How to Shave…

How to shave your face; no bull****, no la-dee-dah products, no ‘hard to learn’ techniques.

Here we go, fellas. If you find yourself with a sore, angry rash after having a shave or you are just starting out or you simply want a reminder, you’ve come to the right place.

At the Soap Bowl we like to keep it simple.



  1. Exfoliate first with hot water. If you’re unsure what exfoliating is, see my earlier post named Scrubbing up Well.


2.  Apply shaving foam on WET skin. Easy enough. Unless you have very thick stubble, in which case use a shaving CREAM, like Palmolive’s Classic Shave Cream – £1.85 from Tesco.

palmolive cream3. Wet razor, any razor is good but for a good quality shave, be sure to use a known brand: Gilette is the best, whether it’s a Mach 3 or a disposable 2 blade razor (my personal fave!)

razors4. This is the tricky bit.  start from one ear, shaving downwards (always DOWN).  Shave with the grain (the same direction of the hair growth). This avoids the DREADED stubble-rash and stops you looking like Freddie Kruger.

5. When you’re done, rinse with warm water, remove all shaving foam.

6. Cleanse with exfoliator again. Only a little bit this time and be GENTLE.

7. Moisturise. This will protect your skin from becoming dry and irritated by the weather and other every day factors.

It also keeps you looking younger.


A good aftershave moisturiser, especially if you suffer with eczema or teenage skin is the Vitamin E Skin Conditioner – £8.50 from Elegance Natural, you only need small amount and it’s home made. Perfectly natural!


And we’re out.

Good luck guys, thanks for reading and if you have any questions or comments, leave ’em below.




A billion beautiful years… (Previously featured on La Vida magazine website, 2014)

Make-up plays a huge part in our world.

Many consider it an essential element of everyday existence. But how much do we really know about the evolution of make-up? The beautifying empire of cosmetics has risen to staggering heights. But before praising the countless brands and ever-changing products promising us perfect skin or a smouldering stare, lets take a look back and see how it was done.

Well, the earliest recorded use of bodily decoration dates all the way to around 500,000BCE when African cave dwellers would slather themselves in mud before tracing florid patterns in to it using fine twigs. This not only kept their skin from drying up, but also acted as an insect repellent (pretty and practical). Make-up is even in the Bible (1 Kings 16:31). Jezebel is the religious figure known for her unconventional ‘painted eye-lids’ and disregard for fidelity.

Now, its difficult to say where precisely the creation of beauty products began, but in Egypt around 3000 years ago the natives were already using thirty varieties of body balms and ointments enriched with beeswax and animal fat. In fact, moisturisers were such a necessity in Ancient Egypt, they were worn by farmers and workers as well as royalty! Needless to say, the Egyptians were an extremely developed race and vanity was a vast element of their culture. You look at any artefact depicting Cleopatra or Nefertiti and their smouldering eye liner is hard to miss. Not to mention their fabulous headware. When most homosapiens were still grunting and rubbing sticks together the amazing Egyptians were enjoying egg white facials, henna manicures and even wearing lipstick! Never in red, though, that was the forbidden colour of magic.  Along with eye shadows and skin creams there were combs, razors, exfoliants and even anti-wrinkle formulas mixed from papyrus and bullock’s bile!                                                                                                                                                                                              By 2000BC Cairo’s workers refused to graft in the blazing sun until the much treasured supplies were delivered to beautify and protect their skin. Only then could the pyramids continue to appear. The best part comes now. The Egyptians outlined their eyes using kohl and crushed ant eggs – urgh! This not only gave their eyes depth and size but was seen as a symbol of power and confidence. Isn’t it nice to know the much loved smoky-eyes look has been a trend for over 5000 years! And it wasn’t just women who went about adorning their bodies with prettifying ingredients. Babylonian men (Iraq) used to sprinkle their hair with gold dust! It was around this time also that the theatres of Greece had discovered their own means of face painting for their theatrical usage.

In later years women of various cultures had accumulated their own discoveries and recipes. They powdered their faces using crushed minerals like ocher (the 400BC version of bronzer), hematite and even lead carbonate – talk about deadly beauty.

Aristocrats of 15th century France enjoyed the flourishing trend of white face powder made from flour and lead to feign the porcelain look, boasting their indoor lifestyle. Unlike then, being tanned now represents health and the privilige of visiting exotic lands.

Later centuries saw the creation of fragranced skin tonics, perfume, wigs and the transforming, cheating and concealing uses of cosmetics. Queen Elizabeth I exemplified the beauty of the period with her plucked hairline, none existent eyebrows and white skin (unseen by sunlight). In 1603, the year of the Queen’s death, it is said that her body was found with two inches of make-up on her face. In those days when peronal hygiene was a minor priority, make-up was a way of masking blemishes and the horrific scars left by smallpox.

In the 19th Century cosmetics became more accessible (well, slightly) but many women took a more natural approach. The pale look was achieved  with powders and creams or by evacuating blood from the body for a more authentic look! Belladonna drops were also placed in the eyes to achieve a ‘dreamy’ gaze and pig’s blood was used to give the cheeks a rosy flush. In the late 19th century, however, heavy make-up was considered improper as only prostitutes or ‘painted ladies’ sported that look.                                                                                                                                                                                  That all changed in the 1920s when flapper-girls like Clara Bow embraced their gender and love of cosmetics by smudging their eyes in kohl, painting their lashes with soot and dancing all night. As the 20th century continued to unfold so did the development of many products such as a deodorant, lipstck, eye shadows and several skin care products like Ponds cold cream and Fuller’s Earth powder. By the mid 1930’s make-up and beauty were a must-have all over the world. MaxFactor, L’Oreal, Coco Chanel, Maybelline and Avon stormed on to the scene catering to the various tastes and beauty desires to women everywhere. But for a tragic period, more specifically 1939-1945, the manufacturing of cosmetics went on hiatus due to petroluem and alcohol being needed for war supplies.

Once the world was able to exhale with relief of war ending new faces and even more exciting brands were making their mark on shop shelves expanding the world of beauty;  Astral cream, Boots No 7 and Estee Lauder’s ambitious line. Cosmetics were not just another product wanting to be owned, beauty and confidence was pioneered, advertised and empowered by adored stars of the time; Joan Crawford with her powerfully sketched brows, Audrey Hepburn with her amazing feline eyes, Marilyn Monroe, Liz Taylor and Sophia Loren.                                                                                                                                      By the time the 60s were upon us make-up had formed trends! New colours and textures flew off the shelves. New and distinctive looks were designed. Make-up was officially for everyone and it made its mark at the centre of British Bohemia when Bowie emerged as the andogynous Ziggy Stardust sporting a painted lightning bolt, contoured cheek bones and black rimmed eyes. Men refused to be left out once the 70s came. With high heeled boots, fur coats and sparkling eyes Freddy Mercury, Marc Bolan and Elton John came in a burst of smoke and glitter. By now beauty was reaching new heights since the emergence of affordable ranges like MAC and Revlon. And what was going on in the street was just as important behind the scenes also. Theatrical make-up designs were rife in the late 80’s pioneered by the likes of Grace Jones and Annie Lennox. Fashion catwalks were an explosion of colour and experimental make-up.

The 90s saw the supermodel boom: lots of browns! Brown lipstick (thanks to Bobbi), brown eyeshadows, tanned skin and big eyebrows. The cosmetics avant-garde sort of took a nap keeping looks quite tame but pretty. But twenty years soon passed and now here we are…there are no rules now, normal is a word rarely used and old is gold! Vintage, glam rock, burlesque, movie stars, cartoon characters – the vast world of beauty has opened countless doors to us all. So let’s go through them and be who we want!

We’ve come a long way, trial and error, limited to limitless and beauty has formed countless dimensions as time has playfully shown us.

So here’s to a billion beautiful years and hopefully a billion more!

One Word…Arko!

Hello, guys.

Just had to put the word out about a simple shaving soap I’ve been wowed by.

arko shaving stick.jpg

The Arko shaving stick! Available from Ebay for as little as £1.65.

Originally from Turkey, where the men know PLENTY about good grooming! It was just sat in my bathroom cabinet for months until I decided to try it.

I was amazed at this low-cost, top-quality product.

The Arko shaving stick is a non-abrasive,  fragrant and skin  friendly shaving product.

Unlike many products that provide only light protection from razor burn and nicks, Arko creates a comfortable and lubricated film over the stubble, making shaving a breeze! I often find that many shaving creams and foams still allow my razor to pull at the bristles which KILLS! But Arko’s sumptuous suds prevent this!


  1. Simply exfoliate first.

2.  Massage the Arko shaving stick all over your stubble, or melt it first in a bowl with hot water and ensure to lather a thick foam all over your shaving area.

3. Then shave!


Let me know what we think when you all try it!

I highly recommend this!

It lasts 3 times longer than any foam or cream and makes your bathroom smell amazing as well!

Festival Festivities


Once again that exciting and muddy time of year is upon us!

Stifling a hangover in 3-day-old underwear, wellies whilst soaked in beer is all part of the experience. But just to keep you that extra bit fresher, here are a few toiletry weapons to lash in the backpack.


Talcum Powder!

Sod it, take two bottles of this! This stuff is so underrated. When you’re sweating, damp or generally sticky (and you WILL be!), just sprinkle some of this on for instant dryness and refreshment. Perfect for the nether regions 😉



Sun cream

This can also double up as a moisturiser to keep your skin from becoming dry and burnt. Be sure to use plenty on your face and around your eyes.

dry shampoo

Dry shampoo

This one’s for the girls AND the guys! A spritz of this will keep your scalp clean and your hair refreshed. No greasiness and no itchy scalp! Just the fresh festival air wafting your locks!



Obviously! But it’s just as important to have toothpaste as well as a toothbrush. If you haven’t anywhere to brush your teeth, just stick a lump of this in your mouth and work it all over your gnashers. Toothpaste prevents toothache and bad breath so you can shout and sing and kiss without a care in the world!


Anti-histamines – Non-drowsy!

We’ve all had that panicky feeling when we start to sneeze and realise we have no saviour from the dreaded hay-fever. The last thing you want is a runny nose and itchy eyes ruining your buzz for days on end. Get them packed and you might even save someone else from it too!

re nu

Contact lens solution

Don’t waste your contacts! And certainly don’t chuck them away and endure blindness. Plus, it makes wearing your sunglasses far easier. Take a little travel size bottle of solution and a container for your lenses.

You can buy mini versions of everything from Boots. Otherwise, you can simply put creams and liquids into travel containers, also available from Boots, Superdrug and all supermarkets.


carmex vaseline

Lip Balm

Carmex £2.50 from Waitrose                                                 Vaseline £0.95 from Wilkos

When you’re constantly dehydrating yourself with drinking and sunshine, you’ll quickly develop lips like the Sahara desert which are difficult to ignore when you’re chatting to people…or kissing them.

Carmex is medicated and designed to keep your lips protected and moisturised for up to 4 hours!

When you’re constantly dehydrating yourself with drinking and sunshine, you’ll quickly develop lips like the Sahara desert which are difficult to ignore when you’re chatting to people…or kissing them.

Carmex is medicated and designed to keep your lips protected and moisturised for up to 4 hours!



For Orlando #LoveIsLove

The world is speechless.

Once again the terrorist community makes another sickening and cowardly attempt to assert their distorted views of what the world should be.

Never will the rainbow flag cease to fly.

Never will kindness, acceptance, tolerance and unity be sacrificed to make way for oppression and bigotry.

My heart goes out to every victim, every friend, boyfriend and family member crying for them and to every individual hurt and disturbed by this revolting act.

From now on may our true colours burn brighter than ever before, blinding judgemental eyes and illuminating the future for everyone seeking unconditional happiness and acceptance.




Travelling Right

The confusion stops here, guys and girls.

When you’re taking liquids on to a flight you’re allowed 100ml or less.

AND they must be packed in a transparent bag. All of this can be bought in Boots, Tesco, Superdrug or many other places. See below for your ideal hand-luggage toiletry bag.

Going on holiday can be stressful. It’s reassuring when travelling to know you have your essentials at hand. But everyone’s essentials are different. If you’re not sure what you may need when travelling far and wide for the summer, here are some suggestions:

Whether your flight is 2 hours or 22 hours, the atmosphere on board an aircraft is very drying for your skin, so it’s important to drink plenty of water and stay hydrated.

An ideal product for this is Nivea soft.

nivea soft

Available in a travel-friendly size, this refreshing cream will soothe dry faces, hands and lips.

Available from Walmart $4.91  or Savers £1.00
8 hourFor a more luxurious option, Elizabeth Arden’s Eight Hour Cream is a long lasting fantastic dry skin treatment. This oil free concoction has a heavy texture and works great on dry elbows, eye lids, lips and even sunburnt areas!

£13.25 from

Tissues / Wet wipes.

Trust me, you don’t need a cold to have a sneezing fit. Aeroplanes can be very dusty places, the air con can irritate your sinuses and the last thing you want to do is ask; “Can I have another handful of serviettes, please?”
Plus, they’re just handy to have for other emergencies.

Mamia baby wipes £0.59 from Aldi – all you need!



Change of underwear

Always advisable to pack for a long haul flight. If you have any accidents, spillages or general discomfort during your flight then you have the option to slip in to something more comfortable. Or if you’re a real comfort freak – why not pack your PJs too!


Power Bank

You know that feeling of panic and doom when you’re phone battery is low? Well you can avoid that by having your power bank at hand. You can charge your phone / ipad / laptop and stay entertained all the way to your final destination.

Powerbanks go from £10.49 on Ebay.


Dry Shampoo

Keep your hair fresh and grease-free by keeping a travel size Batista nearby.

£1.99 Chemist Direct. 

dry shampoo


These are a God-send if you struggle with the air pressure whilst flying. Decongestants will clear your sinuses to ease stuffy/runny noses, watery eyes and aching ears.

sudafed £0.60 Sainsbury’s.


£1.99 from Superdrug. Not only will these keep you hydrated and healthy, but can also ease jet-lag.




Any medication you take / are taking is advisable to keep with you. Certain medications may require a doctor’s note to show airport security, but your doctor can advise you of this.


dove men

Dove for Men is my personal recommendation! £1.80 from Waitrose.

Aeroplanes are either freezing or sweltering, keep a mini deodorant in your bag to stay alert, fresh and fragrant.

How to Exfoliate

First of all, let’s be clear on what Exfoliate actually means:

To scrub dead skin cells from the body.  (My personal definition!)

Exfoliating removes old dead skin, revealing fresh bright skin underneath!

For us guys, exfoliation is important. Especially on the face before having a shave.

Exfoliating clears away bits of old skin, dust and dirt from between the stubble and helps it stand upright which makes shaving a painless, bloodless breeze!

It also minimises cuts, razor burn, ingrowing hairs and prevents spots and stubble rash.

Exfoliating is really good for your whole body too.

You only need to do it twice a week and before shaving.


  1. Wet your face with warm water…

man cleansing

2.  Gently massage a small amount (no bigger than a large coin) all over your face and neck (the shaving area too!)



3.                                                                   Rinse off & pat dry!

man cleansing


That’s it!

Recommended Exfoliators (AKA Scrubs)

St Ives Apricot Scrub £4.19 from Boots.                       This one can be used daily, good for

This product is very rough so only                                 problematic / teenage skin and is great

needs to be used twice a week max!                             to use on shaving rash / razor burn.

£2.99 from Superdrug


biiker scrub

Bikers Facial Scrub, £7.20 from Elegance Natural Skincare.

This company specialise in kind and natural skin care and have a fantastic men’s range,

I speak from experience when I recommend this product (and others from here) highly.

Good day, gents!

Freshly Shaved for the Summer!

Long time no see, fellars! Please pardon my disappearance, I’ve been studying and working a lot – A LOT!

But now the weather is brightening up and so is my mood! I want to make it known!

So, if you want great skin for the summer then READ ON!

If you prefer a nice naked face – like myself, over the trending full beard, below you will find a selection of affordable products to help you achieve a fresh, flawless holiday face!


exfoliating clean and clear

                                                                 Clean n’ Clear Morning Burst daily scrub

                                                                         £3.00 from


As I’ve previously stated, exfoliating BEFORE shaving is essential. It prevents those angry red bumps, razor burn and ingrowing hairs. Exfoliating also removes old skin flakes and keeps your complexion bright and free of blackheads!

palmolive cream

For a smooth and easy shave, simply smear a thick layer of this over your stubble. It’s only cheap and good quality so you can afford to be generous with

Palmolive Classic Shave Cream (above), £1.79 from Tesco

This shave cream thickens up nicely on damp skin and leaves a pleasant  residue on your skin afterwards and it smells great!


Nivea Sun anti-age facial sun cream,

£5.24 from

And of course, your face will never be fresh and holiday-ready without it being protected. It’s perfectly acceptable to use sun-cream all year round, even in winter it can be damaged by UV rays! This SPF 20 from Nivea will prevent your skin aging and keep your skin safe from sun damage and dryness.

Enjoy the heat without the Burn!

Voodoo Ladies

Unmasking the beautiful baddies.
By Michael Brennan

cate 2Cate Blanchett’s recent portrayal as the viperous stepmother in Cinderella seems to have kicked off a feminine craze of stark beauty and glamorized malevolence.
Female villains are glamorous nowadays. Almost eclipsed by their visual appeal, many would say. In the golden age of Hollywood, lady villains were pretty, yes. But more importantly they were terrifying, dangerous and so carefully crafted they could make a viewer’s blood run cold.
Why not bring the good old evil back? True movie buffs should make time to brush up on classic titles and get a taste of what the girls could really do back then.
We’ve all seen the Wicked Witch of the West, the green faced sorceress hell-bent on avenging her sister’s death and claiming a fabulous pair of shoes. Bette Davis is memorable as she terrorises her crippled on-screen sister, Joan Crawford with her eerie singing and gastronomical nightmares. Two mature actresses as the stars of  thriller is a rare treat in modern betteentertainment. Several years later, Kathy Bates crippled not only James Caan but audiences too as the obsessive, hammer-wielding captor in Misery. In 2013 however, Meryl Streep gave an ugly nod to true Hollywood cruelty when she starred as Violet Weston in August: Osage county, an acid-tongued cancer patient who tears in to each of her family members like a starved snake.
There’s something accepted about male villains, isn’t there? Until proven otherwise in a mysterious tale, we assume there’s a sinister male influence at the centre of the drama. It almost makes sense in a disturbing way. After all, decades of films have smothered us with sadistic men: Michael Myers, Freddie Kruger, Lord Voldemort, Lars Thorwold. But when a woman is pulling the strings there is a heightened intrigue and enjoyment. Even Shakespeare had this fact firmly in grasp when he wrote the charismatic lines of Lady Macbeth or Tamora, the gothic queen from Titus Andronicus. While several men will stab, slash and chop their victims, the women seem to work with sophistication and conniving intelligence. See Anne Baxter in All About Eve for a chilling example.
Villains play an important part of every story, without them there would be no conflict, no reason for the story in the first place. Not to mention that they can make us love the saint even more. So we can see that the gender of any villain makes a great difference to their method of destruction and also makes for an exciting tale either way.