Lavish Tips

Ideas for Every Man

  • Summer Skin Survival: A Guide for Men

    Summer is upon us, which means it’s time to enjoy warmer temperatures - backyard barbecues, morning jogs and swimming. However, while summer is the time to hit the outdoors and crush all those adventures you have planned, there are a few downsides to the hotter weather - the sun’s UVA and UVB rays can cause your skin extreme damage, and with the heat causing you to sweat more, some changes will need to be made to your skincare routine to provide your skin with some protection.

    While most men think that skincare is only for women – they couldn’t be more wrong. Men have bigger pores, and tend to sweat more when they exert themselves. This means their skin is more likely to be affected by the hot weather, and most men want to look and feel their best, just as much as women!

    While summer offers a lot of opportunities – hitting the waves, going ‘Bear Grylls’ in the wilderness or engaging in a bit of manly mountaineering– it can be easy to forget how harsh the summer weather can be on your skin. Exposure to the sun, hot wind and humidity can all wreak havoc on your skin – both face, and body. Whether you spend your summer at the beach, beside the pool or on biking and hiking trails, be sure to utilise these tips to counteract the harsh conditions, so that you can live this summer to the fullest.

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    Exfoliate

    While this is important all year round, exfoliating regularly becomes all the more important during these sweaty summer months. Skin that hasn't been exfoliated looks dull, and unkempt. Don't be that guy!

    With the sun beaming down, your skin’s temperature will rise, causing an increase in sweat and oil production. This sweat and oil clogs your pores causing blemishes like white heads, acne, and shiny skin. Nobody wants to walk around with dead, sweaty skin cells sitting around on their skin, and no prospective partners will appreciate it either. Exfoliating your skin will cleanse your pores of these unwanted blockages and will strip the dead skin cells from your face, leaving your skin looking healthier, and cleaner.

    For skin that’s fresh, be sure to exfoliate twice a week.

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    Moisturize

    Moisturizing is the single most important thing you can do for your skin – if you take on board only one piece of skincare advice from this guide, make sure it’s the importance of MOISTURIZATION.

    In summer, it is of utmost important that you moisturize you skin, to protect it from the sun, the drying air and winds. This is not just for women! If you want to look your best, then get all up in that manly moisturization. If you are planning on spending time outdoors, moisturization is even more crucial. Keeping your skin moisturized will help prevent you from developing fine lines and looking like an old geezer, so slap some on – you can’t over moisturize!

    Adding moisture into your skin will also prevent your skin from drying out, which will in turn, avoid it becoming too oily. When your skin is deprived of moisture, oil production goes into overdrive, leaving you with a shiny nose and forehead (nobody likes an oil glow). Moisturizing right out of the shower, or after washing your face will ensure that your skin doesn’t produce excessive oils.

    Many moisturizers come with SPF mixed in, but if they don’t, be sure to apply sunscreen before you apply your moisturizer. Anything over an SPF 15 is a winner. While most guys grab whatever moisturizer is cheap or sitting at the checkout, it’s worthwhile taking the time to select the right one (you’ll only need to do this once – and then you’ll just pick up the same one each time you run out). A summer moisturizer should be lightweight, and non-greasy (remember the oil glow?). You might also like to consider what other properties would be helpful in a moisturizer – do you need one with salicylic acid to help counter acne? Do you prefer something with aloe vera to help cool and soothe sunburnt skin? Think about what you need from your moisturizer and then find the product that’s right for you.

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    Sun Protection

    While we have already stressed the importance of using sunscreen on your face, during summer your whole body is going to need protection from the harsh rays of the sun. Even if you have an SPF moisturizer for your face, you will still need to apply sunscreen over the top if you are going to be spending time outdoors. Camping, surfing, fishing – you name it, you’ll need coverage.

    If you are not driven by vanity and the fear of ‘leather face’, then take a second to ‘Google’ skin cancer and see if that motivates you. Ignoring the damage that sun does to your skin can be deadly, so throw some sunscreen on every time you are heading outdoors- it’s not hard and it’s worth it to stay healthy and looking young.
    With that said, sunscreen really only works if you use it properly.

    Make sure you:

    • Apply 30 minutes before you head outside
    • Reapply every two hours, regardless of which SPF level you have chosen (you naturally sweat it off throughout the day)
    • Cover everything that will be exposed – including ears, hands, tops of feet etc.
    • Use an SPF lip balm
    • Don’t use sunscreen after it has expired – it loses its effectiveness over time so old stuff is useless

    Following these guidelines might seem like a grind, but it will give you the freedom to relax without worry about damaging your skin.

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    Cleanse

    In order for your skin to be exfoliated, moisturized, and protected from the sun, it first needs to be clean. While exfoliating will scrub away build-up from dead skin cells, regular cleansing will help to prevent this build up in the first place. It’s also going to be vital during the summer months to cleanse away any sun protection you have applied during the day – this way it won’t settle into your pores and cause acne or excess oil. Summer activities like swimming and camping also expose your skin to elements that you need to cleanse off and protect against. While women might like a man who does the dirty work, she also appreciates one who can scrub up nice.
    Twice daily, give your skin a deep clean with a cloth and a suitable cleanser. Remember: not all cleansers are created equal! Make sure it’s one that is designed for male skin as it will contain ingredients that will work more rigorously to clean out sweat, dirt and excess oil, as well as preparing your skin for shaving and preventing ingrown hairs. Investing in a good quality face wash is not an option – it’s a necessity. Soap isn’t going to cut it!

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    Shave

    If you are a daily shaver, you might consider cutting back to every second day during the summer. In the heat, and under the intense sun, your skin will have to work overtime after each and every shave to repair itself and to protect itself from UV damage. Giving it some days off, or even growing in a nice beard will allow your skin to rest (provided you keep it tidy and don’t end up looking like something out of The Castaway).
    While most guys whip the razor across their face and run out the door, it’s also important to use an aftershave before you set out for the day. The nourishing ingredients will soothe your freshly shaved skin and help to prevent some of that healing that your skin will need to do after a shave by replacing the oils that are lost and protecting your skin from the sun. A good aftershave will also prevent damage caused by high winds and salt water, so don’t hit the surf without it!

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    Just a few small modifications to your skincare routine for the season, can keep you looking fresh and young this summer, and for many to come. Not only will you reduce your chance of skin cancer, but you will also beat the greasy, sweaty look while you surf, skate, fish, or hunt. Skincare is an important part of life that shouldn’t be neglected so find the products that are right for you – you’ll be glad you did.

  • Your Guide to Beard Care

    Growing a beard has become a trend for men of all ages, but facial hair doesn’t automatically grow into a beard – it takes work. Just like nails, or the hair on your head, you can’t just let it grow wild and expect it to look good.

    There is a difference between growing a beard and simply stopping shaving: the result will be either rugged ‘Aragorn’ good looks, or a wild Alaskan Yeti. There is no in-between.

    Whether you are about to let your stubble come in, or you are trying to reign in 15 centimetres of over-growth, this guide to proper beard care will help you to understand the proper grooming and beard care that is needed to keep your beard comfortable, healthy and looking fresh.

      Trimming a Beard

      Style

      Be sure to pick a style that suits you – not every beard suits every face. Use your beard to bring our your best features and to hide your weaker ones. For example, if you have a rounder face or a double chin, use stronger lines and a more squared off goatee. More angular faces tend to have hollow cheeks which can be filled out by allowing the hair to be longer in that area. Have a play around and see what suits. If you can’t figure out what suits on your own, go and see a barber who will be able to recommend the style that best suits you and give you the initial trim.

      Maintain

      Once you’ve had the initial trim, you will need to upkeep the style you have chosen. How often you have to do this will depend on the style and the length of the hair. If you choose to do this yourself, make sure you invest in a good quality beard trimmer or some decent hairdressing scissors and a good wide-toothed comb. You may also want to purchase a separate, finer moustache comb. Make sure you have a wall mirror in a well-lit spot and at a suitable height. Make sure your beard is dry when you trim it and start near your ear on one side, trimming down to the chin. Then go to the other ear and work your way down to the same point on your chin, ensuring it is even on both sides. If you have purchased a beard trimmer, read the instructions before you use it and use the adjustable trimming guide on it. The first few times you use it, it’s best to adjust the guide longer than you want your beard to be, until you have mastered the trimmer and know that your beard won’t end up shorter than you intended.

      Clean Lines

      Most men will need to use a razor daily, to ensure that they have a clean line at the top of the beard and on the neck. Clean up all the edges, shaving along the grain using warm water and only go over each area once. Don’t be tempted to clean up around your moustache area – this should be left to grow up to your nose.

      Keeping it Clean

      The number one complaint among men trying to grow in a beard is itchiness. This irritation occurs because when you stop shaving, the dead skin cells that would normally get sloughed off with your razor and washed down the sink are suddenly hanging around in your stubble. The answer, is keeping it clean.

      Wash

      Lots of men make the mistake of not washing their beards, or if they do, using a bar of soap.
      Washing with a shampoo has many benefits. Shampooing your beard:

      •Prevents the hair from getting brittle

      •Clears up the irritation that you get when the hair starts coming in

      •Replenishes the natural oils in your skin and hair while stripping out all the unnatural grease and build up that has found its way into your beard

      •Leaves your beard smelling fresh and clean, rather than of food or cigarette smoke

      Use a sensitive shampoo as it will be easier on your skin and wash your beard as often as you do your head hair. If you have an ongoing issue with dandruff then don’t be afraid to use the usual products for this kind of problem like ‘Head and Shoulders’ and ‘Selsun Blue’. Stubborn ‘beard-druff’ can even be treated with a ketoconazole product available on prescription from your doctor. If you do end up using something medicated, make sure you leave it on for a few minutes before rinsing it off, and use according to the directions on the product.

      Condition

      Don’t skip this important step. Even if you don’t use conditioner on your head, you probably need to be using it on your beard to prevent it from becoming as wiry as a steel wool pad. Use a conditioner every wash and apply a thick, heavy treatment once a week to keep the hair soft. Try to leave the conditioner in for as long as you can – the easiest way to do this is to hop in the shower, shampoo first and then apply your conditioner. Then do whatever else you have to do and only rinse off last, before you are about to jump out. If you haven’t got time for that, consider buying a leave-in product that you can spray or rub in and go about your day, without having to rinse out.

      Dry and Comb

      After you’ve washed your beard, pat it dry with a towel but avoid using any kind of heat on it like a hairdryer as this can dry out your skin and hair. Comb your beard and moustache with your comb to remove any tangles and to tidy up.

      Skincare

      Beard care is done best when you take care of the skin underneath, so make sure you add in a couple of minutes to your routine for some skincare each day.

      Beard Oil/Balm/Softener

      In life, of three things you can be certain: death, taxes, and itchy beards. Beards itch – they just do, but there is a cure – a good wash, followed by a good product. Beard oils and balms use calming ingredients which soothe the irritated skin underneath and give your beard a nice fresh fragrance. Beard oils can also reduce the occurrence of ingrown hairs, reduce beard-druff and repair split ends, leaving your face-wig looking fuller and less disheveled.

      When you choose a beard oil or softener, make sure you choose one that you are happy to be putting on your face, since some of it will soak into the skin beneath your beard. You want something that is nice and light so that it won’t clog your pores and cause breakouts. It can be helpful to rub whichever product you are using in with a boar brush, or rub it in with your hands before combing it through to ensure it’s applied evenly through the hair.

      Lastly, here’s a few quick-fire tips to up your beard game this winter and keep your facial hair looking its best:

      Eat well. You hear it all the time, and it’s true – we are what we eat. Eating a balanced, healthy diet is good for your hair and skin so drink lots of water and try to fill up on fruits and vegetables before you reach for anything else

      Supplement. Most diets could benefit from a boost so be sure to supplement yours if you need to. Beards are made from protein, fats and B Vitamins so round off your healthy diet with a B Vitamin complex

      Sleep. Getting enough sleep has been linked with healthy hair growth so make sure you get a full eight hours each night

      Eat Carefully. Make sure the food goes in your mouth, not in your beard. Use cutlery, rather than your hands and ask for extra napkins (and use them!)

      Keep well. Cold season can be tough. If you get a cold or flu and you don’t want to shave off your bed, you are going to have to take some extra care to keep it clean while you are coughing and sneezing into it. Shampoo your beard daily, and rub tea tree oil into it. The natural antibacterial and antifungal properties will help to kill any bugs that are trying to linger in the hair

  • Winter Skin Care

    The winter season can be brutal – it can diminish immunity, dampen the spirits, and affect your skin and complexion. This makes winter the most important time to take proper care of your skin.
    Cold winds can wreak havoc on your skin - stripping away the moisture and leaving skin looking chapped and dry. Moving between cruel outside weather and warm air-conditioned environments can also upset the balance of your skin’s moisture levels.
    Whether you are an expert or beginner, winter is a great time to start thinking about what your skin needs. Cold weather always results in dry skin – it’s just a fact of life. But here at Lavish Bow Tie, we have come up with a simple skincare guide that will help you to keep that well-groomed appearance in every season.
    If you want to look great all year round, then follow our top tips for protecting yourself from the elements this winter.

    1. Exfoliate

    Despite our best efforts, the colder months will always prompt our skin to shed its dead cells off more easily, and often. Dry, flaking skin is not only a cosmetic problem – it can be uncomfortable as well. If the dead cells remain on your skin it can lead to itchiness and irritation. Skin that is not taken care of can even be more vulnerable to bacteria, inviting acne and other problems onto the surface of your skin.
    The best way to take care of your skin, and to avoid itchy winter flaking is to exfoliate regularly. Exfoliating will deeply clean your skin, while also polishing off the dead cells from the surface of your skin to reveal the newer cells underneath. Use a suitable product and apply light pressure using circular motions.
    While exfoliating is an important step, be sure to limit it to once or twice a week – any more frequently and you may aggravate your skin.

    2. Moisturize

    Next you will need to add some moisture back into your skin.
    The type of moisturizer you need will depend on the kind of skin you have. If your skin has a tendency to be oily, then you might want to consider using a lighter lotion. However, dry, dull skin may require a heavier cream. If you are used to using a light gel or similar, you may want to consider switching to a denser cream over the cold months. Whatever you choose, be sure choose a moisturizer that is going to keep you looking fresh and apply it twice daily – morning and night, after you have washed and shaved. If you take long walks or work outside, then apply throughout the day in addition.

    3. Sun Protection

    It is a common misconception that sun protection is only needed in the summer. Although sunburn is widely believed to be linked to sunny weather, your skin can burn anytime there is UV exposure – which is all year round.
    Any parts of your skin which are going to see daylight will need SPF protection. Cold weather will not protect you against the sun’s rays, so be sure to apply a product which is at least SPF 30 in order to protect your skin against the harmful effects of the sun.
    While it might be easy to remember grabbing the sunscreen on the way to the beach, it can be trickier to remember it on the way to work in freezing temperatures. If this is the case, consider using a moisturizer, that also contains SPF. Anytime you are going outside, you need sun protection – rain, hail or shine.
    Be sure to take extra care if you plan on going skiing this winter – studies have shown that around 80% of UV rays bounce off white snow, leaving facial skin extremely vulnerable to sun damage. Apply your sunscreen before you hit the slopes!

    4. Shaving

    Whether you are backing the beard trend, or prefer to leave the house with a fresh, close shave, we have vital skincare tips for you!
    If you have facial hair, it is important to take extra care to keep it clean and healthy looking. Using a good shampoo or cleanser will help to keep it free from dirt and oil build-up. Once it’s clean, apply a beard oil. This will help to reduce dandruff (or ‘beardruff’ as it’s more commonly known) and will keep the hair follicles in good condition. Choose a beard oil that has a nice fragrance, since the smell will stay in the hair and skin.
    If you prefer to be clean shaven, then you will want to focus on looking after your skin before and after shaving. If possible, always shave straight after a hot shower. This will make the hair will be softer and the pores more open. If this is not convenient, try applying a hot washcloth to your skin for a few minutes before you begin. Choose a smooth shave foam or gel and massage it into your skin, then shave using a good quality razor, rinsing between each stroke. Once you have finished shaving, apply a cooling balm or spray to the freshly shaved area to help reduce any redness or irritation.

    Good skincare is vital all year round, but is particularly important during the cooler months of the year. By ensuring that your skincare products and routine are going to care for your skin over the winter season, you can avoid irritation and maintain healthy looking skin all year round.

  • Compare Razor Types - Which is Right for You?

    Shaving is something men will do their whole life, or until they decide it's time to grow a beard. Are you still shaving with the razor you learned on? Lets compare different razor types to see if you're still getting the shave that's right for you.

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