Category Archives: Product Reviews

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

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.

Product Review: Coast to Coast Skin Illuminating Cleansing Water

skin illuminating cleansing water

Today I bring you my review of Coast to Coast Skin Illuminating Cleansing Water!

Let me begin by saying that the Skin Illuminating Cleansing Water (Quandong & Sweet Orange) was not designed with men in mind. I say that not as a fault but as a point of clarification before moving forward with the review.

The cleansing water is as it sounds, a very gentle water-like substance. By design, it’s purpose is to help women remove makeup and other impurities from the face and eye area. Since I don’t wear makeup I can’t really evaluate it’s ability to remove cosmetics but can speak on it’s overall cleansing ability.

I should start by saying that the cleanser is housed in an effective dispenser, but it requires a cotton pad as you have to push down on the dispenser head twice to release the right amount of product. It’s a foreign way to use a product for me, but women might be more well versed with something like this.  That being said, it’s not difficult but just a novel way of using a “cleanser”, so to speak.

Generally speaking, I found the product to be OK, but a little light for my skin. While it’s sensitive formula was great to limit drying, I’m not totally convinced that my skin was “clean” after using it as a part of my nightly routine. It really is great for those with sensitive skin because of light formula and slightly fragrant scent.  I imagine that it might actually be beneficial for those looking remove make up.

Overall, I think that Coast to Coast Skin Illuminating Cleansing Water is best left for the ladies. Guys you can probably opt out of this one and try something a little more suited for your skin type.

U.S. customers can purchase the Coast to Coast Skin Illuminating Cleansing Water from for $24.99.

Disclosure: Sample product for review was provided courtesy of Coast to Coast for the purpose of this post.

Product Review: Mission Belt Co.

Back in March 2014, I wrote a small feature on Mission Belt Co., a company that makes specially designed hole-less belts.  After being enthralled with the brand, I finally got one!

Not only does Mission Belt Co. provide cool, unique belts, they also use $1 from every belt sold to provide micro-lending through Kiva and help fight global hunger.

Recently, Mission Belt Co. just launched a few new summer inspired belts in bold colors and I had to get my hands on the purple one:

mission belt co.

One of the best-selling features of their belts, is that no piece has any holes.  None!  So if you’re in between sizes or feeling a little thinner after months of dedicated work outs then you just ratchet up the belt a bit.  There are no unsightly holes anywhere.

While I personally really dig my belt I have to say that the ratcheting sound definitely took some getting used to.  Admittedly, I was a little self-conscious my first couple of times using a public bathroom (which tend to be eerily quiet) because the sound is kind of unexpected.  Not loud, per se, but definitely unexpected.

If you’re like me, and Seeley Booth, then embracing this little style piece of rebellion in your otherwise basic or classic wardrobe, you probably won’t be disappointed. Belts are available in the Mission Belt Co. online store and range from about $26 to $40 each.

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Mission Belt Co. and all the opinions listed herein are mine and mine alone.

Product Review: KeySmart

I’ve never been a fan of multiple key rings or large key chains because I find them pretty impractical. The last thing you need when you’re trying to access your keys is a barrage of vacation themed rings getting in your way.  And that’s exactly what KeySmart aims to change.

KeySmart was created with the purpose of creating a more streamlined key organizer.  The style itself is simple and sleek and reminiscent of an old swiss army knife.  In my opinion, this is exactly what makes KeySmart appealing to people of all ages.

In my experience the KeySmart organizer was pretty easy to use.  KeySmart comes with a few sample keys already included to show you exactly how it works.  A simple flathead screwdriver allows you to disassemble the KeySmart, add your own keys and reassemble the organizer.  It took me about 10 minutes to do this with no instruction so I believe that most people will find KeySmart very easy to use.

That being said, the thing I probably like most about KeySmart is its small size. It fits great in any pocket and for me, it fit awesomely in the pocket of my running shorts which now helps me avoid removing and re-attaching my everyday key rings when I go out for a little exercise.

Currently priced at $19.98 for the base model, I think a lot of you out there will be able to appreciate what KeySmart offers in terms of convenience and size.  My only big negative is that it’s pricey to be a “key organizer”.  I find that it may be difficult for the average person to justify the cost for a key chain.  Otherwise, another minus is that, at times, KeySmart isn’t as convenient as I would like.  It was especially difficultly to pull out and separate the keys when I found myself in a hurry.  Those considering a purchase should definitely consider this. All in all, I think KeySmart is a decent product that solves a very real problem. I just wonder if the average person will be willing to make the change to a much simpler, and low maintenance key organizer.

Disclosure: KeySmart provided product samples for the purpose of this review. All opinions listed herein are mine alone and have not been unduly influenced by KeySmart.

Extra Phone Protection with the inkFusion Pro Case from Skinit

From blog posts to a nice meal, I always like creating things and that’s why I was especially happy to try my hand at creating a custom inkFusion Pro Case from Skinit.

SkinIt offers a variety of skins and cases for your most treasured electronic devices including laptops, tablets and smartphones. So when the folks at Skinit offered me the opportunity to create a custom skin for my iPhone 5, I was all to happy to create something new that would protect my phone with an added touch of style.

Using the Skinit online creator tool is remarkably intuitive and easy to use. I was able to create the below custom skin/case in about 10-15 minutes total. Not to bad, eh? And to top it all off, the creator tool boasts a variety of images and design touches that you can use pretty easily.

The inkFusion Pro Case offers a lot of protection  with its two piece thermoplastic polymer fusion case.  The rubber liner offers great impact protection while the hard shell provides extra protection and style.  I personally have enjoyed my case so far but I have to say that after a few drops, the outer shell is already starting to show a few nicks and scratches.

All in all, at $34.95 I find it hard to complain about a good case that you get to specialize with your own imagery such as your brand or even pictures from your favorite vacation.  Again, the case creator tool is easy to use and in my experience the shipping was also very fast.  If you’re looking to step up your Galaxy or iPhone with a little something new then maybe the Skinit inkFusion Pro Case is just the ticket.

Disclosure: This post has been sponsored by Skinit inkFusion and product for review was provided as a courtesy to MANE MAN.