How Do You Winterize Your Skin?

Skin drier than the Sahara (PS this is not the Sahara)
Skin drier than the Sahara (PS this is not the Sahara)

Let’s face it, we’ve only barely crept into fall and I’m already having difficulty keeping my skin moisturized. Five seconds after washing my hands (which I tend to do pretty regularly) and it looks like I’m covered in flour trying to make some apple pie dough or something. What’s up with that?

I realize that part of the problem is the significant drop in humidity over the past few weeks. I admit, I have a love-hate relationship with high humidity because it makes my fro huge and fluffy, but it also makes me feel like I’m sweating 24/7.  Does anyone actually like that feeling?

The other part of my problem, I’m now realizing as I write this, is that when I re-upped on body lotion I opted for some thin Suave lotion instead of some thick shea or cocoa butter based lotion. So my skin isn’t getting all those super fatty oils that it’s used to when the atmosphere dries up like crocodile skin.

Thankfully, it’s only October but with my hands already suffering, I’m nervous as to how bitter this cold season is going to be.  Do you all have any tips to share about how you winterize your skin?  If so, share them in the comments section below!

 

Weekly Obsessions 10.16.14

Hey all!  Here’s what’s been on my radar this week!

The internet recently exploded  when a little guy in patterned pants stole the show on recent newscast.  And best of all, it all happened on live TV.  Way to seize the moment kid.  Also, I love the girl who’s next to him staring…her face is PRICELESS.   If you haven’t seen it yet, you’re welcome :)

And as an update, the kid says he plans to stay humble with all the attention that he’s been getting…

In other news Jennifer Yu, a 12-year-old Virginia native, became the first American girl in 27 years to win the World Youth Chess Championship in the 12 and under category.  Meanwhile, I can barely remember how all the pieces are supposed to move…

And finally,  here’s a video of Brad Pitt and Jimmy Fallon “breakdancing”.  It’s incredibly silly, but we all need a little silly to keep us going, don’t we?

 

 

What I Hate Most About This Time of Year

There’s a lot to dislike about this time of year. Perhaps, it’s that the temperate drops considerably or the air becomes increasing dryer, but then again those are some things that many people like about fall. But the one thing I hate most about this time of year is illness.

Sickness. Flu. Head colds. Sore throats. Ladies and gents it’s upon us. I myself have fallen prey to some hybrid cold/allergy/infection type combo that periodically sends me into brief coughing fits. And, it happens…every year.

I actually love fall and wearing boots, sweaters and the occasional scarf. According to some folks, my “basic” streak even appreciates an extra hot pumpkin spice latte occasionally. It’s the little things.

It’s time for apple picking, pumpkin soup, pies and pretty much a baked good of any variety. It’s time for interesting fluffy socks and a knit cap or hot chocolate underneath your favorite blanket. It’s not that I hate fall I just hate what it does to me.

So while the rest of you may find yourselves basking in all the great things that fall brings, I’ll be hating, and loving, this time of year all over again.

 

Weekly Obsessions 10.2.14

It’s finally fall! I hope everyone is adjusting to this new weather better than my sinuses are.  Anyway, here are the things that are keeping me a little happier this week.  Enjoy!

Go watch some cute dachshunds have a good ol’ time with a Go Pro camera here.

This past week, Pentatonix (one of my favorite bands) released their newest EP, Pentatonix Vol. III.  Even though they’ve released another single, Papaoutai, I’m still stuck on their Sam Smith/Disclosure/Naughty Boy cover La La Latch.  Check out the video below:

And I have to give a shout to my new favorite fall show so far, How to Get Away with Murder.  The characters have managed to be interesting in only one episode and with Viola Davis at the helm, boy this show is going to get even better. If you missed it, you can catch the premier episode on Watch ABC without signing in.

How To Get Away with Murder

 

 

Thank You & Happy 3rd Blogaversary!

IMG_4718.JPG

Hi everyone! I just wanted to send you all a quick note and thank you for reading, viewing and sharing MANE MAN over the past few years.  This blog has been a little labor of love and is as much about you as it has been about my journey into afros and grooming.   I’m thankful for all your continued support and encouragement.  Again, I can’t say it enough, I’m so grateful for your support I can’t wait to see what happens next!

 

 

Guys’ Night Out Rockport Challenge Giveaway

giveaway - maneman

As promised in my previous post, A Guys Night Out with Rockport,I’m happy to bring you our latest giveaway!  Sponsored by Rockport shoes you can win a  pair of Rockport Parker Hill Desert Boots for yourself (or a friend you really like).  All you have to do is leave a comment on this blog post to enter.  That’s the only mandatory option!  Follow me, @manemanblog and Rockport shoes @Rockport for an additional entry each.  Winners will be announced on Monday, September 29, 2014.  Please enter the contest via the widget below.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Product Review: Kinky Curly

Kinky Curly product

I’ve long been a fan of Kinky Curly products from my early fro-growing days. I once tried the Kinky Curly Curling Custard and found that it worked pretty well but eventually opted for cheaper gel alternatives.

Today, I’m checking out the entire brand in a little more depth, including Kinky Curly’s newest deep conditioner, Stellar Strands.

First up is KC’s Knot Today leave-in conditioner which is well-known among the natural hair community as one of the best conditioners out there. In short, I have to say that I agree. While Knot Today isn’t great for deep conditioning, the benefit lies in its superior ingredient list and usability that is all but unparalleled in the hair care industry. Knot Today moved easily through my hair, which is thick and porous. It’s also a pretty effective moisturizer that always leaves my hair feeling soft and moisturized. This is definitely a superior performing product.

Kinky Curly’s Spiral Spray is another story altogether, unfortunately. The spray gel doesn’t seem to be suited for type 4 hair like mine. It’s consistency is thin and almost snot-like. I didn’t have a particularly good experience with the product and to date haven’t had any luck using it to my benefit. Spiral Spritz is no match for my thick mane and while it’s ingredients list is superior (like all Kinky Curly products) it just doesn’t work at all for me.

Perfectly Polished is Kinky Curly’s nourishing hair oil which works as a pre-shampoo treatment and finishing aid. Formulated with apricot and argan oils, among others, Perfectly Polished is a potent oil blend that offers a lot of nourishment and softness. In my experience, the oil blend was the perfect last step to de-crunchify gelled hair. It’s also great for scalp massages. At 4 oz. for $18, Perfectly Polished is a pricey, yet effective and luxurious product. If you’re in the market for this type of product, I can’t imagine you would have any buyer’s remorse. Plus, it just smells so good.

Similarly, Kinky Curly Gloss Pomade is a finishing aid to help tame fly aways and offer softness. While I enjoy this product as well, I would have a hard time choosing this over Perfectly Polished.

Finally, Stellar Strands is the newest kid on the Kinky Curly block. Labeled as a hydrating deep treatment, Stellar Strands is designed to be used with heat for 15 minutes or 30 minutes without it. Before I say anything else, I should note that I have done neither. I just can’t see myself walking around with goop in my hair for a half hour, but then again maybe I’m really missing out.

That being said, Stellar Strands does well even if left on for 10 minutes in a long shower. It definitely softened my hair and I felt it left my mane feeling a little more moisturized as well. My biggest negative about the product, is its overall difficulty of use. The time commitment notwithstanding, Stellar Strands isn’t nearly as silky and smooth as I would have expected. It doesn’t have that magical “slip” like Knot Today, which would quickly change it from a good deep conditioner into something really special and worth the investment. At this time, the product sells for $13 for 8 oz., and I can’t say that I would spring for it on my own dime just yet.

Overall, Kinky Curly has a good collection of hair care product offerings. While Perfectly Polished is an obvious standout, Spiral Spritz completely failed for me and left me wanting something much more usable. The Gloss Pomade is also a good product, and Stellar Strands, while good, leaves a little bit to be desired. All in all, I can still say without reservation that I like the Kinky Curly brand with its cruelty-free and ingredients lists that any purist would likely fawn over. It’s totally up to you if you think the products are worth the investment.

To learn more about Kinky Curly, you can visit the website at www.kinky-curly.com.

Disclosure: This post is a sponsored review by Kinky Curly. Products for review were provided for the sole purpose of this review. All opinions listed herein are mine, and mine alone and have not in any way been influenced by Kinky Curly.

Weekly Obsessions 9.19.14

Here are this week’s latest obsessions…

I’m a little late, but I previously shared this speech by NFL commentator James Brown that really resonated with me about domestic violence.  It’s really one of the best discussions on intimate partner violence that I’ve seen in a while.  The fact that it aired before a prime time game makes it even better.  Well done, sir, well done.

Recently, natural hair blog Black Girl with Long Hair featured me on their list of 5 Men with Crushworthy Natural Hair.  It’s such a great list which includes some guys who were previous features here on MANE MAN. Thanks for the shout out BGLH!

And finally, if you’re in the NJ, NYC or Staten Island area you should find yourself eating at Potatopia after 4 PM. The restaurant (which I love) is running a promotion where all month-long (September is National Potato Month) you can receive a $4 meal after 4 PM at any Potatopia location. It even includes a small fountain drink!  Do yourself a favor and check it out, it really is delicious.  And is there any better way to carb load than to eat a deliciously stuffed baked potato?

potatopia collage

 

 

A Guys Night Out with Rockport

One of the hardest things (see: #firstworldproblems) about going out and socializing, is for me, deciding what to wear.  As a guy, we often have limited options to choose from and have less acceptability in attending a function wearing a glorified t-shirt.

That’s why it’s always fun to take advantage of a guy’s night out every once in a while, but that’s no excuse to look like a slob (especially in a place like New York City).  One of the things I actually like most about style here is how everyone manages to have this  cool work/sleek/stylish/comfortable wardrobe that seamlessly transitions from days at the office to happy hours to date nights.  I guess it’s because we’re often running right from one event to the other.  I’m not entirely sure that’s a good thing, but that’s neither here nor there.

I’ve found the perfect style combination for me that usually includes dark jeans, a button up shirt, some chukkas and a nice jacket. Substitute a blazer or cardigan for the jacket and a polo for the button-up shirt and you pretty much have what I wear 90% of the time.  Yes, sadly I’m not that inventive.  I do try and switch up colors a bit from time to time, however.

guys night out

If you can’t tell, I’m all about comfort and function.  If a shirt hugs just a little too tight I’ll toss/donate it.  If my shoes hurt my feet I’ll never wear them.   That’s one of the reasons why I’m really glad to have partnered with Rockport shoes for this post. Their Parker Hill Desert Boot comes with ADIPRENE technology which basically means you feel like you’re wearing tennis shoes/sneakers but with the look of a boot. They are just awesome.

So for me, guys night out can consist of drinks, likely some carb-heavy food and maybe a movie.  Sometimes that plan devolves into  a variety of things, but hey I guess that’s one of the down upsides of living in the Big Apple with so many options.

That’s a quick look at my guys’ night out style.  Check back here on the blog soon with a really special offer from Rockport. I promise you won’t be disappointed!

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post by Rockport shoes.

Book Review: Jack Icefloe Jackson’s Romance for Men

jack iceloe jackson pandora's boxRomance for men? Well, sort of. This book (I can’t bring myself to call it a novel) is the brain child of Hollywood writer/producer Dean Lorey and is not for the faint of heart.

Romance for Men: Pandora’s Box is without a doubt, the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever read. The book follows the author, Jack Icefloe Jackson, on his journey to save the world. Yeah, really.  Jack is tapped by President Obama to “meet with” Pandora  before her infamous box destroys the world.

But what exactly makes this book “romance for men”? Well, Jack Icefloe Jackson only ever has one thing on his mind, which is also central to his mission, ironically. The book is graphic, distasteful and completely inappropriate. It’s pretty much what you might expect from a book that refers to itself as romance for men.

The book’s genius lies in its satire and ability to make even the filthiest of guys uncomfortable at times. I was even a little weary of reading it on my daily commute because even the cover is just so…Icefloe.

Chances are that if you don’t like being politically correct (or embrace that part of yourself) you’ll likely enjoy what Romance for Men: Pandora’s Box has to offer. It’s definitely for mature audiences only and would probably make the perfect gag gift for your buddy on his next birthday. Admittedly, I reluctantly say that it am a little curious as to what Jack Icefloe Jackson encounters on his next journey in “SUCKubus”.

For more depraved, explicit and horrifically inappropriate stuff, you can visit icefloejackson.com.

Disclosure: A sample copy for review was provided courtesy of the book’s publishing and marketing team for the sole purpose of this review.

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