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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Making Mixology Easier

Perhaps this is a familiar scenario: you’ve been on the town, honed in, worked your magic, and brought a lovely little thing home to your man pad, where, as a gentleman, you’ve made the debonair offer of a “cocktail or perhaps a glass of champagne” without looking in the fridge first. Sadly, when you do you realize there is no champagne, and sadly no ingredients for home-style mixology, save for a bottle of Stella, a well-intentioned miniature of absinthe, a low sugar juice box, and an onion that’s starting to get attitude. How do you ensure your love pad offers real hospitality without filling your rarely-explored fridge with perishables?

One way is with a bottle of Veuve Clicquot’s new RICH champagne, available in brut and rose. The first French champagne designed specifically for use in cocktails, the new wine takes its inspiration from the sweeter champagnes Madame Clicquot once sold to the Russian aristocracy, tipples that were described as ‘rich’ champagnes. With a blend of 45 percent pinot noir, 40 percent pinot meunier, and 15 percent chardonnay, this blissfully-light wine is packed with summer fruit flavours, from honey and ripe apples to citrus, with a touch of floral notes – essentially it already has most of what you need for home mixology. Simply add ice to a glass, add a few slices of cucumber, a touch of lime, perhaps a grating of ginger, a spoon of marmalade, a splash of fruit tea or almost anything you can lay your hands on, and hey presto, you’ve made something we think could impress the pants off her.

And that’s the idea, right?


 

Veuve Clicquot RICH
Available in good wine stores
rich.veuve-clicquot.com


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Time to Turn Over a New Leaf

You may only now be seeing guys outside bars, at bus stops, or virtually anywhere else, vaping, but it’s not all that new a trend. The first e-cigarette was created by Herbert A. Gilbert in the 1960s. His smokeless, non-tobacco e-cigarette included flavor cartridges and heating elements, and produced smokeless flavored air. Skip forward to the 2000s when Chinese pharmacist Hon Lik created the first modern e-cigarette, motivated by his own addiction to traditional smokes. He released his invention, which contained a battery, an ultrasonic atomizer, and a cartridge filled with nicotine-laced propylene to the public in 2006, and the rest, so they say, is history. Today, vaping, with or without nicotine, has taken off globally, with vaping technology keeping pace.

You can learn more about vaping at Hong Kong’s first dedicated vape shop, located in Sai Ying Pun. The tiny boutique features a huge array of imported non-nicotine vape e-juices – from Naked and Five Pawns to the innovative Bi-So range – as well as a vast selection of vaping devices including Vapresso and iStick,  – from simple unregulated puff-n-gos, through to mods packed with computer chips. Owner Tom knows the ins and outs of the global vaping scene and can answer any questions you have; suggest a starter kit for those looking to break the habit of traditional cigarettes; or help you upgrade to a truly modern vaping experience.

Because it’s never too late for good habits.
 


 

The Vape Shop Hong Kong
Lee Wang Building, 133-134 Connaught Rd West, Sai Ying Pun; 5165 6313
www.thevapeshophk.com


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Time to Chill

This might not be news to you, but a recent report published by the Hong Kong Mystery Shopper Service Association found we ranked dead last out of 60 surveyed countries when it came to…smiling! The report cited a direct correlation between the city’s poor smile performance and the levels of stress in the average citizen’s life. Cramped living conditions, traffic, pollution and long working hours are all normal for the average HongKonger, and none of these strains are doing us any good in the process.

All the way from the land of brutal ice hockey, playboy prime ministers and yes, you guessed it, smiles, Slow Cow is a naturally-formulated mind-cooling beverage that’s now available in our fair city. A unique formula of eight natural stress-relieving ingredients, sans caffeine, sugar or preservatives, Slow Cow promises physical and mental relaxation, all with the refreshing flavor of dragon-fruit. There’s valerian and linden to reduce stress; L-Theanine for sharper focus and enhanced memory; chamomile to relieve insomnia; potassium to stabilize blood pressure; and sodium to get your brain pumping.

Now all we have to do is get taxi drivers to drink it.


 

Slow Cow
Available at 7-Eleven, Park’N Shop and Aeon Stores
http://slowcow.hk


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Sipping in the City of Light

Let us just whisk you back in time for a moment. It’s 1985; Calvin and Hobbes has just run for the first time in US newspapers; the wreck of the Titanic has just been discovered at the bottom of the Atlantic; sweater vests are still cool; and the first version of Windows has just hit the shelves. And yet, all you can think about is which kidney you’re going to sell to buy your first pair of Air Jordans. They were the bad-ass of the shoe world (their 1984 prototype was even banned by the NBA for having too little white) and they fed perfectly into your alter-ego as a kid from the tough side of the street. Of course, if you did survive the drive-bys of suburbia, these sneakers also promised you’d defy gravity on the basketball court; that you too could make it all the way to the NBA (or at least to the rim), just by wearing Michael’s signature.

Prepare to get excited about your next pair of Air Jordans. Delivering a sack load of swagger to a golf course near you, the new Air Jordan golf shoe promises you as much success on the links as they did on the asphalt. For those in the know, Jordan is a massive fan of the great game and even played honorary vice-captain for the US Ryder Cup team. The new version boasts additional ankle padding, with a waterproof upper in leather, Nike Free-inspired spikes below, the iconic Jumpman logo on the lounge, and options for two colours: original white, black and red, or white and metallic. We think it might be time to dust off that bad-ass persona.

"I thought Jordans and a gold chain was living it up," – NAS, Street Dreams
 


 

Air Jordan Golf Shoe
US$200
www.nike.com


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Sipping in the City of Light

Trivia time: did you know that some of history’s most endearing cocktails have their origins in the land of berets, baguettes and Bugattis? Next time you order a drink, you should think about the vital contribution France has made to today’s mixology scene. If it wasn’t for classics like the French 75, a tipple created during WWI said to have the punch of a French 75mm artillery piece; The Sidecar, made for a flamboyant military officer who’d arrive at Harry’s New York Bar on a motorbike with sidecar; and that blissful hangover cure The Mimosa, created by Frank Meier at The Ritz Paris, we might never have moved past gin and tonics.

Fortunately, Le Boudoir, that most French of all Hong Kong speakeasies, is reviving classic French cocktails with a series of concoctions inspired by the City of Light. Made with either classic pours or, for the purist, vintage French ingredients, five new additions to the bar’s menu have restored L'Art de Vivre to Wyndham Street. Try the Pink Squirrel, a drink once made with ice cream and now interpreted with equal parts heavy cream, crème de cacao and illusive Crème de Noyaux, a rare liqueur made with the stones of apricots, peaches and cherries. Alternatively, the robust Tremblement de Terre, or ‘Earthquake’, is a powerful blend of cognac and absinthe created by famed French Post-Impressionist painter Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec that will either have you bouncing off the walls or cutting off your own ear. Enjoy these classic drinks amidst the Chinoiserie-punctuated Belle Époque grandeur of Le Boudoir’s chandelier-lit salon and toast to alchemists and mixologists past and present.

“A man's got to believe in something. I believe I'll have another drink” ~W. C. Fields


 

Le Boudoir’s New Classic Cocktails
Basement, 65 Wyndham Street, Central; 2530 3870.
www.french-creations.com/boudoir


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When Worlds Collide

In case you haven’t scrubbed up on your Peruvian immigration history recently, 7,000 Japanese workers descended on Peru in 1889 with the promise of gainful employment.


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Fresh Pasta, Done Right

You may not know this, but pasta has its origins in Asia. Although many countries have their versions, from German spaetzli and Greek orzo to Polish pierogi, we usually associate pasta with Italy, where it was introduced from China by that wandering vagabond Marco Polo during the 13th century.


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Bringing Style to a Mountainside Near You

So you fancy yourself as an outdoorsman, but you have a certain style to maintain, so the last thing you want to do is sport the type of psychedelic hiking pack usually found on the backs of sunburnt cash-strapped backpackers.


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