Weekly Obsessions 4.17.14

Most of us aren’t huge fans of air travel so when something especially good happens on a flight (extra leg room, extra snacks, pretty much extra anything) it’s definitely a good thing. Now imagine that you take your seat and are about to hear the dreaded safety instructions (man, safety can be so dry!) but instead of some robotic voice over the intercom you basically get an abbreviated stand up routine in the mix.  Wouldn’t that be awesome?  Well, it turns out some lucky passengers on a recent Southwest Airlines flight to Salt Lake City got more than their money’s worth when a flight attendant with good comedic timing gave the best safety speech ever.  Check it out!

Pharrell has hit it pretty big with this song “Happy”.  He’s performed at the Oscars and had pretty much everyone in the world dance to his song so this video of him reacting to fan videos is awesome.  Not to mention it’s great to see an honestly display of emotion from a gent in such a mainstream forum too.

 “That is the most non appealing advertisement I’ve ever seen.”  Yep, that pretty much sums up my next weekly obsession. This viral video comes to you by way of TheFineBros You Tube channel in their video titled “You Tubers react to Little Baby’s Ice Cream”.  The advertisement itself is bizarre, creepy and unappetizing but interesting nonetheless. The reactions of the You Tubers are pretty priceless though.

Product Review: Boots No7 Skin Care for Men

Boots No 7 men

Men have thicker skin than our female counterparts so often men need products that strike a balance between being tough and non-damaging for sensitive or dry skin.  Boots No7 Men aims to strike that very important balance.

I’ve recently had the chance to try out the Boots No7 Men skin care products.  Check out my review below:

Energising Face Wash: Made with a combination of traditional surfactants (cleaning agents) like sodium laureth sulfate and more recently developed ones like cocamidopropyl betaine, the hypo-allergenic wash leaves you with a refreshed feeling.  After using the wash several times, I didn’t find the product to be drying despite the ingredient list. The consistency are scent are mostly what you would expect from a face wash although I must admit that the scent is a little artificial for my taste.  All in all, it works well and gave me that “squeaky-clean” feeling that many of us might be looking for. 3/5

Energising Face Scrub: Much like the Energising Face Wash, Boots No7 Face Scrub has a pleasant, if not slightly artificial, clean smell that bodes well for early morning showers.  The refreshing feel from the wash is here too, but with the added benefit of castor oil which provides a little bit more lasting moisture.  While the product does a pretty decent job at cleaning, I don’t think the scrubbing beads are tough to effectively lift beard/facial hair in preparation for shaving. The scrubbing beds dissolve pretty quickly and unfortunately few are far between.  In my opinion, there are simply better scrubs near this price point, or lower, that will get the job done. 2/5

Calming Anti-Friction Shave Gel: I’ve tried many shaving gels and creams over the past few years here on MANE MAN so I find it difficult to find one that stands out from the pack.  Unfortunately, the Calming Anti-Friction Shave Gel is not a home run but it’s a solid double and works relatively well for the value.  The gel’s consistency is medium to thin, and clear, which makes it especially visible during a daily shave.  The gel also has castor oil which makes it silky and smooth and helps the razor blade glide across your skin while causing little irritation.  It has worked pretty well with my safety razor and would likely fair well with most razors on the market too. 3.5/5

Calming Post Shave Recovery Balm: Unfortunately I don’t have much to say about the Calming Post Shave Recovery Balm.  The product consistency and scent are pretty average among the company’s competitors. It does an OK job of reducing irritation and providing much needed moisture after a shave.  My big qualm is that when I tried the balm it tends to sit on top of the skin versus readily absorbing into the skin which is definitely important to me as the more humid months are quickly on their way.  2/5

Overall Impression: As a whole, I think there are plenty of reasons why the Boots No7 Men skin care line would work.  It’s affordable, hypoallergnic and makes for a simple, no-fuss morning routine.  The Calming Anti-Friction Shave Gel and Energising Face Wash are standouts while I personally feel the Calming Post Shave Recovery Balm and Energising Face Scrub leave a little to be desired. But at a moderate price point, its hard to imagine that most guys wouldn’t want to give the products a try. 2.5/5

Disclosure:  Products were provided courtesy of Boots No7 Men for the purpose of this review.  All opinions represented herein are mine and mine alone.  Boots No7 products are available online at Walgreens.com.

Weekly Obsessions 4.11.14

What’s a week without a few unusual obsessions?  This week I bring you a group of some pretty creative marines and an unconventional gymnast.  Enjoy!

Grease is a fun, musical classic and if you’ve had the pleasure of seeing it then you understand how much fun it is.  Recently a video made from Swedish marines while stationed in Afghanistan surfaced and it’s pretty awesome.  The guy who is heavily featured also sports a pretty epic ‘stache so there’s that too.  Check out their rendition of “Greased Lightning”.

Next up, there’s this video of an LSU gymnast doing her thing on the floor routine.  It’s a little unconventional for many reasons but that’s what makes it so cool (besides her being an incredible athlete).  PS The music is pretty good!

 Also, there’s a new MJ (Yes, Michael Jackson) song out.  I like it, but I’m still a little weary of the idea of a new album. Take a listen here.

Going Bald Made Easier with HeadBlade ATX

HeadBlade ATX 1

If you’re the kind of guy who has been fighting off hair loss or just opted to go bald for style, chances are you’ve heard about the HeadBlade.

The HeadBlade was originally created in back in 1997 by Todd Greene and has largely become the benchmark product for head shaving blades.   Did you know that a prototype of the HeadBlade is actually on display in the permanent collection at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City?  If that doesn’t speak innovation, I don’t know what does.

The product’s design is based on these ideals:

  • The user must be able to shave by feel – razor has to sit close to the head and the user had to be able to touch the head with fingers during shaving
  • The razor needed two contact points to create a ‘suspension’ allowing the blade to automatically swivel.
  • Since most users have a blade preference, the razor had to be compatible with current razors sold in retail stores

HeadBlade ATX 2

Today the newest razor, HeadBlade ATX, helps refine the shaving experience for men and it boasts a modern and masculine look too.  Would you give it a try?

The HeadBlade ATX is available at Headblade.com and at CVS and Duane Reade stores nationwide.

Community Spotlight: Buddy Book Bags

Buddy Book Bags

It’s been a while since my last community spotlight but I wanted to share with all of you a special organization that helps kids with much-needed school supplies… Buddy Book Bags!

Based in Charlotte, NC, Buddy Book Bags was founded back in April 2012 to help kids be better prepared for school.  The premise is super simple:

“Simply put when someone purchases a Buddy Book Bag we donate 1 Book Bag full of school supplies to a child in need! Thanks for your support!”

Not a bad deal, eh?  They also look pretty comparable to most book bags out there and have a wealth of little nooks and crannies to store items like pencils, erasers and other miscellaneous things.  You can currently purchase a Buddy Book Bag on Amazon.com for $17.93.   You (or your little one) will get a new bag and ensure that another student goes to school well prepared to excel.

Weekly Obsessions 4.3.14

Check out my lastest weekly obsessions!

First up, I came across this TED talk of Maysoon Zayid via Upworthy. It’s a really spectacular speech on intersecting identities, plus she’s crazy funny which is always good.  I pretty much started watching this on accident and couldn’t stop . Maybe you’ll feel the same way too!

Later on tonight I’m going to be losing my mind at the Pentatonix concert here in NYC.  I know I’ve mentioned the group a few times here on the site, but this is the first time I’m seeing them in concert so I’m pretty excited about it!  In honor of the group, I wanted to share one of their most beautiful covers.  Here’s their cover of A Great Big World’s (with Christina Aguilera) song “Say Something “.

And finally, I wanted to give an honorable mention to the bSafe App, an app that I have previously covered here on MANE MAN in the post This App Might Just Save Your Life.  It’s a great personal safety app and given that it’s currently sexual assault awareness month, it’s definitely worth looking into for yourself, friends and family.  Also, for more information on sexual assault, check out RAINN for statistics, general information and online support.

12 Easy Favorites for “Framily” Suppers

From Urban Dictionary:

when friends become like family, they’re framily. closer than close, they may know you better than your own family.

Whether your friends become your family or whether you blend them in with actual blood relatives, it stands to reason that treating your “framily” to supper can be a tricky task.  Often, you have a few dietary restrictions to contend with and the like, but some of my favorite, and easiest supper classics listed here are perfectly suited for casual family suppers.

One of my personal favorites in this list, the Mexican Cornbread Casserole is super easy to make and the ingredients can be found in pretty much every grocery store around the country.  I originally found out about the dish from an online friend, HerbaHero himself Garrain Jones, and decided that it was a recipe that I needed to add to my recipe box.

The Mexican Cornbread Casserole combines some of my favorite meal items: cornbread, chicken, cheese and spice.  What could go wrong!? From the original recipe included in my collection, I’ve made some adjustments including doubling the chiles and adding a little bit more spice for some extra heat.


The ingredients for Easy Mexican Cornbread Casserole.

And it’s super inexpensive to make too!  You can up the health of the disk by using freshly shucked corn and making your own creamed corn but the recipe lists some super time saving techniques.  I’ve also toasted some fresh chiles to take it to the next level. SO GOOD.

The finished (and tasty) Easy Mexican Cornbread Casserole.

The finished (and tasty)  Mexican Cornbread Casserole.

In addition to my personal favorite, in the list of my 12 Easy Favorites for Framily Suppers you will find:

  1. Easy Tuna Casserole
  2. Rotini Salad with Kalamata Olive Dressing
  3. Spinach Salad with Salmon
  4. Clean Eating Baked Italian Ziti
  5. Easy Lasagna
  6. Simple Meatloaf Recipe
  7. Simple Perfect Enchiladas
  8. Vegetarian Chili
  9. Chicken and Dumplings
  10. Beef Stew with Root Vegetables
  11. Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwiches
  12. Mexican Cornbread Casserole

Happy cooking and happy eating!  What are you making for dinner tonight?

Disclosure: This post is a sponsored post from the cool folks over at Foodie.com.  The collection was solely my creation for your enjoyment.

Weekly Obsessions 3.27.14

So there were quite a few things that caught my eye this week.  Check out my latest obsessions below!

First off, there’s very little in life more annoying disappointing than “news” programs sensationalizing stories for ratings.  That’s why I was happy to come across anchor Mika Brzezinski addressing the issue of sensationalism on-camera with her co-host who appeared to be doing it at the time when referencing Malaysian flight 370. Unfortunately, the guy shows how incredibly immature and patronizing he is by trying to talk over Mira with a “nana boo boo” type attitude.

If you’re outside of the NY/NJ area then you’ve most likely not had the great pleasure to hear (or see) about the Staten Island clown, which is probably the creepiest advertisement?/prank/hoax that I’ve seen in a while.  Comedian Vic Dibitetto (Vic DiBiTetto on YouTube) ran into the #SIclown recently and here’s what happened.  The language is NSFW.

Finally, my last obsession gives you the opportunity to provide clean drinking water for a child in need.  All you have to do is leave your phone alone for 10 minutes! Visit UNICEFTAPPROJECT.ORG to get started.  For every ten minutes you don’t touch your phone UNICEF gives a child one day of clean drinking water.  How long can you go without touching your phone?  I gave it a shot earlier today and was rewarded with confirmation of my good deed:


Spotlight: Mission Belt Co.


Previously featured on ABC’s hit show Shark Tank, Mission Belt Co. provides a belt solution for guys who frequently find themselves plagued by inaccurate, and unsightly belt holes.

Have you ever found yourself gaining weight during the winter months and needing to create a new belt hole?  What about when you get a little bit more fit than you planned but are too cheap to buy a new belt?   Like many of us, I’ve been there.  Well the folks at Mission Belt Co. came up with a solution that avoids those unsightly self-created notches and keeps you looking stylish whether you are in your chubby or fit stages.  The belts themselves are stylish and simple, which is what most guys look for in a belt, but Mission Belt Co. also offers a variety of belt colors and buckles to suit most guys needs.

In addition to offering a new take on traditional belt, the company also serves a bigger “mission”.  Mission Belt Co. co-founder Nate Holzapfel states:

“Mission Belts are really well made. We use the best materials and components we can get. On top of being an awesome product, when you buy an amazing Mission Belt you also become part of the MISSION. A dollar from every belt goes to help families build sustainable food sources all over the world. That’s the Mission in Mission Belt and that’s our business.”
Buy a belt and help someone else?  Sounds like a pretty good reason to shop to me.

Weekly Obsessions 3.20.14

Here’s what I’m watching this week!

First, I have a confession to make.  I’ve been sleeping on the new Beyoncé album.  When the world exploded on the night of December 13th, I was awake but I certainly didn’t rush to buy Beyoncé’s last record.  Nonetheless, I recently stumbled on choreographer Kyle Hanagami’s dance to “Yoncé” and it’s pure perfection. Check it out!

I’m not sure why, but One Republic’s Counting Stars has recently been running in my head a lot lately so it definitely made this week’s list.  It turns out the video is pretty odd but hey, at least there’s some good (and big) curly hair floating around in there!

And finally, if you’re in need of a  cute pick up, then this video is for you.  Watch as the choir from Detroit’s Academy of Arts and Sciences takes on Pharrell’s  ”Happy”.

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