My Collection of the Best Gifts for Book Lovers

Check out Holiday Gift Guide for the Book Lover in Your Life

by Jor-El at Mode

It’s almost THAT time of year!  Yes, the holidays are upon us and you know what the means? It’s time to shop!

While we still have Thanksgiving to look forward to, and boy am I excited, it’s also time to get yourself in gear to start that holiday shopping.  Well, at least you should be thinking about it. 😉

For me, every November always devolves into two things. One, waiting on the ability to lose my mind and stuff my face of Thanksgiving and two, figuring out how the hell I’m going to shop for the perfect Christmas presents for everyone in my life.

Sure, it’s a nice problem to have, but as someone who doesn’t like shopping all that much (or crowds, for that matter), I find it daunting to put together my shopping list and then actually acquire all the special goodies that I’ve had my eye on.

There are a lot of great gift guides out there and while I was inspired by a gift I’m buying for a friend I decided, I should make my own gift guide to book lovers. I ended up with some pretty cool and clever gifts to choose from and figured, why not share all these options with everyone?! Alas, my gift guide for book lovers was born.

In my research I was pleasantly surprised by all that cool things out there available to book lovers. From literature inspired scarfs to something as small as an incredibly inexpensive (yet highly effective) book mark, there are a plethora of gift options at varying price points out there.

In Holiday Gift Guide for the Book Lover in Your Life, you will see some of my personal favorite picks and some unexpected discoveries that I’m sure someone on your holiday list will appreciate.  Check it out for yourself and happy shopping!

My Secret to Easy Winter Storage

It’s getting a bit cooler everywhere which means that out come all the scarves, gloves and hats that you need to keep yourself from freezing.  For me this creates just one problem…STORAGE.

I live in New York City, which is basically a shortcut to saying that I have essentially no storage.  Apartments in the city are notoriously small and if you have a decent sized wardrobe, this means that you’re going to have some problems!

When the fall/winter months roll around I’m always stressed out about how I’m going to pull those winter coats, scarves, gloves, etc. out of storage and into some readily accessible place in which I can grab them on-the-go.  Also, you’ve got to choose just the right scarf to go with your ‘fit, right? In the spring and summer months, this isn’t too big of an issue as your jackets are smaller and you obviously don’t need all those other accessories.

This year, I had a stroke of genius.  What if I could make use of a closet door for storage?  Then it came to me! I realized that over the door shoe organizers aren’t great for guys because the shoe pockets are generally way too small BUT it might be perfect storage place for scarves, gloves, hats and belts. BOOM.

I purchased a pretty inexpensive shoe organizer on Amazon (I think for around 10 bucks), “installed” it and created a new home for my winter accessories. And with that, I solved another NYC storage problem.  That is, until I get more stuff!

Scarves. Gloves. Hats. Belts. #storage #nyc #fall #winteriscoming

A photo posted by Jor-El (@manemanblog) on

Soothe App Launches in NYC! A Review

There are apps for everything these days, from talking with a therapist to ordering groceries online, whatever you need to take care of pretty much has an app for your convenience.  Enter Soothe, a new app launching in early November 2015 in New York City to help bring you in-home or office massages at your whim.  It doesn’t get much better than that!

Here are what the Soothe app folks promise:

Soothe ( is a same-day, massage-on-demand service available in 14 cities across the country with over 1800 licensed massage therapists. Soothe delivers a licensed, vetted, certified massage therapist to your home, office or hotel room, with as little as 60 minutes advance notice. Services include Swedish, Deep Tissue, Sports and Couples massage, in treatment lengths of 60-90-120 minutes for a fixed fee that includes gratuity and taxes ($99-$139-$169). Their hours are 8 am – midnight daily. People can book 24-7 via the iOS or Android app, online, or via the toll-free number during business hours. It’s consistently received 5-star reviews. Soothe is already available in Chicago, Dallas, Fort Worth, Los Angeles/OC, Miami/Ft. Lauderdale, San Diego, Austin, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Washington, D.C., and Seattle.

This past week I had the chance to try out Soothe and had a great experience!  I made my appointment via the app on my iPad the day before for an after work stress break.  Set up was super easy and I was able to choose between a Swedish, Deep Tissue or Couples Massage. I opted for the Swedish one hour massage and got my confirmation. I was all set.

The day of my appointment I received a confirmation from Soothe that Michael would be my massage therapist and would arrive at our scheduled time. I was a little nervous having an at-home massage (after all it was a stranger I was letting in) BUT my therapist was so professional and personable.  He even recommended a few ways to stretch my back and neck after sitting at my desk for hours every day.  After my hour was up, I felt amazingly relaxed and slept very well that night.  And I didn’t even have to leave my apartment or put on anything other than lounge wear.  It was amazing! I will definitely be using Soothe to book again.

I had a great experience and if my trial was any reflection of the types of professionals that Soothe offers, then I’m sure that everyone will be making a lot of reservations via the Soothe app (available in the iTunes store) when it launches in NYC on November 3.  And exclusively for MANE MAN readers, I have partnered with Soothe to offer $30 off your first massage when you use the code MANEMAN30.  Try it out for yourself!


Disclosure: The experience described in this post was provided courtesy of Soothe.  No further compensation was provided. All opinions listed herein are mine and have not been influenced in any way by the folks at Soothe.

The Key to Spec-tacular Screen Time

Cheesy puns aside, Eyezen™ lenses are a stylish and efficient way to promote eye health while staring at screens or monitors all, like most of us do. I’ve spent the past few week with my Eyezen™ specs and here’s my take on the fashionable eyewear that is also highly functional. Read on for more!

Eyezen™ lenses are a new product to the market that helps prevent digital eye strain, which is something that a lot of us deal with nowadays. I know that I spend  most of the hours in my day either writing or staring at my screen answering emails. I often find that my eyes are strained and bloodshot at the end of a workday.  This is undoubtedly a problem of our increasingly digital world.

Studies suggest that LED lights and compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) offer up blue light which is related to age related degeneration.  That is, “blue light” commonly found in many digital monitors like computer and phone screens causes eye strain which damages your eyesight over time.

Eyezen™ lenses offer  more comfortable reading experience.  They filter out some of that harmful blue light and only allows the good stuff in. This means you can work at your screen for a longer period of time with less eye strain, which is something both you and your boss will probably love.

I’ve been using Eyezen™ for a few weeks now and not only do I like the style and color but I have found that long days in front of screens aren’t as trying as they used to be.  And for someone like me, who spends a lot of time in front of screens, these glasses are a nice advantage to have.

Eyezen™ glasses are available as both prescription and non-prescription lenses so you can gain some benefit even if you don’t require traditional lenses.  You can visit the brand’s website to locate glasses near you.  There’s even a handy guide that you can take to your next eye appointment with your optometrist.


Disclosure: Sample product for review was provided courtesy of Eyezen™.  All thoughts and opinions listed herein are my own.


My Picks for Budget Conscious Skin Care

I’m spoiled fortunate enough to be able to try out so many great grooming products and it’s something that I obviously relish. It’s fun to try out new things and I’m always on the hunt for effective and budget conscious products that I know I’ll actually buy when I’m in my local drug store (or shopping online).

Today, I had the realization that fall is actually here.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t the cooler temperatures that made it evident but more so the increasingly dry air.  After a few times washing my hands, I noticed that my skin has begun to dry out pretty quickly. That’s right, ladies and gents, that time of year is here.

It was just earlier this week that NYC was still relying on a little bit of AC to keep our homes and offices at a cool 72 degrees, but now it seems that all of the monstrous summer humidity has left and that wonderful fall crisp air is in full effect. I love it! I got to wear a jacket. It’s almost sweater weather!  Alas, my skin is not a fan.

Not only do I have to be more conscious about not turning up the water temperature in the shower but I also have to be more intentional about taking care of my skin.  With that in mind, I created a collection of budget conscious skin care products that I often find myself going back to when I need a little something special and my wallet is hurting.  Check out my picks below!


Check out Budget Conscious Skin Care

by Jor-El at Mode

My 2 Favorite Products (at the moment!)

paul mitchell dynamic duo

One of the perks about being a grooming blogger, and frankly one of the downfalls, is the ability to try out so many different products on my face and mane to see what yields the best results.  While that doesn’t seem like a problem, it can be daunting to always be trying out new things. In some small way, sometimes I don’t feel satisfied when I find something that works really well as I’m always on the hunt for the new thing.  Call it product-junkieism if you will.  That’s probably how I would describe it!

I’ve been fortunate enough to be part of the #PMInsiders club which is made up of a group of bloggers, vloggers and influencers who try out some of the best offerings from hair care brand Paul Mitchell. While I’ve liked many of the products that have come across my desk, I think I’ve recently a holy combination!

Let me start by saying that I did a semi-annual hair cut a month ago. Now, the medium to big fro is gone and a little, well-coiffed one is firmly in its place.  This is always a frustrating time for me as depending on the length of the cut, due to way my hair works, I have to wait for a little length until natural curl definition happens. It hasn’t been until the past two weeks that I’ve hit that little magic spot and this has been made clear by a combination of two Paul Mitchell products, The Cream from the softstyle collection and the Tea Tree Firm Hold Gel from the teatree line.

The Cream is a lightweight styling conditioner that applies well on wet hair right out of the shower.  On my short(er) hair I use about a nickel-sized amount.  I rake in the product from root to ends with my fingers. Immediately after that, still with pretty wet hair, I use about a nickel-sized amount of the Tea Tree Firm Hold Gel and rake in using the same method. I let my hair air dry and that’s it!  What that leaves me with is defined (if not a little firm) hair.  The gel helps out by giving a lot of shine and luster which means my hair always looks bright and healthy without a greasy feel when I use it.

This unexpected duo packs a pretty good punch and has been my go-to for a couple of weeks now.  It will definitely stay on the top of my list as we start to transition the cooler fall months.

What’s at the top of your list these days?

Blogaversary: 4 Years Strong!

sparklers-blogaversary 2015

September 27, 2015 marks 4 years of blogging here on MANE MAN! We made it!

When I first began blogging back in 2011 I had no idea that anyone would read this little old labor of love.  Today, as I approach the fourth anniversary of MANE MAN, I’m both shocked and fortunate to be looking back on the past several years.  It’s been quite the ride!

While blogging can be fun, it can be daunting at times.  There’s that time when you want to make some small adjustment to your design and completely botch the code and have to stay up until 3 AM to fix it.  There are times when you are completely uninspired and in search of the next post to no avail.  Then there are times when the negative feedback seems too pointed or overwhelming.  There are definitely a lot of challenges.

There are also a great amount of benefits that come with blogging.  I should begin by saying that I feel more confident than I ever have with my hair and talking about natural hair with other gents and folks in and outside of the natural hair community. It’s been great to meet so many of you and connect on our triumphs and challenges. It’s been great to have you all bear witness to my product junkie-ism which has only been fed by the blog and its sponsors.

I am so glad to have shared this past four years with you.  I hope that you continue to read, research and comment with your questions and concerns about all things grooming.  I’m always happy to connect!

Now, I’m off to do a long overdue face mask 😉

8 Activities to Cross Off Your Fall Bucket List


If you read my last post about fall style then you probably got the impression that I REALLY like fall.  The truth is, I’m a little obsessed.

For me, fall represents the best of both worlds: you get the enjoy the remnants of the warmer summer weather and then slowly (hopefully) transition into the cooler months.  Usually, this means a lot of layering and who doesn’t love layering?  This also means a whole host of cool fall activities to enjoy.

One of my new favorite fall traditions has to be traveling to a pumpkin patch/farm upstate where you can not only pick your own pumpkins but also apples.  You can imagine the plethora of sweet treats that can come out of hefty bag of apples.  On top of that, most farms these days also have great on site bakeries where there is everything from hot apple cider to jams, syrups and all sorts of pre-made pies and breads.  Essentially…heaven.

While I don’t get out of the city too much during the fall, I got to thinking about the places I wouldn’t mind visiting and the things that I enjoy doing most during the fall months.  I came up with a list of 8 great activities that I either do annually or have put on my fall bucket list.  I hope that you’ll consider taking part in some of them too.

The activities on my list range from backyard carnival parties to celebrations and just enough debauchery to make it count.  While you’re on the hunt for your PSL (pumpkin spice lattes from Starbucks) don’t forget that the fall also brings us pumpkin beer and Oktoberfest to enjoy.

Check out my story below!

Check out 8 Activities to Cross off Your Fall Bucket List

by Jor-El at Mode

Fall is (Almost) Here!

fall bench

I know that for a lot of us we’ve been braving some pretty hot and humid summer days the past few months.  And if you’re like me your patience is starting to wear very thin. Thankfully, fall is almost here!

A few days ago NYC hit a heat record, with a 90+ day in September.  It’s time for this to all be over my friends!  I have always really loved the moderate temps in both the fall and spring.  With fall comes the excitement to bust out layers and boots which, in my opinion, offers the best fashion out there. And who doesn’t love a nice cardigan?!

In an effort to relish in the upcoming hopefully chilly weather, I’ve been shopping.  I’ve taken some time to really up my game in the MANE MAN Shop.  There are some great new threads to choose from as well as some more stuff for home so feel free to check it out!


Disclosure: Please note that I do receive a commission on any items purchased through the shop located at

Help Support FOLLICLE

follicle fundraiser 8-26-15

Natural hair has become a trendy topic in the past few years. More and more celebrities have begun to show off their natural texture. One of the biggest actresses in Hollywood (and arguably one of the most talented) Viola Davis, shocked people when she wore her natural hair on the red carpet for the 2012 Academy Awards.

And while there is questionably more support for natural hair now, there is still plenty of education and work to be done to show that the movement is less about style and more rooted in identity.  That’s what the film FOLLICLE is aiming to promote.  On August 26, 2015 you can be a part of that change!

This coming Wednesday, FOLLICLE will be hosting a fundraiser to help spearhead the movie’s efforts to bring their message to a global scale.

On August 26th from 6-10:30pm you can join the FOLLICLE team at Dinosaur BBQ in New York City as they hope to get closer to their goal of raising $8,000 for film production. Doors will open at 6 pm and the first 175 people will get very generous gift bags from the FOLLICLE team.  And on top of that Dinosaur BBQ will be offering free (yummy) food!

Director and creator Rhadamés Julián will give a presentation on exactly what FOLLICLE is, its origin and why he’d like your support. In addition, the event will host a panel discussion about black hair and its influence on global culture. You can expect that conversation to get very real, honest and authentic.

Take advantage of this opportunity to be involved with a local, independent film and you’ll be entered to win raffles and door prizes at the even too!

If you are not local to NYC and want to donate you can visit the Indiegogo fundraiser here. If you want to purchase a ticket to attend, please visit the EventBrite site here.


A modern man's lifestyle guide to hair, health and everything in between.