My *New Winter Skin Care Regimen

Winter is in full force and the air is dry as hell. I figured that it was about time that I started to take my skin care a little bit more seriously so I decided to drop by one of my favorite spots, Kiehl’s, for a much-needed consultation.

First, I feel that I should let you know that if you sign up for Kiehl’s newsletter/rewards system you are going to routinely get emails with discounts and all kinds of special offers. One of the things that Kiehl’s offers periodically is free skin consultations/in store facials, usually when they’re about to launch a new product.  So there you have it, a free facial!

Anywho, so I stopped into my local Kiehl’s and met with a skin care expert (they REALLY know what they’re talking about) and had an assessment. My new friend Dayanara gave me the rundown on my combination skin (DAMN YOU T-ZONE!) and gave me a trial use of the products during my skin care consultation. I left the store with shallower pockets, and a bag full of Kiehl’s goodies that are supposed to keep my skin looking its best. I made a promise to myself that I was going to actually keep up with the multi-step routine where as most days I hadn’t even made it a point to actually wash my face before bed. I know…I’ve really been slacking.

Here’s the rundown of products I bought & the new regimen:

  1. Cleanse with Ultra Facial Oil-Free Cleanser
  2. Tone with Calendula Herbal Extract Toner (alcohol free)
  3. Reduce puffiness & periodic dark eye circles with Eye Alert
  4. Give my mug a little extra tlc with Midnight Recovery Concentrate (or Daily Reviving Concentrate in the mornings-smells so good!)
  5. Moisturize with Ultra Facial Moisturizer

I know this sounds like a lot…and it is. But to be honest, it’s only added 5-10 minutes to my night-time routine and having done it for a few days so far it’s not that bad. It definitely feels like I’m doing something good to take care of myself which is always nice. I’ll keep you posted on how it goes and if I keep up the regimen.  It’s definitely a far cry away from just washing and moisturizing in the mornings.

Until next time!

What’s Trending: Adult Coloring Books

This title sounds a lot more scandalous than it actually is!
put me in the story
A customized coloring book courtesy of Put Me in The Story.

You’ve probably heard about adult coloring books and while “adult” can mean one thing it doesn’t mean THAT in this context. Adult coloring books have gained a lot of popularity over the past year or so, most notably for their ability to help reduce stress and promote mindfulness and focused attention. That’s a lot to be said for using a crayon.

As I thought about ordering one for myself, the folks over at Put Me in The Story reached out with one of their custom coloring books for me to try. I don’t know that it necessarily helped me reduce my stress levels but I certainly found myself very quickly in a very focused state, much like what happens when I write or listen to a really good song.  It kind of just captures you and time escapes for just a little while.

I know that for a lot of you that time is hard to come by. It is for me too. But, I think that even with all the responsibilities that we have as adults, we have to MAKE time for us to do things like color, listen to a good song, or anything that can help us reduce stress and decompress. And if you find that you can’t get that solo time because you have to look after children, you can bring in your own, advanced coloring book while they dive into the world of coloring dinosaurs and pandas.  And just to be clear, I’m NOT saying you should avoid those coloring books :) . I’m just saying that Put Me in The Story might just be more your style.

A fair warning to the newbies out there, I was and am still a bit intimidated by the pages in my adult coloring book. Not because it’s hard but it’s a far cry from what you’re used to when it comes to kids’ books. These images are DETAILED! I think that is intentional on the publisher’s part because it forces our busy and complex minds to focus on the minutia on the page. Children typically don’t have that worry. I believe it is those tiny details which help you enter that trance-like relaxed state.

My recommendation is that you purchase some colored pencils or thin-tip markers to go with your coloring book. Turn on some instrumental soothing music and go to town. If you don’t feel these great effects of stress reduction when you’re done, that’s OK. At least you know that you’ve given yourself 10 minutes of peace and quiet. And who knows, maybe at the end of the day you may have a nicely colored picture to hang on your fridge.

If you’re interested in learning more about adult coloring books, you should check out these links:

 

Disclosure: Put Me In the Story was kind enough to create a custom book for me for the purposes of this post. All opinions listed herein are mine, and mine alone.

THE Super Bowl 50 Recipe Guide

2.7.16 is the big day! Almost everyone in America will be glued to their tv screens watching the biggest game of the year, Super Bowl 50!

Who’s going to take that trophy home in the big game? The Carolina Panthers who have had an amazing season (GO NC!) or the perennial favorite the New England Patriots? Probably neither if Arizona or the Denver Broncos have anything to say about it.  For more on predictions you can read more here.

No matter who is ending up at the big game in a few weeks, you can’t wait to plan your party menu. Your friends will be counting on you to deliver some of the best, game day food ever. This means you’ve got to get ready!

Luckily for you I’m obsessed with all things food and have done a little bit of research on your behalf. From kitchen novice to expert chef, you’re definitely going to appreciate some of the delicious recipes I’ve put together in The Ultimate Super Bowl Sunday Recipe Guide.

Get your shopping lists ready, this one’s going to be a blow out! Some of my personal favorites in the collection are:

  • Sticky Asian BBQ Boneless Oven Baked Wings
  • Homemade Black Pepper Potato Chips
  • Slow-cooked Shredded Pork
  • Beer can chicken (grilled)
  • Pimento Cheese and Bacon Crostini
Check out the full collection below!

Check out The Ultimate Super Bowl Recipe Guide

by Jor-El at Mode

Tru-Colour Stands for More than Bandage Equality

I’ve been anxiously awaiting my delivery of Tru-Colour Bandages and when they finally arrived a few days ago I could barely contain my excitement. They’re amazing!

There are many ways, both small and big, that White privilege exists in our society. It wasn’t until I came across Peggy McIntosh’s article about white privilege (#46) did I understand some of those small ways in which I had been missing out on simply because of the color of my skin.  One of those missing links was bandages. Sure, in the grand scheme of things a bandage sounds like a silly thing to be concerned about, but something so small can really mean a lot.

In hindsight, now I can look at times in my childhood when I wondered why my skin color didn’t match the bandages that I had to wear. With all my bumps, cuts and bruises, I expected my mother and father to find the right color in the grocery store or pharmacy. It wasn’t until later that I realized that what I had wanted simply didn’t exist. That was true until last year when I discovered Tru-Colour.

The Tru-Colour family. Image courtesy of Tru-Colour Bandages.
The Tru-Colour family. Image courtesy of Tru-Colour Bandages.

Once I discovered Tru-Colour Bandages  I was immediately overcome with emotion. I was transported back to that feeling of missing out on something that I had always wanted, and then suddenly there it was, something I had forgotten that I had always wanted starting at me.  That unfulfilled need had been brought to life. It was almost as if the bandages had jumped right off the computer screen. The sad news is, I had just bought some off-color pharmacy brand. The practical side of me said, “You don’t need these right now!”  So, I patiently waited.

Flash forward to just over a week ago when I finally ordered my bandages. When I opened the package I found myself getting a little emotional, because I was realized that the family who created these bandages had not only given me what I needed, but also created an opportunity for many other beautiful, young brown people to grow up in a world where they could see themselves represented in something so mundane and everyday. This little symbol of care had finally come to demonstrate that someone actually did care.

I usually don’t come right and say that my readers should buy a certain product, because that seems a little disingenuous. But, if you have ever felt an ounce of the way I did, or have kids that may be feeling that way today, please buy these bandages. If you can afford it, please buy them and tell your friends. Let your school nurse know. Tell other parents, your aunts your uncles. Tell everyone. Let them know that this little bandage can actually mean quite a lot.

You can learn more about Tru-Colour Bandages in the video below which was previously used in a 2015 Indiegogo campaign:

You can buy Tru-Colour Bandages via their online shop.

My 2016 Grooming Resolutions

Welcome to 2016!

I hope that all of you have taken some time to enjoy your time with family and loved ones over the holidays the past few weeks. I’ve definitely taken some time to enjoy the down time. It goes without saying that I’ve been eating good and getting a little extra sleep :)

Now everyone is back into the swing of things in the new year. Happy 2016! This time of year is always a time of reflection and new beginnings. I love the sense of promise that the new year brings and the feeling of hope of achieving new things and tackling new challenges.

I’ve got some grooming resolutions for the new year that I wanted to share with you. Some of these are new while others are about maintaining some tried and true grooming practices.  Feel free to join in on the conversation with me and let me know your resolutions too!

  • Get a professional manicure/pedicure once a month.
  • Trim my hair every quarter as opposed to twice yearly as I’ve been doing the past few years.
  • Take the time to lotion up after EVERY shower. After all, having itchy, dry skin is not the business.
  • Get a nice, professional hot shave or facial once every quarter because why not?!
  • Continue to drink plenty of water to keep my skin looking great.

What’s on your list of grooming resolutions for the new year?

Image source

Happy Holidays!

Hi everyone! I just wanted to take a quick moment to wish you all happy holidays! Thank you for your continued support of the blog. I appreciate every comment, every share, every tweet. I hope to bring you even more content in 2016. Thanks for reading!

HAPPY HOLIDAYS

And for those of you who like Christmas music, here’s one of my favorite holiday songs, “Silent Night” sung by the amazing acapella group Pentatonix. Enjoy!

Budget Friendly Shaving Picks!

Both Movember and No-Shave November are now over so it’s time to start thinking about your next shave gents!

It’s no secret that shaving is BIG BUSINESS. While hipster culture has undoubtedly changed how many people shave, there are still plenty of us out there who relish at least partially shaved mugs.

Quality grooming products often come at a premium cost. That is something that I’ve definitely learned through my experiences with this blog.  Typically, to get quality, effective ingredients you really have to spend a pretty penny.  But, that’s not always the case. Your local drugstore can be host to some of the most consistent and widely used products out there.  Today, I want to share with you some of my personal favorites.

When it comes to shaving, for me it’s always about reducing irritation and achieving long-lasting moisture and smoothness. That’s what I look for in both “luxury” and your everyday value products.  To share some of my personal favorites for a smooth shave this season, check out my collection “Budget Friendly Shaving Finds for the Holidays”.

 

Check out Budget Friendly Shaving Finds for the Holidays

by Jor-El at Mode

 

 

Did any of your personal favorites make the list?

 

All About Holiday Bearding

It’s the holiday season which means, according to Braun, that many of us will be trying out some new facial hair trends. Will that be you?

It’s the time of the year of cold, wintry days filled with holiday markets, hot chocolate and general overindulgence. Isn’t it great?! Listen, I know many of you aren’t that too keen on these cooler days but what’s December without a chunky sweater, a little scruff and something warm and delicious from Starbucks? I know that I usually tend to let the scruff grow out this time of year (well, it only seems right?!).

Here are some key facts provided by the folks over at Braun:

  • 75% of American men plan to style their facial hair on Christmas Eve
  • More than half of surveyed men will try a new look for Christmas and New Year’s parties
  • 52% of men are planning on spending more time on their grooming routine in 2016 than in 2015
  • 47% of women prefer to kiss well-groomed stubble or a goatee under the mistletoe
  • 90% of men said they would not return an electric shaver given to them as a Christmas gift

Check out the infographic below!

Braun Holiday Beard Infographic-page-001

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

 

 

Product Review: Jojoba Lemon & Coconut Hand Cream

jojoba hand cream

Who hates dry, cracked hands? I know I do!

The holiday season is upon and the humidity keeps dropping so that means you’re going to need products with a lot of moisture!  For today’s review, I’m sharing my thoughts on the lemon & coconut hand cream from The Jojoba Company.

Made with jojoba, lemon and coconut oils, the lemon & coconut hand cream is a luxurious moisturizer offered selling at $22.95 for a 1.7 ounce tube. But, is it worth it?

I should begin by saying that I moisturize my hands constantly. I’m sure I’ve mentioned this on the site previously but I have to reiterate it whenever a hand cream or lotion product comes up. As I’m almost constantly washing my hands (which is great practice to avoid getting sick…knock on wood)!), I always find myself reaching for a non-greasy hand moisturizer during the day because I simply can’t stand the feeling of dry hands. This hand cream definitely offers that moisturizing lift that skin needs without being oily or greasy. For me, this is especially important as I’m often handling paperwork or typing away at the keyboard. And who wants to leave oil stains all over the place because of your hand lotion? Not I!

In addition to the oils listed above, the lemon & coconut hand cream also boasts cocoa and mango butters which helps it offer the silky smooth consistently that just feels so good. It is the combination of these oils and butters that undoubtedly makes this cream a great product.  And the moisture lasts for hours on end.

My one criticism is that, at times, the product was hard to get out of the pump contraption but my problems have been hit or miss so it’s not really a negative per se.  Also, I know realistically many guys aren’t going to be too keen on keeping a hand cream with pink packaging in their briefcases or messenger bags.  Many women won’t have that problem.  Also, as someone who doesn’t get manicures often, the cream is excellent at controlling crusty cuticles. And trust me, mine can be pretty rough this time of year.

While I think the product is excellent (and would make a great stocking stuffer) it is a little expensive.  However, with this product you get what you pay for, and that certainly is a good thing.

 

Disclosure: Sample product for review was provided by The Jojoba Company.  

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!

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