Janelle Monae Covers FAULT Magazine Issue 28

Janelle Monae X FAULT Magazine

janelle Monae FAULT Magazine dirty computer

Fashion Editor: Rachel Holland | Photographer: David Yeo | Make Up Artist: Jessica Smalls | Hair Stylist: Nikki Elms | Nail Artist: Diana Drummond | Photographer’s Assistant: Anna Forbes | Stylist’s Assistant: Anna Cirnu | Photographed at Handel & Hendrix in London handelhendrix.org

 

Words: Miles Holder

Special Thanks: Handel & Hendrix

In 2007, Janelle Monae released her EP entitled ‘Metropolis: Suite I (The Chase), the first in a seven-part conceptual series set in the year 2719’s civilisation of Metropolis and told through the eyes of a sentient android, Cindi Mayweather.

The story continued through her 2010 album ‘The ArchAndroid’ and 2013’s ‘The Electric Lady’ and fans followed Cindi Mayweather as she fell in love with a human and travelled back in time to warn of the imminent threat posed by the secret organisation, ‘The Great Divide’.

For her 2018 Album entitled ‘Dirty Computer’, Janelle will be leaving Cindi behind and telling a new story, the story of Janelle Monae. The first two releases from the record ‘Django Jane’ and ‘Make Me Feel’ are still filled with Janelle’s signature style, Afrofuturism and punk soul swag. While a departure from the narrative fans are accustomed, it nevertheless provides what so many have a craved – a glimpse into Janelle’s personal life.

Could it be that as our reality begins to mimic that of the fictitious dystopian future of Metropolis, as too has Janelle been forced to follow in the footsteps of Cindi Mayweather and save the present day from its own “great divide”? Only time will tell. For Janelle at least, it’s all about being present, and at long last, finding the confidence to tell her own story.

 

janelle Monae FAULT Magazine dirty computer

 

FAULT Magazine: You’ve always included social commentary within your music but it was vailed within the narrative of Metropolis. On Dirty Computer, the message is a lot more in your face – why?

Janelle Monae: I knew I was supposed to make Dirty Computer before my first album came out and I always wanted to speak out, but I put it off because I needed to understand where my anger was coming from and how best to channel it.

I am such an honest person and speak very candidly when I’m with friends and family, and that’s what you’ll hear on this album. I sing about politics, race, sexuality, gender on the record but to release the album, I needed to make sure I had the confidence to not self-edit. I needed to be vulnerable, honest and open.

This project is about my freedom and challenging myself to live in the present and not in 2719 through Cindi. I feel like I can contribute to the present day and that I should contribute. I’m choosing to live in the now and to celebrate the people that are not celebrated in the present day. I want to honour those living on the outskirts of society due to their sexuality or gender identity. These are people who I love, and that love me but waking up as an American who cares deeply about the American dream and the rights of all people to it, I feel there is too much at stake to be quiet and to mince my words on specific issues.

 

Despite the social commentary, it doesn’t feel like a sad or hope lost album. There are many songs about self-love and sexual discovery that it ends up as quite an empowering record, was this the intention?

I’m happy you said that because it’s not meant as a sad album, it’s intended as a celebration for the “dirty computers” of the world who get told that they’re dirty and that they have viruses making them different which they need to have taken away. Dirty Computers should see their uniqueness and their so-called viruses as positive attributes which make them valuable to society.

 

What’s given you the confidence to say “Right, it’s time to tell the world who Janelle is and tell my story”?

Janelle Monae: There is power in vulnerability, and I think that it needed to start with me. I was inspired by many movies, some of which I’ve been a part of and the stories I read and people I’ve met; when people shared their stories with me so honestly, it resonated.

I’ve been talking about it, but I feel I wasn’t entirely embracing the things that made me unique. I was telling others to as part of my music, but I wasn’t living it, and I think that I was afraid I would lose supporters for doing so.

I had a lot of conversation with myself about who was going to be the subject of the album myself or Cindi, but I’m here now, and I think it’s right that I stay in the present and share my story and walk in my truth as fearlessly as possible.

janelle Monae FAULT Magazine dirty computer
And how does one live fearlessly?

Janelle Monae: It’s not that I don’t experience fear, but in those moments, I choose freedom and freedom is not free. Freedom always comes with great sacrifice, and there will be people who say hurtful things and not support me because I’m living my truth.

 

Does it scare you to put yourself out there for scrutiny when people won’t just discuss your music, they’ll twist your music and message and start discussions on you as a person and your personal life?

Janelle Monae: No, I have soul searched, and this time around, I think being honest is most important. It’s about being able to say “hey I’m ok if people don’t like that I’m embracing this side of me”, it’s the side that my friends and family get to see and they still love me the same. I think that my evolution is more important than pleasing people and I may not say it right, I might get some things wrong, and I may stumble along the way but was I honest, was I sincere, was my heart in the right place? Yes, yes and yes.

What scares Janelle Monae?

Janelle Monae: That I won’t have a family within the time frame that I want to have a family. I want to have children, but I don’t want to miss that time because I was so focused on my career and because I didn’t plan accordingly. That scares me most now more than anything. I do want to usher in a new generation of babies that will be better than me and able to dream bigger than me and go out into this world and turn it upside down in a very positive way.

janelle Monae FAULT Magazine dirty computer (1 of 1)
What is your FAULT?

Janelle Monae: One of my FAULTs is that I’m a self-editor and perfectionist and I don’t enjoy my experiences when I’m so focused on being consistently perfect in every situation. It’s something that I’ve had to work on my entire life actively. It used to consume my experience, and I couldn’t enjoy things because I was so focused on how they were going to be presented. I was so concerned with what people thought, but now I’m just at this point in my life where I’m finding strength in my imperfections, and I realise that I connect more with myself and with other people when my FAULTs are being shared for all to see.

 

 

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ERA 50:50 – The Time for Change

Gemma Arterton ©Sophie_Mutevelian

The #metoo movement has been challenging all industries. Along with it, it’s time to raise all the important questions that women have been faced with for decades.

 

Last evening, ERA 50:50 – Equal Representation for Actresses – a movement of actors and actresses set up in 2015 by Elisabeth Berrington and Polly Kemp – hosted an incredible array of talks in partnership with Spotlight and Equity – currently the most poignant platforms in the industry that represent talent on screen.

 

In 2018, women represent more than half the population on the planet, yet on screen, they are still misrepresented in numbers as opposed to their male counterparts. The statistics say that there are twice as more men cast into roles as opposed to women, and the numbers rise nearly up to 3:1 for children’s television. Moreover, apart from taking up less physical space than their male co-stars, actresses also have predominantly less screen time, speak less and are also written by scriptwriters into secondary or supporting characters. In a day and age where women have more to say, they’ve got less space to do so.

James Nesbitt ©Sophie_Mutevelian

Last night, ERA brought together more than 200 of the most influential people in the entertainment industry and called for the tides to change. It takes a village – from producers to casting directors and writers, but the most important thing is to raise awareness over the issue.

 

Last evening’s supporting guests included Olivia Colman, Gemma Arterton, Lily James, Gemma Chan, Miles Jupp, Doon Mackichan, Ophelia Lovibond, Amanda Redman, Tobias Menzies, James Nesbitt, Philip Glennister, Stephanie Cole, Imelda Staunton, Shazad Latif, Jim Carter, Jess Phillips MP, Tulip Siddiq MP, Tracy Brabin MP, and Founding Leader of the Womens’ Equality Party, Sophie Walker. All the above are pioneers in their respective industries and showed their support and dedication to a cause that we all should stand behind.

Gemma Chan, Moira Buffini, Gemma Arterton, Emily Berrington, Lily James ©Sophie_Mutevelian

 

Olivia Colman introduced the evening before handing over to ERA 50:50 who showcased alarming statistics regarding the way women are misrepresented on screen.

 

The aim is to raise enough awareness so that by the year 2020 we can see equal gender balance on screen and a 50:50 gender balance across the yearly content in film and television.

 

Entertainment is the most powerful tool in today’s consumerism. As Hollywood aims to hold a mirror to society through its depictions of human stories, it’s pivotal that these stories accurately represent women as a poignant source of currency and power. I want my daughter to see herself on screen and not as a Disney princess.

Olivia Colman ©Sophie Mutevelian

Characters with authority are predominantly male. For the time being, we’re indoctrinating another generation to believe that women aren’t as valuable or as interesting. Weight and age are other factors that influence heavily how much work actresses are getting. The reason Three Billboards is so refreshing is that Frances McDormand walks bare-faced and unashamed as a character while being her 50-60-year-old self. It’s a palpable relief that she exists and is able to have such a strong influence, especially after how well received the film was at the Golden Globes and the BAFTAs.

 

So what are the solutions? Here’s what ERA is actively proposing to producers, casting directors, production companies and everyone responsible for content creation:

 

Seek out female writers

Use your influence

Cast 50:50 background artists

Safeguard women in the workplace

Commit to 50:50 writers’ rooms

Commit to 50:50 onstage representation

Fund 50% female talent

Educate the next generation of content makers

Use job vacancies to achieve 50:50

Serve your audience

 Female-led films make money!

 

 

These are all solutions that can be implemented easily within any production house and with minimal hassle. It is actually illegal not to offer equal opportunities to both men and women alike.

We leave you with some of the most poignant quotes from ERA’s incredible array of speakers.

 

Ophelia Lovibond: “It is happening, I feel there is a seismic change and it is so exciting. I feel so invigorated and honoured to be a part of it.”

 

Tobias Menzies: “Shifting preconceptions of what gender representation should be in our industry was the invitation of the night…asking us to go back to our spheres of influence and talk about it where we can.”

 

Miles Jupp: “On the News Quiz, over 8 series, half of our guests have been women, half men. We made a decision, we stuck to it – so could everyone. Even if you only have a little bit of power, make positive use of it.”

 

Jess Phillips: “In 2018 it seems bizarre that we don’t have a representative media.

It’s not even a woman thing it’s a society thing.”

 

 

Most importantly, ERA is a campaign that is funded by the goodness of your hearts, so head over to http://www.equalrepresentationforactresses.co.uk and donate. Do it for yourself and for the next generations to come.

 

BAFTA EE Presents The Costume Series in partnership with Swarovski

 

Each year, the BAFTA Awards showcase an incredible array of talent in the most poignant cinematic categories.

 

This weekend, The Sessions held at BAFTA HQ shone a light on the makers of the most incredible films to grace the screen in 2017. From Production Design to Hair and Makeup, along with talks from this year’s EE Rising Star Nominees, the panels offered an exclusive in-depth look at the work and passion that is put behind each film and each talent nominated for this year’s awards.

 

As part of the Costume Sessions, we had an exclusive opportunity to see what actually went into the makings of the incredible dressings from BAFTA Nominated films The Shape of Water and I, Tonya.

 

The process that goes into the making of a costume is intrinsically fascinating and complex. Speaking to the crowd, Jennifer Johnson, the costume designer behind I, Tonya’s iconic looks has delved in depth into what actually goes into the garment-making of an iconic biographical film.

Photo: Neon

`’It’s a magical time when an actor feels incredibly wholesome with the costume” she says while reflecting on working with Margot Robbie. Robbie’s costumes were made from scratch – there was no particular insight into Tonya’s actual outfits that she wore during the Olympics. By studying significant amounts of documentary series on Tonya’s performances along with VHS footage and very old poor quality photographs, Johnson only had 5 weeks of pre-production time to be able to put together all of Robbie’s outfits. Challenging yet rewarding at the same time, the team behind I, Tonya acted as a very nurturing environment for Johnson to work in. Margot Robbie acted as a title character as well as a producer alongside her husband who was a screenwriter. We’d call it a family affair. It was very important for Johnson to get a good grasp of Margot’s character at first. Speaking to FAULT of her experience, she recalls that the moment Robbie became one with the costume was a wholesome process. “The body warms up, they accept the costume and they become one with it. If the actor doesn’t accept the costume in their sphere and their comfort, then that’s when difficulties occur.”

 

The second panelist of the evening was Luis Sequeira, the designer behind the iconic period looks of The Shape of Water who is currently being nominated in 13 different categories.

Octavia Spencer and Sally Hawkins in the film THE SHAPE OF WATER. Photo by Kerry Hayes. © 2017 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation All Rights Reserved

When working with Guillermo Del Toro, Luis explains that it’s a very particular and intense experience. On a production of the scale of The Shape of Water, it was very important to keep all the details in check from start to finish. A fabric that looks a certain way in the palm of your hards takes entirely different dimensions when put in front of a camera. The second part of the film was shot entirely underwater, which added an extra element of difficulty when addressing the costumes. For the final scene, Sequiera explains that he chose to use a different type of fabric that would accurately reflect the movements of Sally. When speaking of his experience of working alongside her, he explains that there’s “always a magical melding of actually creating characters with Sally and that forms a healthy balance.” In perspective, the cast is at their most vulnerable with the costume designers and they believe in that a strong blend of trust and friendship needs to exist. Although Sequeira insists that a boundary still needs to exist. Even though he’s close to Sally, he explains that ‘close friends don’t tie her shoelaces’ – which inevitably creates a division in between a working relationship and an actual friendship. Not to say that one can’t be formed, but what’s most important on a film set is a level of professional trust in between designers and cast members.

 

The question on everyone’s lips is ‘Who’s going to win Best Picture at the awards this weekend?’ Reluctant to answer, Sequeira believes it’s quite likely ‘Guillerom del Torro’s turn this year’. We tend to agree, yet the answer to the question shall be revealed this evening.

 

The EE British Academy Film Awards is broadcast on BBC One at 9pm on Sunday 18th February. For advice and inspiration from the best creative minds working in film, games and television, visit:www.bafta.org/guru

 

 

 

 

 

Thatchface – Beard oil making a difference

Thatchface: Beard oil making a difference

 

At FAULT it’s all about the story, and we love to see brands who share the same ethos. It’s always humbling to hear from brands pursuing more than pure profit, and that’s why today we’re looking at the beard oils produces by Thatchface.

Thatchface will be donating 10% of all profits to Orchid Cancer Appeal, a cause close to founder Ben Cleaver’s heart as he was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 21. The subsequent surgery and nine-week course of chemotherapy did not break Ben; it was the catalyst which drove him to create Thatchface. Thatchface as a brand hasn’t only seen Ben enter the grooming market with a solid product (more on this later) but it will continue to provide to those facing the same circumstances he did all those years ago.

What drove Ben to beard oils? While his chemotherapy treatment caused him to lose his head hair, what remained other than his fighting spirit was his beard. It kept growing, leading Ben to research and find ways of properly caring for it.

Experimenting with varying oils and scents, Ben and his wife Leanne perfected their products into a range of three premium beard oils, a range which is now on the market and what we’ve been putting through its paces for the last month.

While all three oils are different in scent, it was great to see that each one contain Argon oil, an ingredient used for centuries but one that’s made a boom within the beauty industry over the last few years. If you’re not too familiar with the benefits, Argon oil has been known to treat stretch marks, burns, acne and is frequently used an everyday moisturiser to revitalise dry skins. Thanks to its high vitamin properties, the trees which bore the fruit are so celebrated that in 1998 the argan forest was declared a biosphere reserve by Unesco. Of course, it’s not only the skin which benefits from the oils, but Argon oil is used in premium brand conditioners and deep cleansing hair products proving that Thatchface indeed just used the very best ingredients when it comes to their products.

The products come in three whimsically titled products ‘Got Wood’, ‘Wild Zest’ and ‘Full Minty’.

The ‘Got Wood’ beard oil is undoubtedly the most earthy of the three – hints of cedarwood, sandalwood and pine needles are present making for a rich scent of the great outdoors. The blend is just the right amount of intensity, not overpowering but still gives off a pleasant oaky fragrance.

Wild Zest beard oil is for lack of a better term, rather zesty! Lemon, lime, orange and ylang-ylang carry a delightful citrus fragrance.

Finally, the Full Minty is definitely on the Christmas list for its pleasant minty scent with hints of peppermint and eucalyptus transforming your beard into a fresh of breath air.

So what are the results after a month of using the oil, it’s fantastic. Beard oil has never been something that I saw as an essential for my grooming routine, but it does make all the difference. To the touch, my beard isn’t the course and scratchy bush I thought it naturally had to be. I’d highly recommend that you at least give it a try and see the results for yourself and if you’re looking for a Christmas gift for a bearded friend, then Thatchface has you covered!

For more information, head over to Thatchface.com

FAULT Favourites: Marius Janusauskas SS18

Marius Janusauskas SS18

“Yes, I was thinking: we live without a future. That’s what’s queer …” Virginia Woolf

Marius Janusauskas SS18

The Marius Janusauskas SS18 collection marries “a wish-landscape”, mythopoetic categories and queer temporality. The refusal of a certain natural order opens up new possibilities for hope and diversity in the present moment. This celebration of the moment signifies utopian potentiality and an escape from the constraints of reality.

The collection is inspired by uniforms, Andy Warhol’s early hand-drawings and camouflage, which is this context is viewed as an artistic approximation of nature. The process of deconstruction of regular military, white collar and workers uniforms with soft silks and transgender body has progressed into creation of original garments. The suggestion of which is like an unregistered story or a poem.

 

Marius Janusauskas SS18

Marius Janusauskas SS18

Marius Janusauskas SS18

Marius Janusauskas SS18

Marius Janusauskas SS18

Marius Janusauskas SS18

Marius Janusauskas SS18

Marius Janusauskas SS18

Marius Janusauskas SS18

Marius Janusauskas SS18

Photographer: Paulius Zaborskis

Full Collection by Marius Janusauskas SS18

Grooming: Kristina Pasaka Busilaite

Model: Nikita at imagegroup

See more at www.mariusjanusauskas.com

FAULT Magazine Reviews: Bulldog Skincare for Men

Bulldog Skincare for Men

 

In the last couple of years, Bulldog skincare for men has surged in popularity, especially within the young gentleman’s market which has been notoriously hard to crack for other brands. As a brand, Bulldog believe profoundly in natural ingredients, and most importantly, they are cruelty-free – so we wanted to test out their range of products to see if there’s substance behind and hype.

Bulldog offers a wide range of gift boxes for the Christmas season making them an excellent choice if you’re looking for a stocking filler or more of an all-encompassing gift box. As I had to travel quite a bit within December, I opted to try the Skincare Kit for Men for the main advantage that it comes in a neat travel bag that I was also in the market for.

The Skincare for Men gift set contains, Original Face Wash, Original Face Scrub and an Original Moisturiser, but there is enough space within the wash bag for additional toiletries if it’s going to be used for travel or gym use. After an incredibly long 12 hours in the air, it was time to put the product to the test.

 

Bulldog Original Face Scrub

After a long flight, tough gym session or just whenever my skin is feeling a little greasy I like to start my cleanse with a face scrub. These are great for removing dead skin cells and on reducing the face’s rough and tired look. It’s good to note that scrubs aren’t for everyday use, I would use them once every two weeks as more of a skin refresh as opposed to a daily essential. I’ve tried many over my time, some good and some not so good but I can say with confidence that the Bulldog iteration falls within the former. I decided to test out the scrub fresh of a 12-hour flight, and it worked wonders. After just one use my skin was noticeably smoother to the touch, and that greasy dewy shine that resulted from clogged pore was vanquished. It’s safe to say; we’re off to a good start.

Bulldog Original Face Wash

The Face Wash is what I use for everyday use – best used after shaving or in the shower, this is your all round facial cleanser that’ll rid you of the ordinary imperfections that life likes to throw at us. As a face wash, I’m happy to say it worked wonders! Enriched with essential oils and green tea which has been hailed for centuries as a skincare godsend, one use in the morning and my skin has a healthy glow. While some facewashes strip the face of all its natural beneficial oils leading to dryness (not ideal for the winter), I didn’t experience that from Bulldog what so ever. The product is enriched with ingredients to promote natural-looking moisturised skin and removes only the excess grime and grease which can lead to redness and spots if left uncleansed.

 

Original Moisturiser

I always finish my routine with a good moisturiser, winter will do a number on your skin and leave it dry and chapped, so it’s great that this pack includes everything you need to battle against this. Many men turn away from moisturisers as they can leave the skin feeling greasy but I didn’t experience this at all with Bulldogs’. The moisturiser is light and applying a thin layer post wash helps to rid the skin of any dryness some might experience. For men with dry skin like myself, it’ll also be good to note that unlike other products which require multiple applications throughout the day, I only found myself applying a thing layer every morning and once again in the evening.

All in all, I’m happy to recommend the Bulldog Kit as an excellent gift for any gentleman looking for an all-round skincare range. The kit acts as an essentials giftbox, especially for men who aren’t too familiar or interested in full-scale grooming kits. I’ve taken the pack on holiday with me three times now, and it’s great just to have a bag with precisely what I need for short business trips not to mention the bonus of the washbag that I can throw my toothbrush and shampoo in whenever I go away. It retails at a very affordable £15 in the UK and is readily available on the high street for a quick and easy Christmas purchase.

For more information, head over to https://www.bulldogskincare.com/

FAULT In Conversation with Seth Travis – the man behind Man Of Metropolis

Seth Travis has a myriad of experience within the creative industry, working with names such as Ralph Lauren NBC and Bloomingdale’s to name but a few. Previous experience aside, Seth somehow found the time to create MAN of METROPOLIS Magazine, a publication centred around fashion, grooming, travel and all things of interest to the modern man. Now in their third year of publication, we caught up with Seth to discuss his career, motivations and meet the man behind MAN of METROPOLIS.

 

You’ve been in this industry for over 15 years, for you what’s been the most positive change within the fashion industry for you?

I think a lot of people think Fashion is supposed to be this cool elite group that very few get access to. But I would say technology with the use of social media and other web platforms has empowered entrepreneurs like myself to combat that notion head on; not a great change for rule makers but an awesome change for the rule breakers like me. You don’t need an ivy league education, or need to know somebody at a massive brand or publishing house to break into this industry anymore. It’s all about talent again. The will to succeed is the ultimate equalizer.

 

When and why did you decide to set up Man of Metropolis Magazine?

I was working on the Ralph Lauren brand in New York in 2010, it was a dream company; but not a dream job. So I started blogging under the name MAN of METROPOLIS, a few years later we turned it into a MAG and now we are 8 issues in ending the year with 3 huge celebrity covers; Edgar Ramirez, Gregg Sulkin, and Brittany Snow.

 

Where do you go to find inspiration?

Growing up it was music videos and films. I think those formative years were really critical in how I develop my taste. I know everyone thinks their generation was the best for one reason or another, but man the 1980’s and 1990’s were the golden age of music video making. And the movies! Top Gun, Indiana Jones, Red Dawn, The Karate Kid, Footloose, etc. Those characters really meant something and were iconic. So I think movies and music will always be the first places I go for inspiration.

 

What makes a person a Man of Metropolis?

We do a lot of fashion editorials. So the MAN of METROPOLIS has to have a strong sense of style while being open to taking a fashion risk or two. That said he’s also one of the good guys. He is relentless in the pursuit of the best version of himself, always. He wants to look great, free great, be great. So this should permeate in the way he treats others, his impact should be positively felt throughout his daily interactions from work to his personal life. He is MAN ELEVATED.

 

What do you look for in the editorials you feature and the talents you interview?

I am always going to look for a well-produced project from start to finish; this starts with great communication and ends with impeccable execution. In terms of the look and feel of the story that varies we produce with a lot of talented people and there is no reason to ask them to all shoot like Mario Testino or whoever; we want their point of view because our reader isn’t always in New York, he may be in Nashville, or Chicago, or Miami. So the stories have to be interesting and applicable to several kinds of guys. For interviews, it really is about the timing of our issues. We try really hard at building content around a theme for any given issue. Our NEW Hollywood Issue is a wonderful way to close 2017 for us. It comes out December 4th. I am very proud of it and very grateful to the incredible team of people who helped on it.

 

You wear many hats within the creative industry, what keeps you motivated to stay active with Man of Metropolis when you already have an established career?

Ya know the American Dream is to be your own boss, right? Or at least that is what my American Dream is. I am motivated by the freedom to create. Every issue we have challenges me, but ultimately I think overcoming these challenges and bringing life to new ideas with other talented people is extremely rewarding.

What’s next for the magazine?

2018 looks really big for us, especially now that HQ is in New York. MAN of METROPOLIS has really hit it’s stride back in New York and we continue to get the right attention from all sides.

 

What is your FAULT?

At my core, I’m an artist, but I also have a very strong entrepreneurial side. That said I am super sensitive. The great part of that is I connect really well with creatives and the talent we feature; the other side of that coin is if you don’t come through on a commitment it can really take a toll for a few days. I think our words should hold more weight more value. The kinds of promises people break in this industry can be remarkable. So I sift through that group quickly as possible, dust myself off and move on; but yeah I am a sensitive guy. It hurts my feelings when people don’t come through.

Shaving With The Force With Philips’ Star Wars inspired Razors

 

Many of us share the childhood Christmas memory of us rushing to the tree to see what newfangled toy Father Christmas had placed there. Sadly, we all also share the memory of watching those toys turn into the dreaded “practical gift” territory as the years went by. Don’t get me wrong, I’m very grateful for the suitcase, umbrella, fountain pen and notebooks I have received in my adult years, they’re practical, and I did need them; they just failed to conjure up the same level of excitement as years gone by. This Christmas, I was setting up for very much the same experience, but then I discovered that Philips has teamed up with Star Wars: The Last Jedi with a new range of electric razors, and trust me, these ARE the droids you’ve been looking for.

The range of shavers fuses Philips high tech innovation with Star Wars creative vision to release five different shavers based on characters from the franchise. Choose between The Dark Side, The Light Side, Poe Dameron, BB-8 or franchise favourite R2-D2 inspired designs!

 

I went for the Poe Dameron (played by Oscar Isaac in the movie) model otherwise known as the Philips SW6700, and it’s a beauty. I’ve bought film inspired grooming products from other brands before, and the visual design has never been to this high standard. The attention to detail which I’ll go into later is astounding, and it’s great to see a brand which is synonymous for it’s visual and graphic design on screen, implementing their same high design quality into their products off-screen.

Usability wise, it’s up there with the best of them. Its 8-direction head works well both wet or dry shaving, and as someone with sensitive skin I was a little apprehensive before using the razor dry, but I’m happy to report that it didn’t irritate or feel uncomfortable. A brief look through its various settings and I found the Turbo+ mode. Activated by pressing the X-wing symbol (which is an excellent easter-egg to Star Wars fans), you’ll be able to cut through thicker stubble and achieve a closer shave in less time – something to remember if you’re buying for someone with thick facial hair.

Each design delivers its own unique shaving experience. For example, if destroying planets and building massive clone armies is more “your thing” (and who are we to judge), opting for the ‘Dark Side’ razor might be more suitable. The battery level metre is ingeniously displayed using Kylo Ren’s unique lightsaber design, but there’s more to this than merely visual design. A SmartClick Precision Trimmer allows for the user to shape their moustache, sideburns or perform shape ups which is something which isn’t available on the R2-D2 model, so it’s well worth having a read through all the specific designs on their website below if buying as a gift.

With the Darkside, Lightside and Poe model, you’ll also receive a hard case within the box making them perfect gifts for people who find themselves needing to travel a lot. On the R2D2 model, the lights flicker on and off in the same manner as the sassy droid to which it gains inspiration from.

All in all, I couldn’t recommend these shavers enough not only as a great gift for movie fans but also for as a gift for someone after a top of the range electric razor. Using the Poe Model, I was able to shave the closest and most comfortable shave compared to any other electric razor that I’ve tried. As a Star Wars fan, it’s a well designed and thoroughly considered homage to the franchise; it’s clear that they are developed by a team who understand the franchise and its favourite characters. The collection is an excellent example of practical and well-constructed gifts not having to be boring; a great shaver made better by expert creativity.

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