Monday, 28 May 2007

Shoe shine, sir? How to polish leather shoes.

The MFB guide to polishing your shoes to the same level of the armed forces!

  1. Wipe any dust off your shoes using a damp cloth which has been run under warm water.
  2. Take a soft cotton cloth or a fine, tightly packed bristle brush and apply a conservative amount of high quality polish to your shoe in a small circular movement; wrapping the cotton cloth around your finger, or evenly cover shoe with polish using the natural bristle brush.
  3. Leave the polish on the shoe for 2 to 3 minutes. This will help the shoe’s leather absorb the polish.
  4. Using a sprayer filled with water, spray a fine mist over the entire shoe until it is covered with tiny droplets of water. Then polish the shoe dry with the same bristle brush.
  5. It is important to build up the polish in fine layers, therefore repeat process 2 to 4 until you reach desired level of shine.
  6. Always keep the polish damp or it will dry out and not take to the shoe.
  7. Once finished wipe the shoe with a cotton ball soaked in cold water, or lightly buff with a cotton cloth.
  8. Leave shoes in a cold environment. Best to place them in a shoe box with lid.

Happy polishing!


Saturday, 26 May 2007

Ben Sherman and Timothy Everest fight for little piece of Britain!

Leading men’s fashion designers Ben Sherman and Timothy Everest have joined a group of British New Yorkers’ (located in the vicinity of Greenwich Avenue and West 12th Street) campaigning to change the map of New York by introducing a new "Little Britain" neighbourhood in Manhattan.

The group, who are proposing the borough of Manhattan to formally recognise a new neighbourhood, are supported by a whole host of stars from the world of music and movies including Kiefer Sutherland, Lily Allen, Stephen Dorff, Joss Stone, Bryan Adams and many more…

In support, Ben Sherman have designed a 'Little Britain' t-shirt for the campaign launch. Likewise bespoke suit maker Timothy Everest is
behind the scheme calling for “overflow space”. Indeed New Yorkers buy almost as many bespoke suits from Savile Row tailors as the Brits do!

For more information about the Campaign For Little Britain click here.


Friday, 25 May 2007

Men's Grooming Products by Clinique

As well as quality skincare and shaving formulas specifically created for a man's needs, Clinique also offers a range of grooming products for men. MFB have listed the Clinique product benefits for any man wanting to be well-groomed and looking good!

Hair Maximizing Shampoo – is a daily-use shampoo created to maintain your hair’s fullest look. Following use it immediately improves thickness and volume, then continues to work over time by helping keep the hair you have.

Hair Maximizing Serum – A highly concentrated Clinique product that improves men’s hair thickness and volume. The formula helps increase scalp circulation to encourage growth of stronger, healthier-looking hair.

Non-Streak Bronzer – This Clinique product for men’s skin gives the most believable tanned look obtainable. It is suitable for all types of skin. A transparent, oil-free gel delivers a healthy-looking colour. The product smoothes on evenly and washes off very easily. Clinique recommend that you prep skin with Clinique Face Scrub for smooth, even results.

Exfoliating Body Wash – A body was that cleans efficiently whilst non-abrasives grains shed dead skin flakes and any build-up of oil, leaving your skin feeling fresh, smooth and comfortable. Clinique recommend you use this formula daily to help keep skin clear.

Antiperspirant Deodrant Stick and Antiperspirant Deodorant Roll-On – Effective, dependable and comfortable protection against wetness and odour.

Lip Balm SPF 15 – A hydrating formula from Clinique that helps soothe dry lips. Protects with SPF 15. Recommended for daily use to ensure lips are kept comfortable and conditioned. Also ideal for outdoor sports.

Oil Control Hydrator – A specialist multi-tasking, oil-free formula soothes dryness in normal to oily skin. The product helps de-shine and control excess oil. It works immediately on application and over time to reduce the appearance of pores, leaving skin looking fresher and more refined.

Maximum Hydrator – Rehydrates and firms normal to dry skin giving a more supple look and feel. The quick-absorbing, non-greasy Clinique formula helps to trigger skin’s ability to build and hold moisture, working to minimise the look of lines.

Daily Eye Hydrator – A quick-absorbing eye gel that immediately sootes and refreshes, targeting the appearances of fine lines and shadows. Over time it helps to firm skin and strengthen the eye-area.


Clinique – Basic Skin Care Products for Men

As part of the MFB focus on the benefits of Clinique for men, we have taken a look at the Clinique Basic Skin Care range. Clinique highlight the need for a 3-step face care routine. Step 1: Cleanse with bar or liquid soap. Step 2: Exfoliate with scruffing lotion. Step 3: Moisturise with lotion.

Here are the products Clinique offer for the perfect skin care routine for men…

Face Soap – An efficient way to remove oil and dirt. Clinique’s soap is gentle yet thorough and leaves skin feeling fresh but never too tight. Use Regular for normal to dry skin and; Extra-Strength for normal to oily skin.

Liquid Face Wash – A redidue-free formula from Clinque that leaves your skin feeling fresh and comfortable. Cleans in a gentle manner, and rinses away easily. Choose the Regular Strength formula for dry to normal skin; and Extra-Strength for normal to oily skin.

Scruffing Lotion – An important Clinique product that allows men to exfoliate. The Scruffing Lotion removes the daily build-up of dead skin flakes and control excess oil on the face. This lessens the chace of pore-clogging and breakouts. It is available in four strengths depending on
the type of face.

M Lotion – Soothing moisturising cream from Clinique to help keep skin good working condition. The formula soothes and relieves dryness, providing essential moisture to your face. Use this formula after using Scruffing Lotion to smoothing over the face and neck.

M Gel-Lotion – A lightweight, oil-free formula which hydrates and soothes. It helps relieve dryness and keeps men’s skin in good working condition. M Gel-Lotion is perfect for normal to oily skin. Like M Lotion, use after applying Scruffing Lotion.

Click here for information about the Clinique men's shaving range.


Saturday, 19 May 2007

Clinique for Men – Shaving Products

Clinique is the market leading in skin care. Clinique Skin Supplies for Men is a comprehensive range of shaving and skin care products that utilises the research of Clinique’s experienced dermatologists. MFB regard Clinique Skin Supplies for Men as the premier product range and recommend its use as second to none.

MFB highlights the entire line of Clinique Skin Supplies for Men below, listing the benefits of each product, and when to use them!

Clinique Pre-shave Products

Before you shave, clean your face!

Face Soap – An efficient way to remove oil and dirt. Clinique’s soap is gentle yet thorough and leaves skin feeling fresh but never too tight. Use Regular for normal to dry skin and; Extra-Strength for normal to oily skin.

Liquid Face Wash – This residue-free formula cleans gently and rinses off easily. Use Regular Strength for normal to dry skin; and Extra-Strength for normal to oily skin.

Face Scrub – Uses fine, non-abrasive grains that lift the beard hairs and help reduce ingrown hairs. Also helps unclog pours and dislodge dirt.

If you electric shave…

Electric Shave Primer – Softens the beard for a closer shave. Furthermore it holds moisture near the beard, leaving skin smooth. Apply this after you have used Clinique Face Scrub.

Clinique Shaving Products

Remember to wet shave during or after a shower to allow steam to soften the beard and make for a closer shave.

Soothing Shave Oil – Clinique offer a vitamin-rich oil that lifts the beard and reduces friction on the skin to prevent razor burn and leave skin feeling soft. It is possible to use this Clinique Shave Oil alone but more commonly it is used as an underlay to other shave products to cushion the skin.

M Shave Aloe Gel – An oil free gel that can be built into a rich lather and used to cushion the face from the razor. This product is more suited to normal to oily skin. For drier skins use Clinique’s Cream Shave.

Cream Shave – This product is lubricant-rich an ideal for drier skins. It stays at the beard roots and creates a cushion that ensures a smooth shave.

MFB recommend using M Shave Aloe Gel and Cream Shave with Clinique’s Soothing Shave Oil.

Post-Shave Products

Clinique offer a number of post-shave formulas to soothe razor burn, keeping your face smooth and clear. This ensures your next shave is even easier!

Post-Shave Soother (Beard Control Formula) – This Clinique post-shave product, suitable for all types of skin, promotes healing of small cuts and nicks. Clinique claim that over time it help make the beard’s hair softer for an easier shave. Use this product on the beard area only.

Post-Shave Soother (Anti-Blemish Formula) – Clinique’s skin-clearing product which helps reduce and prevent breakouts, keeping your face looking clear and looking good! Use this product on the beard area only.

Post-Shave Healer – Similar to the above post-shave products; reducing razor burn and repairing cuts and nicks from the shave.

M Lotion – Soothing moisturising cream to help keep skin good working condition. Use on the area of face you haven’t shaved.

Look out for more guides to Clinique skin supplies for men, from MFB...

Click here for the MFB guide to Clinique Men's Basic Skin Care products.


Friday, 18 May 2007

Men’s guide to bad breath – the causes and cures.

For most men fashion and confidence go hand-in-hand! Your image and the way you present yourself are important to you! Being well groomed, clean shaven and wearing stylish and interesting clothing is paramount. Likewise most fashion conscious men want to avoid bad breath (or halitosis)…as a consequence MFB have listed a few facts to help you…

Causes of bad breath

A man’s breath will ultimately depend on a number of different things, and the main “bad breath” variables are:

  1. Oral anaerobic bacteria – or more specifically the waste products of oral bacteria. Generally the bacteria lives on the surface of your tongue, especially the back of your tongue.
  2. Food – The most obvious foods are garlic, cabbage and onions (which contain high amounts of sulfur compounds). However high protein foods (such as meat and fish) are especially problematic because the waste from bacteria that causes bad breath is created from the anaerobic bacteria as they digest proteins.
  3. Smoking – “Smoker's breath”; need we say more?
  4. Having a dry mouth – When you have a dry mouth bacteria become more concentrated in the saliva, and they tend to evaporate more readily into the air. This releases the bad odours (from the bacteria) into your breath!
Preventing/curing bad breath

The main actions you can take to get rid of bad breath are:

Brush and floss your teeth

Brushing and flossing are crucial elements for dealing with bad breath. Brushing and flossing remove bacteria and the food that bacteria feasts on so that they can no longer create volatile sulfur compounds VSC). Ensure you brush for long enough! It takes 2-3 minutes to brush all tooth surfaces. If you spend less than this brushing your teeth you are not doing it properly.

Clean your tongue

Regular cleaning of your tongue can be the single most beneficial treatment men can undertake to prevent bad breath! In particular it is the back (posterior) portion of your tongue, which holds the most bacteria, that is the most important area to clean. There are a number of ways to clean your tongue:

  • Using a toothbrush: From as far back as possible, make brush strokes outward, toward the front of your tongue, applying some pressure.
  • Using a tongue scraper: Some people find scraping their tongue with a tongue scraper is more effective and you will be less likely to gag. Practice tongue scraping by using a spoon and if this is successful, you may wish to purchase a specific tongue scraper.
Use a mouthwash

Mouthwash will NOT be an effective cure for bad breath on its own. However when in used in conjunction with the above advice it will certainly help! In particular look for mouthwashes that kill bacteria (antibacterial mouthwashes) or mouthwashes that neutralize volatile sulfur compounds. Chlorine dioxide mouthwashes are particularly recommended!

Other tips to reduce bad breath…

  • Drink plenty of water - Drinking water throughout the day can help to control bad breath.
  • Stimulate your mouth's flow of saliva – by chewing gum! Chewing helps cleanse the teeth and stimulates the flow of saliva which helps dissolve odorous volatile sulfur compounds. However be sure to choose sugarless gum.
  • Drink green tea - Green teas contain polyphenols, which are antioxidants that protect human cells from damage and help fight bacteria by inhibiting their growth. By killing the bacteria that gives off a bad smell, you can reduce bad breath.
  • Clean your mouth well and regularly - especially after eating foods high in protein content. Try to clean your mouth out as soon as possible after eating to remove the protein that oral bacteria thrive on!

Stylish Work Wear: 2007's Key Items

I’m sure every office has got them?
You know, the employee that rotates the same shirt and tie combinations every week with the same suit. But what does that say about them?
They’re stuck in a rut work wear wise, which can make their working persona seem inflexible, and dull.

The only way to get noticed is to mix it up (like a lot of things in life), so to keep employees guessing and make you stand out from the masses of M&S clad employees you need to introduce new elements into your work wear, or a total new look.

Luckily 2007 has seen the re-introduction of the ‘Preppy’ look and the inspiring classic English look to the catwalks which is ultimately great news as outfits such as this are smart enough to be considered stylish for the workplace, without getting you in trouble with the Boss.

The Grey Suit

Not everything in the world of business suits has to be dull.
A grey suit is a brilliant addition to your wardrobe, as it is just as sleek and versatile as its black equivalent, but less dull during those Winter months, as well as a lot cooler in the Summer months due to its lightweight cotton fabric.
This type of suit allows the wearer to ooze confidence and seem totally in-control in any situation, work or play.

V-Neck Sweater

The pinnacle of ‘Preppyness’, the V-neck sweater has been around for time, and yet still manages to be fashionable.
It’s also practical too, and can keep you warm during the Winter months when facilities forget to turn on the central heating.
Wear with a white collared shirt to create a streamlined and orderly look this year.

The Tweed Jacket

The Tweed jackets symbolizes the classic English gentleman, and as the style was a hit on the catwalks again this year, it seems a better time than ever to include a classic English piece to your wardrobe.
A brown wool jacket from a designer such as John Varvatos will impress your colleagues, as well as the ladies into thinking you own a Manor House out in the country and that ‘Making Deals’ is your middle name.
Wear with dark jeans to vamp up the image from Classic to Modern English gentleman, or wear with smart trousers for a look that’s anything but conventional.

Military Coat

Heck, we’ve all seen the Military style on the catwalk this year, but it’s not just there that it’s had an impact.
Additions such as a full-length Military coat from Costume National Homme to your work outfit not only make you look like you mean business, but are also practical by protecting you from the elements during those cold, dreary Winter months.

The Tartan Scarf

The perfect accessory for your work wardrobe, especially if it’s of this year’s trend, tartan.

Wear it as the Europeans do (by folding the scarf in half around your neck and pulling one side through the loop) to keep your look preppy, tasteful and work appropriate.
Traditional designs by Johnstons are a wonderful example of how this accessory adds a touch of class, what with the clever selection of primary colours and bold dark stripes.

Be careful though with what you wear it with, as there’s a fine line between ‘Decision Maker’ and ‘Lumberjack’.

With key items such as these from the 2007 collections, we’ve done the hard work for you, so all it needs for you is to get yourself down to the shops to earn that promotion we all know you deserve.


Sunday, 13 May 2007

Shaving Advice: The most common mistakes men make when wet-shaving.

MFB have listed some of the most common mistakes men commit when shaving. Avoid these blunders at all costs to ensure a clean, close, cut free shave.

Shaving too fast

Take your time! If you shave at speed you will make mistakes and most likely cut yourself. Carefully control the razor across your skin. Give yourself a couple of extra minutes to shave… it will be worth it.

Using normal soap as shaving cream

Normal soap will dry the skin and doesn't soften the hairs on your face. This makes for a more difficult shave. Always opt for a shaving gel, cream or specialist shaving soap.

Shaving before a shower

Most men that do this think that they can clean their face (in the shower) after a shave and thus save time. However these men don’t benefit from the advantages a couple of minutes of pre-shave hot water exposure can give you. Indeed the shower’s steam softens the hair on your face making for an easier shave. Furthermore the heat opens and unclogs pours to clear away impurities. Plus an opened pore is much easier to shave!

Not cleaning the pre-shave face

Again, most men think they should clean their face after the shave. However by cleaning away dirt and grease before a shave, you remove a layer or barrier that would otherwise lie between your skin and the razor. Removing this unwanted layer on your skin gives a much closer shave. If you want to save some time, one tip is to clean your face whilst in the shower before you shave.


Removing Scuffs from Leather Shoes

It is possible to remove light scuffs on leather shoes by applying a coat of shoe polish. However dark scuffs, especially on lighter coloured shoes requires refinishing. MFB recommends you take your shoes to a shoe repair shop although it is possible to repair your shoes yourself as detailed below.
  1. Obtain a refinishing spray at a shoe repair shop. Remember to take your shoes with you so that you can match them to a colour chart.
  2. Cover the shoe so that only the leather upper is exposed. Mask off the sole and heel of the shoes using masking tape.
  3. Use a light-coloured shoe cleaning cloth and leather preparer to wash the leather. Let the shoes dry. If necessary repeat the process until the leather has a dull, even finish. Note – work within a well-ventilated area.
  4. Apply shoe refinishing spray evenly and lightly across the leather. Allow to dry. Repeat the application of refinishing spray until the leather has an even colour.
  5. Remove the masking tape. Polish the shoes with cream polish and a clean, soft cloth.
In some cases toothpaste can be used to remove scuffs from shoes. Simply squirt a very small amount on the scuffed area of the shoe and rub with a clean, soft cloth. Wipe clean with a damp cloth. Warning: MFB recommend you test a small area of your show to text colour fastness of the leather before using toothpaste on fine shoes.


Friday, 11 May 2007

Men's Fragrances

As well as looking the part for work, a night out on the town with the boys, or a date with that special someone, you’re also going to need to be smelling the part, but let’s be honest, if that involves placing Old Spice or Brut anywhere near your body, then you might be in need of a new scent.

So what’s important when choosing that new cologne?

Well, firstly, you need to know that a scent is an extension of yourself, with every scent smelling different on different people what with how the cologne takes to your body. While your mate Clive smells charming in the new Paul Smith fragrance, you have to understand that you may end up smelling like a pair of old socks.

Selecting that scent?

The best bet to get an idea of how a fragrance smells on you is to go to a Department Store (such as Selfridges, Harrods, House of Frasier) and make a beeline for their fragrance department.

Once you’re there, resist all temptation to cover yourself in as many scents as possible, as this will cloud your judgement, as well as make you pass out.
Instead, take along several pieces of card, and spray each one with the different cologne.
This method allows the cologne scent to stay fresh, and unmixed from the other scents, allowing you to make a more informed choice, as well as not making you smell like Jean Paul Gaultier’s powder room.

Popular Scents

So, what’s at the height of cologne fashion at the moment? We explore a few options.

Calvin Klein - Contradiction

A fine concoction of oriental wood, and is a spicy blend of lime, clementine, wood and ebony means this is far too good to be sharing with the woman in your life, much like you would have with CK One.

Dolce and Gabanna

This cologne is perfect for that fresh smell and would work brilliantly for nights out. The mixture of citrus, lavender, and tobacco is unique and instantly recognisable.

Jean Paul Gaultier – Le Male

With Le Male, you don’t only get a great fragrance, but also an untimely piece of art in the shape of the fantastic bottle it comes in. Jean Paul has mixed the scents of lavender, orange blossom, cinnamon, musk, and vanilla together brilliantly to produce a scent that is provoking, yet distinctive.

Hugo Boss

A true classic, Hugo Boss has been at the forefront of popular fragrances for time.
The mixture of green apple, and outdoor scents such as pine needles, lavender and jasmine make this a sure-fire buy.

Issey Miyake - L'Eau D'Issey Pour Homme

A personal favourite of mine, Issey Miyake outdo themselves once again with this summit of a fragrance.
With the aroma being the distinctive mixture of tangerine, nutmeg, tobacco, sandalwood, musk, and blue water lily, Issey Miyake is a top choice for the gentleman that wants clean cut scent.

Fragrances are a top bet for changing your image, so remember that with haircuts, and facial hair, it’s always best to choose one that reflects you, and matches your personality.
If you keep these points in mind, then you’re on for making a good smelling impression with anyone you come across.