In my recent review of the Bel Âge Anti-Ageing Health and Beauty Show London, you may recall me mention that my reluctant escort for the day was none other than Mr Zodle; his boredom being only marginally alleviated when he happened across the only men’s skincare exhibitor at the show – Monroe of London. The founders and very kind gents at Monroe, Luke and Gareth, could clearly see Mr Zodle’s pained expression and most generously gifted him one of their beautifully packaged ‘travel kits’, which they describe as “the ultimate travel companion…”. It contains 30ml each of – Cleanse & Shave Solution, Moisturiser & Shave Balm, Exfoliator, Cologne, Hair & Body Wash and Matte Clay.

So, what did Mr Zodle make of Monroe of London’s little goodie bag then? Well, straight off I had the Cologne out of the bag – it’s a unisex fragrance and as he currently appears to have more smellies on the dresser than me, I felt this was only fair and reasonable. I gave this a very quick review on my FB page, but suffice to say, I love it – it’s soooo fresh with it’s citrus notes of lime, mandarin and bergamot and, combined with “an aromatic, herbal cocktail of amber, patchouli, jasmine, lily of the valley and green tea”, it’s a signature scent that’s both fresh and warm at the same time. What’s more, it actually lasts all day, which I think is a rare find in today’s very diluted perfume market.

Now Mr Zodle will bullet point his honest opinion on the products he’s used…

Cleanse & Shave Solution 

  • Really like the refreshing tingle of the peppermint when applied
  • Gel-like texture is very easy to spread onto the face and felt comfortable on the skin
  • Not enough foam action – would prefer more lather (Z: I told him that those SLS’s ain’t so good though :-0)
  • No idea how well it washes but presume it does a good job as I’m being told it contains all of the following active ingredients:
    Peppermint – helps prevent breakouts
    Bergamot – healing, calming and antibacterial
    Mandarin – antiseptic to help fight bacteria
    Glycerine – anti-ageing and softens skin
    Vitamin C – supports collagen production
    Vitamin E – helps to repair sun damage
  • Not sure how well this would work for shaving as I never close shave with a razor but it didn’t dry my skin, which is a bonus

Hair & Body Wash

  • Great scent – like the Cologne I never got to wear…
  • Felt good on the skin – spreads easily and foams well on application
  • Not sufficiently moisturising, so left my skin feeling a little dry after showering
  • Insufficient foam action for washing my hair – the oils in my hair seemed to soak up the lather from the product leaving me needing a second application each time. Maybe I’m not washing my hair often enough!? (Z: he’s hard to please!) 

Moisturiser & Shave Balm SPF20

  • Easy to apply, good consistency and felt great on the skin; apart from my eyelids, where I found it stung a little. I could avoid spreading it over my eyelids I suppose but then it won’t be providing full protection if I can’t apply it everywhere (Z: I explained that this may be the Vitamin A content, which can be a little irritating if you’re new to exfoliating ingredients like this)
  • Fairly strong smell of SPF which overpowers some of the other nice ingredients such as the mandarin and chamomile

Exfoliator & Pore Minimiser

  • This kind of product is moving well away from my usual (lazy) routine but I must admit it felt really good
  • Nice consistency which was easy to spread and actually felt soothing
  • The fine grains (not sure what these are) felt nice when massaging into the skin and added to the feeling that it was actually exfoliating
  • Washed off very easily
  • Left my skin feeling really good and (apparently) looking ‘really polished’

When I used all the above products together they complimented each other very well and seemed to leave my skin feeling nicer than when used individually.

Thanks Mr Zodle 🙂

Who are Monroe of London?

In their own words, “Monroe of London was born out of a passion for high quality products that are beautifully and faultlessly designed. Skillfully blending form and function, Monroe offers an inclusive skincare range that delivers protection from the elements and promotes a routine that all men can subscribe to. A quintessentially British brand, our collection of dual-purpose products and skincare essentials are all handcrafted in the UK and have been developed in collaboration with the Harley Street Skin Clinic. Monroe is designed for men, by men. Luke and Gareth the founders of Monroe wanted a brand all men can use. “Form and function is very important to us, and governs everything we apply ourselves to.” Having each spent 20 years immersed in fashion photography, they were exposed to an industry focused on image and looking good. Taking an egalitarian approach, Luke and Gareth have decided to bring that focus out from behind the lens to share with like minded men in Britain and beyond“.

In summary…

Great styling aside (and some of Mr Zodle’s niggles), I think Monroe of London are a serious men’s skincare brand to watch; with some potent ingredients and their Harley Street collaborators, they are definitely a stand-out in today’s men’s skincare market.

The travel kit is £75 which I think is quite reasonable for a luxury skincare brand and it gives you the opportunity to trial a number of different products before committing to a full size purchase.

Get on it men, you know it makes sense!