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Christmas 2018 Gift Guide For Him

     Happy December! It’s that time of year again, and if you’re like me, you’re not only already behind on Christmas shopping but are also completely stumped on what to get anyone. Never fear, I’m here to help with all of the best thing for any of the men in your life with a festive gift guide for him.

GQ How to Win at Life: The expert guide to excelling at everything you do

This handy book is based on major interviews from GQ over the years, including Richard Branson, Tracey Emin, Jamie Oliver, Tom Daley and even Dynamo.

This book covers pretty much anything you could ask for and makes for a confidence boosting read.

Aftershave

Is this a boring one? A little. Is it something you always forget about, never buy for yourself but need it? Yes.

Plus if you’re smart about it, you can find something pre-wrapped that comes with another bonus. Is this a basic tip? 100%, but this is always a great thing to remember. Boots do a massive amount of gift sets that always come with a variety of freebies.

Tom Ford fragrances are always welcomed, they’re just that bit too nice to buy for yourself. F****** Fabulous is just as the name suggests, and luxurious as f***.

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Beard Care for the man with sensitive skin*

Spoilers: the man is me. I’m the man with sensitive skin.

The fine folks over at Murdock London kindly gifted me some of the products featured in this post and they’ve revolutionised my face a little bit. They’re experts in men’s grooming and I truly appreciate any help as I’m a man with ridiculously sensitive skin that likely has razor burn on it at any given point during the warmer months. And a beard that I just can’t take care of because I can barely take care of myself!

Today I thought I’d share a couple of products which help to protect my skin and beard whilst shaving and in general daily life, life is tough enough without your facial hair reeking havoc upon your face.

So for a bit of background, I recently decided to overhaul the shaving system I’d had in place for the best part of a decade since I began to shave my face at 13 years old. Still waiting on that growth spurt but got the facial hair pretty god damn early. The reason behind this was that my face was just getting ruined by shaving, my skin was in tatters, it was awful.

My skin became rough to the touch every time I shaved it, I’d have days of itching and razor burn and nothing seemed to be soothing it. This began to effect my confidence as no one wants to be going out with a rash on their neck that can’t be hidden, I loved wearing shirts with collars as they’d hide it a little bit. As someone who owns about 4,000 band tees, this wasn’t the life I wanted to live!

When I’m referring to shaving, I more so mean tidying up the lines of my facial hair and getting the runaways on the cheeks and tidying my neckline up. That’s also something I’ve changed thanks to Jonathan’s advice on Queer Eye, he’s a grooming guru. My beard began to suffer as I wasn’t taking proper care of my facial hair, I didn’t know what to do so sorta did nothing about it instead.

In many ways I’m very lucky because I grow facial hair very quickly, I can mess around with lengths and styles because it’ll be back to normal in a couple of days. The downside of this is that my face needs constant management or I’ll become a yeti who’s facial hair joins his eyebrows in the north and chest hair in the south. And said facial hair would be extremely dry, unstyled and the poor skin beneath would be destroyed.

I reached out on Twitter because the blogging community knows what’s UP and essentially told me to stop doing everything horrifically wrong and begin from scratch. My buddy Ryan Mules gave me some amazing recommendations, so let’s run through some of the products in my new and improved shaving and beard care routine.

The Bluebeard’s Revenge Pre-Shave Oil

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The Quest for a Beard

My current facial hair in all it’s glory in my new city. London, aged 21.

Ah yes, the quest for a beard. One which most teenage boys tend to go on. Luckily during my teens I stayed staunchly clean shaven as I knew I couldn’t grow decent facial hair despite shaving from the age of 12/13, which I think is pretty young? It felt young anyway. I found a razor still in it’s packets in my dad’s cupboard and stole it. Mum, I know you’re reading this. This is me admitting to that crime a decade or so later.

I used to hate the fact I grew facial hair. I would shave everyday, despite the fact at 14 or so, I really didn’t need to. I think it was maybe something about wanting to stay young and a kid forever. Oh lord was I not ready to be 17 and having a hairy chest and all.

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Goodbye 2016!

It might be a few days late to post a look back at 2016, but it’s been a mighty busy couple of days, I haven’t had a chance to look back at the last few minutes let alone look back at the entire year. 2016 has been a rollercoaster of a year, there’s been major disappointments, disasters, and losses for the world. In my personal life, I’ve overcome some obstacles, hit major milestones and been at the highest and lowest points I think I’ve ever been at.

I started 2016 with a 6am shift at ASDA. I remember going to bed on New Year’s Day at 12:10am. I didn’t start it very well. Then someone in the canteen was talking about how they think Sia is stupid. It really didn’t start well.

January was a bit of a whirlwind, I was in the first exam/coursework period of my third and final year of my degree. I had so much coursework, it was probably the hardest exam period of the entire degree. I averaged out at a 2:1 at this point, that’s mega good, but I personally was disappointed as I had been averaging on a strong first grade, and my results which dragged me down were in a module I very much struggled in, and one I recognised I didn’t try hard enough in. After this, I had a week off alongside my course and flatmates, we drank, we shopped, we partied, it was a great time.

 Things then improved further! We finished January, and brought in February, with a trip to Budapest, Hungary. Myself and four of my nearest and dearest decided to spend a couple of well earned days away in a city none of us had ever visited. It was bloody incredible. We all laughed harder than we ever had before on that trip, that’s what stands out to me from it. It was one of the best few days of my life with people who I’m sure will be lifelong friends. That’s the nicest thing I’ve ever said about them, usually we’re all right bastards to each other.

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