Men's Fashion And Lifestyle Blog

Men's Lifestyle Blog With Fashion Guides & Tips For The Modern Man.

Monday, 1st September, 2014

LOT78 – Autumn/Winter 14 Collection

LOT78 Autumn/Winter 14 Collection

British brand LOT78 has unveiled it’s Autumn/Winter 14 collection for those looking to upgrade their luxury streetwear wardrobe. The AW14 collection presents an electric theme with electric blue, and a new electric eye print which is featured throughout the collection. Key pieces in the line include a newly created padded bomber, a fusion of a classic puffa jacket and best-selling bomber, which results in creating the ultimate winter piece.

My favourite piece from this seasons collection has to be the quilted sweatshirt. The Ballabis quilt is sourced from Italy, and looks both simple and minimalistic, with the fine detailing adding dimension to the look.

LOT78 AW 14 Collection

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Sunday, 31st August, 2014

The Real Housewives Of…Cheshire?!

itvbeeee

Yes, If you’re a fan of British reality TV or the American housewives series, then good news for you. We can’t seem to get enough of reality TV, and it looks like there is no stopping it. The Real Housewives of Cheshire is a new spinoff of the U.S show will the same name. It will be coming soon to ITVBe, the latest channel from ITV which is set to launch in October. The new channel is said to be dedicated to lifestyle and reality type programmes, and it will be the new home of The Only Way Is Essex and apparently all of the other Real Housewives Of… series.

If you’re not a fan of reality TV the sad news is that it looks like it’s not going away any time soon.

Saturday, 30th August, 2014

Cornerstone Shaving

cornerstone shaving review

I have always had a wet shave, which means buying a lot of blades over the years. There’s almost always a time where I have to think, “Do I need to buy blades” and when I do, it means having to go into town and get myself a pack, which are getting more and more expensive. Shaving is not just about the blades, you’ll also need shaving gel or foam, and as I always mention you can’t forget about post shave balm. If you’re like me you, you’ll not run out of these things at the same time which is quite annoying.

Cornerstone is a men’s shaving brand with a difference. It’s a subscription based service, and their philosophy is to create a more simple way to shave. Their shaving kits comprise of a face scrub, shave gel and post shave balm, as well as a pack of blades and your very own, customised stick with your initials inscribed. The service costs £30, and they have three plans you can subscribe to, which depend on how often you shave; You can opt to get a box send to you every 6, 12 or 24 weeks depending on how often you shave. The box will contain:

1 stick (Your first box)
6 blades
Face Scrub (100ml)
Shaving Gel (150ml)
Post Shave Balm (75ml)

For myself, shaving 3 times a week they recommend a box every 12 weeks, which would mean using one blade for 2 weeks. This seems a long time to me, since I currently use one blade every 10 days or so, however I’ve been reading that they actually last a lot longer.

I really love the box and the presentation, each component has it’s own compartment, everything is laid out well and the packaging is really cool.

How does it stack up against old fashioned shopping?

I usually buy 150ml King Of Shaves Gel (£3.69), 150ml Dove MenCare face scrub (£2.86), MACH3 blades, £13.99 for 8 and 100ml Dove Mencare Post-Shave Balm (£3.86). That is a total of £24.40 which is slightly cheaper, and you get slightly more than the Cornerstone box.

Final Word

The Cornerstone box is slightly more expensive than the DIY options of buying your own products, however you’re getting them delivered to your door, without the need to go out to the shops which can make this service worthwhile. If you’re the guy on the go, living a busy life and don’t want to worry about your shaving regime being disrupted because you’ve forgotten to buy something, this takes all the hassle of buying essential products for your shaving needs. Forget about forgetting that post shave balm, with the Cornerstone box it’s as simple as choosing your plan and letting them take care of the rest.

cornerstone shaving box - a simpler way to shave

Friday, 29th August, 2014

Bonbar Review

Bonbar Newcastle Bar Review

Bonbar is a fairly new drinking establishment and restaurant in Newcastle, and has taken over The Old Assembly Rooms. It’s located on Fenkle Street, just off Westgate Road, up from The Milecastle. It’s a classic style of place, offering the best in cocktails, wine and champagne, as well as the traditional drinks you’d expect to see at a bar.

I do love the layout and the décor and building is really nice. The bar is in the middle as you walk in, with plenty of room to get served which I think is important. Down each side there are booths if you fancy chilling in one of those, or get on the dance floor at the top of the room. Everything is open and easy to get to, it’s a large space without feeling too big. There’s an exclusive VIP room called the 467 Club, and an outside terrace for the warmer months or if you need some air.

The £6 entrance fee on a Saturday night is pretty reasonable for an upmarket type of place such as this, and it’s open from 11pm until 4am which is pretty good.

Club Nights - Beau Monde on Thursday nights with free entry, open till 3AM; Makeway Fridays and Be Somebody Saturdays At Bonbar

Thursday, 28th August, 2014

Sean John Unforgivable For Men

Unforgivable by Sean John Review

This week’s fragrance is a trip down memory lane, to around 2006, when I got Unforgivable by Sean John. It’s a nice fragrance, but I have to admit, it’s never been a firm favourite with me. This could partly be because at the time I had so many other scents which I loved, such as Armani Mania, Gucci Envy and Armani Code, which I got around the same time. This is of course a celebrity scent, Sean John is the label created by hip hop mogul P. Diddy aka Sean Combs.

It’s quite an aromatic style of smell, with a slight fruity and woody notes almost creating some kind of fiery spice smell. It’s a warm and dark style of scent, so I would recommend it strictly for night wear, probably best in a casual setting. It’s pleasant, but not the most inviting, it’s quite neutral in that it does not hit any of the notes strongly enough to have a specific style; For example it’s slightly woody, but not woody enough, it’s aromatic, but there’s more aromatic scents out there.

Best season to wear – Autumn/Winter
Scent type – Woody/Aromatic/Fruity
Age Recommendation – 18 +
Best Worn – Evening, Casual,

Top Notes – Basil, Citrus, Lavender

Middle Notes – Sea Moss, Cashmere, Iris, Clary Sage

Base Notes – Sandalwood, Amber, Tonka Bean

new era x coca cola collection

New Era collaborations are hot, and they have another in the works with none other than one of the most popular and iconic soft drink brands out there, Coca Cola. Coca Cola is definitely one of the more fashionable product brands, they’ve done a lot of collaborations before, huge ad campaigns featuring superstars from music, sport and screen, and are one of the most popular and most recognisable brands in the world. They’ve teamed up with New Era and launched a couple of caps, in the form of the classic 9FIFTY snapback and the iconic 59Fitted style.

With two caps in black carrying the trademark Coca Cola branding in either silver or gold, and joining the line up there’s a Chinese Coca Cola logo front on a red cap. These are available right now in the New Era online store, priced around £28-£35 depending on the variation you choose.

Reasons why Blogger Is Better Than WordPress

I LOVE WordPress, it’s the software this blog runs on, and it’s something I have used for over 10 years. I love everything about it; Free open source, a large, cool and helpful community and it’s just amazing software! If you asked me what the best software for running a blog or CMS (content management system), it would be an easy answer, WordPress! :D

So if I think all of this why am I going to tell you why I think Blogger could be better? Easy – Although WordPress is amazing, it is not for everyone.

I have read a lot on other fashion and lifestyle blogs that are giving tips and advice and talking about how great WordPress is, and how it’s the only way. They are right about one thing, it is great, but it is not the only way. Some people are on Blogger and are thinking of changing to WordPress, and some want to start out and don’t know where to begin. First I would say read my blog on How To Start A Fashion Or Lifestyle Blog, and then consider Blogger as well as the other options.

People who have been on self-hosted options such as WordPress are trying to convince people that if they make the switch they’re blog will instantly become better and they’ll get millions of visitors. I must tell you it does not work that way.

Why would you choose Blogger over a self hosted WordPress?

It’s Free

This is a no brainer. Blogger is free to set up and run, whereas self hosted options such as Joomla and WordPress are free, you will need web hosting which you’ll need to pay for. The costs are varied, it can be low, but it can soon mount up if your blog blows up, as I’ll go into below.

Easy To Get Started

It’s really easy to get started on Blogger, a couple of clicks and you’re done. Search through a couple of free themes and add your own mark on them. Most designs are not as elaborate as WordPress, but there’s some good ones out there, I’ve seen a couple of lifestyle blogs on Blogger, and it’s hard to tell just by looking at the layout.

Fast & Reliable Google Servers

Getting web hosting it not too difficult, but finding good, reliable hosting could be hard. You may face downtime, outages, support issues and a whole host of more bad things. Blogger is on Google, so you’re backed by their reliability and fast servers and there’s less to worry about.

Security

If you’re on Blogger all you need to worry about is securing your account, that’s it! Having your own hosting means you are responsible for almost every aspect (not server side if you’re on shared aka cheap hosting). You have to secure your WordPress user account, but also have to secure you whole WordPress, all the files, your whole web account which may include other software/scripts/apps on your server, and plugins you install. You have to make sure everything is up to date, depending on the type of hosting plan you have this may even include PHP, MYSQL, and more.

Speed & Optimisation

The load time and speed of your blog is important. As mentioned your Blogger will be on Google’s servers, so will be rather fast all the time. Your WordPress may not be quicker, and you may have to do things to optimise the code or your server to make it go quicker. Things such as plugins and resource intensive themes can slow it down.

One Login For All, Ease Of Integrating Google’s Other Services

You probably use some other Google services, which could be YouTube, G+, G Mail, AdSense, Adwords and Webmaster Tools. Since they’re all under one hood, integration of these is made easy.

It’s easier and cheaper to grow

If you get 100 visitors a month, or 100,000 visitors a month, it does not matter on Blogger. You don’t need to worry, there’s no limit on the number of visitors you have. If you have a self-hosted option, then you’ll find out that if your blog grows large, you’ll have to move to a large hosting plan, which will cost you money, and in some cases you may need to manage the actual server, or pay for someone to manage it for you. If you get large spikes in traffic your hosting company may tell you that you need a bigger plan, or even temporarily shut down your website if you’re using too many resources. This can happen if you’re on cheap shared web hosting, typically less than £10/month.

Huge Blogger Network

There’s a huge blogger community, and you can comment on other blogs using your Blogger credentials, and your fellow bloggers can comment on yours. The integrated Blogger search bar means people can search for your blog posts within other blogs, and you can get visitors utilizing this.

Blogger – Concentrate on blogging

You almost certainly want to start a blog because you want to do exactly that, blog. Using Blogger will let you focus completely on that, without worrying about whether you’re WordPress is optimised enough, secure enough, or becoming obsessed with the huge inventory of great plugins WordPress has. Blogger gives you the fundamentals of writing, and let’s you concentrate solely on that. Of course Blogger has some problems, and limitations too, but if you’re just starting out it’s a platform which allows you to just do exactly what you want to do, with no experience, for free.

Final Word

As mentioned I love WordPress, and I do recommend it, but go into it with your eyes open, if you’re already a Blogger user thinking the grass is greener on the other side it may not be. These days WordPress self installs are really easy, a lot of web hosts have “1 click installs” and even if they don’t it’s simple enough to download and set up WordPress. WordPress now also has auto updates, which is a good addition for safety. However you should realise that you are responsible for your whole web hosting account, and not just your WordPress blog; If you grow to a large size then be prepared to pay for larger hosting plans, servers and spend time looking after your server, or pay someone else to.

Being hosted on a platform such as Blogger let’s you focus solely on blogging without having to worry about anything else. Buying a domain is highly recommended but it’s not actually required, so you can get started at absolutely no cost, and if you get serious somewhere down the line you can take steps from there.

There’s plenty of large blogs currently on Blogger, check out The Londoner, and Zoella to name a few, and others who’ve started out on Blogger but moved on. Remember if you feel you want something more advanced with the ultimate creative freedom WordPress has, you can always move you blog when you’re ready.

No matter which platform you choose you have to put the work in, there is no magic answer which will get you to the top of Google or get thousands of visitors overnight. Don’t be the blogger looking for the quick fix thinking owning the greatest tools is the key to success, using the tools you have at your disposal effectively is a far better way of going forwards rather than standing still.

Next time out we’ll look at what’s amazing about WordPress, and why you should consider choosing that software when wanting to start a blog.