Category Archives: Body

My take on some of the best products on the market for your body.

Product Review: Old Spice Hydro Wash

Disclosure: This content was sponsored by Old Spice, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, then you know I have had a long love affair with Old Spice products. Old Spice is a brand, for me, that very much symbolizes my own journey from boyhood to manhood. I remember that my first experiences with Old Spice were when I first started wearing deodorant. I remember picking up a tube in the grocery store. I remember the fresh, masculine scent and it’s always something that will be a very strong memory for me.

With that, I’m happy to be sharing with you my latest review featuring some of Old Spice’s newest offerings: Hydro Wash!

Hydro Wash is the newest addition to the brand’s Hardest Working Collection, which is the highest performing anti-perspirant and body wash line-up.  If you’re a sweater, like me, this is probably right up your alley.

Here are some key points about Old Spice’s new Hydro Wash:

  • Hydro Wash offers superior hydration with over 20% hydro-moisturizing complex.
  • It features Old Spice’s proprietary “dual stream” formula, keeping moisturizers and cleansers separate so that the moisturizers don’t wash away with the lather before hydrating the skin.
  • Thicker and richer lather means less product down the drain, resulting in a better overall shower experience that leaves skin feeling hydrated and clean.
  • Debuts in NEW Steel Courage scent. Old Spice’s daring new scent is assertive yet laid-back, combining the energizing top notes of pineapple and warm rum with a mid-note of intoxicating clove, crisp pepper and sage. Hints of sandalwood and warm amber add a balanced finish.
  • Old Spice Hydro Wash is also available in popular Old Spice scents Pure Sport Plus and Live Wire.
  • Old Spice Hydro Wash is available nationwide at drugstores, food stores and mass merchandisers beginning February 2017 (The standard retail price is $4.99 but pricing is also at the sole discretion of stores)

Also, The Walking Dead fans probably recognize this mug (Steven Ogg who plays Simon, one of Negan’s henchmen)! 

So what do I think?

Overall, I think Hydro Wash does a pretty good job at living up to its name. I found that all varieties of the wash do a stand-up job at keeping my skin moisturized. They feel pretty smooth on the skin and not drying like other body washes feel. They also come in pretty big bottles which means you’re going to get to use it for a pretty long time. I’ve had the three bottles for over a month (maybe 2?!) and it looks like I’ve barely made a dent in all three. You definitely get your money’s worth.

What about scents? Here’s my breakdown…

Live Wire – This name always reminds me of the one certain app us old-heads used in the 90s to share music LOL  But, scent-wise it’s one of my favorites as it has this really fresh, citrusy kind of scent. It very much reminds me of Iime. There’s always an extra little pick-up in my step when I use this one. Very fresh & clean scent.

Pure Sport – This is probably my least favorite scent out of the bunch. That being said, I recognize it might be a favorite for a lot of gents. It has a very soapy, clean smell. I imagine that a lot athletes will find this one to be a familiar scent, especially if you also use the Old Spice deodorant of the same name.

Steel Courage – This scent reminds me of a cross between Zoolander’s blue steel model-pose and James Bond. There’s a smooth, warm sexiness to this one. It has touches of sandalwood and amber with close which makes it pretty intoxicating.  As far as favorites go, I find it hard to decide between Steel Courage and Live Wire, but thankfully I don’t have to choose! Which one I use just depends on my mood.

You can purchase Old Spice Hydro Wash at most major retailers and at OldSpice.com.

Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for more from Old Spice here on MANE MAN very soon!

 

Product Review: Treets Traditions

Disclosure: Product for review has been provided for the sole purpose of this review. All opinions listed herein are mine and mine alone.

Treets Traditions is a company focused on creating products that strike a natural balance between the holistic, natural and accessible. Rooted in ancestral cosmetology, the worldwide approach to skin and body care is inspired and Treets offers an incredible range of products to meet pretty much every need.

I’ve recently spent some time with a select view of the Treets line up and I’m happy to share my thoughts with you today in this review!

Nourishing Spirits Miracle Oil

First up is Treets Nourishing Spirits Miracle Oil which hails from their Africa inspired line of body and grooming products.  This is a powerhouse product. I understand why it’s called Miracle Oil. It pretty much does it all.

The oil is made face, hair, body, hands and nails. It also works well as beard oil for the gents, so I personally think it’s a worthwhile product for the entire family.

It is a straight up oil, which means it is rich. It’s been a great product for me to have throughout the drier, winter months. It’s a great after shower product to seal in moisture. It definitely helps keep dry, cracking skin at bay.

It has 6 natural oils including Baobab and Marula, which you will likely hear more and more about in different grooming products as time goes on as I’ve noticed they are recently gaining some steam. I find these oils absorb well into the skin and don’t feel as heavy as others. Miracle Oil also has almond oil (my personal all-time favorite) and jojoba which helps provide protection from a super greasy feel. If you don’t like heavy oils, this might be the perfect blend for you to try. It’s good enough for use from head to toe.  It’s great for men, women and children. I cannot say enough good things about it. To be honest, I’ll be sad when I run out!

Price: $26 / Availability: www.ulta.com

Revitalising Ceremonies Body Salt Scrub

I’ve had less success with the body salt scrub. While it has the same nice, refreshing (and clean) scent as the body lotion (review below) it just didn’t hit the mark for me. I think, in large part, due to how wet the product is in the jar and how small the salt crystals are.

I can see some folks really enjoying the smoothness of it, but I have to say that I expect a bit more grit in my scrub.  I didn’t really feel like this scrub offered me the exfoliation I was looking for.  The good news is, I do think that it works well as an addition to a nice, long bath soak. These small salt crystals and natural oils dissolve well in a hot bath. I’ve definitively gotten some great use out of it this way.

Price: $20.00 / Availability: www.ulta.com

Revitalising Ceremonies Body Lotion

This has to be, my favorite Treets product that I’ve tried so far. I’m notorious for continuously moisturizing my hands.  After all, who wants ashy dry hands?!  Not I! After I wash my hands, I can’t stand the feeling of dry skin. To compensate, I always keep lotion nearby. This body lotion has quickly become a staple. So much so, that it hasn’t left the spot in my home office that it has occupied for several weeks now.

With apricot oil, cranberry and thyme, this lotion just does the trick. It works so well that I often find myself applying it after applying my drug store body lotion that I’m sure most folks use too. It speaks to the idea that sometimes you get what you pay for. This lotion is expensive but if you’re sensitive about your skin’s needs, you will definitely feel see the value in stretching your cash.

Price: $19.00 / Availability: www.ulta.com

 

All the products mentioned in this post are available at Ulta.com or Treets.com.

A Look at Grooming for the Simple Man

If you’ve looked through the product review section here on MANE MAN then you know that there are a LOT of grooming products out there. It seems that I’ve made it my personal mission to try just about everything. This means that when something new comes across my desk I want to share my experience with all of you!

I recently had the opportunity to try out Simple Man products. These products are described as “salon quality male grooming products”.

For my trials with the products I spent some time with two varieties of shampoo, conditioner and body wash; one formulated with tea tree oil and the other with lavender oil. I personally liked both scents but found it best to keep both body washes away from my face or eyes as the scents/oils can be irritating.

That being said, the products work pretty well. Overall, I think that the body washes were actually my favorite of the bunch, keeping in mind that I am pretty finicky about what I use on my hair. The products are solid, there’s no doubt about that, but for someone with hair as dense and thick (and long?) as mine is as the moment, I needed more oil and slip to these formulations.

I particularly enjoyed the shampoo formulated with tea tree oil as it is so good for your scalp. The gentle tingle of tea tree oil is one I’m familiar with and I like to revisit as often as I can. I generally find the scent nice as well as it seems distinctly fresh and masculine in my opinion.

It should be noted that the products that I have actually used the most thus far are: lavender oil body wash, tea tree oil conditioner and teal tree oil body wash.  These are the products that I found myself going back to again and again without so much of a thought. The body washes aren’t drying and leave a nice, lingering scent for both the lavender and tea tree oil varieties.

Here is what’s cool about Simple Man….you can purchase a set of their respective body care lines for $35.00. With that you get a 16 oz. body wash, conditioner and shampoo with the scent of your choice. That’s not a bad deal, is it? And for those of you who live in houses with a couple of gents in the home, these are good quality buys for a reasonable price. As always, you get what you pay for and when you opt for better products that include actual oils (and not just synthetic ones) you get better results like moisturized and nourished skin and hair.

If you’re looking to keep it simple, give Simple Man a try.  You can view more about Simple Man at simplemanbrand.com.

 

Disclosure: Product for review was provided courtesy of Simple Man.

Winter Skin Care Secrets with Dr. Brian Zelickson

It’s almost winter time which means it’s time to break out those humidifiers and extra thick lotions to take good care of your skin. Personally, I always struggle during the winter months because the air is so dry. My already dry scalp continues to suffer and if I forget to lotion right out of the shower, I get a BAD case of the itchies which is terrible for your skin.

Most of us spend winters covered up, from head to toe. As a New Yorker, it’s something I’m intimately familiar with.  Sometimes it takes 10 minutes just to gear up with a scarf, gloves, coat and hat. It’s rough!

I always look for advice from the experts on how to practice the best grooming possible, because we all need help, right?  I was able to speak with Dr. Brian Zelickson via email about some of his winter skin care tips for men. Here are some helpful tips and product recommendations that I think will help you out this winter!

Tip 1

Nothing speeds up the aging process like excess sun exposure. It’s important to wear an SPF during the winter, even when the sun isn’t as noticeable. I recommend an SPF of at least 30.

Product Recommendation: MD Complete Anti-Aging Youthful Skin Sun Shield Broad Spectrum SPF 50

Tip 2

Apply a body moisturizer when skin is still slightly damp to help seal in moisture, and avoid products with dyes and scents that can aggravate skin.

Product Recommendation: Curél Itch Defense Lotion

Tip 3

Wash your face at night, so you cleanse all of the oils and dirt from the day. In the morning, simply rinse with water and buff with a gentle cloth. If you have issues with acne, try a gentle cleanser with Salicylic Acid.

Product Recommendation: MD Complete Skin Clearing Clarifying Cleanser

Tip 4

If your skin is constantly dry, add a product that is formulated with Hyaluronic Acid. It’s naturally found in the body, and is a moisture-binding ingredient that plumps skin with hydration.

Product Recommendation: Dermarché Labs Fullfill

What are your favorite products to use during winter? Let’s share some recommendations in the comment section below!

 

Dr. Brian Zelickson is an internationally renowned board-certified dermatologist who graduated from the Mayo Clinic. He is a pioneer in laser medicine and surgery. He is also a faculty member at the University of Minnesota Medical School’s Department of Dermatology and a member of American Academy of Dermatology & American Dermatologic Association.

SHHH! My Summertime Grooming Secret

Everyone has a secret now and then, right?

One day when I was walking down the streets of NYC, I walked past a salon from which two women were standing outside with a small bottle asking women if they could spray them. I found this to be an incredibly odd thing to do and avoided their side of the street altogether. I mean, who sprays strangers’ faces in the streets?!  NYC is weird but that was a little too weird for me. They also weren’t targeting men at all which made me think that it was something only reserved for the ladies…go figure.

Fast forward to a few weeks later when I received a package from the folks at Wen asking me to try out their replenishing treatment mist line up.  My first thought? “WHAT IS THIS?!”

As it turns out, it was just what those strange women were spraying by female passersby only a few weeks prior on the street. It was then that I was introduced to the mid day spritz.

My personal experience with Wen products has been fantastic so I was all too eager to give the mists a chance even though I found the concept strange.  It turns out the mists would be my favorite new grooming find this summer. Let me tell you why…

It’s been hot and humid a lot in this city. This summer I often found myself sweating excessively and trying to get my hair and skin to recover from all the sun exposure. It doesn’t help that I spent a lot time at the beach too.  But hey, isn’t that what summer is for?

Soon I found that whenever I went to the beach I had a replenishing mist bottle with me. The sprays are meant to bring hair, face and body much-needed hydration and life. Each bottle has a blend of amino acids, botanicals and herbs to help soothe and rejuvenate dry or parched skin.  In essence, the perfect summer grooming product.

I was fortunate enough to try out three different varieties: 319 Fragrance Free Ultra Nourishing Replenishing Treatment Mist, Mandarin Italian Fig Restorative Replenishing Treatment Mist and 613 Lemon Rosemary Vanilla Bean Ultra Nourishing Replenishing Treatment Mist (my favorite scent).

In short, I loved them all. The midday refresh was a welcome prize and turned into an inevitable treat during my summer days.  The bottles came to the beach with me along with my latest book and beach towel. The mists traveled with me on vacation to San Diego when it seems like all I did was soak up the sun.

I know some gents will balk at the idea of using a replenishing mist, but as I’ve often learned I’m continuously better for stepping outside of my comfort zone when it comes to grooming. These mists smell good and more importantly, FEEL good.  So I ask, why not give it a try?

To learn more about these treatment mists, you can visit the Wen by Chaz Dean site.

Disclosure: Complimentary product was provided for the sole purpose of this review. The opinions listed herein are mine, and mine alone and have not been unduly influenced by any third party.

 

Brown Folks Do Get Sunburn!

It’s summer and that means that a lot of us are going to spend more and more time out in the sun having a good time at the beach and enjoying some sinfully delicious foods at the various cookouts we have lined up for the summer.  But, we all need to realize that brown folks do get sunburn!

It’s not OK to be out in the sun without sunblock. It’s simply an unnecessary risk to take. While black and brown folks don’t make up a statistically large portion of those who get skin cancer, that doesn’t mean that you should just opt out and be irresponsible with your skin care altogether. And I don’t know about you, but I want to look like I’m 25 well into my 40s. I know #Blackdontcrack but I ain’t trying to test that theory either!

You can also get sunburn. I learned the hard way several years ago back in college when I thought I was too cool for sunblock and spent several hours out in the Florida sun (Spring Break!).  My first experience with sunburn was not cute.  Every so often, I fail to adequately prepare and I learn that lesson all over again. I’m actually dealing with some burn right now….

Black and brown people do have more natural protection against the sun (thanks melanin!) BUT that doesn’t mean that you can’t get burned. In the event that you do, check out my collection of sunburn remedies to help you keep it together this summer.

So opt for the umbrellas, use sunblock regularly (and reapply…my mistake!) and wear big hats if you need. Here are some backup remedies just in case you’re forgetful like me and need to heal your sunburn.

Check out 9 Ways to Beat Sun Burn

by Jor-El at Mode

Recommended reading: Here’s What People of Color Need to Know About Sunburn & Skin Cancer via Buzzfeed

Natural Products for Your Spring Dopp Kit

Spring time is really here!

The weather is actually starting to catch up to the actual month in NYC so I’m very thankful for that.  With every new season, for this grooming guru, I always take a few beats to think about updates to my grooming regimen. Humidity. Humectants. Skin barriers. AHHHHHH! It can be a bit much.  Not to worry, my pain exists for your skin’s benefit.

I’ve taken some time to create a collection of some of the best natural, or naturally inspired grooming products that I think are perfect for spring.  From skin to lip care, this time of year you still need some emollients as the air is still a little dry in places, however you don’t want to dive head first into full on humectant territory either. Finding that balance can be pretty tough. I think that shea butter can be a great ingredient for many seasons which is why you’ll see it included in some of the products on my list.

I also know that this time of year more and more folks are thinking about taking trips and need to know what to take along with them. Well, every gent should have a well-stocked Dopp kit (toiletry bag) so I decided to combine these two ideas and bring you my collection “Natural Products for Your Spring Dopp Kit”.  Check out the full story on Mode.com below:

Check out Natural Products for your Spring Dopp Kit

by Jor-El at Mode

A Lotta Something for Everyone

Everyone products by EO are crafted with a very important idea in mind, every product derives from the use of essential oils. The brand has been around for many years but launched their “Everyone” line of products for young consumers and families who need good quality products at an affordable price. Luckily for you (and me!) today I’m reviewing two of their great products: Meyer Lemon & Mandarin Botanical Hand Soap and the 3-in-1 Unscented Botanical Lotion.

If you’ve been reading MANE MAN for a while now you may have noticed that I’ve grown accustomed to using pretty luxurious grooming products (read: costly). Sometimes, though, it’s not always about the brand or spending a hefty amount to get what you need from your daily grooming routine.  EO products are a great balance between effectiveness and value.

I was recently given the opportunity to try out the Meyer Lemon & Mandarin Botanical Hand Soap as well as the 3-in-1 Unscented Botanical Lotion.  Both are good staples for the home, but for me, one definitely stood out a bit more.

Let’s start with the great. If you love lemon and citrus, the Meyer Lemon & Mandarin Botanical Hand Soap ($5.99 for 12.75 oz at Target) will likely be anything you’ve ever wanted in a hand soap. The scent is powerful and rejuvenating. The citrus scent lingers a bit and the soap delivers a good lather as well. That being said, the soap doesn’t feel harsh at all either. It’s very clear that essential oils are a big part of the equation here and I’m not complaining. Those sensitive to citrus smells should steer clear, however, as this one is pretty potent!

By contrast, the 3-in-1 Unscented Botanical Lotion is a god-send for sensitive, parched skin. It’s thin which means that it’s best suited for warmer months where there’s already a bit of humidity in the air. My biggest complaint was that it doesn’t do much in cold NY weather to protect your skin. It’s simply not heavy enough. But with a 32 oz bottle (with a pump!), I’m going to be rocking this one heavy in the spring and summer months for sure. It’s light and absorbs quickly and doesn’t come with any strong scents which is good for those with allergies or fragrance sensitivities.  It only costs $10.99 for a 32 oz. bottle. You can’t really beat that.

If I had to sum up my experience with Everyone products into three words they would be: effective, quality and value. When it comes to grooming products to spend our hard-earned money on, isn’t that what most of us are looking for?

 

Disclosure: Sample products for review were provided courtesy of EO products. You can view other products by EO by visiting the brand’s website at eoproducts.com.

A Scent for Every Occassion

Sweeter than the perfume of roses is a reputation for a kind, charitable, unselfish nature; a ready disposition to do to others any good turn in your power. – Orison Swett Marden

When I was younger, I didn’t understand the importance of cologne and how much a man’s cologne might say about him, what it might communicate to those around him. As I’ve grown older, I’m come to realize that just as one changes their shirt, a man should also change his cologne.  One scent for every occasion, every mood.

Whether you’re looking for a gentle, clean everyday scent or something more lively for an exciting night out, finding the right scent is not only about knowing what’s in the bottle but also your body chemistry. Every scent reacts to every person differently and that’s why it’s imperative to also try out options in person in the store. If you need a little extra insight in deciding which cologne to buy, this handy post from the Art of Manliness will be a big help.

What are some of my favorite scents? It depends on the occasion! Is it for a day at the office? Then I might opt for something clean and simple like ZIRH Classic.  What about a special fundraiser or gala? Maybe Terre d’Hermes for Men by Hermes might offer an extra special touch.  Hot date?  Polo Red may be the hot ticket. Its fiery, masculine personality might be a good bet.

While cologne choice is mostly a matter of personal taste, there are a lot of scents out there with reputations that precede them. Picking the right scent for the right occasion can make all the difference. And you have to make sure that you wear the cologne and not the cologne wear you.

For an inside look at some of my favorite scents, including the ones mentioned above, check out my collection in my story  “What’s He Wearing? Scents for Date Night” now live on Mode.com.  Check it out below!

Check out What’s He Wearing? Manly Scents for Date Night

by Jor-El at Mode

 

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.