Q&A with The Spa Man
Tell us about The Spa Man?
The Spa Man launched in early 2013 to provide a male voice in the world of spa. The audience and readerships is not limited to men, in fact over half of the readers are female. Mixing spa news and products reviews, The Spa Man travels the world visiting some of the world’s best spas to report in an honest and fair reportage style.
Behind The Spa Man is me, Mark Smith, I’ve been writing about the beauty industry for around 16 years, specialising in male grooming and spa. As Contributing Editor for European Spa Magazine, I also write for Men’s Fitness, The Spa Traveller, BA Highlife and more recently Asia Spa Magazine.
What is the typical day in the life of the Spa Man?
It’s varied, emails and posting blog stories first thing in the morning, prior to a swim at the lido (summer) or workout in the gym. Then it’s breakfast of a Nutribullet or porridge. If I’m not visiting the latest spa opening in the UK or abroad, I will be writing copy and interviewing the founders of brands like Elemis or Comfort Zone and attending press launch events. I also do some marketing and PR for beauty brands as a consultant.
I try not to work many evenings, but will attend the odd event. Once work is finished, you will find me in the garden, relaxing with a glass of wine and tending to the BBQ.
Which country is your favourite destination to spa?
Thailand is my all-time favourite for spa-ing. The gentle nature of the Thai people, combined with fabulous, fresh and fragrant ingredients is the perfect combination. And of course there’s the gorgeous resorts and warm climate. It’s divine. I went to Phuket last year and reviewed Amanpuri, Banyan Tree Phuket, COMO Point Yamu and Sri Panwa. They were all outstanding in their own way and I would love to go back right now.
Image: Banyan Tree Phuket
Which spa review holds your top spot?
At the moment, the Mandarin Oriental Bodrum in Turkey is my all-time favourite spa. The resort is massive, and they have devoted a large area to the spa, but it doesn’t feel overwhelming, there are lovely pockets in which to hide and the spa garden is formed looking out to see, but retains a sense of privacy.
Which new to market grooming buys are on your radar?
The re-launch of the Elemis Men’s range is impressive in terms of packaging design and the team has also launched a couple of new products including the Anti Fatigue Eye Gel and Day Cream. Every brand seems to have launched a Beard Oil, which is great that they are responding to the shift in male grooming, but few cut the mustard.
Tell us what’s in your bathroom cabinet?
Bodhi & Birch Siam Ginger Bath & Shower Therapy, Kerstin Florian Turkish Body Scrub, , Environ AVST 2 Moisturiser, ThalgoMen Eye Cream, Sodashi Cleanser, Elemis Frangipani Monoi Oil, Cornerstone Razor and Tom Ford Grey Vetiver EDT.
What would be your top 5 ultimate luxe grooming buys?
A quality razor, an elegant shave brush, any Tom Ford Fragrance, La Prairie skincare, SPF
What are your future plans for The Spa Man?
I want to continue to grow the readership, travel more through Asia and the South Pacific to review some of the fabulous spas in those regions. I’m booked to visit Mauritius this year and Vietnam next year. In the next two years I would like The Spa Man to become the go-to site for spa reviews and news.
Which type of products do you love to review?
I like products that have a great texture. Facial products I prefer not to be fragranced, there’s no need. But I love a body product that’s uplifting and energizing. So lime, ginger, eucalyptus, orange are my favourites.
5 things you would take to a desert island?
SPF, ipod, the entire series of Tales of the City, cashew nuts and my partner Karl.
The Spa Man: www.thespaman.co.uk