Life on Mars
Ladies asked. Guys asked. My husband asked. My sons asked... And I listened.
Ladies AND Gentleman, aka Men from Mars, Women from Venus! This month I’m delighted to welcome a new columnist to the magazine’s team.
I give you, the super-stylish, talented follower of fashion, Josh Thompson and his new column: ‘Life On Mars’.
Whether you guys identify as metrosexual or retrosexual; your style inspiration is the ‘mean streets of Peckham, or the suave feats of (David) Beckham; more ‘dandy’ or David Gandy, Josh will have something for you. Style and grooming tips, fitness inspiration, gadgets news and much more.
Before his debut, I put some questions to Josh to find out more about him and his love of fashion.
I hope you enjoy and feel inspired...
What three things are vital to your day?
My phone, music and food.
What is your phone screensaver?
And the emoji you use the most?
Big smiley face.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
How do you like to unwind and relax?
I like chilling in the kitchen whilst surfing the net.
When you were a little boy, what did you what to be when you grew up?
Like most young boys, I wanted to be a footballer.
Who/what is your biggest inspiration?
Without a doubt, my parents.
Is there any one meeting/event which changed the path of your life?
Actually it was going to the launch of your fashion magazine. It totally opened up the world of fashion to me, all the different avenues to explore, all the fun and creativity that went into the photo shoots I did with you and how much potential there was.
What is your proudest achievement to date?
Becoming the person I am today.
What is the hardest piece of criticism you’ve ever received?
Comments about my hair - being compared to Z-list celebrities like Jedward!
What is your biggest fear?
Getting old - time running out and not getting everything I want done.
What is your biggest regret?
Not working hard enough in school. I didn’t fulfill my potential.
What’s your biggest extravagance?
Shoes! (I can totally relate to that Josh!)
Who or what would go into your room 101?
Bad smells! Tuna is the worst! I have a bad gag reflex!
What is your biggest life lesson so far?
Life’s too short, so if you don’t like something - change it.
Describe what fashion means to you.
Looking good - feeling good.
Who are your fashion icons?
David Beckham, David Gandy, James Dean.
How did you feel when I asked you to do a column for emmaheaven.com?
Thank you Josh.
Now take it away...
‘Life On Mars’
In this monthly column, I’m going to write from a male’s perspective about the many and varied happenings in the world of fashion. These are my own views and opinions. At no point will I tell you how to dress. I’ll just bring you the wonderful, colourful people who live and breathe fashion and style.
I will be covering male grooming, hair and skincare, fragrance, fashion, tips on style, and people who I think dress exceptionally well.
On a personal note, I do like to get dressed up and look smart when I have an event or night out - but I also love nothing more than my comfy chilling out clothes!
This section will showcase a few people every month who have caught my eye for looking outstanding and fabulous. These may be celebrities, sports stars or everyday folk who have dressed and styled themselves impeccably.
To me, David is the king of style. He is one of the UK’s most successful exports and has been for some time. There really was no other choice as to who would be the first person I would showcase.
Pinpoint the look:
- Wears suits’ separates better than most.
- Classic touches such as wide lapels to his suits and a neck tie.
- Rarely strays from classic neutrals when it comes to dressing up.
Bilal is renowned for being one of Instagram’s most dapperly dressed of men. He is regularly featured in Instagram’s ‘Men With Class’ page, which has over 2 million followers. The main reason why Bilal stands out to me is his large muscular frame. This can be more challenging to dress, but he does it exceptionally well.
Pinpoint the look:
- Mixes suit colours; choosing pastel colours - such as pale green for trousers.
- Wears semi-formal clothing by teaming smart trainer-type shoes with suit trousers.
- To complete this part-smart look, he finishes the outfit with a shirt worn open and braces to accessorise.
Steven is a New York-based blogger. His style has a distinct 50s look with a modern touch. These touches come mainly in the form of his accessories, of which he wears many. From multiple pieces of jewellery, to glasses and hats. The finish these touches bring to Steven’s outfits fit perfectly with the style he has created and turn the outfit into a complete look.
Pinpoint the look:
- Multiple accessories of a high quality.
- Bravely mixes suits with checks and stripes.
- Uses a T-shirt for a smart but dressed-down look
To groom or not to groom?
How far should we modern men take grooming? Now there are more products and services available than ever before, designed specifically for men in our quest to look good. But just how far should we go?
I believe it totally comes down to opinions: yours first and foremost, followed by those whose opinion you truly value if it’s a second opinion that you’re after. For example, some men are absolutely averse to grooming, and it is a totally alien concept to them. This may be down to a variety of reasons e.g. your partner “likes beards and it makes you a man” or conversely, your partner may prefer a totally groomed clean look.
Modern day society is becoming more accustomed to, and accepting of male grooming. Male grooming - or ‘manscaping’ as it’s also known as - encompasses a wide range of skincare, hair products, shaving (hipster beard oil anyone?) and face care.
People in the public eye are also putting the idea of the well groomed man in front of us. Made In Chelsea’s Oliver Locke regularly discusses his use of foundation and eyeliner (‘guyliner’) on the show. Or the guys from Geordie Shore are constantly topping up their fake tan and sculpting their eyebrows.
I for one am massively with the ‘YES vote to grooming’. I use a number of moisturising and skin care products. When I use them I feel more awake and healthier. The moisturiser I am currently using is Clarins for Men. I’ve used it for a while and it’s perfect for what I need.
Over the last few months, I have taught myself to shave using old school techniques. A shaving brush, soap and a cut-throat razor.
At first there were a lot of bloodstained tissues from dabbing my face. Thankfully it didn’t take long for me to build my confidence and competence to hone the skill of keeping a steady hand. The prospect of severe blood loss is a huge motivator to getting the technique right. And quickly!
I got a lot of satisfaction from learning how to do this, as it is a hard skill to master and one I think is in danger of being forgotten with modern day techniques and our desire for convenience.
There is an art to shaving this way, and I have noticed more and more people are itching to ditch their new razors, choosing a more traditional approach. There are many benefits to old school shaving:
- Skin feels cleaner and you get a closer shave.
- Shaving soap comes in recyclable packaging, not an aerosol can.
- Good quality razor which will last you a lifetime.
- Personal satisfaction of learning a new traditional skill.
I hope you find these tips and ideas useful and that you’ve enjoyed this month’s read.
See you all next month with my next transmission from Life On Mars.
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