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  • Why Real Men Moisturize

    Male beautyReal men moisturize. Some may prefer not to believe that statement and would certainly disagree with it, but it’s true. Giving your skin a good dose of some high-quality soothing cream allows you to develop the kind of eternally youthful look that you’ve always wanted. Somewhere along the way, moisturizing developed an erroneous reputation for being a feminine practice, but it’s time the record was set straight. Moisturizing is manly – and there are bunch of reasons to prove it.

    The acceptable face of man has changed

    Gone are the days of John Wayne and Warren Beatty as the ultimate male icons. Gone are the times in which rugged, rocky features were considered to be the acceptable face of man. In the 21st century it’s the likes of George Clooney, David Beckham and Idris Elba who are splashed across glossy magazine covers – men who take care of their skin and pride themselves on doing so. The concept of the ultimate man has developed into someone who openly and unabashedly keeps their skin looking fresh and dandy 24/7.

    Healthy skin is ‘in’

    It’s probably not fair to state that skin health wasn’t such a big deal in days gone by, but nowadays taking terrific care of your skin is something that’s actively encouraged in stronger ways. As a rule, people are drinking less, quitting smoking, and cutting back on greasy foods – all of which are skin-damaging behaviours that weren’t necessarily seen as such by society a few decades ago as they are today. The world is becoming a healthier place. A real man now looks sleek, smooth and sophisticated. He has the kind of skin that moisturizing helps to create and preserve.

    Moisturizing is quick and painless

    Because moisturizing is a form of skin care, many people associate it with other practices that involve spending endless amounts of time looking into the mirror – tweaking eyebrows, carefully brushing hair, gently and meticulously applying makeup. Practices that are widely considered as feminine traits. However, moisturizing is anything but. All it takes is one squeeze of the bottle, followed by a smearing that lasts anywhere between five and ten seconds. And then you’re done. Boom. In and out – no messing about. If that doesn’t sound manly, then what does?

    So now that you know how manly moisturizing actually is, where’s the best place to jump on the bandwagon? One particularly effective moisturizer for men worth taking a look at is Scaramouche & Fandango Hydrator – a lotion containing Vitamin E and Chronodyn that’s suitable for all skin types. It’s designed to keep moisture locked in for long periods – allowing you stay smooth and look your best even on days when you might’ve missed out on that crucial extra hour of sleep.

    Moisturize away, fellas. You know it’s the right thing to do.

    Scaramouche & Fandango Hydrator

  • 10 Great World War II Novels

    BooksIf you’re an aspiring writer looking for inspiration, there’s no better place to turn than the classic World War II novels. Some of those works are widely considered the most insightful pieces of prose ever put onto paper – reeling in readers with astonishing tales from a dark era in history. Reading these books might rouse you to produce a novel of your own. Here are ten of the great World War II novels that any amateur author absolutely must read:

    1. Catch-22 (Joseph Heller, 1982)

    A critically acclaimed novel detailing the exploits of Captain John Yossarian, a bombardier stationed on the Italian island Pianosa.

    1. Sword of Honour (Evelyn Waugh, 1951-61)

    A trilogy of invigorating war tales - many of which are loosely based on author Evelyn Waugh’s own experiences as a soldier during WWII.

    1. The Kindly Ones (Jonathan Littell, 2009)

    An SS officer named Maximilien Aue details his role in the Final Solution. Despite being fiction, Littell’s novel has a sense of stinging authenticity and poignancy. A controversial and disturbing novel that splits opinion, it is undoubtedly a gripping and compelling read.

    1. The Girl In The Blue Beret (Bobbie Ann Mason, 2011)

    Now a widower and in retirement, a war veteran returns to the place where citizens helped him escape from German soldiers during his years in the service. His memories are understandably scrambled, but he does specifically remember a girl in a blue beret…

    1. City Of Thieves (David Benioff, 2008)

    A black comedy examining two men in Leningrad during the German siege. Benioff highlights the absurdity and meaninglessness of war, while managing to maintain a gripping plot throughout.

    1. Atonement (Ian McEwan, 2001)

    A young girl’s mistake ruins lives as WWII rages in the background. Arguably McEwan’s most famous work, Atonement flew off the shelves to such an extent that it was transformed into a hugely successful Hollywood movie.

    1. Slaughterhouse-Five (Kurt Vonnegut, 1969)

    A genre-blending anti-war novel centred on the Dresden bombings of WWII; Slaughterhouse-Five is one of the world’s best-known war books, written with a satirical eye by the great Kurt Vonnegut.

    1. The Naked And The Dead (Norman Mailer, 1948)

    A novel based on Mailer’s own experiences during the Philippines Campaign, The Naked And The Dead is an astonishing read that casts the atrocities of war in a whole new light.

    1. Those Who Dare (Phil Ward, 2010)

    A series of successful novels about hit-and-run raids by British Armies against Adolf Hitler's war machine.

    1. The Eagle Has Landed (Jack Higgins, 1975)

    Set in a fictional universe based on fact, Higgins’ novel tells the tale of an increasingly desperate Hitler, who sends a team of commandos to kidnap (or kill) British Prime Minister Winston Churchill in an attempt to swing the war momentum back in his favour.

    A prestigious pen is a writer’s greatest weapon. Just as some of the world’s greatest authors used writing tools that filled them with confidence, you too will need a terrific pen to get going. Consider the Tateossian New York Rollerball – a rhodium-plated utensil with black lacquer and silver stripe details for stylish effect. Being armed with your perfect pen and these great WWII novels will put you in fine stead for writing that novel.

    Tateossian New York Rollerball Pen

  • How to shave with a double-edge safety razor

    Safety razor and shaving brush on a wooden backgroundShaving is simple, right? All you need is a trusty razor, a sink full of hot water, a tube of trusty shaving cream, a towel to dry yourself off and a brave face when you whack on the aftershave. Ever since you plucked away those first few hairs as a teen, shaving is something that you’ve probably been doing for years. As a result, when you stumble across a blog such as this one boasting the title “How to shave” – you might be tempted to click away. After all, this is something every adult male in the world knows how to do, isn’t it?

    Well, not exactly.

    Shaving with a double-edge safety razor is a considerably different task to an ordinary shave with a standard supermarket cartridge blade. These razors are designed to offer a fabulously incisive shave that will present you with smooth, soft skin – but you’ll need to know how to use it correctly in order to get the best out of it.

    The good news is that getting to grips with a double-edge safety razor is a piece of cake. Simply follow the tips below and start using yours for a cutting-edge, maximum comfort shave that’ll give you a gorgeous appearance in a matter of minutes.

    Set up your skin

    Before you even begin to shave with a safety razor, you need to make sure you set up your skin correctly. Here’s how to do it:

    • Cleanse and exfoliate with a face wash.
    • Take a hot shower that produces plenty of steam.
    • Apply some pre-shave oil.
    • Use a badger brush to spread on some shaving cream.

    The learning curve to cutting-edge technique

    The main thing to remember with a double-edge razor is that applying pressure is unnecessary. Many of these razors are built with a lightly knurled handle, which assists grip and is weighted to guide the blades as you gently ease it across your skin. Simply put – a double-edge safety razor will take care of hair without you needing to push the razor up against your face. You may find yourself nipping the skin when you first begin, but once you’ve mastered the technique you’ll never want to go back to an ordinary razor.

    The best way to shave with a safety razor is to start by trimming the sides of your face, then head over to the neck hair, and finish up with the lip and chin area. Try to keep the razor angled at about 30 degrees and don’t force it. It’s a learning curve, but in time you’ll develop a cutting-edge technique that’ll give you superb-looking skin.

    Additional Tips

    After purchasing your first safety razor, try it out on a quiet evening when you have nothing planned. Chances are you’ll nip the skin in one or two places, which is no good if you’re prepping your face for an important business meeting.

    Double-edge safety razors – such as the Muhle R89 Closed Comb (pictured below) - have replaceable blades. Each one is different so you may want to play switcheroo with a few different designs to determine which one suits you best.

    Happy shaving.Muhle R89 Closed Comb

  • Handy Tips To Keep Your Beard Tamed

    Handy Tips To Keep Your Beard Trimmed | Henry TibbsYou’ve probably noticed that beards are on-trend and everywhere at the moment. Whether you have a short beard or have decided to go full-on lumberjack, keeping it tamed can be the difference between looking hip and completely unkempt.

    You may not think it but growing a beard takes time, care and attention. It is not simply a case of just not shaving for several weeks - a good beard demands dedication. If you are fortunate enough to have fulsome facial follicles then here are a few tips and tricks to ensure you have a beard worth showing off.

     

    Early Trimming
    Trimming and shaping your beard too early is a true rookie mistake. You will need to hold off trimming your facial hair for a good couple of weeks to allow it to grow through properly or your early shaping mistake could take weeks or even months to correct. While your beard may look a little untidy and messy to start with, the end results will be more than worth it.

    The Right Tools
    When it is time to trim your new facial creation, then using the right tools is key to having a full and tidy looking beard. When you beard is just starting out then you can use an electric trimmer to tidy up the ends but as it gets longer then it is best to use a comb and scissors to ensure precise and tidy trimming. Using scissors to shape your beard also ensures that you won’t take off too much when giving your ‘tash a trim’.

    Shampoo and Condition
    Cultivating a really amazing beard means looking after your facial hair and keeping it looking its best. Many men make the mistake of using normal bar soap to wash their beards which can dry out the hair and also the skin underneath. Ideally, you should use shampoo and even conditioner on your beard to keep the hair moisturised and full and healthy looking. This may go against the manly idea you have of growing a spectacular beard but proper care and maintenance is essential to making sure you don’t just look wild and untamed.

    Products
    At Henry Tibbs, we stock a wide range of products to help keep your beard and skin in tip top condition. Everyone is different so make sure you get a product which is suitable for your hair and skin type. Our shampoos, conditioners and oils can aid you in creating a beard which is the talk of the town.

  • Whisky or Whiskey – Scotch and Irish

    whisky_decanter_glass_shutterstock_202619101A Brief History

    Whisky is produced by means of distillation, a method of separating substances through evaporation and condensation. Disputed archaeological findings indicate that distillation may have been used as far back as the 2nd millennia BC by the Babylonians in the creation of perfumes and aromas. What is certain is that the Alexandrian Greeks were using chemical distillation by the 1st century AD. The technique was first used to produce alcohol in 13th century Italy when monasteries distilled alcohol from wine for medicinal purposes.

    The first records of whiskey come from the monastic site of Clonmacnoise in Co. Offaly, Ireland in 1405. The death of a chieftain is attributed to “taking a surfeit of aqua vitae” at Christmas. In Scotland, evidence of whisky production appears in the Exchequer Rolls of 1494, where it is recorded that enough malt was sent to Friar John Cor to make about 500 bottles “by order of the King.” Father Cor was a Tironensian monk based at Lindores Abbey in Fife and a servant at the court of James IV.

    The popularity of whisky grew during the 15th century, but a monopoly on production was held by the Guild of Surgeon Barbers. However, following the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry Vlll between 1536 and 1541, newly unemployed monks began private whisky production in order to earn an income.

    The Old Bushmills Distillery Company.

    On 20th April 1608, King James I granted Sir Thomas Phillips, the Governor of Co. Antrim, Ireland, a licence to distil and the world’s first licensed whiskey distillery was established in the town of Bushmills. Known as the Old Bushmills Distillery, it has produced whiskey in that location ever since and exports the world over. Littlemill was the first distillery in Scotland, opening in 1772 but closing in 1994. Glenturret is the oldest Scottish distillery still in operation, opening in 1775.

    To ‘e’ or not to ’e’

    The word whisky (or whiskey) is an Anglified form of the Gaelic uisge (uisce), meaning water. The Latin term for distilled alcohol was aqua vitae ("water of life"). In Irish Gaelic this translated to uisce beatha and in Scotland to uisge beatha.

    In Ireland, the spelling is whiskey, whereas the ‘e’ is dropped in Scotland and most other whisky-producing countries. The name whiskey was brought to the US by Irish immigrants in the 18th century and is commonly used by American producers. There are some notable exceptions: prominent brands such as Maker’s Mark and George Dickel use whisky, as does the Standards of Identity for Distilled Spirits (the legal regulations for spirits in the US).

    The Differences

    Distillation

    Generally, Scotch whisky is distilled twice and has a rich, full flavour. In Ireland most whiskey is distilled three times which results in a lighter, smoother character, often with citrus and floral notes.

    Stills

    In Ireland, pot stills are traditionally used in the distillation process. These are short and fat with a round base and produce a soft, rounded spirit. Scottish distilleries use a variety of shapes and sizes, as reflected in the diversity of character in Scotch whiskies.

    Peat

    In Scotland, the malted (partially germinated) barley is often dried over peat in preparation for milling and mashing. This gives Scotch whiskey its traditionally smoky flavour. In Ireland and the US, other fuels such as woods are used, resulting in a lighter taste. An exception is Connemara Irish whiskey which is both peated and double distilled.

    Grain

    In Scotland, malted barley is used in most whisky; in Ireland, it is common to use a mixture of malted and unmalted barley.

    Popularity

    At the start of the 20th century, Irish whiskey was the most popular spirit in Great Britain and, supported by London merchants, it was exported around the world. Revolution in Ireland and prohibition in America, however, contributed to the loss of markets and a major decline in the industry during the 20th century. A few years ago, just 3 distilleries were left in Ireland, but Irish whiskey is undergoing a renaissance and there are now ten distilleries in operation or under construction with more in the pipeline.

    Scotland is divided into five whisky- producing regions: Speyside, Highland, Islay, Campbeltown and Lowland, each with its distinctive characteristics and flavours. Currently, around 100 distilleries operate in Scotland. To put the strength of the Scotch Whisky market into perspective, in France, more scotch is sold in a month than cognac in a year.

    Whether you prefer the peaty smokiness of Scotch or the smoothness of Irish, the experience can be enhanced by choosing a quality whisky glass. We recommend Sagaform’s Rocking Whiskey Glasses. These feature a small protrusion on the bottom, which means that the glass gently rolls around when set down, helping to release the whiskey’s full flavour and aroma. They make a great gift for the gentleman whiskey connoisseur.

    Sagaform Rocking Whiskey glasses, Set of 6

     

     

  • The Giro d'Italia Comes to Town

    For British and Irish cycling fans, 2014 is an exceptional year. Not only will Yorkshire host the start of the Tour de France in July but, between 8 and 11 May, Northern Ireland hosts the opening stages of the world's second biggest professional cycling race, the Giro d'Italia.

    First organized in 1909, the Giro d'Italia was established by the newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport as a means of increasing sales. Known as “the toughest race in the world's most beautiful place”, the “Giro” is regarded as a prestige event for Italy and a showcase for the country’s scenery, culture, food, fashion and people. Featuring 22 teams and 200 of the world's best cyclists, it is, along with the Tour de France and Vuelta a España, one of professional cycling's prestigious Grand Tours.

    Prior to 2014, the Giro d'Italia Grande Partenza (Big Start) had been held outside Italy on only nine occasions (including, in 1974, in the Vatican City). For Northern Ireland, therefore, this is something of a coup and, with the race being broadcast to 165 countries and a potential global audience of 800 million, it is an opportunity to present itself on the world stage.

    The colour of the Giro is pink and the equivalent of the Yellow Jersey is the Maglia Rose (the Pink Jersey). In recent days, much of Northern Ireland has been transformed, with everything from statues, shop fronts, bicycles (of course) and even sheep being spray-painted pink.

    Dunluce Castle on the North Antrim Coast in Northern Ireland Dunluce Castle, North Antrim Coast, Northern Ireland

    Some of Northern Ireland's best sites and scenery will be on show. The opening event will be held on Thursday 8 May at Belfast's magnificent City Hall. On Friday, Stage One is a team time trial in Belfast, taking in the fantastic Titanic quarter and the mile-long avenue leading up to Stormont, the stately Northern Ireland parliament building. Stage Two, on 10 May, travels the Causeway Coast, one of Europe's most beautiful coastal roads and home to the world famous Giant's Causeway, the heart-stopping Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge and the mystical Dunluce Castle (pictured). Finally, Stage Three, on 11 May, starts in Armagh, Ireland's ecclesiastical capital, and crosses the border before finishing in Dublin.

    Over the past few weeks, Northern Ireland has been enjoying blue skies and above average temperatures but, typically, the forecast for the Giro is that the weather will revert to the Irish norm of “unsettled”. Enduring a mountain stage in the Dolomites is one thing, but coping with Northern Irish drizzle, the wettest rain known to man, is another thing entirely. Still, you can't come to Ireland and expect sunshine, can you?

     

     

    Related Product:
    Available in a range of colours, Bookman Bike Lights successfully combine style with function. Designed for the urban cyclist, these pocket sized LED lights pack a powerful punch. Each pack includes a front and rear light.

    Bookman Bike Lights

  • What is Bluetooth and how does it work?

    Kakkoii WOW Wireless Speaker, Red

    Created in 1994 by the Swedish company Ericsson, Bluetooth is the grand old dame of modern technology. Unlike many technologies of a similar vintage however, Bluetooth has avoided relegation to the dustbin of history and has instead adapted and evolved, remaining a key feature of many of today's smartphones,tablets and laptops.

    At this point I must confess that I am not a complete technology enthusiast. For example, digital photography is great but at the same time I miss the thrill of seeing how holiday snaps turn out when I pick them up from the developer, and I regret that nowadays 99% of photos will never be printed, even the good ones. I am the opposite of an early adapter. Bluetooth is therefore something of a mystery to me. I have used it and I do appreciate it, but I don't really know what it is, so this is a short guide for people like me: the technologically challenged. Continue reading

  • The Long and the Short of Sideburns

    Edwin Jagger DE86 Double Edge Safety Razor, Imitation EbonySideburns may well have been a facial feature since men first shaved, but the name we associate with this hirsute phenomenon has relatively recent origins. Ambrose Everett Burnside (1824-1881) was a railroad executive, politician, industrialist and a (not very good) general in the Union Army during the US Civil War. A popular figure despite his failings as a military leader, he was renowned for sporting a pair of grandiose mutton chops connected to an equally impressive handlebar moustache. Such was the fame of his facial ornamentation that the term 'Burnsides' entered into popular usage. Over time, the syllables were reversed and 'Sideburns' has been used ever since.

    Generous sideburns have been in vogue at various times throughout history. Alexander the Great is depicted with long sideburns in a number of images, the most famous of which is The Alexander Mosaic from the House of the Faun in Pompeii. Dating back to circa 100 B.C., this floor mosaic illustrates a battle between the armies of Alexander and Darius III of Persia. Alexander is depicted on horseback with his flowing sideburns in clear view.

    The popularity of luxuriant sideburns reached its peak in the 19th century. Starting in the military during the Napoleonic era, the fashion spread throughout society. Sideburns were widely worn by figures of authority such as William Gladstone and Kaiser Wilhelm I. Continue reading

  • As American as Apple Pie?

    Suck UK Bakeball Bat Rolling PinToday is the Fourth of July, a day when America commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence by the Continental Congress of 1776. Across the great United States, an outpouring of patriotic pride will celebrate all things American and the day 13 American colonies discarded the shackles of British imperialism.

    And quite right too - there are many things of which America can justifiably be proud. As it turns out, however, apple pie is not one of them. Somewhat ironically, apple pie is probably an English invention.

    Historians have discovered English recipes for apple pie that go back to the time of Chaucer (C. 1343 – 1400). One of the earliest is found in a medieval manuscript, The Forme of Cury. Written on vellum, this recipe collection was originally compiled in 1390 by “the Master Cooks of Kind Richard II”.

    The recipe lists the ingredients as good apples, good spice, figs, raisins and pears. “Cofyn” means to cook in pastry. Continue reading

  • The joys of mowing the lawn (or lack thereof)

    D R Harris Almond Oil SkinfoodI should really start off with an apology; this article includes significant moaning (to a level that would embarrass a spoilt teenager). So if you don't like that sort of thing please feel free to look away now. If you intend to carry on, don't say I didn't warn you.

    At heart I am a Townie - I like being in proximity to shops, restaurants, a choice of drinking establishments and cultural venues. I enjoy the hustle and bustle, the vibrancy of city life. My better half, however, prefers to live in the country. Guess who won that argument; here's a hint .....

    We are fortunate to live in a house with a big garden. According to my partner (in exchange for a peaceful life I totally agree) as the 'man' in our happy family, it is exclusively my role to maintain said garden. My partner's role is to lie back and relax on the terrace. Not that I'm complaining. Where would I be without her occasional helpful comment that I have missed a bit or that the weed I pulled is not a weed at all - enjoying myself perhaps? Continue reading

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