Graham Turner gives us the lowdown (pun intended) on the latest technology to transform hairy beasts into male beauties in the 852.

(Note: This article originally appeared on Localiiz.com)

Let me paint you a picture: it’s 2009, I’m in my early twenties, fresh out the shower at the gym (a membership I’ve long since rescinded as it was cutting into my cheeseburger fund). I notice the gentleman – nay, Sasquatch (#sasquatchshaming) – beside me drying himself off, the poor man’s back looking like an unsettling field of disturbing brown grass. I smile to myself as I appreciate the fact that hair-wise, I’m basically a goddamn Ken doll.


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(Note: This article originally appeared on Localiiz.com)

Do you look like total crap? It’s okay. Looking good in Hong Kong can be an uphill battle – Heathcliff was never a sweaty mess, and Patrick Bateman had that weird eye-mask thing that doesn’t work in real life (I tried). Whether you need a total transformation or just a bit of routine upkeep, our fair city has become a hub for the barbershop renaissance. Every budget is catered for, with a consistent level of quality when it comes to the base services, and any extra cost going towards bells and whistles. So, if you want to go from a mess to your sexy best, then read on.


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(Note: This article originally appeared on Localiiz.com)

It’s your big day, the day where first impressions are everything, where everything must be absolutely perfect and nothing should go wrong. You’re all set – you’ve got that nice new moisturiser, that designer aftershave, and even that suit you bought off the rack, which you’re sure will fit fine. You put on the suit. Something doesn’t feel right. You look in the mirror and your heart stops – you look ridiculous.


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 (Note: This article originally appeared on Localiiz.com)

In a city with arguably the most literal approach to the ‘work hard, play hard’ ethic, finding the time to stay in shape can be a real challenge. To help you get on top of your game, we’ve gathered together a panel of Hong Kong fitness gurus to give you the low-down on fitness trends, common workout mistakes, and top tips on how to shake up your regime.


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 (Note: This article originally appeared on Localiiz.com)

Are you finding yourself staggering about Lan Kwai Fong on a Friday night, clinging on to lukewarm pint of Carlsberg that skinned you for $75? Are you asking yourself why? Isn’t there more to life? Well, the answer is yes my friends. If we’d had this discussion a decade ago I would say you’re pretty much out of luck, drink your medicine, and stop moaning, but the tides have turned – ferociously – and we take beer very seriously in Hong Kong now. And it’s glorious.


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As If There Was Any Other Way

So you’ve fancied learning to surf ever since you watched Point Break for the first time. Don’t worry, we get it too. Being one with the ocean; the adrenalin of catching the perfect break; the bikini-clad lovelies that seem to congregate at every great surfing beach - there’s a lot to like about boarding.


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Live Life Wirelessly

It’s amazing, when you think about it, what you once thought you couldn’t live without, and now do, happily. There was that first big crush, the succubus that deflowered you, devoured your innocence, and turned you into a sobbing poet (and a real drag for your mates). There was your first Walkman (man you thought you were cool); your first ten-speed; your first Converse kicks; and of course, that old Run DMC ball cap. But that’s how it is with life – things come, and things go. Including wires.

Live life unhindered by wires with the Jabra Elite Sports, tiny techy noise-reduction wireless Bluetooth earphones that will blow you away with their sound capabilities. Don’t be put off by the name; they don’t come in fluro; they won’t monitor your heart rate (unless you want them to, because they can you know); and they look just as good with a suit and tie as they do with your gym ensemble. A selection of tips and gels ensure the perfect custom fit, while a pair of microphones in each bud filters out the rest of the world, ensuring nothing but great music and crystal clear calls. There are dedicated apps for fitness monitoring and music tweaking, and the three-hour battery time is bolstered by a case that doubles as a back-up charger, offering a total of nine hours on the go.

Now that’s worth writing a sonnet about.


 

Jabra Elite Sport
From HK$2,500
www.jabra.com

 


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Time to Sex up Your Hotel Bathroom

Here’s a spot of trivia for your afternoon coffee break: the term Dopp Kit derives from the early 20th century, when leather craftsman Charles Doppelt (with help from his intrepid nephew Jerome Harris) created the first men’s leather hygiene case in 1919.


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Time to Pack Your Dopp Kit

With greater complexity and a spicy, quirky profile, mezcal, tequila’s ‘ugly sister’, is making waves in Asia’s top cocktail hotspots. Here’s what you need to know to get onboard this summer.

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First it was tequila’s turn. The tipple that turns up noses and finishes nights has enjoyed a renaissance, going from sleazy shots to sipping spirit. And now likely lads looking for their next libation are reaching for tequila’s ‘ugly sister’, mezcal, a blue-collar sibling that packs a spicy punch that lends itself to a raft of traditional tequila cocktails.

So, what is mezcal? Made only in Mexico, mezcal is a distilled spirit produced by roasting the heart of a Mexican agave plant, most commonly espadín agave, in a pit oven, grinding the plant’s fleshy center and extracting the juice, which is then fermented and distilled. It is this roasting process that contributes to the distinctive smoky, spicy notes of mezcal. So you know your stuff when you pull up your next bar stool, tequila is a similar spirit that’s only made in the Mexican state of Jalisco, and only from the blue weber agave, which produces a fruitier, more herbal flavour profile.

Mexcal’s move into the limelight has been slow and steady in Asia. Japan welcomed Asia’s largest mezcal bar, La Mezcaleria Jicara Bar and Grill, two years ago; the Mexican house of mixology offers more than 200 varieties of Mezcal from producers across Mexico. Hong Kong embraced this gritty spirit with the recently opening of On Lan Street’s Mezcalito, which serves more than 60 types of mezcal and tequila, both for sipping and in a list of innovative cocktails.

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“We're seeing more and more people in Asia showing an interest and wanting to sample this spirit,” says Leo Gutkowski, an F&B stalwart, self-confessed tequilaphile, and one of three founders of Mezcalito. “People are naturally curious creatures and when something comes along that they don't know much about they are inquisitive and want to know more. This is certainly the case at Mezcalito.” Gutkowski feels his new concept is just the tip of the spear. “Mezcal is huge in some parts of North America, in Europe and even in Japan. I think over the next 3-4 years mezcal will really blow up in Hong Kong too.”

With different flavour profiles, mexcal and tequila are also served differently at Mezcalito. While both spirits are often drunk neat in Mexico, tequila is most commonly consumed as a shot with lime in many parts of the world, while mezcal is served with a slice of orange sprinkled with rock salt, chili, and sal de gusano, or ‘worm salt’, essentially ground up moth larve that live in and on the agave plants (you’ll also find moth ‘worms’ in cheaper bottles of mezcal). These condiments help to prepare the palate for the smoky characteristics of the spirit.

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For cocktail lovers in Hong Kong, some mezcal-based concoctions available at Mezcalito include the Mint Floyd, a blend of mezcal, pomegranate, fresh lime, fresh mint and agave nectar; Mezcal Paloma, a refreshing mezcal and grapefruit cocktail, usually made with tequila; and the summer cooler, Grilled Pineapple & Mezcal Margarita, which brings the humble margarita to a new level with a mix of grilled pineapple and spicy mezcal.

If you’re looking to add a bottle of mezcal to your home can, there are a few choice drops we recommend. These include Mezcal Rufian; Ilegal Mezcal, which has taken North America by storm; Clase Azul; Bruxo; and El Tinieblo, all of which are available at Mezcalito.


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Cause You Never Know When You’ll Need a Fix

By the time you read this, we’re figuring you’re probably on your second, maybe even third cup of coffee for the day. Caffeine is the most used psychoactive drug in the world.


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Chill Out or Chilli?

We’ve all been there – one gent starts talking conquests and the others can’t help but up the ante.


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Because You’re Worth It

It’s official: the last throws of winter are behind us and the steam room that is summer in Hong Kong quickly approaches. In our book that means there’s no better time for a tropical escape, far from the frenzy of the city, to a place where the air is warm and dry, the beaches as soft as talcum powder, the drinks generously measured, and the house reef as colourful and diverse as Lan Kwai Fong at New Years. One of the most anticipated openings in the Indian Ocean archipelago in years, Hurawalhi Island Resort just might be the paradise you pursue – nay, deserve.

The perfect balance between a tiny boutique resort that’s a little lack luster on leisure activities, and the mega-resorts where you spend most of your vacation queuing, the new private adults-only island retreat of Hurawalhi is home to sumptuous villas, world-class restaurants, and captivating coral gardens just steps from the nearest Dark n Stormy. Sand bunnies should opt for one of the cavernous Beach Villas, which offer cathedral-esque bathrooms and direct access to the island’s power white fringe, while the romantically inclined might prefer the privacy of an Ocean Pool Villa, with its infinity pool and direct lagoon access.

If you can drag yourself from your villa (and we’re not saying you have to) you’ll dine well, with contemporary cuisine at the 5.8 Underwater Restaurant; the best of Reims’ wine heritage at the Champagne Pavilion, a regular for resident dolphins and manta rays; and haute mixology at Coco Bar, the perfect spot of tiki-inspired sundowners. There’s also plenty to keep your mind from city living, from coconut-laced massages at the Duniya Spa; guided snorkeling excursions on the resort’s own reefs; and matches on the all-weather tennis courts; to scuba diving escapes to some of the archipelago’s finest walls and caves; luxury sailing and deep-sea fishing trips; and even a games room packed with vintage distractions.

Think of it as a steamy summer precursor.
 


 

Hurawalhi Island Resort
From US$300 per night, twin share
www.hurawalhi.com


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Breaking the Ice in Style

If there is one word that sums up our modern culture, it’s convenience. If we don’t have immediate and ceaseless access to food deliveries, travel itineraries, car services, global mapping, restaurant choices, the whereabouts of our closest consorts, and even suitable mates (and we don’t mean the kind you play rugby with) we tend to get a bit stroppy.


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Breaking the Ice in Style

Dating can be stressful for both parties. Whether you met the organic way, or simply swiped right one a special lady who didn’t fancy your late-night invite to your man den as a first meeting, there’s a lot of expectations in the air, a lot of unanswered questions, a lot of investigation taking place.


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Time to Pack Your Dopp Kit

It’s that lovely time of year again, when the mercury sky rockets and we start planning weekends away to Asia’s top beach havens. But as a modern gent it’s important to maintain your grooming regime on the road and these savvy new products will keep you looking sharp under foreign skies.

 



Lab Series Multi-Action Face Wash

Keep your lady catcher cleansed and refreshed with this multi-action wash solution. Designed to exfoliate away dead skin cells with a soothing ‘multi-action’ foam, this savvy soap is laced with purifying beads that wash away impurities, leaving you fresh and looking your best.
www.labseries.com

 

LAB


 


Hawkins & Brimble Elemi & Ginseng Shaving Cream

An all-natural and lovingly rich shaving cream, this silky shaving soap quickly creates a thick, luscious lather, sans parabens, colourants or mineral oils, and leaves the skin moisturized and supple, especially when used in conjunction with the brand’s Shaving Cream Brush, a traditional essential with impeccably soft bristles that helps soften the skin while you shave.
www.hawkinsandbrimble.co.uk

hawkinsbrimble


 


Susanne Kaufmann Deostick Line M

Bet your mother always told you to never leave home without deodorant so the Deostick Line M from Susanne Kaufmann is an organic essential. Free of aluminum salts (that’s a relief), this lightweight deodorant has a refreshing scent and active mineral ingredients that neutralize odor-forming bacteria without closing pores, as well as witch-hazel, known for its skin-friendly and calming properties.
Shop G18, Empire Centre, 68 Mody Road, Tsim Sha Tsui East;
www.susannekaufmann.com

deostick


 


Scent of Life Uomo Salvatore Ferragamo

Now that you’re de-oderized and moisturized, ensure you sent the senses into overdrive with the new fragrance from Italian luxury goods company Salvatore Ferragamo. A fresh, light new fragrance for discerning gentlemem, Scent of Life Uomo features touches of oriental wood and black pepper spice, with a finish of orange blossom and ambrox.
parfums.ferragamo.com

uomo


 


Stache Bomb Stache Wax

Even if you’re on holiday or simply scouring the streets of Sheung Wan looking for a latte, you need to keep that fu Manchu or handlebar looking as crisp as the rest of your look. Made in Maine, where real men wax their mustaches daily, this lightly pine scented wax makes mustache grooming dead easy and comes with Original; Wicked Good, which has scents of the sea; Stiff; and even bacon-scented (yes, really).
www.stachebomb.com

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Feel the Need for Speed

So, summer is almost upon us, and you know what that means, fun under the sun in as many forms as you can find it.


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A Piece of History on Your Wrist

OK, time to brush up on your Russian space program trivia. In the middle of the endless steppes of Kazakhstan is Baikonur Cosmodrome, which was founded in 1955 as a test center for Soviet intercontinental ballistic missiles. It was later used to launch the Soviet Union’s first manned and unmanned forays – including Sputnik 1 and Yuri Gagarin’s Vostok 1 – into space.


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Put Insomnia on Standby

Jetlag was a curious ailment when it was first described in a 1966 Los Angeles Times article by Horace Sutton. Clinically referred to as desynchronosis, this condition is the result of alterations to the body’s circadian rhythms during rapid long-distance travel.


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Taking Charters to the Next Level

For centuries men have forged their own path, dared to tread beyond the beaten path, questioned what lies beyond the horizon, and sought out the unknown. Adventure is in our blood, but urbanization and globalization have made us a little soft and for many of us the closest thing to adventure in our daily lives is trying soy milk in our lattes. Fortunately, there’s something you can do about that.


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Isn’t it Time You Owned a Beachhouse?

Imagine you’re enjoying a summer vacation on a tropical island, sitting on a white sandy beach with an afternoon cocktail in hand, a lovely at your hip, and the contemplation of a dip just coming to mind. The you start to think to yourself ‘I could see myself living here.’ Daydream no more, paradise might be closer than you think.

Phuket, Thailand’s favourite party island, will welcome its newest luxury real estate project, MontAzure, within the next year, ensuring those lazy beachlife days don’t have to end any time soon. A mixed-use coastal development situated on 72 hectares of hillside overlooking popular Kamala Beach, MontAzure has been master-planned by acclaimed architect Martin Palleros of Tierra Design, and will offer expansive beachside condominiums, a luxury resort, a clutch of high-end villas, and ground-breaking beach clubs when it flings its doors open in 2018.

The 75-unit Twinpalms Residences MontAzure, the development’s first phase, will offer sun worshipping buyers a home-away-from-home, complete with world-class resort services. Housed within eleven low-rise buildings topped with private rooftop pools, the condominiums will offer one- and two-bedroom apartments, ranging from 70sqm to 400sqm, and accessible via private elevators. There will also be 13 villas perched on the mountain flanks, each of which will boast soaring ceilings, private pools, and panoramic views of the Andaman Sea, making for the perfect enclave for city-weary urbanites.

Dedicated to fun under the sun as well as under the stars, the Catch Beach Club and HQ Beach Lounge will serve craft cocktails and fine wines, complemented by tracks spun by in-house and pop-up DJs.

Think of it as a holiday that ends if and when you want it to.
 

 

 


 

MontAzure
From US$250,000
www.montazure.com 


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Time to Up the Home Bar Ante

There’s little doubt that we’re living in the age of the craft spirit, which is a good thing for lads that like a good drink, but it also means you shall we judged on what you present on your home bar, whether it’s a sleek copper lined number crested with ornate decanters, or just a dusty corner where bottles tend to congregate. The reality is good craft spirits not only make cocktails more interesting, but they also make great ice breakers and conversation starters, which can always be nice if the night’s waning.

Karven Starka Vodka is no ordinary vodka. Crafted in New Zealand with natural artesian water (the family-owned distillery also does an award-winning gin and a very unique vermouth) this savvy drop is inspired by Eastern Europe’s 500-year-old tradition of creating starka spirit, a dry vodka made from distilled rye that’s often buried in the ground the day a baby boy is born and unearthed when he marries. Karven’s starka vodka is rested in American oak barrels for 6-8 weeks and infused with local manuka honey and insightful local botanicals, including native kawakawa. The result is an alluring and intriguing spirit with the deep golden hue of a sunburst Stratocaster, with toasted vanilla and honey notes on the palate, followed by a touch of spice that’s guaranteed to get tongues waggling.

Dare to drink different.


 

Karven Starka Vodka
HK$430
karven.co.nz 


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Time Your Tried Tequila’s ‘Ugly Sister’

When it came to drinking rum and playing with knives, no one has ever mastered this fine balance quite like cutthroat pirate Edward Teach, otherwise known as Blackbeard.


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On certain topics we value a female perspective and one such topic is lady underwear. To keep you in the loop with the XX chromosome we’ve invited guest contributor Gillian Chu to explain what men should look for when they’re buying lingerie and where they can get it in Hong Kong.


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Time Your Tried Tequila’s ‘Ugly Sister’

You may have already heard of the story of mezcal, the ugly sister of tequila. With a strong, quirky personality, this Mexican distilled spirit, once consumed by the blue collar, hasn’t, until recently, enjoyed the limelight and infamy of its libacious sister.


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The New Strike Force

Luxury watch brands have always liked to link their products with various masculine facets, from flying and golf, to motor sports and sailing. But one of the most common themes is the military.


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Going Back to the City’s Roots

When we hear about Hong Kong as a global gastronomy destination you might smirk, but it’s not only the flash-in-a-pan restaurants that give the city its foodie credentials.


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UMI

Sushi Done Right

So, when it comes to authentic Japanese sushi, there’s a chance you don’t know your nigiri from your uramaki, but that’s cool because it’s never too late to learn.


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Add Spirit Artisan to Your CV

There’s no doubt that gin is seeing a huge global renaissance. The spirit has come a long way since it single-handedly corrupted the moral fiber of London in the first half of the 18th century (leaving you to corrupt the other half during nights on the town in Brixton). This was a time when there was said to be a gin still in every fourth house in the city and when it was safer to drink the juniper-laced elixir than water.

Make your own home a gin joint with The Home Made Gin Kit, a brilliant little set up that allows you to turn vodka into your own small-batch gin in the time it takes to binge watch season one of Ray Donovan. Kick off with the starter kit, which includes everything you need, from two 375ml glass bottles, a fine stainless steel strainer, a funnel, one tin of juniper berries, and one of the brand’s own secret blend of botanicals. All you need to do then is add the ingredients to any old vodka, wait for nature to do its thing, strain, and rebottle. If you’re not a gin guy yourself these kits also make great he-gifts, as do the finished products. Once you have the equipment and know how you can get a little more creative, either with the brand’s own botanical refills, which include smoky, spiced or hopped blends, or with ingredients you come across on your travels.

“Of all the gin joints, in all the towns, in all the world, she walks into mine.” - Casablanca
  


 

The Home Made Gin Kit
From US$49.95 www.homemadegin.com
www.homemadegin.com


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Start the Year Strong

Forget what you think you know about your face; chances are you’re treating is as poorly as you treat your hands, your liver, and your moral compass. Sure, once upon a time men were expected to age quietly – women had ‘crow’s feet’, but we had ‘character lines’. However, times, they’re a changin’, and it’s time you took the maintenance of your lady catcher a little more seriously.

Fortunately, the sirens at The Strand in Central are a few steps ahead. Located beside the Mid-Levels Escalator, The Strand boasts an array of he-centric treatments, from manicures, pedicures and a full hair saloon (we’ll call it a barbershop if it makes you more comfortable) through to a host of skin treatments designed to make those youthful years last as long as scientifically possible. Start your 2017 filled with youthful zest with the new Skeyndor Eternal Youth treatment, a comprehensive anti-aging facial that targets the skin - contrary to what you might tell the ladies, it’s your biggest organ you know – and helps undo all that environmental damage. Without getting too technical, the machine-based treatment encouraged hydration and the production of collagen and elastin, replacing damaged skin cells and resulting in firmer skin and leaving you with the face of a shaving commercial model. The spa also stocks Skeynor’s men’s range, meaning there’s no reason the face-love can’t last throughout the year.

A fresh face for a new year.
 

 

 


 

The Strand
18 Cochrane St, Central;
2850 7686
Skeyndor Eternal Youth facial from HK$1,480 for 60 minutes
www.thestrandhk.com


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Light the Night

There’s nothing wrong with wanting a little attention, it’s only natural. We groom ourselves, we accessorize, and we dress well, not only because it makes us feel confidant, but because, like it or not, we’re judged by how we present ourselves to the world. We (many of us) bask in that attention, especially when it comes from the fairer sex, with some likely lads going to great lengths to maintain a sense of notoriety, especially in their social lives. Fortunately, it might be as easy as waving your hand at a waiter next time you’re hitting the club.

Introducing Midnight Sabre, a breakthrough, eye-catching, and certainly attention-gaining new luminous bottle from Polish vodka gurus Belvedere. Available exclusively at Asia’s top nightclubs, this very special bottle of vodka (sibling to Belvedere’s 2014 precision cut Night Sabre club bottle) features exquisite laser etching and a delicate black coating, which helps set the scene and captivate the crowds when you turn on the built-in LED lamps in the bottle’s base. The effect of misty trees emerging from within the bottle is sure to act like a welcoming beacon to the lovelies with their eyes on the VIP tables.

Go ahead, bask.


 

Belvedere Midnight Sabre
Available in good wine stores
www.belvederevodka.com


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