in the name. This particular cheese really does let off a good old whiff, but is actually one of the tastiest  cheeses available in the UK. Produced in Gloucestershire, Stinking Bishop is made from cow's milk and is washed in pear juice before the rind is removed ready for eating. It has an extremely soft texture and is really worth trying. If you can get past the name and smell that is.

    Valdeon

    Hailing from the northern Spanish countryside, this blue cheese is made using the milk of both cows and goats – and boy does it let off a pong! The juices inside the cheese begin to leak and weep not long after production has finished, allowing for a moist product that your nose might easily misinterpret as rotting vegetation. Valdeon is actually beautiful to eat though, and considering its knock-back aroma is surprisingly mild.

    Vieux Boulogne

    A soft cheese produced in northern France, Vieux Boulogne was given the official title of “World’s Smelliest Cheese” back in 2014 after research by scientists at Cranfield University. Its aroma has been compared to a staggering list of unsanitary and unappealing items – from rotting leaves, to dirty feet and cowpats. You’ll need to be in a space with some open air to try this one, but Vieux Boulogne is nonetheless a fine-tasting soft cheese with a significantly lighter taste than you might be led to believe by its smell.

    Pont l’Eveque

    A French delicacy with a long history, Pont l’Eveque regularly vies for the title of smelliest cheese boasting a strong odour that some have compared to the waft produced by old socks. Strong tasting and extremely rich, this cheese is eaten as a dessert in France, and also goes hand in hand with a nice bottle of strong red wine. If you manage to get your hands on some Pont l'Evêque and find the smell just too much, you can quell the aroma by peeling off the clammy crust and disposing of it somewhere well away from the confines of your home.

    A perfect accompaniment to a newly acquired block of finest smelly cheese is the Sagaform 3 Piece Cheese Set a three-piece stainless steel cutlery collection that slices your dairy products in a variety of classy ways.

    Sagaform 3 Piece Cheese Set

  • What Is Skin Toner And How Does It Work?

    Baxter-of-California-Herbal-Mint-Toner-300mlSkin toner probably isn’t top of a typical man’s shopping list when they head out the door to purchase what they need for their bathroom cabinets and bedside tables. In fact, most men are probably sat at home reading this with a screwed up face thinking “what on earth IS skin toner?”. This article therefore tells you everything you need to know about one of the lesser known face care products for men by asking and answering three simple questions - “What is skin toner?”, “How does it work?” and “What are the benefits?”.

    What Is Skin Toner?

    Simply put, a skin toner is a solution that cleanses and refreshes the skin. Toners arrive in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, and some may contain elements that others do not. Toners in the more traditional sense of the word contain moisturizers, herbal extracts and natural oils, whereas other toners likes “astringents” and “fresheners” contain elements such as alcohol and caffeine respectively.

    Your choice of toner will ultimately come down to the kind of specific ingredients your skin likes. For example, some will experience terrific results when using astringents, whereas others will find using traditional toners more beneficial given how they’re alcohol-free.

    How Does It Work?

    Different skin toners work in different ways, but every single one of them shares the same aim – to enhance the appearance of your skin, boost your health and improve your sense of self-confidence. The ingredients in astringents are designed to tighten up your skin in order to provide it with a springy, bouncy appearance, whereas more traditional toners are more focused on giving the skin a suppler look by softening it with natural oils. If you prefer the idea of tighter skin but find yourself experiencing difficulties with alcohol-related products like astringents, you can always switch to a freshener toner – which works on the same principle as an astringent but uses green tea/caffeine to constrict the skin as opposed to alcohol.

    What Are The Benefits?

    There are almost too many to name, so for your reference here’re the best ones:

    • It hydrates the skin to make sure it retains a supple, soft-looking feel and appearance.
    • It moisturizes to help prevent dry skin.
    • It acts as an added layer of protection from the elements.
    • It helps to balance pH levels to keep skin looking and feeling healthy.
    • It removes oil build-ups to help prevent blocked pores and spots.
    • It can even help to prevent ingrown hairs (which can cause skin problems later down the line).

    So as you can see, skin toner is actually a pretty handy little addition to your skin treatment collection. If you’re looking to break your buying duck soon, there’s no better product to start off with than Baxter of California Herbal Mint Toner, 300ml. Suitable for both normal and oily skin, this skin toner is completely alcohol-free, using herbal extracts to cleanse your pores and leave behind a refreshed, hydrated-looking face.

  • Brand Focus: Triumph & Disaster

    Triumph & Disaster grooming and skincareBefore former New Zealand cricketer Dion Nash found himself on the international stage being watched by millions, he was a young boy just like any other. At the tender age of 13, his father handed him a poem written by the irrepressible Rudyard Kipling entitled “IF” – a piece of writing that had more of an important impact on his life than a cricket ball ever did. Within the poem contained a single line – “If you can meet with Triumph & Disaster and treat those two imposers just the same”. Once Nash read those words, something inside him stirred. The way he saw the world had just changed forever.

    In his time playing for New Zealand Nash took 93 wickets in 32 Tests and also achieved a batting average of over 23.5. His cricketing career ended early through injury, but he has since become known for a new venture.

    He used the kind of philosophy he discovered from Kipling’s masterpiece to launch a male grooming and skincare brand which became known – somewhat inevitably – as Triumph & Disaster. Nash gathered a team of like-minded individuals to come up with an idea they believed would be able to unite these two opposing facets of life, and plans for an assortment of innovative grooming products were drawn up as a result.

    Science and nature are often set aside on opposing ends of the scale – much in the same vein as Triumph and Disaster. However, the grooming products on offer from Nash and his team prove that an intimate, amicable and highly beneficial connection can be made between them. The set of grooming products put forward by this group of talented individuals carefully integrate naturally occurring ingredients like Horopito oil and Ponga fern extract with scientifically shaped ingredients such as ojoba extract from Mexico and Tamanu oil from Polynesia.

    There are a wide variety of grooming products now on sale from Triumph & Disaster, with the brand offering skin care for men from top to bottom. Just some of the great accessories on sale include:

    • TRIUMPH & DISASTER GAMEFACE MOISTURISER TUBE to keep skin smooth and silky
    • TRIUMPH & DISASTER COLTRANE CLAY for hair styling
    • TRIUMPH & DISASTER A + R SOAP for a fine, thorough cleanse
    • TRIUMPH & DISASTER OLD FASHIONED SHAVE CREAM JAR for a comfortable, classy shave
    • TRIUMPH & DISASTER SHAMPOO for a deep cleansing – yet incredibly gentle –scalp and hair scrub

    Dion Nash’s Triumph & Disaster revolutionary brand offers some of the finest grooming products on sale in the modern day market, all the while acting as a representation of how two opposite facets of life can actually come together to create something quite wonderful.

    TRIUMPH & DISASTER A + R SOAP

  • How to create the perfect Home Bar

    Hanging GlassesBorn entertainers don’t always jump on stage and try their hand at singing, dancing or stand-up comedy. Sometimes they don’t even need to leave their house to put on a show. Being a great host involves meticulous planning and a gift for small talk, but it also often involves something a little special - something that creates a bit of a wow-factor when guests amble in through the doors. Sure, this could be a pool table, a dazzling television set or a bubbling Jacuzzi. But nothing says “ultimate host” more than a personalised home bar.

    Listed here are four ways to make it perfect.

    Stock sensibly

    Sure, you probably have a great idea about what you’re going to serve in your bar – but what about the glasses to drink out of and the surfaces to prepare your food on? Before you begin construction, be sure to remember to pick up:

    • Cocktail glasses
    • Pitcher jugs
    • Ice buckets
    • Chopping board
    • Wine glasses
    • Pint glasses
    • Shot glasses

    Themed bar items

    There is a wide variety of nostalgia themed bar items available on sale – including glasses, mugs, ice buckets, ashtrays, hanging pictures, coasters and dish rags. It's not recommended that you do this every time but giving your bar a theme for the evening will make it even more fun for your guests, and ensure they never forget the experience they have in your home.

    Snacks

    Come the night in question you should of course put in some effort on the culinary front and really impress your guests with a selection of home-made Hors d'Oeuvres. A sensible idea however is to leave some space in which you can stock the basic savoury items like crisps, nuts and jars of pickles. This will allow your guests to have a little nibble on something whilst they sample their drink of choice.

    Bar essentials

    There are a multitude of essentials you’ll need to help you run your bar smoothly, a lot them you may not even have considered. These include:

    • Ice bags
    • Strainers
    • Bar spoons
    • Stirrers
    • Bottle openers
    • Bar knives
    • Bowls for food
    • Muddler

    It’s all well and good and having a nice selection of beers and wines on show when your guests arrive, but what about those times when only a cocktail will do? The Blomus Boston Cocktail Shaker Set can solve this problem. Made of stainless steel with classic cocktail recipes printed on the side, this terrific set is exactly what you need in order to serve up the very best cocktails in town.

    Cheers!

    Blomus Boston Cocktail Shaker

  • The Red Baron and the Fokker Triplane

    Old WW1 plane close up copyDuring the brutal battles of World War One, many soldiers comforted themselves with the thought that history would remember them. Indeed, the names of the dead are written on monuments all around Europe, but if asked to name some of those who fought, most people struggle to come up with any names other than those of their own relatives. One name that does come quickly to most people’s lips - even in Britain - is that of Germany’s Manfred von Richthofen, also known as the Red Baron. It’s testament to a partnership between man and plane that wowed aeronautics enthusiasts regardless of their allegiances. How much of the legend is true?

    Daring the odds

    To put the Baron’s derring-do in context, it’s important to understand what flying a fighter plane was like at the time. The technology of flight was still new and rapidly evolving, which presented challenges when it came to training pilots. Casualty rates were very high, even outside of combat situations, with 8 per cent of them put down to aircraft defects. Every pilot, regardless of skill level, faced a significant risk of death simply because there might be a problem with the plane. This helps to explain why pilots tended to get attached to individual planes and personalise them to make sure they were flying in what they knew was safe. It also shows that nobody got as far as combat without having already displayed considerable bravery.

    The Red Baron legend

    A minor nobleman born in what is now Poland, von Richthofen excelled at sport in childhood. When war broke out, he became a cavalryman. Thrilled by the idea of flying, he successfully applied for a transfer to the Champagne front, where he met flying ace Oswald Boelcke and got the chance to fly his first plane – immediately crashing. Yet he persevered and honed his skills, eventually going on to win his first air battle over Cambrai. Although he wasn’t the flashiest of flyers, he was a brilliant shot and a good tactical thinker, often coming at opponents with the sun behind him to dazzle them. In this manner, he won 80 combat encounters and acquired a cult following before finally being shot down over Morlancourt at the age of 25. Allied soldiers sent wreaths to his funeral, expressing their respect for his courage and skill.

    Innovative design

    If von Richthofen was a remarkable man, he also had the advantage of a remarkable piece of equipment. The Fokker represented a significant improvement in fighter plane design, especially when it came to its synchronisation gear, which enabled its machine guns to fire in a wide arc without hitting parts of the plane itself, which had been a surprisingly common problem in the past. It also boasted cantilevered wings and a fuselage built from steel tubing rather than the wood that was the standard at the time, making it more resilient. Von Richthofen’s plane was distinguished by being painted blood red, which was said to give him an advantage in combat as his foes were intimidated by his reputation.

    For seasonal shoppers on the lookout for great gifts for men, this detailed model of the Fokker triplane is a great way to remember a legendary machine.

    detailed model of the Fokker triplane

  • Aftershave to Eau de Parfum – can you scent the difference?

    Perfume and Fragrances bottlesA signature scent can help to make an impression, it can lift the spirits at the start of the day and can set the scene for the night ahead. It’s helpful therefore if you can tell an eau de cologne from an eau de parfum. The great masters of perfumery may have traditionally been men but the language of perfume is definitely not geared to the male species. Here therefore is a simple guide to fragrances.

    Understanding scent

    What we think of as single scents, as bought over the counter, are actually complicated cocktails of different oils suspended in a solution that allows them to be applied to the skin. Many of the most expensive and impressive scents are built around ambergris, a substance whose rarity is matched only by its remarkable, indefinable odour – something like the umami flavour that gives food its meatiness. Historically, classic fragrances have been formulated with thirteen different oils: four to notice when first applied, four for the main body of the scent, four to linger and one to add the magic that makes them all come together.

    Aftershave

    Aftershave contains only 1 to 3% perfume oil, which means the scent will fade quickly, usually within 2-3 hours. Aftershave lotions have a high alcohol content which acts as an antiseptic and accounts for the classic sting when applied. They help close the pores, cleanse and tighten and often contain ingredients such as aloe vera to cool the skin. Aftershave balms are designed to soothe and hydrate the skin post shave.

    Eau de cologne

    The term eau de cologne is often used generically but true cologne is something very specific: a scent containing 2% to 5% perfume oil. Cologne lingers only a little longer than aftershave, the sort of scent women love to smell on a man in the morning, but which won’t follow him around all day. True colognes are generally light, designed not to make bold statements but to convey the subtler essence of his personality. Being light, they are often ideal summertime fragrances.

    Eau de toilette

    The most popular choice overall, eau de toilette, contains 4% to 8% perfume oil, giving it a pronounced aroma that will last throughout the working day. It is often used by men who want a scent that conveys personality and authority, with elements of smoke, spice or wood that are traditionally associated with masculine spaces and activities.

    Eau de parfum

    With 8% to 15% perfume oil, eau de parfum is a powerful scent designed to last throughout the day and slowly fade during the evening, moving from statement to mystique. It takes a bit of practice to choose a scent like this well, but something like Czech & Speake Spanish Cedar Eau de Parfum is a good place to begin, with its woody notes undergoing a subtle shift over the course of the day.

    Scent is like a language, challenging at first but opening up a whole new cultural world once you become fluent.

    Czech & Speake Spanish Cedar Eau de Parfum.

  • A bluffer’s guide to the Rugby World Cup

    Rugby ball ready to be kicked on the fieldIt’s that time again. Giant flags are draped from windows and the pubs are packed from the moment doors are cranked open. The rugby World Cup has graced us with its adrenaline-fuelled, sweat-soaked, blood-pumped presence. Magnificent, isn’t it? Except, as soon as that whistle blows and the ball is booted at kick-off…you have no idea what’s going on.

    If you find yourself wanting to get involved in the lively discussion about the World Cup but have a rugby vocabulary that’s limited to the word “scrum” – never fear. You’re not alone and there’s hope for you yet. Listed here is a bluffer’s guide to the event that’s taking the globe by storm. You’ll soon be excitedly discussing tactics with the die-hards over a pitcher of beer in no time.

    Blitz Defence: This is when the defensive team all move forward as one unit in an attempt to prevent the attacking team from gaining any kind of momentum or field position.

    Choke Tackle: Sounds nasty, but it’s actually perfectly legal – when executed correctly of course. A choke tackle is when defensive players halt an attacking player in possession and keeps them on their feet thereby keeping the ball off the ground. If the ball does not emerge a scrum is called with possession being awarded to the defensive side.

    Crash Ball: An attacking tactic where a player in possession surges towards the opposition line attempting to draw as many tacklers as he can, before passing the ball back to a team-mate in open space behind him.

    Drift Defence: The line of defenders drift towards the opposing team at an angle – aiming to push them towards the touchline.

    Flanker: A wide position. Any player who is a flanker will likely have a bit of pace to burn, and be responsible for surging forward with the ball out on the flanks (wings) to earn his team some good field position.

    Hooker: A word that holds very different connotations in American slang, a hooker in rugby is actually the player who hooks the ball back to his teammates while he’s in the scrum.

    Mauls: A maul occurs whenever the ball carrier heads upfield and is halted by an opposing player without the tackle being completed. Every player involved needs to try to stay on their feet, and players from each team can only offer support by pushing the teammate who’s positioned at the back. Anyone caught coming in from the sides is penalised.

    Rucks: A ruck occurs when two players from opposing sides meet, and the ball carrier puts the ball to ground behind him in an attempt to pass it off to his other players. The same rules for a maul then apply.

    Turnover: Essentially what it says on the tin. A turnover is when the ball is “turned over” to the other side – either accidentally or because of foul play.

    Wheel: Scrums do have a nasty habit of getting out of hand sometimes, and it’s no wonder really. A scrum is considered a “wheel” when the players have spun around 90 degrees. It’s illegal to try to do this purposely. If it happens accidentally, the referee will order to scrum to be restarted.

    If you’re looking for the perfect accessory to help you bluff your way through this year’s rugby World Cup, consider the Tateossian Vintage Rugby Cufflinks available at Henry Tibbs. They’re the kind of cufflinks that never go out of fashion – sporting a dazzling diamond pattern with a gold-plated rugby ball in the centre.

    Tateossian Vintage Rugby Cufflinks

  • Spindizzies – The ultimate 1930-40s boys’ toy

    Spindizzies - the ultimate 1930s and 1940s boys' toyThe 1930s was an age of depression and the early 1940s saw the world enveloped in the abyss of the Second World War – a turbulent time like no other. It’s easy to forget the undoubted charms that existed during this era; the innocent aspects that remained completely estranged from this chaos. A fact aptly reflected by a popular toy of the time – the spindizzy.

    You’d be forgiven for being unfamiliar with spindizzies (or tether cars as they were also known). Despite being held in high regard by boys in the third and fourth decades of the twentieth century, playing with these products had become somewhat unfashionable by the fifties – a time when technology was beginning to gain significant momentum. This fall from grace can be considered a little bit of shame in some respects, especially given the fact that spindizzies were without a doubt the ultimate 1930-40s boys’ toy.

    Spindizzies were toy cars with real engines. Instead of being glued to computer screens, boys and men found solace in assembling their very own vehicles during this era. In times of uncertainty, these gas-powered model racers offered a welcome sense of escapism for disillusioned males with a mechanical eye. They came in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, and many used real-life airplane engines to chug into action before trundling away into the distance.

    Spindizzies weren’t just a toy for engine tinkering enthusiasts either. These little cars were hand-crafted and scrutinised to the smallest possible detail. Creators would spend hours painting their cars to give them a glossy coat, jazz up the interior to make it look swanky inside, and shine up the wheels so that they’d twinkle as they coasted along. Old-school men often like to be considered a jack of all trades, and spindizzies offered them a way to demonstrate a varied skill set by means of engine development, painting, detailed designing (blueprints were often used) and aerodynamic alteration.

    Perhaps another reason that spindizzies vanished so abruptly could be due to the fact that automotive technology was also expanding and developing to the point where many were able to acquire a car they could actually get behind the wheel of. These toy cars all but disappeared during the 1950s, and boys were left with a much bigger ‘toy’ to play with that could get them from A to B – an actual automobile.

    These achingly nostalgic model cars aren’t completely gone, though. Replica models of spindizzies such as the Authentic Models BB Korn, Red – a 1930s replica of the miniature Tether Car racer – are still available for purchase. Utterly unique vintage antiques, these models represent a throwback to more humble times. When racing toy cars around a constructed track was the flavour of the month.

    Authentic Models BB Korn, Red

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