Michael 84

Men's Grooming Tips And Advice

Beauty products are not just for girls! Get tips, advice and guides on everything male grooming related. From the latest in skincare products to men's fragrance reviews and hair style tips, you'll find it all in the grooming blog. The modern gent takes care of himself, start now.

Friday, 12th January, 2018

Y By Yves Saint Laurent – Men’s Fragrance Review

Y By Yves Saint Laurent Fragrance Review

A start to a new year means a new scent, and I’ve got one of the new kids on the block, Y by Yves Saint Laurent. It was only launched in 2017, so is still a fairly new scent. Like me, you may have got this for Christmas, and if you didn’t you may be wondering what it’s all about, so here’s my take on the latest men’s aftershave from YSL.

It’s called Y which is supposed to represent generation Y, more commonly called Millennials these days, so should in fact be my perfect scent, since this is what I am. According to some other marketing I read, it’s to represent the Y chromosome, which is only present in men. Either way, it should be a scent for me, but is it?

As always I will start off with the bottle, which I like. It’s a 60ml bottle rather than 50ml, so you’re already getting 10ml more of the fragrance than you usually would. The bottle top is chunky with the YSL trademark logo to the top which is debossed in brushed metal, with a wrap around style black material which is nice and grippy. It’s a rectangular transparent bottle, with the Yves Saint Laurent wording on a brushed silver metal strip, which goes around the glass to the side to form the letter Y, which I think looks nice.

As you can see from the colour of the juice, it’s clear, which usually indicates that it’s not going to be an old school musky type of scent, which are usually a burnt orange colour. This is a fresh scent, aquatic and spicy with very light woody notes. It makes it perfect for the Spring or Summer, or an all rounder if you’re looking for a scent for the day. Since it’s so light it is very versatile, you can wear this in virtually any setting, from going to school, college or university, to going to work a the office, or out to lunch.

It’s an all rounder which is a very pleasant, I would identify this as a green fresh scent with a bit of spice, a modern masculine scent. It’s not a lady killer in the same vein as a Creed Aventus, Tom Ford Noir or Dior Sauvage, but you can’t wear those style of scents for a laid back day time situation, which this aftershave is perfect for.

I can definitely recommend Y by Yves Saint Laurent if you’re on the look out for something for the day, an all rounder or to add a green fresh scent to your collection.

Best season to wear – Spring/Summer
Scent type – Fresh/Spicy/GreenWoody
Age Recommendation – 18+
Best Worn – Evening, Day Wear, Formal, Casual

Top Notes – White aldehydes, Bergamot, Ginger

Middle Notes – Sage, Geranium, Violet leaf

Base Notes – Ambergris, Incense, Fir balsam, Cedarwood, Musk

Do you own Y by YSL? If you do let me know what you think of it. If you’re looking for a new scent, remember to check out the rest of my fragrance reviews for thoughts on all scents.


Monday, 8th January, 2018

New In: Clinique For Men Products

Clinique For Men Product Set

More Men’s products! Yes more…

Clinique For Men are grooming products which are fairly premium and I’ve had before and enjoyed using, and I got this set of products which come in the form of a scrub, face wash, moisturising lotion and shave gel.

The face scrub comes in a small bottle and is a product which I will enjoy using. I don’t think you need to use a scrub every day, it’s one of those products you can use a few times a week to keep your skin looking fresh, removing dead skin and everything bad. I am not a huge fan of a face wash, I don’t really see the need for one in the usual man’s lifestyle or routine, but I will give this one a try to see what it’s like. I do like to use moisturiser, I think that most of them do a good job at keeping the skin looking nice and soft, and I am looking forward to trying out the shave gel too.

I have got so many new products to try it’s going to take a long time testing them all out, but I will probably report back and write about which ones I thought were the best.


Wednesday, 3rd January, 2018

New Men’s Grooming Products For 2018

Grooming Products From Christmas

What better way to get 2018 off to a good start, than with some new men’s products!

At Christmas I think every man get’s the same stuff…Scents or skincare products. One of the most universal gifts you can get for any man is men’s grooming, you can’t really go wrong with male products. Along with socks and underwear, it’s a standard kind of thing to get. I got quite a bit, as most lads tend to at Christmas, and all of this stuff will last me quite a while!

My go to shaving gel has been King of Shaves for years. I don’t actually know how long for, but it’s been a favourite for a while, and I got two bottles, it’s definitely not the first time you’ve seen it on the blog.

The same can be said about Post Shave Balm, which I swear by. Nivea MEN Post Shave Balm is one of the first ones I ever tried years ago, and never looked back since. I’ve been using quite a few different brands and products for post shave, all of them really good, but it will be nice to go back to this classic. I also got the skin revitaliser face cream which I’ve never used which I look forward to trying out.

When it comes to face scrubs I prefer to not use them every day, and I already have a lot, and now I have even more! I got these two from Bulldog, it may take me a while to get to them.

I got a new bottle of another go to product, this time toothpaste, and I use BLANX.  This one is the white shock which I’ve never tried before, so it will be interesting to see how it compares to the original formula.

Finally I got a set from L’Oreal MEN Expert which contains face wash, shave gel, moisturiser and shower gel. I’ve had most of these products before, and I have to say that I love the Shave gel. It’s got Ice Effect, and I can honestly say that it feels so cool on the skin while shaving, and has a really nice scent. I used it last year and loved it, it really rivals my King of Shaves as my favourite shave gel. I don’t think I’ve used the shower gel before, I’ll be able to see what that’s like soon.

I got a few more grooming products which I will write about in more detail over the coming days/weeks. Let me know if you have any skincare or products tips for 2018 🙂


Thursday, 9th November, 2017

Paco Rabanne Ultraviolet MAN Fragrance Review

Paco Rabanne Ultraviolet MAN Review

Once again I am taking another look back at one of my older fragrances. Last time round I was looking at Kokorico from Jean Paul Gaultier, and this time it’s another one which I’ve hardly used, it’s Ultraviolet MAN from Paco Rabanne.

This one was another blind buy for me. I’ve had Paco Rabanne scents before this, and other’s since, including the infamous One Million and Invictus which is one of the most popular scents for the past few years. Since it has so much pedigree in fragrances, I thought getting this without smelling it first would be fine, but it’s never been much of a favourite.

The bottle is pretty cool. It’s rectangular with plastic chrome, purple and a glass back. It works by squeezing the purple like a trigger, and the scent then sprays out. I love the bottle for it’s originality, there’s no other bottle like this which I own. But once you get away from the bottle you need to have a good scent to go with it, and it’s not my style.

It’s quite hard to describe this one. It’s really sweet, and it does smell ‘purple’, like the bottle. How can I explain that? It smells quite dry and powdery, and is a sweet style of scent. It’s not very musky, like a traditional masculine scent, nor is it fresh, or citrus-like. It’s not an unpleasant smell, but it doesn’t really stand out. Where I like to wear something which is light, fresh or citrus through the day, this is not that. A great evening scent for me is dark and inviting, and this is not that either.

So it’s not really a stand out scent, and doesn’t really fit into any kind of category for a fragrance, which could be a good thing if it were a brilliant smell, but sadly it just isn’t anything special.

Best season to wear – Autumn/Winter
Scent type – Earthy/Aromatic
Age Recommendation – 18+
Best Worn – Evening, Day Wear, Formal, Casual

Top Notes – Mint, Amber

Middle Notes – Vetiver, Pepper, Spicy Notes

Base Notes – Oakmoss, Vanilla

What do you think of Paco Rabanne Ultraviolet? Let me know, and if you’re looking for another scent, make sure you check out my men’s fragrance reviews, for all the latest and classic scents.


Wednesday, 1st November, 2017

David Beckham Respect Fragrance

David Beckham Respect Fragrance Review

In the Spring there was Made Of Instinct, and now ready for Autumn and Winter there’s a brand new scent from David Beckham, called Respect. I love a scent for this time of year, so I was excited to give this one a try and see what it was all about.

First of all as always I have to talk about the bottle. The first thing which hits you straight away is the colour of the bottle, which is a polished silver mirrored design. Square in shape, the bottle has a waves or rippled effect coming in from the bottle corner, edging out into a smooth silver with the David Beckham Respect branding clean in the corner.

What does it smell like?

It’s a masculine but modern type of scent, which is very slightly woody, but mostly aromatic with a real sense of the green citrus types of notes coming through. It’s very light making it inoffensive, and you can really get a taste of the zesty notes which are present in this. As this is quite a light fragrance, this would be suitable for day wear as well as wearing it in the evening, in both a formal or casual setting. This is definitely a one for the younger guy, the scent has a real youthful feeling to it, but comes with a contemporary edge giving it a refined character.

Respect is a very pleasant fragrance, with no overpowering notes it has a nice overall smell. It comes in at a very reasonable £33.95 for a large 90ml bottle, or £24.95 for a 60ml bottle. Definitely worth a try if you’re looking to add to your fragrance collection or get something new.

Best season to wear – All Rounder

Scent type – Citrus/Fresh/Green

Age Recommendation – 16 – 30

Best Worn – Daytime, Evening, Casual, Formal

Top Notes: Grapefruit, Watermelon, Pink Pepper
Heart Notes: Cardamom, Lavendin, Basil
Base Notes: Vetiver, Patchouli, Moss

If you’ve got this please let me know what you think, and as always you can check out more of my fragrance reviews if you’re looking to add more scents to your collection.


Wednesday, 25th October, 2017

The Best Autumn Fragrances For Men

The Best Men's Fragrances For Autumn

Autumn is such a good season for fashion and fragrances. It’s not too hot where you can’t wear a jacket, and it’s not too cold where you have to completely layer up. Picking a scent is within the same mould as fashion. It’s a great crossover where you can still wear a scent which is fresh or with a hint of citrus, but you can also warm up the evenings with a bit of musky or woody fragrances. What exactly do I look for when I choose a fragrance for the season of Autumn?

Tips for picking a fragrance for Autumn

From Summer comes Autumn, and with that darker nights and colder weather is setting in. I really like certain notes when it comes to an autumn scent, but it also depends on the setting, and time. This can be split up into casual or formal, and day wear or evening wear. So with that said, there’s four possible scenarios for picking a scent, but some scents will work well in more than one, and some will work in all situations. In the Autumn we have more night than day, and it’s generally colder than warm, so I pick out scents based on that. I love notes which are woody, musky, floral, spicy, oriental and mildly fresh, and stay away from strong citrus types of scents which are more suited to a crisp spring morning or summers day. The scents should give off a sensual, warm and inviting feeling, masculine but not be too overpowering.

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Wednesday, 18th October, 2017

Kokorico By Jean Paul Gaultier Fragrance Review

Kokorico by Jean Paul Gaultier Review

So the last fragrance review I wrote about was the underwhelming BANG! from Marc Jacobs, and this time round I am talking about a scent which I do like and have owned since 2012, it’s Kokorico from Jean Paul Gaultier.

Jean Paul Gaultier is well known for one scent, Le Male. It’s the one in the green-blue bottle which is body shaped, and is well known for most guys. Le Male is one of those scents which is so well known, loved and used by so many guys, including myself. I love that scent, and for those who aren’t big fragrance fans, they’ll just associate Jean Paul Gaultier as that one scent, but of course there’s a few more from the brand. In 2011 Kokorico came around, and I decided to grab myself a bottle.

Speaking of the bottle, it’s once again a distinctive shape, and comes well packaged. The bottle comes in a circular tin, painted red with the branding on too. I really like good packaging, I think it’s something which can set a brand apart from a regular old standard brand, to one which really cares about their products. As for the bottle, it can be upstanding, and is the shape of a face in a profile form, with the Kokorico branding to the front.

As for the scent, it’s very nice and pleasant. On a night out a girl said, “I can smell man” which is a good summary of what this fragrance is. It’s a masucline scent, but not in the old fashioned, traditional sense. It’s from a more refined school, with just the right hints of woody notes, it’s subtle, but you know it’s there. It is a good one for an evening, for a night out, and I think works well in any season, but will shine in the colder months of Autumn and Winter.

This is a scent which I really liked for a time, but it didn’t have that special something. It’s a perfectly good fragrance, but I don’t think it will ever be one of my all time favourites, although I can recommend it if you’re looking for an evening scent which not too many people will be wearing.

Best season to wear – Autumn/Winter
Scent type – Woody/Spicy/Warm
Age Recommendation – 18+
Best Worn – Evening, Casual, Formal

Top Notes – Fig Leaf

Middle Notes – Patchouli, Cacao

Base Notes – Virginia Cedar, Vetiver

What do you think of Kokorico from Jean Paul Gaultier? Let me know if you love or hate this. As always you can get more advice and reviews in the fragrance blog, where I have a huge collection of scents featured.


Monday, 25th September, 2017

Daily Products – Grooming Essentials: September 2017

Monthly Favourite Grooming Products

I hope you’re well!

So I thought I would share my grooming essentials, the products I’ve been using daily (or more or less daily) this month. I am quite loyal when it comes to some products, I know what I like and usually stick to those. However I do like to change it up sometimes, and try out other products, especially new ones. Here’s what I’ve been using in September as part of my daily routine.

Daily Wash & deodorant

For the general daily wash I have been using No.7 MEN energising hair and body wash. It’s pretty decent, I can’t complain and have a nice scent. For a face wash I have been using L’Oreal Men Expert which I think is pretty good. For deodorant I use an antiperspirant spray, and have been using Dove MenCare for a long time. The Clean Comfort is one of my favourites, not much of a scent other than a “clean” smell. This is perfect for my as I use aftershave as a daily scent.

Moisturiser

I don’t use my moisturiser as much as I should, and I have so many. The one I’ve been using lately is the Hydra energetic anti-fatigue moisturiser from L’Oreal MEN Expert.

Teeth

I use an electric toothbrush, Listerine mouthwash and for toothpaste I always use Blanx. I’ve been using this for years, I occasionally try others, but for the most part I always use Blanx. I really like it, although it’s pretty expensive.

Haircare

For washing my hair I use Head & Shoulders. Again, I am fairly loyal to this, I really like it, I think it works well, and leaves your hair fairly free of flakes you can get from using hair products. Speaking of hair products, my favourite is 3D texture clay from Schwartzkopf, which I use when I go out or really want to make sure my hair is right. I have so many hair products which I use in some kind of rotation, but my texture clay is the go to product, it’s so reliable.

Shaving

King of Shaves gel really is the king. I don’t like foam, or other gels which foam up. The gel works really well, I’ve lost count of how many years I’ve used this for. Not only a good product, but at a good price too. My aftershave balms have been getting a good run out, I’ve been using lots of different ones. Since I ran out of my usual balms I’ve been using some I’ve got from various aftershave sets, The latest I’m using is my Acqua di GIO from Armani. It good and has that nice scent too.

Autumn Fragrance

I wear a lot of different scents as you know if you read my fragrance reviews. I could have put so many here, but for my Autumn fragrances I’ve gone for Tom Ford Noir. This is one of my favourites, I really like it, and it works well for Autumn, and pretty much any other season too. It’s dark and sensual, so best for evenings. Others which I could have easily featured are Molton Brown Absolute Tobacco, Viktor & Rolf Spice Bomb, MR Burberry, and so many more.

That’s the products I’ve been using this month. I may change up some products for next time round.

What are your favourite products? Do you have any recommendations?