Crowned Beard of the North at Liverpool’s Beardfest, Lush's male grooming expert Michael O' Brien knows a thing or two about beard, hair and skincare. Here, he gives the lowdown on how to look smooth, even if you're beardy.
We’ve gone through the age of the metrosexual (think David Beckham circa 1999 – preened, waxed, bleached), and the retrosexual (think Russell Crowe circa…all the time – rough, rugged, hairy). What age do we live in now? I believe we lie somewhere in the middle. The increase in men taking care of themselves has rocketed over the last couple of years. It’s become a staple for gents from all walks of life to have a healthy collection of cosmetics to keep them looking fresh, and long may this habit continue. Here are my go-to products for keeping you looking groomed and great.
Cleansing your face is the perfect way to start the day. Take a scoop of Ocean Salt and massage all over a wet face. The coarse sea salt will exfoliate the skin and lift any ingrowing hairs. The avocado butter and coconut oil will soften and the vodka (yes, vodka) and lime will brighten and tone the skin. Ship-shape in no time.
If Batman can wear one, why can’t you? Treating your face to a weekly mask will maintain healthy skin, battle any skin villains and keep you looking as slick as Bruce Wayne himself. Mask of Magnaminty is the ideal way to round up a skincare routine. Fresh peppermint will cool the skin and stimulate blood flow, kaolin deeply cleanses, drawing out any impurities and antibacterial honey is the ultimate superhero, a cleansing and conditioning ingredient that also acts as a natural preservative.
Now that you’ve treated your skin, you want to protect it, right? That’s the job of a facial moisturiser. Cosmetic Lad soothes and hydrates with aloe vera and fresh wheatgrass, while Celestial gently moisturises with cocoa butter and almond oil. Vanishing Cream is a low-fat moisturiser packed full of healing witch hazel and lightly nourishing shea butter. With a bevvy of moisturisers to choose from, your skin will let you know which one is best for you. Listen to it.
Whether you need to or choose to, wet-shaving is quite the experience to put your skin through. The job of our shaving creams and soaps is to provide a protective layer between the blade and the skin as well as softening the hair itself. The egg whites and cocoa butter in D’Fluff assist the blade and cushion the skin, while fresh strawberries strengthen the skin for post-shave comfort. A sharp razor is an incredibly important tool (change your blades frequently); sluice often in warm water to unclog the razor and to help the blade glide gently across the skin.
Do you eschew the blade? Growing your own facial forest? As the award-winning Beard of the North, my ultimate product is the R&B hair moisturiser. I proudly massage it in to my beard daily. The extra virgin olive oil keeps hair strong, preventing breakage and split ends, rich cocoa butter moisturises the hair and bay oil encourages healthy hair growth and conditions the skin underneath. Perfect.
Fancy a pint? Cynthia Sylvia Stout shampoo is packed full of protein-rich vegan Irish stout to keep hair strong and healthy. Massaging the shampoo thoroughly through wet hair and stimulating the scalp will encourage blood flow and a deep cleanse. But let’s not stop there: don’t forget to condition. You’ve had a pint, now how’s about a milkshake? Fresh strawberries, honey and vanilla combine in our American Cream conditioner to moisturise the hair without weighing it down. Conditioning after shampooing is the prime opportunity for your hair to absorb all of the hydrating, strengthening ingredients it has to offer. Rinse out and towel dry. Use it every time you shampoo.
Our haircare combinations are endless, and your skin, hair and scalp will let you know exactly what they need.