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.

 

Product Review: Mister Pompadour

mister pompadour review

Afternoon ladies and gents!

Today I’m sharing with you some thoughts on a new product that I recently tried, the Moroccan Texture Paste by Mister Pompadour. How does this styling aid hold up on my hair? Read on for more!

A few weeks ago the folks over at Mister Pompadour sent me a sample of their texture paste to try out on my fro. Initially, I have to admit that I was pretty hesitant to put a “paste” on my hair.  The name just conjures up images of Elmer’s glue in my mind, and to be honest that wasn’t too far from the truth.

The texture of the Mister Pompadour’s paste is pretty much what I expected. Its consistency is thick and paste-like.  White in color, the paste is pretty reminiscent of elementary school glue with a pretty sticky feel.  Fortunately, that texture doesn’t carry over to application.

To best use the paste, I took out about a nickel sized amount of product with my fingers and then emulsified the product in my hands.  Then I ran my hands over the ends of my hair pretty gently.

I’ve used the product on both dry and damp hair and I have to tell you that dry hair is definitely the way to go.  Water doesn’t react so favorably with this product. When used on wet hair the paste just doesn’t have that special manageability that it does on mostly dry hair.

In addition to being pretty effective at controlling fly-aways, the product also boasts some very nice key ingredients that I’m sure many of you will love:

Argania Spinosa Kernel (Argan) Oil – Deep penetrating oil that instantly absorbs into hair producing incredible shine, helps control frizz, softens and aids in curl definition, and conditions hair

Ilex Paraguariensis (Mate) Leaf Extract – Powerful nutrient and antioxidant, rich in vitamins and amino acids that helps condition and protect hair and scalp

Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil – Conditions and softens hair while adding great shine

Additionally, the Moroccan Texture paste is free of alcohol and parabens so you know your hair is getting some pretty good stuff!

Overall, I think that Mister Pompadour’s Moroccan Texture paste is a  really solid product that delivers on its promise. As an afro-wearing gent I would like a little more shine in my styling products but maybe that’s just me.

You can read more of my product reviews here!

 

Disclosure: Sample product for review was provided courtesy of Mister Pompadour.

A New Obsession

Source: Themoderngirl.com
Image source: Themoderngirl.com
I have a new obsession. Recently I was introduced to the wonderful world of Kiehl’s.  And no, this is NOT a sponsored post.

For the uninitiated, Kiehl’s is a NYC based skin care/body grooming company which began in 1851.  It started as an old-school apothecary in NYC’s East Village dispensing products like skin tonics and after shaves. Since then, Kiehl’s has expanded its brand to include everything from hand salves and lotions to a variety of hair cleansing and conditioning products.  There are also a TON of skin care options for a variety of skin issues. These guys clearly know what they’re doing.

A little while ago, I was brought into a Kiehl’s store and given an awesome free facial and skin assessment.  I received some product recommendations and opted for some while I ditched others.  With that, I still burst through my set budget for the day. I can’t say that I’m at all upset about it though.

So now I think I have a new go-to for hair care (their “basic” conditioner works awesome for my thick fro!) and I will likely be sharing some more in-depth thoughts about specific products as time goes on.  There’s certainly a lot to talk about (i.e. I spent too much).

To investigate for yourself, check out the Kiehl’s online store.

Summer Skin Care Tips for Men

Although I haven’t been posting a lot of beach pictures lately, know that I’ve definitely been getting in some serious hours in the sun. I’ve been baking away and hoping that I’m not doing myself too much damage while basking in the daylight.  After a particularly hot (and SUNNY!) day I couldn’t help but think about the ways in which I was going to have repair some of the damage done to my skin.

I’m a BIG fan of sunscreen. Wearing sunscreen  daily (and not just on the beach) is one of the best things you can do to prevent skin damage. It’s the best preventative measure aside from just staying inside all day, and most of us don’t want to do that.  For the past few years now, I’ve tried to using a daily facial moisturizer with an SPF of at least 15 so that I get daily protection against the suns rays. Sure, black don’t crack but I don’t want creasing either!

For long days at the beach I usually forego the daily moisturizer and instead rely on some real heavy-duty sun block to keep my face and whole body safer.  I usually use at least SPF 30 with broad spectrum (UVA & UVB protection).  Sometimes, I even use SPF 50.  Hey, I’m not taking any chances!

In addition to that, I’ve found this great over-the-counter clear zinc oxide that I use on my nose and cheeks to help prevent even further sun damage as I’m already prone to redness and irritation in those areas. It works pretty well and I never end up looking funny so it works.

In addition to skin protectants, don’t let yourself get dehydrated. Drink plenty of H2O, especially if spirits are a part of your festivities and don’t forget to seek out some shade underneath some trees or a beach umbrella every so often. Give your skin the break it needs. Your future 65-year-old self will thank you!

 

A Sweet Throwback with Coffee-mate

Compensation was provided by Nestlé Coffee-mate® via Mode Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Coffee-mate®.

coffee mate choc chip

In my previous post, The Sweet Life with Coffee-mate, I reminisced a bit on my childhood and teenage years and the ways in which Coffee-mate helped me revisit some of those great memories.  This past week, I decided to take a little time to recreate those old memories with friends and we had a great time!

I first developed a love for coffee back as a kid with my parents on slow Sunday mornings.  Unfortunately my folks are hundreds of miles away in NC so having Dad whip up an especially strong pot of coffee, French toast and bacon wasn’t exactly in the cards. I’ve lost touch with a lot of high school friends too.  But luckily, some local friends were all too happy to help me enjoy Coffee-mate with some chocolate chip cookies courtesy of yours truly.

Back in my high school days, one of the things that me and my friends most enjoyed doing was going out to dinner (and a movie) and spending hours talking about all the interesting facets of life over cups of coffee, chocolate chip cookies and a variety of other pastries.  I guess we weren’t too careful about our calorie intake back then, but who was in high school?

When I discovered Coffee-mate Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie creamer it took me back to those times when the only cares in the world I had were someone else’s.  As a teenager I was very idealistic and my friends and I would try and think of ways, in our all-knowing teenage wisdom, how to solve the worlds’ problems.  Unfortunately, adulthood has graciously taken over my life, and I’ve lost touch with many of my high school friends. Like most of us, many, many miles now separate us. But, that didn’t stop me from bringing a little bit of my North Carolina practice to NYC when I re-created some of these memories with my friends in the Big Apple.

With Coffee-mate Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie creamer in tow, we indulged on chocolate chip cookies, some coffee, and board & card games, a lot of conversation about the issues — both personal and political.

Despite our ongoing battle with Peter Pan syndrome, I’ve grown up and noticed that many of my late night coffee conversations now include a lot of talk about who’s running for the presidency in 2016 (and who probably shouldn’t be!) and how work can be just as stressful whether you’re actually in the office or not.  And, does anyone really understand Roth IRAs? Ah, grown up problems!

But no matter what, I know that whenever I need to vent or just enjoy some good times with friends, a pot of coffee and some Coffee-mate will always get the job done.

This summer, Nestlé Coffee-mate® is celebrating the sweetest form of nostalgia with their exclusive range of fun, exciting flavors that evoke delicious memories and emotions of the past. These sweet throwback flavors include Toll House® Chocolate Chip Cookie, Caramel Macchiato and Classic Vanilla.

coffe-mate logo

Summer Stylin with #PMInsiders

paul mitchell mitch matterial styling clay reviewThere have been some crazy humid days this summer, hasn’t there? One of the things that I struggle with during the hot and humid summer months is how to keep my big afro puffy mane looking decent when the heat and humidity is downright disrespectful.

Luckily, the folks over at Paul Mitchell keep me in the know with a variety of hair products to try to help me keep my fro looking its best, no matter the temperature.

Paul Mitchell recently launched a new product in their MITCH line called “MATTERIAL” which is, as it sounds, an ultra-matte styling clay with strong hold. Designed to help hair look thicker and create more textured looks, MATTERIAL’s texture is a bit more sticky than the other pastes or pomades in the MITCH line. And that’s for good reason.

I should continue by saying that my hair is incredibly dense and I’ve always operated at the false assumption that I have 100 million times more hair strands than the average person. At least that’s what it feels like when I’m trying to detangle after a few days.  But, I digress.

MATTERIAL is an incredibly effective product. Its texture grips hair fibers and holds them together so well that you would be hard pressed to find a styling clay with a better hold. This stuff works. This is both a benefit and disadvantage in my eyes because when you use this your hair is going nowhere!  No movement! Unfortunately that also means that you suffer in the touchability factor.  My other qualm about MATTERIAL is that its ultra matte finish makes my already dark and dull looking kinky hair seem even more dull and “dry-looking”.  That being said, I could see many folks with thin strands or thinning hair create some damn good day-to-day hair with this stuff.

Along with MATTERIAL, I was fortunate enough to also try two products from Paul Mitchell’s softstyle line.  Once I saw the bottles, I already knew I was going to like it. I was (partially) right.

The Foaming Pommade was a pretty big miss for me unfortunately. Designed to help “take control” of hair, the liquid finisher just doesn’t do it for me. The gummy texture is thick and glue-like which my hair just simply didn’t agree with at all. Again, like MATTERIAL this product is best suited for folks who need a bit more control and texture which is not a problem that thick, afro-textured hair usually has (with the exception of a few flyaways).

On the other hand, I LOVE “The Cream” which is touted as a styling conditioner. Formulated with Hawaiian Awapuhi, The Cream gives me all the things I need in a hair product: moisture, softness and shine.  It’s seriously amazing.  And a little bit goes a long way, which makes me exponentially happier because I know that at some point I’m going to have to go out-of-pocket for this stuff. It’s that good. The ingredients list includes jojoba oil, safflower oil, and white ginger flower amongst other things, which obviously contributes to its position as a stand-out product. I routinely paired The Cream with the Reformer pomade from the MITCH line to get easy and soft manageable hair.  It’s definitely my winning combination at the moment!

 

Disclosure: Products for review were provided via courtesy of John Paul Mitchell Systems.

Sunne’s Gift Author Ama Yawson Talks Identity and Self-Acceptance

Back in December 2014 I featured a post on Sunne’s Gift by Ama Karikari Yawson, a children’s book that helps promote self-acceptance and healthy self-esteem in young children.

Today, I’m even more excited and happy to share with you Yawson’s Tedx George School talk about the same ideas that she discusses in her book. She is a fantastic storyteller and really brings home a message that we all need to hear.

Check it out!

Sounds of Summer with Wild Turkey American Honey®

Compensation was provided by Wild Turkey American Honey® via Mode Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Wild Turkey American Honey®.

This past Thursday, summer was in full effect as I attended a Hudson RiverRocks concert at Pier 84 in NYC while I enjoyed some good tunes and delicious Wild Turkey American Honey® cocktails!

After a long day at work, there’s not much better than live music, new friends and a cocktail or two to relax. And that’s exactly what I got to do this past Thursday right along the Hudson River in NYC.

Hudson RiverRocks is celebrating its 17th season of live entertainment in New York City this year. The series has been hosting free concerts for NYC workers and commuters on Thursday evenings. And as I learned, not only do these events offer up some live music and cocktails, but food stands and trucks are all around to make sure that no one goes home with an empty stomach.

AHoney collage

When I arrived at the event, the scheduled bands Waxahatchee and Speedy Ortiz weren’t on stage yet so I headed back to the VIP lounge where I got to enjoy an adult version of Wild Turkey Jenga while sipping on a delicious cocktail of Wild Turkey American Honey® Lemonade. That was where I ran into Nadia of nacstyles.com and talked shop about all things blogging, NYC and bourbon.

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Soon thereafter, the bands Waxahatchee and Speedy Ortiz took their respective turns on stage to a pretty decent sized crowd. If you’d like to join in on some of the fun with Wild Turkey you can join them at further Hudson RiverRocks concerts on 7/23 and 8/6.

Once there was a short break, I had to start making my way home. Luckily I made it into a cab just as the rain started to pour. Lucky me! All in all, I had a pretty good time with my blogger pals and Wild Turkey American Honey Lemonade. I’ll definitely be looking to recreate that drink for my next summer barbecue!

American Honey is the original honey bourbon, made with real honey and real bourbon. Serve up your summer with American Honey! Follow American Honey at Facebook.com/AmericanHoney.

AH LOGO

 

Product Review: eShave

eshave review maneman

eShave has been on my grooming calendar for quite some time. Finally, I was able to devote some time to giving eShave products a try and today I’ll be sharing my thoughts with you on two products: the Moisturizing Bath Soap (Orange Sandalwood) and Verbena Lime Deodorant. Read on for the full review!

I was originally intrigued by eShave as I heard its origin story. The brand’s founder Danielle Malka wanted to start a brand for the modern man who featured high quality grooming products.  Her big push was to help bring back the wet shave leading the brand to create a host of shaving products over the years. Since then, eShave has broadened its scope to include many products that men need to keep themselves looking and feeling their best.  You can see why I was drawn to the brand in the first place.

Recently, I was asked to give two products from eShave a try; the Orange Sandalwood Moisturizing Bath Soap and the Verbena Lim Deodorant.

The first product that I tried was the bath soap, which hails from the Provence region in France. Formulated with shea butter, the soap aims to cleanse effectively while not completely robbing your skin of it natural oils.  It works well overall as it’s not too drying and gives you that clean soap smell and feeling that many gents are accustomed to.  Admittedly, I don’t get much of the orange sandalwood smell when I’ve used the bar, so I can’t say that is a huge selling point.  At about $15 ber par, the soap boasts the best of both worlds; offering a good value for an elevated grooming product.  If you’re looking to expand into better quality products that don’t stray too much from what you’re used to this is a good bet.  Your skin will thank you.

I didn’t have so much luck with eShave’s Verbena Lime Deodorant. Let me begin by saying that the smell is awesome. It’s a perfect scent for summer as the lime conjures up images of beaches and tropical getaways.  The deodorant works well but I found that it required reapplication during the middle of the day.  Now, for many gents this is going to be a deal breaker and trust me I understand.  But, if you’re planning on showering mid day anyway, let’s say after a post-work gym workout, this is a great product to have in your bag.

Overall, I think eShave has some good staple products to offer.  While the Verbena Lime Deodorant left me slightly disappointed with performance the scent is amazing.  On the other hand, the Orange Sandalwood Moisturizing Bath Soap didn’t offer me much in the scent department but worked well at not robbing my skin of moisture.

For more information on eShave products, you can visit the brand’s website at eShave.com.

 

Disclosure: Product for review was provided courtesy of eShave.  All opinions listed herein are mine and mine alone.

100 Years of Men’s Fashion in 3 Minutes

I’ve always been interested by style throughout history but frankly I’m just a little too lazy to really do the research to delve further into the vault of men’s wear. That’s why I was especially happy to come across this video via Mode.com, 100 Years of Men’s Fashion.

While I can’t really give the model any props for his dance moves (sorry guy!), I am thoroughly impressed by the team’s ability to completely transform this guy from the 20th to the 21st century without missing a beat.  The 80s and 90s looks had me shaking my head in disbelief as I remember them all to clearly.  By the way, can we go back to Miami Vice white linen sans the mullet? I’d be on board with that.

Check out the video below:

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