Author: Mark Smith

Gentleman massage - Thai Square Spa

Six best spas for men on National Men’s Grooming Day

Suggesting a list of the best spas for men is courting trouble as I’m sure to miss out some very, very good ones. Apologies now! and email me if I have missed out a great spa that you think is perfect for guys. I visit lots of spas and most serve men fairly well. However, there is always room for improvement. I’ve made this selection based on a few things: range of treatment options on the spa menu, choice of fitness facilities and how welcome men feel. They are also spas that I have personally been to. I can recommend that they are great spas for men. Either alone or with a friend or partner. So here’s the best spas for men on National Men’s Grooming Day. Galgorm Resort and Spa Galgorm Resort and Spa is just over half an hour from Belfast and its a great place for guys, and excellent for couples (I’m thinking romantic weekend away). The new Thermal Village featuring indoor pool, sauna and snow cave plus cafe and relaxation room. This …

7th Heaven Pamper Camper - The Spa Man

Pamper Camper hits the festival circuit with mobile spa

Now the 7th Heaven Pamper Camper ticks all the right boxes for a summer of fun. Multi-award-winning beauty brand 7th Heaven is hitting the festival circuit with its Pamper Camper mobile spa, providing free treatments to lucky revellers. The cruelty-free, vegetarian and natural face mask brand has transformed a beautiful VW Campervan into a pop-up beauty haven. It made its UK debut at the last ever Secret Garden Party from July 20-23 and was a huge hit (naturally). see pic below. Most recently you may have spotted it at London’s ExCel Centre for Summer in the City, the UK’s largest gathering of bloggers and online influencers from August 4-6. Were you there? This weekend the summer roadtrip closes with a massive celebration in the VIP area of Cornwall’s Boardmasters Festival, from August 9-13. I only hope they have some good weather. the forecast is looking mixed. 7th Heaven’s expert beauty therapists will provide Indian head massages, shoulder, neck, hand and arm massages. Festival goers opting to treat themselves to a walk-up massage can kick off …

Beast London male beauty store - The Spa Man

Male beauty counters a reality within five years, says L’Oréal MD

Male beauty counters and male specific make-up counters could be just around the corner, according to Vismay Sharma, L’Oréal UK Managing Director. *image inset courtesy of BEAST which is setting the tone for men’s grooming with its stand alone store in Covent Garden According to an article in the Daily Telegraph, Vismay Sharma predicts that male beauty counters could be a reality within five years appearing first of all in department stores. Now the subject of men’s make-up appears on a semi-regular basis. I have been writing about beauty and men’s grooming for around 18 years. Over that time many men’s make-up ranges have launched to varying degrees of success. Few have lasted. Tom Ford’s line is probably the most successful. and its true, that the concept of make-up for men is at a point where it is more accepted than ever before. but are we actually at the tipping point yet? Men definitely do purchase skincare, fragrance and a variety of grooming products. and they buy big. It’s not such a big jump from …

Eagles Villas Outdoor Pool

Review: Eagles Villas, Halkidiki, Greece

Eagles Palace and the new Eagles Villas form part of a family run resort in a stunning location just a few kilometres from Ouranoupolis, Halkidiki. In the shadow of Mount Athos, it’s the most incredible setting for one of Greece’s premier five-star resorts. Eagles Palace Hotel is where most of the action happens and sits right on the beach. Note, that the new Eagles Villas are slightly separated from the main hotel with an even more exclusive feel, situated up the hill with jaw-dropping views of the sea (more of that later). From water sports on the beach to the large pool and a host of fitness, cultural and relaxing activities, there’s plenty to do for everyone. The resort is family friendly (yes there are quite a few kids) but the kid’s club keeps them occupied most of the time. If you want to brush up on your Greek alphabet or Greek cooking skills, there’s a class. Take pilates or personal training too – it’s all covered in the daily activity schedule. The list is …

Iceland Beer Spa - The Spa Man

New beer spa opens at Bjórböðin in Iceland

Iceland has launched a new beer spa at Bjórböðin, located on the north coast of the island. The new beer spa (which is a Beerspa & Restaurant) offers spa treatments in Kambala wood hot tubs filled with beer, water, hops and yeast.  I’m told that each of the tubs comes with its own beer tap with ales provided by the associated Bruggsmiðjan microbrewery. As it’s International Beer Day today (4th August) I thought it was the perfect time to post this story. Beer spas seem to be growing in number. There are a number in Prague and the Czech Republic and a few spas in the UK tried to jump on the trend by launching beer-lite spa treatments. These were ‘inspired’ by brewing and hops. you didn’t actually soak int eh beer though – but could enjoy a pint before or afterwards. The new beer spa on the block is called Bjórböðin, and is located on the northern tip of Iceland in the village of Árskógssandur. Guests can take a relaxing soak in giant tubs of beer, which is …

Stoer Jet Set facial for men launches atGatwick Spa, Virgin Clubhouse

Stoer Jet Set Facial for Men launches at airport spas

STOER Skincare for Men, has launched the STOER Jet Set Facial for Men at the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse Spas at London Heathrow, London Gatwick and John F. Kennedy International Airport in the USA. STOER Skincare for Men is a performance driven range of skincare products designed to act as the ultimate defence shield for male skin and protect it from the environment. STOER Jet Set Facial for Men, available from 1st August 2017 will raise the bar for male facial spa treatments at airport lounges.   The facial is designed to recharge, replenish and rehydrate skin before boarding the plane with STOER’s power-packed range of products. It helps to reinforce the skin’s natural barrier and keep it feeling healthy, comfortable and protected so you can touchdown at your destination fresh-faced. The STOER Jet Set Facial incorporates their signature cleanser, scrub, serum, eye serum and mask: STOER Skincare for Men Firm & Protect Moisturising Serum This turbo-charged high-tech layer of serum works wonders to hydrate and help soothe skin, combat environmental aggressors, strengthen the skin’s natural barrier …

Stoer Skincare for men

Wrinkles aren’t a problem for British men as the sale of men’s skincare slows

Today’s man is pretty happy with his lot (and his looks) and it seems that wrinkles aren’t too much of a problem either. What’s interesting is that it appears that this could be having an impact on the sale of men’s skincare too. 67% of all British men say they look good for their age, and this increases to a self-assured 71% of those aged 65 and over. It seems that as many as 75% of men aged 65 and over feel confident about the way they look, compared to just over half (56%) of men aged 16-24 and an average of 61% of all men. Proving British men are happy to accept ageing with grace, almost four in five (78%) men agree that it is acceptable to have some wrinkles, while 68% agree that skin ageing is a natural process that can’t be stopped. Perhaps less reason to grab an eye care cream from the men’s skincare aisle. This relaxed attitude to ageing doesn’t stop a touch of vanity, more so amongst younger guys. Some …

Korres Yoghurt Collection - The Spa Man

Korres launches new Yoghurt Bath and Body Collection

Greek yoghurt is part of the DNA of Greek Culture so it’s no surprise that Korres has developed its Yoghurt Bath and Body Collection. It’s the perfect summer skincare range for the body, cooling and soothing and instantly transports you to a sunny Mediterranean island in the Aegean Sea. The new Yoghurt bodycare essentials, including Showergel, Body Milk, Body Butter and Hand Cream, are powered with the leading ingredient’s ultra-moisturising properties to deliver lasting hydration, deep nourishment and smoothing action. Koreas offer some great Greek themed bath and body collections and infuse the skincare line with some of the very best ingredients from the Greek islands too. Greek Υoghurt is renowned for its beauty benefits due to its high levels of lactose, proteins, minerals and vitamins, which all work to increase the moisture levels in the upper layers of the skin. In fact Korres was the first brand to add real edible Yoghurt when it launched the iconic, Yoghurt Cooling Gel. The range includes: KORRES YOGHURT SHOWERGEL RRP: £8.00 Creamy-foam showergel enriched with moisturizing Yoghurt , Wheat proteins …

Cliveden House Spa - The Spa Man

The hot new spa openings across the UK in 2017

Every year brings a range of new spa openings and 2017 has been no exception. London has certainly created a flurry of media attention with three stunning multi-million pound properties. But when you take a closer look you will see that the lion’s share of investment has taken place beyond the capital, where there are some excellent spa projects which have launched to critical acclaim. And these really offer some of the best spa experiences in the UK today. Read about the hot new spa openings in London here Champneys has expanded south, renovating the hotel at Eastwell Manor to offer its unique blend of spa and health resort to a new audience. Ye Olde Bell in Nottinghamshire combines modern build in the spa with old world charm in the 17th century  coachouse hotel. Whilst in Berkshire the famous Cliveden House has redeveloped its spa with impressive results. Then further North in Yorkshire, Rudding Park has opened to great fanfare with a roof top spa and a huge range of thermal and hydrotherapy options to satisfy the most jaded spa-goer. …

Penhaligon's Savoy Steam - The Spa Man

Penhaligon’s Savoy Steam: inspired by the steam baths

Penhaligon’s Savoy Steam has a great story. The idea and resulting Eau de Cologne and Eau de Parfum were inspired by the steam baths that were once adjacent to the historic Savoy Hotel in London. Long gone and almost forgotten, the chance discovery of a poster of the steam baths led to a journey by the fragrance and development team at Penhaligon’s whereby they created something brand new. Long story short, this chance discovery led to these new blends. There’s also a nod to a very early fragrance: Hammam Bouquet, 1872 which also provides a stepping point for these delightful fragrances. They are designed to evoke the scent and sensation of steam. Now, quite how you truly capture that in an essence is beyond me. But it’s an excellent inspiration for the fragrance that you now find win these smart bottles. It’s fresh, refreshing and gives you a sense of purpose. I like this on hot steamy days when the air is heavy and you need a light refreshing boost. But you really do need to apply this …

Kiel's Cactus Flower Mist - The Spa Man

The Spa Man’s summer skin essentials for 2017

Summer presents lots of skin challenges, so The Spa Man has curated his set of perfect summer skin essentials. From cleaning (most important) to hydrating (well essential really) through to SPF protection (now why wouldn’t you?). Then the finer points like eye cream, hydrating mist and a touch of fake tan. There’s something from everyone here in the summer skin essentials round-up for 2017. Verso Skincare Foaming Cleanser There’s something brilliant about Verso. Not only is it simple and easy to understand. The products are a dream to use and offer excellent results. It has a light, almost fruity fragrance a little like papaya. I LOVE IT. It’s soothing and purifying and perfect for daily use. This foaming cleanser will purify the skin without disrupting the skin’s protective function. It gently removes light make-up and impurities, leaving the skin translucent and clean. £32 www.feelunique.com Kiehl’s Cactus Flower and Tibetan Ginseng Hydrating Mist Excellent a an all-round spritz when it’s really hot (keep it in the fridge for an extra cooling action). Or simply spray after cleansing …

Olverum Bath Oil - the Spa Man

You need this bath oil in your life (PS: it’s Olverum)

Olverum Bath Oil really is a product you really do need in your life. It’s relaxing, stress-relieving, soothes aches and pains and helps to clear the head too. Regular readers will know that I love to bathe. It’s one of the few times I truly stop. I put down the iPhone and iPad, step away from the computer and stop. I might light a candle, play some music and occasionally will read a magazine. But one constant is an excellent bath oil formulated with the very best quality essential oils. Olverum Bath Oil is one such oil. It’s a heady mix of potent oils that pack a punch. You don’t need much – they say 5ml is plenty and thus, it spreads the cost and makes it a reasonable purchase and quite pocket friendly. It has a carefully selected range of botanical oils and plant extracts that is unisex and perfect after a long hard day in the office. This blend has been around since 1931 when it was developed in Germany. Give yourself a little me-time right now. …

Spa Wars - ITVBe

Spa Wars comes to ITVBe

It had to happen: Spa Wars is a brand new competitive beauty series on ITVBe that pitches three rival salons owners against each other to find out whose treatments offer the best value for money. Im not quite sure how enthusiastic I am about this. Will it be compelling TV or car-crash telly? I guess it’s more salon wars (from what I can gather) and not truly based in the spa. I guess it will be nail scissors at dawn and its likely to get bitchy. Voiced by television personality Rylan Clark-Neal, each episode sees three local beauticians take it in turns to visit each other’s salons, where they are plumped, preened and pampered to perfection before deciding how much they’re willing to pay for their treatments. At the end of all three visits, the salon that’s been paid the highest percentage of their total bill is crowned that week’s Spa Wars Winner. These results are revealed to them by a surprise guest celebrity! It seems to mimic the Four in a bed series. We …

Banya No.1 London - The Spa Man

Review: Traditional Russian Banya at Banya No.1 London

Tucked away on a quiet little back street in Shoreditch is the traditional Russian Spa, Banya No. 1. Offering a truly authentic take on the Banya experience, it’s all about the sauna and you are assured of getting all hot and sweaty. Most guests come to try the Parenie treatment which is set in the specially designed sauna. You literally lay down on the sauna bench and get whipped with leaves until your blood boils. It’s much more pleasurable than it sounds and it is a gentle therapy (to start) with light tapping of the leaves (mostly oak) accords the body. The banchik uses the leaves the gather hot air from the sauna and wave this across the body. Focussing on the back, legs and then feet, it’s somewhat soothing and comforting to begin with, then your body temperature starts to rise. Resting your head on the beech with a pillow of eucalypt and birch branches, these have been dipped on cool water and give a little relief. It’s when the focus shifts to the …

Global Wellness Day - The Spa Man

Celebrate Global Wellness Day – 10th June 2017

First celebrated in 2012, Global Wellness Day was established in Turkey as the “first” day dedicated to living well, and has now become a world-wide annual event. This year it takes place on 10th June 2017 and joins people in the shared values of wanting to be healthier, to look better, and to live well both physically and spiritually. Living well is the shared dream across the globe. The thinking behind Global Wellness Day is to embrace and celebrate our health and wellbeing, but also to promote this. Highlighting the benefits of living well, there is a team of ambassadors who are the guiding lights of the event. Many spas are actively participating in the global day of celebration with events and activities promoting healthy eating, fitness, meditation and wellness in general.   Global Wellness Day Global Wellness Day is an entirely not-for-profit day, a social project created by volunteers dedicated to living well. The purpose of Global Wellness Day is to ask the question, even if for just one day, “How can I live a healthier …