Category Archives: Product Reviews

Reviews of hair and body products. Everything from hair conditioners and stylers to shaving and grooming products.

Product Review: Shea Moisture Tahitian Noni & Monoi Smooth & Repair Nourishing Hair Masque

Shea Moisture - TahitianIt’s been a while since I’ve featured an actual product review here for you on MANE MAN so the last time I went to the pharmacy I picked up one of Shea Moisture’s newest products, the Tahitian Noni & Monoi Smooth & Repair Nourishing Hair Masque.

Many of you out there know by now that I pretty much love anything that Shea Moisture puts out there. The brand has a commitment to heritage and legacy that I find endearing and not to mention the affordability of their products and awesome ingredients lists.  Their bath products are all high performers as well.

Admittedly, I’ve had less success with the hair formulations for reasons I can’t quite put my figure on, but I have to say that this hair masque is a move in the right direction.

The hair masque is formulated to smooth hair cuticles thus reducing frizz and breakage, which are key issues for kinkier hair textures.  The botanicals are also supposed to help protect your hair from heat damage but as I don’t typically blow dry my hair that’s not something that I can adequately comment on.

Here’s what I like: the ingredients are awesome. The masque touts shea butter, monoi and Tahitian noni oils (among others) which have a host of anti-oxidant and hair-repairing properties. I did a little internet research and found out that noni juice actually has a host of other super important health benefits like reducing high blood pressure. That being said, don’t eat this masque, I’m sure it’s not worth the risk.

My biggest qualm about the masque, and with a lot of Shea Moisture’s hair masque’s is that there is virtually no slip.  “Slip” is a property that gives you that feeling that makes it super easy to glide your fingers or come through your hair.  One excellent over the counter hair mask that does this is the Pantene Pro-V Smooth Therapy Masque Deep Conditioner.  It has a crazy amount of slip but obviously more synthetic ingredients so it’s a toss-up.  I think it all depends on what your hair’s needs are.  If you’re doing a fair amount of damage and need some deep healing properties I think Shea Moisture’s option is a great way to go.  If not, there might be some other options out there that you find you like better, and that are a little less costly.  But then again, they say that you get what you pay for.

Shea Moisture’s Tahitian Noni & Monoi Smooth & Repair Nourishing Hair Masque is available online via the brand’s website.


Disclosure: No samples or compensation were provided for this review.

Product Review: Nip+Man


Living a healthier lifestyle usually means that you also have to take a holistic approach to that type of change.  That can include things such as new workout gear, running shoes and even new grooming products that are equipped to deal with your specific needs.  That’s where Nip+Man (Nip and Man) comes in handy. Read on for my review!

Designed with the active man in mind, Nip+Man products are designed to be easy to use and high performers so that you don’t have to worry about your grooming products failing you at inopportune times.  But, does the brand deliver on their promise?  My experience was a bit of a mixed bag.

I’ve been using Nip+Man products for well over a month now and there are definitely some hits and some misses.

First off, let’s hit the high notes.  Every man should have a good daily face moisturizer in their regimen.  Fortunately Nip+Man served me pretty well in this area.  Both products I tried, the Daily Power Moisturizer and the After-Shave Power Lotion are great post-shave products.  They both have a creamy, yet not greasy  consistency that has served me very well in this dry winter air so far. The great thing is that the products are virtually interchangable, although the Daily Power Moisturizer is most ideal for mornings as the addition of caffeine helps “wake up” your skin  while jojoba helps provide non-greasy moisture throughout the day. The After-Shave Power Lotion, however, is great because it has a slight cooling effect which helps skin irritated by the shaving process.

On the other hand, the Ab-Fix and Power Workout Fix products were not my particular cup of tea.  Granted, I’m not the target audience for Ab Fix products.  I don’t work out 6 days a week and have always been known to be more bookish than active so their daily toning gel for abs really isn’t my jam.  Needless to say, I didn’t really see any benefit to the product although it seems like a perfectly interesting concept to start with.

The Power Workout Fix is a whole different beast altogether.  These days my workouts have only consisted of running so usually there is some heel or ankle issues that come with that periodically. To help soothe those areas, I applied the Post Workout Fix and within seconds, I was breathing like I had just eaten 6 habanero wings.  It was potent!  I got so hot that I tried to wash off the product to no avail, so there I sat tired and with what felt like burning feet.  I vowed to never use it again.  Flash forward a few weeks and thinking about my desire to write a fully fleshed out review for you guys, I tried it again ready to ice the burn away.  Alas, only a mild burn came.  I used it again after that and basically got no burn at all. What’s up with that?!  All in all, I got no consistent results from the Power Workout Fix but it was, at times, soothing to achy muscles and joints.  It definitely helps with dry skin spots.

So, how do I feel about Nip+Man products overall?  Well, for one the UK-based brand is reasonably priced, but I don’t thinks folks in the US would be jumping at the chance to order grooming products from across the pond.  Secondly, Nip+Man’s target audience (according to their website) is someone who plays sports on the weekends and regularly enjoys a beer after work, so if that sounds like you, you will probably find refuge in the brand’s line up.  But, if you’re more like me, then Nip+Man might not be best fit for you so you may want to look elsewhere.


Disclosure: Sample products for review were provided courtesy of Nip+Man.  All opinions listed herein are mine, and mine alone, and have not been created under the influence of Nip+Man or its representatives.

Bison Socks by United by Blue

united by blue bison sock review



These days the weather seems like it’s as unpredictable as ever, so you can imagine my surprise when I suddenly found myself pulling out my winter coats in the middle of November. Thankfully, I was also graced with some great socks by United by Blue that turned out to be a big help.

I shared an Instagram post of the socks recently and they are even more luxurious than they look. The bison-made socks are super thick, tightly woven and very warm. I appropriately wore my bison socks on one of the coldest days this fall in NYC. It was barely 30 degrees out of nowhere!

I got some more information about bison down and it turns out that it is stronger and softer than the traditional merino socks we are all used to wearing in the cooler months. I won’t bore you the specifics but I will say that these socks are definitely holy grail quality footwear for the cold weather. I’m definitely looking forward to wearing them more and more this upcoming winter.

And if that wasn’t enough to sell you on them, these United by Blue socks are also made from American Bison, created in Iowa and packaged in Wisconsin. That means with every purchase you’re also contributing to the maintenance of American jobs across the country. I happen to think that’s pretty cool, especially when most companies outsource much of their process to other countries internationally. I think it’s pretty cool to support local businesses whenever possible. Somehow it just leaves me feeling a bit more connected to the brand.

In addition, I’ve learned that United By Blue is also a “mission driven company,” which means that for every product sold by United by Blue the business removes one pound of trash from the U.S.’s coastlines and waterways.

In this day and age, I think it means something special for a brand to produce good merchandise, have a commitment to the environment and invest in the people who make their business run so effectively. It’s a great testament to a unique brand and its commitment to stay united by blue.

You can view more products by United by Blue or get your own bison socks (they would make perfect gifts for your friend who toughs out cold winters), at You can also learn more at their Kickstarter page!


Disclosure: Product for review was provided by United by Blue.

Unilever Unveils New Deodorant Innovation

unilever espace

Last week I got the chance to attend a special event in NYC’s espace announcing the launch of Unilever brands new deodorant technology…dry spray antiperspirant.

What exactly is dry deodorant?  Well maybe we should begin with the difference between deodorant and antiperspirant as the terms are often used interchangeably. Plainly put, deodorants technically only offer odor protection while antiperspirants typically offer both wetness AND odor protection.  In my experience spray “deodorants” (as they are commonly called) don’t usually offer wetness protection.  Usually they only smell good and usually there’s way too much fragrance involved, but then again that’s just my personal opinion.

Well, Unilever has developed the technology that makes it possible for your favorite spray on deodorant to become dry almost instantly. That means no more accidental white streaks on your black shirt or wetness just before you head out the door.  It’s definitely an unexpected innovation that I wouldn’t have imagined before.  It turns out Unilever knew better all along!

Degree men dry spray

 I’ve had the chance to use a few of the brands’ dry spray antiperspirants and they really work.  On top of the products’ ability to dry almost instantly, the scents are excellent and well-balanced too.

I should also say that Unilever is a family of brands and in the coming weeks the new dry spray antiperspirant technology will be released across the Unilever family of brands: Axe, Dove (for men and women), and Degree (for men and women).

Dove Men Care dry spray






To date, I’ve only tried a few a sample of the new product line up: the Degree Adventure and Dove Men Care’s Clean Comfort.  Both are awesome in my opinion.  I’m someone who doesn’t particularly like strong scents and both seem to have managed to find a balance between helping you smell nice without being overwhelming or overpowering.  The Degree Adventure antiperspirant spray has a nice woodsy citrus scent that I think a lot of you will like.  And true to the Dove Men Care line, the Clean Comfort dry spray antiperspirant is exactly as it says…clean and comfortable. From all the experiences I’ve had with Dove Men Care, I have to say they’ve really outdone themselves in offering quality products at a great value.  And with this innovation of dry spray antiperspirant, it looks like Axe is getting a little reboot too.  In fact, the upcoming Axe White Label Dry Spray Antiperspirant line is going to be exceptional and a complete game-changer for the brand if the first scent, Night, is any indication.

Be on the lookout for a whole new line up of dry spray antiperspirants from Axe, Dove, Dove Men Care, Degree and Degree for men in the coming weeks.  You won’t be disappointed.

Product Review: Wen Men Hair & Body Cleansing Conditioner

By now, most of us have seen those late night infomercials of hairstylist Chaz Dean (with his luscious locks) showing off how wonderful his products are for women of every hair type.  Well, now he’s branched out and launched Wen Men!

Launched in September 2014, Wen Men is a hair and boy cleansing conditioner meant to be men’s version of the ultimate all-in-one product.  The product is infused bamboo, amber, and ginger root to offer a gender neutral scent that can be used from head to toe.

Now, we’ve all seen Dean’s infomercials at least once (if not more), and if you’re like me you’ve been a little skeptical about Wen’s ability to provide cleansing and conditioner properties to kinky-textured hair.  Mainly because their model with “coarse hair” has hair like this:

wen coarse hair


Seeing this woman’s somewhat loosely coiled hair didn’t leave me, and I’m sure many others, with a  lot of confidence that Wen was a good fit for afro-textured hair.  If you thought so, then you may find yourself increasingly surprised by this review.

Full disclosure, I have never used Wen hair care products before this review and obviously came in with all of my prejudices about who likely it Wen Men was going to work for thick and densely coiled hair such as mine.  Well, it did!

For me, Wen Men quickly became what the natural hair community likes to call a “holy grail” product.  The ingredients list is filled with natural extracts and oils which makes it an especially ideal cleanser for the colder and drier months.

wen men 2


The directions on the massive 32 oz. salon quality bottle encourage a minimum of six pumps for short hair (8 for medium and 10 for long) and I pretty much followed those to a t.  When I first tried Wen Men, I had a medium-sized afro and used about 8 pumps which was more than enough.  Luckily for you, I also got a pretty good trim recently and tried with the standard “short” 6 pump amount and found it equally as impressive. And yes, trust me I have super coily, kinky hair and Wen Men slid through my strands like Nancy Kerrigan at the ’94 Olympics.


The formula is creamy and luxurious, which is what you might expect from a 32 oz. bottle that retails for $72.  No, it’s not cheap, but man is this stuff good.  The formulation of oils and extracts helps make Wen Men one of the easiest to distribute products I’ve used since I started rocking a fro years ago.  Within a minute or so after application, the product melted into my 4b-ish type hair and it became incredibly easy to finger detangle.  As this is an all-in-one sort of product, I also took the step to “shampoo” my scalp a bit.  To my surprise, Wen Men cleanses AND moisturizes very well.  And trust me, that’s not something you usually get from products that claim to do it all.  This one actually does deliver on its promise!

My one big negative about Wen Men is its ability to be used as a skin cleanser.  Because there’s no real lather factor, I found it hard to take the product seriously as a good “soap”.  The consistency is so thick and lotion-like it’s hard to imagine that it actually cleanses skin. I know that doesn’t make much sense given how I raved how it cleansed my scalp (which IS skin), but I guess I just still expect tons of suds and bubbles from my body washes and hand soaps.  So as a body cleanser, I can’t say that I truly value Wen Men in that way, even though it smells pretty damn good.

Overall, I have to say that I am incredibly surprised by how well Wen Men works.  It just goes to show you how making snap judgments about products (and people) can often be a terribly inaccurate slippery slope. Truth be told, once I run out of Wen Men, I’m going to be incredibly sad and I might even seriously consider making it my go-to hair care all-in-one product.  At this point, it certainly seems worth it.

For more information and to order Wen Men visit


Disclosure: A complimentary sample of Wen Men 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.

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

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.

A New Way to Say Hello

Today I bring you my experience using hello oral care products. Read on for the review!


Hello products were created to offer customers reasonably priced, vegan and cruelty free oral products. Hello prides itself in offering tasty and delicious options to create a more enjoyable daily experience, and that’s exactly what initially drew me to their products.

The product line has a variety of flavors for each of their product offerings: mojito mint, supermint, and pink grapefruit mint. Luckily I had the opportunity to sample all three!

The small breath sprays are handy little canisters (see above) that fit just about anywhere. They’re perfect for a purse or work messenger for easy access.

I was able to try the breath spray in all three flavors and I would have to say the mojito mint was my favorite. It’s pretty reminiscent of the cocktail, but like all hello products, its alcohol free. Pink grapefruit has a slightly sweeter and brighter flavor while supermint boasts a particularly powerful serving of minty-goodness.

The real surprise was the Supermint Mouthwash which was infinitely more powerful than the breath spray, so much so that I actually felt a pretty solid “burn”. That quickly quelled my fear that hello products wouldn’t be effective dental care because of their pleasant taste. Needless to say, I was impressed.

Overall, I have two words to describe my experience with hello oral care…surprisingly delicious. And trust me, that’s the last thing I thought I would say about an oral hygiene routine.

To learn more about hello, you can visit them on the web at

Disclosure: This is a post sponsored by the folks at hello oral care. Products were provided for the sole purpose of the review and have not been unduly influenced in any way.

Stimulate Your Senses with FOCUS by Coffee Blenders

Coffee Blenders Line

If you’ve read my previous post about battling caffeine addiction, then you probably have a good idea about how much I love coffee.

Ever since I was a kid, I remembered enjoying emulating my parents and drinking coffee on Sunday mornings with my French toast. Doesn’t that sound delicious?!

As I’m in caffeine recovery (now only drinking 1-2 coffee drinks per week!) I was all too excited to give Coffee Blenders FOCUS coffee a try.

FOCUS is a 100% Arabica coffee from the folks at Coffee Blenders. FOCUS is aimed at improving cognitive performance, but does it really work?

I was beyond skeptical that FOCUS would actually have any effect on my mental state so I actually tried it out for the first time on what was supposed to be a Saturday filled with a lot of lounging and light reading.

I used my Keurig K-cup French Press and brewed my first cup. To be honest, my first cup was a little too weak for my taste when I brewed it with 8 ounces of water, but since then I’ve made cups with between 6-7 ounces of water. Remember, how much I said I like coffee?  The real question is, did it help me focus?

The kicker is, I ended up feeling energized enough that I ended up writing 3 posts within the next hour or so. Now that may not sound like much, however when I set my mind to a  lazy day, I’m incredibly adept at meeting my goal. I created three posts and polished off some additional work for as well. So it turns out there is a little something special about this coffee!

The proprietary ingredient is Cereboost which is actually American Ginseng. Apparently American Ginseng is a potent and fast acting root which helps improve memory, cognitive performance and helps you manage cold symptoms. Not bad.

While you can only brew one cup of FOUS at a time, if you’re anything like me, that may be all you need to give your day a quick jump-start. And with the addition of Cereboost, you may find that the lethal combination of caffeine and American ginseng might just be what you need to get your day off to a productive start or midday pick-me-up.  To find out more about FOCUS, you can visit

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post.  Products for review were provided courtesy of Coffee Blenders for the sole purpose of this review.

Product Review: PCA Skin

PCA skin care product review

Skin care is often a blind spot for many men. But, as I’ve learned, adopting a quick skin care routine can help you keep looking your best as you age and that’s something all of us can appreciate.

Today, I’m sharing with you my thoughts on PCA Skin.

Weightless Protection Broad Spectrum SPF 45

I’m a big believer in the idea that one should wear sunblock daily, especially in the warmer months, to limit the impact of the sun’s rays. Exposure to the  sun is one of the biggest contributors to aging skin. We’ve all seen someone who has had a little too much sun and what that does to their skin, right?

What I appreciate about this product is that it is largely light and weightless. This is by no means the heavy, oil-filled sun block that you buy from the drug store. The texture has a light, almost whipped consistency which makes it easy to apply evenly.

The SPF 45 level protection is no slouch easier. This is by far the best sunscreen I’ve ever out on my face. And a little goes a long way. And because it’s powered with zinc oxide, caffeine and antioxidants you can be sure that you’re also doing your skin a favor by both protecting and nourishing it. Two thumbs (way) up!

Total Strength Serum

I have to be honest, serums are one of those grooming items that I still think are reserved for women only. Needless to say, wrapping my head around the idea of the PCA Total Strength Serum was definitely something I had to get used to.

Overall, I’ve grown to enjoy the product over the past several weeks. Featured in Oprah magazine earlier this year, the Total Strength Serum boasts a pretty big list of peptides and moisturizers (including natural ones like coconut juice).

The serums packs a pretty solid moisturizing punch and 2-3 pumps are a perfect amount of coverage for my nightly skin care routine. I dare to say that I like it. Trust me, I’m surprised too but if something works, it works!

For more information about these products visit PCA Skin care online.

Disclosure: Products for review were provided courtesy of PCA Skin.

Tani Product Review: Offering Luxury Underwear for Men

tani luxury underwear

As guys we are, unfortunately, notorious for holding on to underwear for entirely too long past its expiration date. But what if you bought higher quality pieces instead of 3 pairs for 10 bucks? Well, then maybe Tani luxury underwear is for you.

Tani has been in business for over 25 years, but if you’re like me, then you probably had no idea! Aimed to crate the softest and sleekest underwear in the market, Tani uses innovative knitting technologies and luxurious fabrics to make for long-lasting and comfy wear.

The folks over at Tani wanted my take on what they had to offer and sent over a few samples for my opinion. In a nutshell, Tani has been one of men’s fashions best kept secrets.

I tried a black tank and a pair of Tani’s signature boxer briefs which both turned out to be incredibly smooth and luxurious feeling. It may be hard to imagine feeling that excited about underwear, but Tani’s offerings are just that special.

Tani uses thick, yet supple fabric that also prevents the development of odor-causing bacteria. This means that while wearing Tani, you can feel comfortable knowing that foul body odor will be kept at an arm’s length do to the fabric technology. And that’s no small thing.

For all that luxury, there is a high cost involved.  The Air Fitness Boxer Brief rings in at a whopping $45 while a tank will set you back a cool $60.  Obviously, this isn’t your everyday underwear.  But, these could definitely make for a special gift for yourself or a loved one who likes the simple, but nice things in life.

Disclosure: Products for review were provided by Tani for the sole purpose of this review.