thebeautyhaul

the insights and inspirations of a freelance beauty editor

a note on individuality…

organic yoga vinyasa

Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about the concept of uniqueness and how this really is something to be celebrated. If my recent ominous silence from blogging isn’t enough of a clue, I’ve been off frying other fish, in particular a big-fat-yoga-teacher-training-course shaped fish and it’s got me thinking A LOT about how difference is something to cherish, not shuffle into a corner and conceal.

First off, we’re all built differently. Ayurveda, yoga’s ancient sister science that governs our health and wellbeing, determines that there are three dominant doshas, Vata, Pitta and Kapha, each with their own set of characteristics and properties. You’re unlikely to be 100% of one dosha, but instead a mix of all three with one weighing dominant. What works for a Vata dominant individual who, for instance, doesn’t tend to gain weight easily, might be sacrosanct for a Kapha type who just can’t seem to shift excess weight. With all the will in the world you can’t change this.

So often in life, myself included, we take on these blanket statements from ‘experts’ or the media (guilty) about what is and isn’t good for us. All of us. To take a recent example, I’ll talk about coconut oil. I can’t get enough of the stuff, it tastes amazing, I use it instead of butter in baking, blend it into smoothies or just help myself to a teaspoon now and then. But guess what? It’s not suited to my Kapha dominant dosha. Oh. Yeah apparently it increases dampness in my system and to spare you the gory details, this dampness manifests in all sorts of ways from breakouts to bad digestion. I love it. But it doesn’t love me. The same goes for hot cloth cleansers. Many of which are touted as suitable for all skin types. What I hear you cry? I’ve seen that stash of muslins you’re hiding in the blanket box at the end of your bed. I hold my hands up. But as of a fortnight ago when I was lucky enough to be in the skilled hands of the infinitely knowledgeable Fiona Brackenbury of Decleor, I use them no more. It was my road to Damascus moment in the basement spa of the Dorchester. She’s the first facialist ever to point out to me that scrubbing every day with an abrasive cloth is likely to be making my hormonal, breakout-prone skin worse, not better.

Anatomically we’re all different too. No two skeletons are the same. Your major muscle groups have most probably been conditioned into certain behaviours from a young age. In class, my fellow yogis in training illustrate this perfectly. Bindi can’t practise shoulderstanding because of a prolapsed disk. Gwen is super flexible, like Olive Oyl from Popeye, but because of this she has to be mindful not to flare her ribs wildly in the most elastic backbends I have ever seen. Meanwhile I still can’t lay my hands flat on the mat without bowing out my knees from years of ‘turning out’ at ballet. Instead of working against these differences towards some sort of mythical norm, we are slowly learning to accept and celebrate our differences. We’re not identikit robots built from pressure-moulded metal parts. Our bodies are beautiful, asymmetrical, soft and wonky. They are strong, serve us 365 days a year and never ask for anything in return, so don’t be down on them if they can’t be moulded into exactly the same shape as the person on the mat next to you. Just be you, don’t try to be anyone else.

The beauty of yoga is it teaches you to accept and embrace your differences. Work with them. Cherish them even. Know that what works for you won’t necessarily work for your family member/neighbour/colleague, and not just in a physical sense but a spiritual, mental and energetic sense too. When you can get your head around this (and I don’t mean literally), you can get your head around anything.

*image via Pinterest

why my hair is on a diet…

Quechua Girl and Rainbow in Ecuador

A few weeks ago I was to invited to Urban Retreat at Harrods to meet Anna Ayers, co-founder of Rahua, who make entirely natural hair products using a rare and restorative plant oil called rahua (pronounced ra-wa – to save any in-store gaffes). Rahua is harvested (sustainably) by the native Quechua-Shuar tribes in the Ecuadorian amazon who, incidentally, happen to have hair that would make even Nicole Scherzinger weep with envy (this lady’s keeping hers under her hat). The backstory is quite fascinating, you can read more about Anna and her partner Fabian here and watch a neat little film about the people who harvest the rahua berries here, but suffice to say the brand have launched an in-salon treatment – the Rahua Omega 9 Pro – exclusively at Urban Retreat and I was invited along to try it. I know, another hard day in the office.

Regarding the diet, here’s what I’m on about. These product contain only natural ingredients. 100%. There’s no foamy SLS and certainly no silicon, which is why at first, your hair can feel a bit, well, puffy. Silicon coats the hair shaft – it’s that ultra smooth feeling you get from Morrocanoil (hmmm yeah, I fell for that natural spiel too), and while it doesn’t necessarily harm healthy hair, over time it does build up on the hair shaft creating a certain heaviness. So, what I’m saying is, manage your expectations. If you’re switching to Rahua shampoo and conditioner from a traditional silicon-based regime, there’ll be about a two week transition period while your hair works out what the hell is going on. If you can’t wait, book in for the aforementioned treatment at UR Harrods to speed up that process dramatically. The other thing Rahua products don’t contain is wheat, instead they contain quinoa proteins. So not only am I now eating a shed load of this magic grain, my hair is feeling the benefits too.

As well as the in-salon treatment, there are two new products – an Omega 9 mask you can use in the comfort of your own bathroom, as well as lovely soft wax I’ve been working into my messy crop with pretty good results. I’m also using the voluminous variant of the shampoo and conditioner as I have fine hair and the traditional formula is a bit heavy for me, much to my disappointment as it smells FANTASTIC due to an ingredient called Palo Santo, a liquified tree oil traditionally used by Ecuadorian holy men to make incense for their churches, which sadly doesn’t feature in the voluminous range. But you can’t have it all can you?

*Quechua Girl and Rainbow in Ecuador by Jay Koppelman, available to purchase via intuitphotography.com

“do not read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly”

Beauty Photography in Vogue by Martin Henderson

Well so said Baz Luhrmann in his late 90s psychedelic sermon Wear Sunscreen. But he’s got a point. Riffling through some books at a West Norwood charity shop a few weeks ago I happened upon this gorgeous coffee-table tome of Beauty Photography in Vogue by Martin Harrison for the knockdown price of £2.50. But it wasn’t until I got it home and really started studying it that I noticed something wasn’t quite right.Vogue Beauty in PhotographyPublished in 1987, but with pictures dating back to the 1930s, not a single picture in this book has been retouched. This was an era before digital, Photoshop and even in some cases, computers. The images are no less beautiful for their apparent lack of perfection. On the contrary, their honesty gives them a certain plucky charm and authenticity. I’m not anti-retouching per se, lord knows it’s saved my arse on many an occasion when somebody forgot to snip off a label or tuck in a ponytail, and after all this is fantasy we’re selling here, but the below makes me realise how homogenised our view of womens’ faces and bodies must have become in the last 70 years that we VERY rarely see details, textures and imperfections like these any more on the pages of our favourite magazines.

A furrowed (some might say wrinkly) brow, John Deakin 1952

A furrowed (some might say wrinkly) brow, John Deakin 1952

Stretchmarks *gasp*, Jeanloup Sieff 1968

Stretchmarks *gasp*, Jeanloup Sieff 1968

A smattering of pimples, Lester Bookbinder 1973

A smattering of pimples, Lester Bookbinder 1973

Lady tache anyone?, Deborah Turbeville 1987

Lady tache anyone?, Deborah Turbeville 1987

down with new…

Vogue Italia The New Aesthetic

It may be counter-intuitive to declare this on what is essentially, a blog about consuming stuff, but I am absolutely well and truly over “new” right now. Sorry, I know it’s contrary to almost every other post on this site (especially the one below) but it sums up the way I’m feeling right now about the beauty industry as a whole. New does not necessarily equal better. There, I said it. Sue me. I suppose my rant is born really out of the fact that every article I’m ever commissioned to write seems to hinge entirely on its element of newness, to the point where it doesn’t matter if it’s a damn good idea if the products mentioned are more than a few months old. Have we really become so fickle that a perfectly good product becomes obsolete almost immediately purely because it’s not brand spanking new anymore (BBs and CCs anyone?)? This, I’m sad to say, is what I encounter time and time again as publications clamber over themselves to appear the most-informed and zeitgiesty while all the while, the bloggers guffaw down on them from on high as they consistently pip them to the post, breaking embargoes and generally fuelling the whole newness hysteria. So, in the interests of putting two fingers up to the relentless world of newness, here are a few products I’d like to salute for their ancient wisdom, their tried-and-tested familiarity and down night oldness. True, you might not see them in the Sunday papers this weekend and they probably won’t be appearing in a pop-up boutique near you anytime soon, but in my eyes, that might actually be a good thing…

Based on a traditional recipe passed down from her grandmother to her father, Gamila first created her skin-softening cream cleansing bars using fifteen different herbs and natural oils harvested in her native home of Galilee, Israel when she was in her 30s. That was 40 years ago. I rest my case.

Gamila Original

Weleda’s cult Skin Food formula, a multipurpose cream I use on my hands, brows and just about anywhere my skin feels a bit parched, launched in 1926 and is still a firm favourite with discerning shoppers, make-up artists and a smattering of celebrities today.

Weleda Skin Food

Compared to the above this is a relatively new entry. But one I just had to mention. Created in 1998, I first fell in love with Penhaligons LP No.9 while on a shoot as work experience for Bliss magazine when I was just 21, three years after it launched. The make-up artist smelled so sophisticated, a world away from the Jean Paul Gaultier Red Jeans I was so liberally daubing myself in at the time. I didn’t actually get to own a bottle until many years later when a beauty editor friend ‘sourced’ a bottle for a birthday beauty bag. A more nostalgic scent I have yet to encounter.

Penhaligons LP No9

it’s not shopping, it’s research…

Handsoaps on the sink

I could (and sometimes do) spend hours wondering about the hallowed beauty halls of London. From Liberty’s cleverly curated modern-day apothecary to Selfridges zeitgeisty edit of cult buys, the big retailers have cottoned on to the fact that we don’t all want to look/smell/feel the same. Difference is key and a diverse crop of niche brands seems to be the way forward. And while high street retailers must surely be fighting every (whitened) tooth and (shellac’d) nail for actual, product-in-bag-sales against the many wonderfully savvy beauty etailers out there with their free shipping and sampling incentives, it’s heartening to see another physical beauty space pop up on London’s radar in the shape of H&Ms sister brand, & Other Stories.

To be honest I just popped in to check out the clothes. I didn’t even know they had beauty (wtf ?? – BAD journalist). I’ve since acquired the official press material from my good friend Disneyrollergirl, though I’d already typed in frantic notes on to my iphone and hipstamatic-ed the whole space with a view to writing this post.

It’s a beautiful light and airy space on the ground floor of the regent street store. It reminds me a bit of Barney’s in the US, but more oh-so-cool Scandi with beautifully packaged brands I’ll admit I’d never heard of that had me frantically googling – enter L:A BRUKET, a range of handmade soaps and spa products from Sweden whose sage, rosemary and lavender salt scrub smelt like the elixir of life, and Wash with Joe, an NYC bath brand extolling the youth-boosting properties of, you guessed it, caffeine. See what they did there?

L:A Bruket scrubs on shelf

& Other Stories skincare

& Other Stories nail paints

But it’s their own-brand ranges I was really impressed with. Ben Gorham, the perfumer behind Byredo, worked up the fragrances for the bath & body line. I love the belfast sink (a concept borrowed from Aesop I’d hazard a guess) where you can sample the line up of pretty hand soaps. Another cute touch is their recycling incentive. Bring your empty bottles and tubs back for a 10% discount on your next purchase. Unlike so many fashion brands who segue into beauty, this feels like much more than an afterthought of ‘quick, let’s bung some branding on these generic body lotions’. It’s the same for their make-up. Lisa Butler, respected international make-up artist, consulted on their cosmetics offering (see the short film below for a taster). There’s a coolly understated-looking line of skincare too, which I can’t vouch for, but if the rest of the concept is anything to go by, it’ll be well thought out, functional and affordable too. Gotta love those swedes.

So if, like me, you missed all this when it debuted at Colette during Paris fashion week (oh, jeez, I must have been handwashing my woolens that day), proceed to the Oxford Circus end of Regent Street poste haste. Or, for all you non-London dwellers, get your virtual fix online here. Oh, and the clothes aren’t too shabby either….

alma mater

In just over a week it will be mother’s day, well here in the UK at least. So, while ‘real’ (ie paid work) means I’m a little busy to write you a really juicy post right now, I thought I’d paste up the below feature, from the Feb issue of Psychologies, as it seems rather timely…(thanks again to Cerine, Rosemary, Sunita, Jessica and all the wonderfully glam mums – don’t you just love those black and white snapshots? Come back Polaroid, all is forgiven).

The Image of Your Mother


The Image of Your Mother

The Image of Your Mother

surviving the cold spell…

eskimo children

It happens every year around this time, you’d think I’d be more prepared. Christmas is over and the cold snap kicks in in earnest in the January bleakness. This is when I have to loose all glamour, I’m afraid, and level with you about my dry skin issues. It’s not beauty product grade ‘dry’ as in a cursory swipe of body lotion post-shower sorts it out. I’m talking itchy, uncomfortable borderline eczema. On legs, arms, tummy, shoulders for chrissakes! Reptile skin. Transepidermal water loss. However you want to call it, my skin barrier (the natural layer that keep moisture in and infection out) is shot. A result of too much central heating as the temperatures plummet (as I type, 10cms of snow is settling on the roof outside my window) and not enough omegas I suspect, though I couldn’t physically consume any more skin-salving avocados, nuts and seeds.

So, how to solve this skin disaster. First up (and this really isn’t glam in the slightest readers, I warn you) I’ve packed away my aromatic shower gels in place of a giant tub of medicinal-looking aqueous cream. You don’t know how long I spent in Boots deliberating this purchase but so far, I haven’t found any natural product (even my Dr Bronner’s Pure Soap hasn’t safeguarded me this winter) I can use in place of shower gel that has the same effect. That is to create a film on the skin that stops moisture escaping. I hate that it contains liquid paraffin, it massively jars with my mission to detox my bathroom, but in fact Paula Begoun, aka the Cosmetics Cop, says it’s really not so bad after all. It’s a naturally derived mineral oil that has effective skin emollient properties, just what I need (read her full blurb here).

Next up, what to use after the shower? Oh and here I should add that over-cleansing is actually counter-productive in this entire process, making the skin even drier, especially if you shower in super hot water, something I’m guilty off when it’s too cold to even step out of the bathroom. Presently I’m switching between pure coconut oil and a zinc and castor oil cream I picked up in the Baby section at Boots. So basically, I’m covered in nappy cream. Again, attempting to stick with as few ingredients and keep them as natural as possible. If you flip any of the bottles in the supposed ‘dry skin’ section of your local chemist you’ll see that most of the formulas contain at least 15 ingredients AND perfume, which to me seems counter-intuitive for irritated skin. Plus they all cost in excess of £6. My nappy cream was £1.25. (My one concession here is Aveeno. They’re not 100% natural by any stretch, but I do like the addition of colloidal oatmeal in their dry skin range, though instead I’m going to try the old sock-of-oats-in-the-bathtub trick. Same skin soothing oat substance, less packaging and cost, it is January after all.)

Finally, I’m thinking more about what I put into my mouth. If that could be possible since food is pretty much what I’m thinking about at any given moment. I was lucky enough to be gifted recently with two bottles of tasty Udo’s oil, though I’ll admit I haven’t been as religious in my dosage as I could have been. It’s an omega oil blend made from cold pressed seeds of flax, sunflower and sesame plus coconut oil, rice and oat germ (note: no whiffy fish oils so it’s veggie/vegan friendly too). You add a few tablespoons to soups, juices, salads, porridge and so on to shoehorn more omega 3, 6 and 9 into your system. But it must be used raw, heating destroys the essential fatty acids that will hopefully return my scaling skin back to its former glory. That and buckets of water and rooibos masala tea and rehydration here I come.

*picture via Pinterest

the beautyhaul alternative gift guide

1950s Christmas tree

I’m cutting it fine I know but it’s taken me a while to collate this alternative gift guide mainly because there’s just so many beautiful items I’d like to find under my tree (which is actually a decorated plant) this year. So, I had to give myself a brief. These gifts must truly have an alternative beauty angle. That is, not be from a mass brand or something you’re likely to have already seen on every other blog from here to Lapland (Selfridges beauty advent calendar is already sold out anyway, so there.) Packaging is also a big issue for me. I’m a sucker for a pretty box just like the next girl, but I draw the line at unrecyclable plastic moulding and super shiny papers that won’t ever degrade. This year I want to keep bin bags to a minimum and my eco-credentials firmly intact thankyouverymuch. Besides, the best gifts don’t need to be planet-bashers, as the below prove, and eco no longer means ugly you know. Here’s my pick of the best ethical beauty gifts. I hope you have a few slots left on your ‘to buy’ list…

Aveda Warmth & Light candle

No 1. Aveda Warmth & Light Candle, £17 (20% off) at www.wantthelook.com

Okay I’ve kind of flouted my ‘mass brand’ rule already but I truly believe of all the big boys, Aveda really do deserve recognition for their philanthropic efforts. I was lucky enough to be gifted with this beautifully scented candle in a recycled glass beer bottle (yes, really) packaged in the most beautiful Nepali paper box (Aveda have been buying paper from Nepal for 5 years providing a much needed income to communities in this extremely impoverished county). It smells amazing – a spicy, warm, festive perfume –  and will scent your entire house in about 15 minutes. It also burns really slowly, so it’s a gift with longevity.

Gorilla Perfumes Sikkim girls

No 2. Sikkim Girls Perfume, Gorilla Perfumes at www.lush.co.uk

I’m back in the Himalayas. What can I say? I’m a mountain dweller at heart. This time with a new scent from the Gorilla Perfumes stable, Sikkim Girls. Take a day off from mass-produced, predictably packaged ‘luxury’ fragrances (that everyone else will have anyway) and try out this artisanal blend of jasmine, tuberose and frangipani. It’ll smell even sweeter knowing it’s made of predominantly natural ingredients and produced in small batches at their Dorset factory.

Alexandra Mann washbag

No 3. Alexandra Mann make-up bag, £60, www.liberty.co.uk

One of these beautiful, handcrafted washbags with laundry bag lining (how clever?) has been on my wishlist for a while now. It’s not cheap, granted, but after working on a crafty cottage industry of my own recently, my eyes have been opened as to the true worth of one-off, ethical, local design. Up the artisans!

Booja Booja truffles

No 4. Booja Booja Dark Ecuadorian Truffles, £6.69, www.therawchocolateshop.com

Because no Christmas would be complete without chocolate. But this year I’m going all Wholefoods with raw, that is, not heat treated, which destroys all the goodness in your common or garden chocs. They’ll be enough sugar flying around with all those mince pies so treat yourself to an antioxidant packed truffle made with agave syrup to ward off sugar slumps. Plus these are so rich you won’t be tempted to cocoa OD.

Antonia Burrell Cream Supreme

No 5. Antonia Burrell Primrose Hill Polish facial, £120 for 60 minutes, Lost in Beauty, 117 Regents Park Road, NW1, www.antoniaburrell.com

She’s my newest facialist to champion and far too good a secret to keep to myself (tempted though I am). Antonia’s super pure skincare (cossetted in expensive violet glass to protect the fragile actives from light damage) has to be seen, and smelt, to be believed so I hands-down promise you a facial with her is going to make any recipient EXTREMELY happy. There isn’t much this ex-aromatherapy teacher doesn’t know about the molecular-structure of natural ingredients and how they can replace harsh, synthetic chemicals to far better effect for younger, clearer, happier skin without the environmental hangover.

Kings Road Apothecary Busted Joint Elixir

No 6. Kings Road Apothecary ‘Busted Joint Elixir’, $24, www.kingsroadapothecary.com

The name says it all. One for the yogis, or anybody active really. It’s a blend of fresh Solomon’s seal, turmeric, ashwagandha root and wild crafted horsetail that’ll get you back on the mat ( slash treadmill/running track/pommel horse) ready for your new year’s health kick. Realistically you’re not going to get this before Christmas, they’re based in LA, but make it one transatlantic latecomer to look forward to.

Work Out Life No1 Ass Pant

No 7. No.1 Ass Pant Long (really), £96 with an extra 20% off this week only at www.workoutlife.com

The PR for these guys snubbed me when I tried to invite myself to their launch yoga class but hey, I’m bucking the bad karma and putting their hilariously named printed leggings on my fantasy Christmas list. I’m living in my yoga pants right now so some springtime florals would be a welcome additional to my ninja-like, all black yoga kit.

Ohyo Collapsible Bottles

No 8. *STOCKING FILLER* Collapsible water bottle, £4.99 each, from www.ohyo.com

What a clever little idea. I’ve stopped amassing Evian bottles, bought a filter jug and now me and my Ohyo bottle are barely separated.

Kitchen & Co. cookbook

No 9. Kitchen & Co. by Ellie Grace and Rosie French, £16.99 at www.kylebooks.com

This one goes out to my favourite neighbourhood eatery, French & Grace of Brixton market. Okay, it’s not strictly beauty (or ethical) in nature but their beautiful recipes and chi-chi food styling are something to pour over longingly on a dark January afternoon and will nourish your heart AND soul so technically, it’s a wellbeing buy.

the barefaced backlash

Bare skin, blah blah BLAH.

I’m sorry. I’m so over this already. Just call me Liz Jones (we all have our crosses to bear Liz, yours are crows feet, mine are spots). Standing in line for 17 minutes at the post office this lunchtime I found myself zoning into royal mail tv, trancelike, where they were showing, on a loop, an ad for the BearFaced campaign for Children in Need (to fill you in, this is where various celebrities and models, among them Heidi Klum, Louise Redknapp, Julia Bradbury and Lulu (lord, why?), have been photographed sans make-up by Rankin for a campaign to, erm, raise awareness? for Children in Need).

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE an altruistic gesture in the beauty industry, just see my last post, but I am struggling to link celebrities and models with good skin (that allegedly has not been retouched, riiiight ) going without make-up and the aforementioned Children…that are…in Need. How does this help them? What am I missing? Personally I’d have liked to see them do a ‘Waitrose’ on this, veto-ing the whole costly business and instead funneling the misguided budget of the entire hapless project directly to charity. And don’t tell me everyone waived their fees so there are no funds. What about the studio? And lunch? And cars for the talent? And the no-make-up-make-up-artists that certainly would have been in evidence? All free was it? Frankly, I’m baffled. I have nothing against the concept of make-up free skin in the media. It’s nice. Refreshing even. I just think it’s rich to ask normal women to forgoe make-up (and their confidence in many cases) in what is clearly not a level playing field. Lets have a cake sale instead eh?

And this on the back of Stylist who this week a ran a shot of a make-upless model on the cover of this week’s issue to advertise their skincare awards. Again. Playing field? Level? Does it surprise you that the majority of models actually have really beautiful skin? It’s their livelihood after all. A touch misleading methinks to suggest that any of the ‘winning’ brands, many of them big advertisers I might add, will help give you skin like the aforementioned dewy-complexioned model. But I at least think I see where there were going with it.

So it seems we’re in the grip of a barefaced phenomenon right now. One that’s great if you’re blessed with poreless, even skintone and horrid if you’re not. When I’m having a good skin day there’s nothing I like more than trotting to the shops with just a blot of lip balm and some eyebrow pencil. Post detox (yawn, sorry) I loved the fact I had to wear less make-up but slowly and surely, with deadlines looming and a smattering of forbidden foodstuffs infiltrating my diet again, the concealer had been on almost permanent standby. I guess what I’m getting at, not all that succinctly, is if you have lovely skin, I’m truly happy for you, I am. Just don’t expect other women to want to blaze your trail and whip out the wet wipes on request in the name of feeling liberated. Some people actually like wearing make-up. Skin is a delicate subject. The faces we construct for ourselves are our modern day armour. Even if like me, you’re a no-make-up make-up girl, it still takes a good 15 minutes to create the illusion. Children in Need don’t mind if we wear foundation. In fact, they weren’t even opposed to a bit of lipstick last time I checked…

*Image courtesy of Alexander Khokhlov via LaraJul

boys brigade

I’m now nearing the end of a month-long stint sans Mr Beautyhaul as he freezes his you-know-whats off on location in the Peak District. Within two days I’d already infiltrated his wardrobe to nab his beloved bottlegreen H&M hoodie (that I am banned from wearing as I turn up the sleeves, apparently stretching the arms so he claims even though anyone who knows me will attest to the fact I have bird wrists). It took me a few days longer to spread magazines about the flat and start leaving the juicer parts unwashed in the sink until tea time. Slovenly ways people, slovenly ways. However, there’s another perk for me when he’s off on his little filming jaunts with his most perfunctory of wash bag contents. I get access to his unguarded bathroom stash. Mainly supplied by me, granted, but while the cat’s away the mouse will play with his Comme des Garcon Incense in Kyoto, Dax Super-Neat Wax and various Murdock London shaving unguents.

Which reminds me. It’s Movember. The time when you start noticing all sorts of burgeoning facial hair on otherwise conservative-looking male commuters. It’s also in support of a very worthy cause supporting prostate and testicular cancer charities. My granddad died of the former. 

If you know someone taking part you might want to show them some gentle encouragement, and avoid total facial hair malfunction, with a trim-trip to one of Murdock’s London outposts (Monmouth Street, Libertys, Shoreditch and now at the Shop at Bluebird on Kings Rd) or for non-London dwelling folk, check out this short video tutorial on how to twizzle your moustache like a regal Rajasthani gent (of course, the spiritual home of the statement moustache).

Photograph courtesy of the very talented Andy Hill (aka Mr Beautyhaul)
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