I’ve noticed Birch Water making a huge appearance across social media recently, and i’ve been dying to try it. I’m always into trying new things on the market, whether that be food, drink or cosmetics. 

What is TreeVitalise?

TreeVitalise is a brand of natural and organic Birch Water, that naturally comes from birch trees. It’s sapped straight from the tree and is packed full of nutrients, flavour and freshness. They come in three flavours, original, lemon and mint. All flavourings are natural, and the birch water is infused with either mint leaves of lemon peel to infuse to flavour.

Their Organic birch water comes directly from the Carpathian Mountains, which is an ecologically clean area in Eastern Europe, known as the ‘Green Pearl’. In the first weeks of the Spring thaw, the roots of the birch trees absorb the water from the melted snow. This liquid is then enriched with all the nutrients of the birch tree before being tapped back out and bottled.

What did I think?

One thing I noticed when I tried this for the first time, is how refreshing it was! It was actually more thirst quenching than water, which is always a massive bonus. It is slightly thicker than water, which confused me as I was expecting it to be the same viscosity. The flavour is subtle, and earthy to some extent. Which is to be expected considering that this comes from a tree. 

Since it comes in three flavours, it really gives you the chance to try a couple and find the one that is most suitable to your palette. The thing I had to get used to the most was the texture, it has an almost syrupy texture, without the sweetness. Once I got over the feeling that I was drinking maple syrup, and realised I was drinking birch water, I started to enjoy it!

All in all, I definitely think I would pick this up again. My favourite flavour was definitely the lemon and I wasn’t massively keen on the original. It tastes so natural, which is a good thing for most people, but I couldn’t get past the taste of trees in the original flavour. The lemon one, on the other hand, masks some of the earthy taste and leaves a lovely citrus burst in it’s place.

Have you tried TreeVitalise before? You can pick up your own from Holland & Barrett. Don’t forget to follow them on Twitter and Instagram.

Shaun

 

I was sent this item for review. All views and opinions are 100% honest and my own.

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Dermalogica was one of the first skincare brands I ever truly invested in. I’ve always loved the aesthetic of the products and was bought in when I discovered the ethos behind the brand. 

I have explored further a field and found some other brands that I love, but I always keep coming back to Dermalogica. It helps that they keep releasing products that are incredible, along with having a strong line of staples suitable for all types of skin. I’m a big fan of the Charcoal Rescue Masque, and when I found out that Phyto Replenish Oil was hitting the market, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it.


Dermalogica are one of the first companies to introduce layering into a skincare routine. That is the process of adding serums and oils, before a moisturiser. This meant I naturally had high expectations for the Phyto Replenish Oil. Did it live up to them?

The short and sweet answer would be: Yes. The Phyto Replenish Oil is designed to hydrate, repair and protect the skin. You can put it either under a moisturiser, or mix it in with your face cream. I was expecting the oil to leave my skin looking shiny, but I was happily surprised when it didn’t. It quickly absorbs into the skin and leave the face feeling soft and glowing. I did find that it works better if I mixed it in with my moisturiser during the day, and put it on under my cream at night. It just seemed to sit better with my skin. This oil doesn’t everything I want from a product to be fair, my skin is dry and tends to get a bit sensitive. Having a product that helps to repair my skin barrier is something i’m always interested in. 

The product is packed full of plant-based oils, including orchard oil, camellia oil and chia seed oil. This is one of the main properties that allows the product to sink so seamlessly into the skin. You only need up to 6 drops to cover your whole face. There’s also a special massage technique that you can use, that Dermalogica explain on their YouTube channel.


All-in-all, i’ve been using the Phyto Replenish Oil for a couple of weeks now and it’s already becoming a staple in my skincare routine. I follow with Dermalogica’s Skin Smoothing Cream and that is literally all I need to keep my skin looking hydrating and feeling fresh. 

You can buy Phyto Replenish Oil here.

Have you tried anything from Dermalogica before? What’s your favourite product?

Shaun

 

This product was sent to me for review. All views are my own and completely honest.

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If you’ve been here for a while, you’ll know i’m a fan of the Mankind Grooming Box. Coming out every couple of months, packed full with lots of male grooming goodies, this grooming box is the strongest of its kind in the market. The latest August Grooming Box has launched, and if you haven’t already, you should go and buy it. I’m going to give you two pros and a con, and why i’m a fan of the latest offering.


Value For Money

This is pretty obvious. In the latest August box, you get over £110’s worth of products for only £25! Yes, you heard that right, £25! That’s over a £75 saving (incase you’re not good at maths), which is amazing. All the products are full size too, so you don’t get any little samples, they’re genuine products that you will get a decent use out of.


Quality Of Products

The August Mankind Grooming box comes with products from Hanz de Fuko, Mr Natty, Men-U, Jack Black and Imedeen. If that isn’t good enough, there’s also a bonus item from Levi’s. I’ve been wanting to try a Hanz de Fuko product for a while, but at £16 i’ve been waiting for a reason. This box is only £9 more and you get the product and all the other goodies. All products are from brands I know of, or have tried before, which makes it a winner with me.


I’m A Vegetarian

Normally this isn’t a problem with any of the other Mankind Grooming boxes, but with this one there’s something I can’t use because I don’t eat meat. The Imedeen capsules have fish oil in, which makes it a no go. It’s a shame really, because I was really keen to give them a go. Alas, i’ll give these away as a gift, because at the retail value of £42, someone will definitely appreciate them.


All in all, I love the Mankind Grooming Box. Whether it’s specially the August one, or any of the previous ones, i’ve been a fan since it’s been available. They’re incredible value for money and they work well to split up as gifts. 

You can get your own by heading over to Mankind. They also have a dedicated blog post breaking the products down.

Have you had a Mankind Grooming Box before? What was your favourite one?

Shaun

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JACKSY UNDERWEAR | REVIEW


 

Underwear can be very hit and miss. I find it difficult to find a good balance between quality and price. If you’re anything like me, you’ll know there is definitely an internal satisfaction when you find a pair of well-fitting, comfortable underwear.

Bonus points if it actually looks good too!  

We’ve all purchased ‘those’ boxers. You know the ones that I mean, the ones that get a little bit too close for comfort. The curse of the £5 brief is strong with many brands. You don’t want to spend all day pulling your underwear out of places it shouldn’t be.

This is where Jacksy comes to the rescue. With an average price point that is definitely affordable, I was overwhelmed with joy when they hugged me in the all the right places. The quality of the underwear is comparable to some of the big name brands, for a fraction of the price. 

This hammock of pure bliss also comes in a range of colours, that won’t leave you quivering with caution when you finally press that ‘buy’ button. If you’re looking to step up your underwear game, Jacksy could be the brand for you.

I genuinely feel like I’ve found a winner with Jacksy and definitely recommend you check them out. Check them out here.

What is your favourite underwear brand? Let me know in the comments below.

Shaun

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OFFICE FASHION FOR BLOKES

Brought to you by ThoughtShift

 

When it comes to a dress code, no two words will ever invoke as much fear into the heart of a man as ‘smart casual’.

Let’s firstly ignore the fact that smart casual is an oxymoron (but, really, on the grounds that it doesn’t make any sense in the first place, the term should be disregarded). In dress codes, as in all things, clear and simple is best. We’ve seen how great Scaramouche & Fandango’s range of no-nonsense men’s toiletries are, now let’s bring some clarity to apparel.

Event hosting people, if you want your guests in suits and ties, the dress code is “formal”, for t-shirts and jeans, it’s “casual” all the way. But if you want the uncertain fashion dimension between suits and t-shirts, then the only real description of such an outfit is not “smart casual”, it is “the Gosling.” As proven with a simple image search, the Gosling is a casual shirt or t-shirt, smart tailored jeans and an optional blazer.

The Plot Thickens

Now parties are just parties — so turning up in the wrong clothing can be styled out, but work is a different story and one that has become more complex as the lines of business attire have become ever more blurred.

Imagine this, because one day soon it will happen to you: it’s the day of your interview. You double check the invitation one more time before you leave the house. Your eyes meet the words ‘dress code’. It’s … business casual?

You didn’t anticipate this. Are you over dressed or under dressed? Is it time to burn your whole wardrobe? Looks like you might be ‘ill’ for today’s interview. How could It come to this?

Well…are you sitting comfortably?

The Noughties

Touch down in bland town.

Black suit and tie. Y2K may have come in with a bang, but this was not the decade of interesting office clothing. Things are safe, uninteresting and sensible. The skinny tie wormed its way into everyday life and has remained the benchmark for all other work ties ever since.

Enter, the Gosling (or smart casual if you still insist). Tech start-ups and media companies adopted the trend and it’s stayed that way ever since. No one ever really defined what was acceptable. It just… happened. Grey suits became grey hoodies and everyone was confused.

Lurking in the cracks was business casual, allowing big corporates to talk to tech-dudes like they were almost the same. Business casual will usually consist of a work shirt (on rare occasion a polo will suffice), suit trousers or chinos with the option of a tie. Here’s the kicker, business casual allows for a far freer range of colours. Hence, the casual. The main difference between business casual and the Gosling? Jeans.

Jeans are simply not allowed in business casual, any attempt to wear them will result in your exclusion from office politics and coffee break chit-chat. No-one wants that!

Men – rest assured your dad felt and continues to feel the same way you do now; office fashion is terrifying. If you’re ever short of a gift idea next time his birthday comes around, engraved cufflinks would be a pretty great personalised gifts. They’re always the last thing a bloke remembers, and we’re always left with the embarrassing Lego one’s mum got us for prom back in Year 11. Thank us later.

Welcome to Today

The Gosling reigns. Any company with a formal dress code isn’t worth your time. It’s the harsh truth men, we either embrace the smart casual of today, or step out of our comfort zone into a world of uncharted territory.

What does the future hold?

Wearable tech? Light up shoes? Will tracksuit bottoms be a thing?

Your guess is as good as mine. It might be a fashion utopia; we’ll finally start calling smart casual what it really is. Maybe everyone will wear a wireless headset and anyone wearing a hat will be fired on the spot (quite rightly if you ask me).

Smart watches and virtual reality will take centre stage, maybe we won’t even work in an office altogether – perhaps we’ll all simply sit in an empty square room waving at holograms and talking to ourselves in plain white jumpsuits.

The future has the potential to be really exciting, but realistically we expect it’s going to be very safe. Maybe even dull. Because which is more likely – you going out and buying exciting new clothes, or you continuing to shop at the same places you shopped at since you were a teen? You’ve only just gotten used to the haircut you got five years ago, you can’t fathom a world of unorthodox fashion choices.

Looks like we won’t have to learn to use the iron after all!


Once again, I want to thank the guys over at ThoughtShift for writing this post! I struggle with knowing the boundaries of ‘smart casual’, I think i’ll be adopting ‘the Gosling’ going forward!

Make sure you check out ThoughtShift’s website here. Also follow them on Twitter! @ThoughtShiftUK

What’s your favourite grooming tip? Let me know in the comments below.

Shaun

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