Category Archives: Product Reviews

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

Product Review: Radiantly You

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Disclosure: Products for review were provided courtesy of Radiantly You.

Ever on the quest to find products that work, today I bring you my review of two Radiantly You products, the Dead Sea Whipped Face Wash and the Dead Sea Mud Shampoo bar.

The Dead Sea Whipped Face Wash (retails for $11.50 for 4 oz) was one of my favorite face products I’ve used in a while. With an inoffensive smell and smooth texture, I used this wash daily until I completely ran out.  Then, maybe I mourned a little bit the day after when I had to switch to something else.  It’s something I would consider again, however, I found that it offered no real acne or whitehead protection which was certainly a negative for me.

The big surprise, however, was the Dead Sea Mud Shampoo Bar (retails for $5 for 4 oz).  I had never used a shampoo bar before trying this one so learning how to use it was actually a bit of a challenge.  ”Do I put the bar on my head directly and use it or do I lather soap in my hands then spread along my strands?” Well, I’m still not sure of the answer to that definitively but I ended up lathering in hand then spreading along my strands with my palms. Surprisingly, the bar offered a decent amount of slip but was a little too fragrant for me.

Overall, the biggest selling point of Radiantly You products has to be the simplistic formulas and incredibly healthy ingredient lists.  They products also performed fairly well.  I can’t say that the products are the best things I’ve ever used but that doesn’t take away from their quality performance.  While I realized I can’t really get behind a shampoo bar on principle, the Dead Sea Whipped Face Wash is definitely something I would consider purchasing out of my own pocket and using again.

Product Review: Dove Men+Care Hair Care

Image source: Dove®

Image source: Dove®

Products for review were provided via sponsorship by Dove® Men+Care™.

Dove Men+Care Hair Care has launched a line up of 2-in-1 shampoo + conditioners to help provide men with a quick option to both cleanse their hair and scalps while conditioning at the same time.  Most guys will find this 2-in-1 option efficient and helpful, however convenience doesn’t always work well, especially not for dense afro-textured natural hair.

I was able to give the Dove Men+Care poos a trial run and here are some basic thoughts on the varieties I got my hands on:

  1. Fresh Clean Fortifying 2-in-1: Packed with menthol, this poo (shampoo) plus conditioner is great at cleansing the scalp and hair of dirt and grease.  Unfortunately, it works a little too well as it left my hair also feeling stripped of natural oils.  For me, an additional conditioner was needed to give my hair some much-needed tlc.  This packs a pretty serious cleansing punch.
  2. Sensitive Scalp 2-in-1: Now this one is “suitable for dry scalps” and I have to say that it was the best option for my hair and scalp needs.  The smell was inoffensive and the slip was surprisingly helpful, but again, not using an additional conditioner (at least a leave in) was not an option for someone with my particular hair type and needs.
  3. Thickening Fortifying Shampoo:  Personally, I am in no need of a product that is designed to make my hair “look and feel thick”.  Clearly fros don’t lack volume.  Again, the harsh surfactant sodium laureth sulfate irritated my scalp only worsening my already dry crown.

Overall, the shampoos are simply to harsh for a scalp as sensitive as mine. Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLS) is high on the ingredients list for all three formulations (2nd ingredient in all) and I certainly felt the scalp irritation that SLS is notorious for.  While the poos sufficiently cleaned my hair, they also stripped my scalp of natural oils leaving my scalp feeling even drier on wash days and those days thereafter. For those with normal to oily scalps, Dove’s Men+Care’s 2-in-1s may be a good fit for you, but those on the drier end (and those with afro-textured hair) should probably steer clear and opt for co-washes or sulfate free options instead.

Product Review: Jam Fit Active Fresh Boxer

Jam Fit Active Fresh Boxer

Image provided by Rounderwear.

So this summer I’ve been embarking on a journey of healthfulness, if you will. Mainly that includes eating pretty well during the week (while being pretty indulgent on the weekends) and running (insert gasp here).

I’ve never been one to exercise or be particularly active, that’s just not something that’s been a part of my background or personality but for the past several months I’ve been trying to be a little more diligent about walking around and now even running regularly.  Trust me, I have even surprised myself.

I say all this to set up one of the problems that I’ve run into while running and that is finding the right gear.  Excited to support my journey into pseudo-athleticism, the folks over at Rounderwear were happy to sponsor this post by allowing me to try out their Jam Fit Active Fresh Boxer.

So what’s the skinny? Well, by far the best part of the boxer is the fabric itself. The thin, absorbent fabric makes sweating not so nasty as a lot of the sweat just sort of dissipates throughout the workout. In my trials, the fabric did a good job of dispersing heat as well.  And that is something to seriously consider especially when running in the summer heat is already a pretty big challenge.

My biggest qualm, and trust me this is a biggie, is that the construction of the fabric lends itself to bunch.  Grr. Fabric riding up my leg while basically forcing myself to run isn’t something that I enjoy and it is my major negative in the performance of this product.  Yes, it does well on all other fronts BUT some of us guys are a little fleshier than others and nothing anchors these boxers in place to avoid that terrible bunching problem.  That’s not to say that everyone will experience this phenomenon but every time I wore them it definitely happened to me.

I have to say this being my first pair of athletic underwear I’ve learned a few lessons. Athletic support is needed for any real level of exertion over moderate walking.  Casual everyday underwear fails when trying to really get in a good work out. Maybe serious athletes are aware of this but I certainly was not. Ultimately, the Jam Fit Active Fresh boxer is not my favorite performer in this area but is a much welcomed stepping stone in my journey of getting more fit. Try it out for yourself and see if Jam fit is for you.

Product Review: Sasquatch Gold Moss Scrub Soap

A few months ago I started subscribing to a monthly lifestyle box called Bespoke Post. If I had to try to describe it I would say its like a guy’s guide to super cool lifestyle items. In previous boxes I have received some nice socks and a tie bar which I really enjoyed and wore at my birthday celebration a little while ago. The good thing about Bespoke Post is that you can opt out of a box each month if what is proposed isn’t to your liking. This, without the risk of losing your subscription, is an awesome selling point.

No, this isn’t an advertisement for the box service, but I have to say I’ve pretty satisfied with what I’ve gotten so far. That includes Sasquatch Soap Company’s Gold Moss Scrub.

A product with 9 ingredients immediately gets brownie points with me, especially if I can actually read the ingredients without the use of Wikipedia or a cosmetics database.   So that was a definite plus, not to mention the first five ingredients are olive, coconut, soybean, hemp oils along with shea butter. Ladies and gents, welcome to natural body care heaven.

I personally found the soap to be pretty gentle which would make it great for people with dry or sensitive skin. Unfortunately, if you look for a load of suds from your soap, you’ll likely be disappointed. Also the method of a bar soap (versus a shower gel) was a little inconvenient for me and not what I would call ideal. But, overall I liked it a lot and my experience with the Gold Moss Scrub left me pretty curious into what else Sasquatch might have up its sleeve.

Win a Pure Sport Package Courtesy of Old Spice: A Giveaway

 

Old Spice Pure Sport bar soap

Old Spice Pure Sport bar soap

Alright folks, this one is BIG.  MANE MAN has teamed up with Old Spice to offer you a giveaway of their new Pure Sport bar soap along with a whopping $200 in Stub Hub cash.  That’s right, $200!  One lucky winner will score big with this prize designed to keep you smelling your best and seeing the best sports or cool events in person. Oh and don’t forget to read my Old Spice review on the new bar soap line up too. =) Pure sport will leave you smelling so fresh and so clean, clean after your trademark workout or as you get ready for your next date. And it could be yours…FOR FREE!

Not familiar with Stub Hub?  Stub Hub is a one stop shop to offer you safe access to purchase sports and events tickets.  Founded in the year 2000, Stub Hub is one of the most popular ticket exchange sites in the United States and if you have not used it before, now’s your chance!

To enter the giveaway, sign in using the widget below.  For the next 7 days you will be able to gain an entry for liking Old Spice and MANE MAN on Facebook as well as tweeting with the hashtag #smellitforward on Twitter.  Don’t forget to mention @manemanblog in your tweet!  Tell me and Old Spice what you’re most excited about using the Stub Hub moolah for and you may just get your wish.  To be eligible you must also leave a blog post comment here telling MANE MAN what you want to use your Stub Hub dough on (this is the only mandatory option).

The contest ends on July 2, 2013 and you will be able to gain one entry per tweet. You can tweet as much as once per day if you would like!  Just don’t forget to use the hashtag #smellitforward or else it won’t count.  Ladies and gents it’s time to start your engines.  Are you ready to rumble?  Get your head in the game…NOW!

Old Spice Smell it Forward Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Products for review and prizes offered are provided courtesy of Old Spice.

 

Product Review: Old Spice Bar Soap

Old_Spice_Bar_Collection

Old Spice Bar Soap Collection

Products for review were provided courtesy of Old Spice.

Quintessential man-brand Old Spice has brought us good products and hilarious commercials for years and now the brand has launched a line of bar soaps for the guy’s guy who just can’t bring himself to use bottled shower gel.

Growing up, using Old Spice was almost a rite of passage. Whether it was the deodorant or after-shave, just about every guy I knew also gave it a try and I’m sure not much has changed these days.  I bet you would be hard pressed to find any guy who hasn’t tried Old Spice at least once.

For me, the deodorant worked for many years until I began to try out many other products out of curiosity.  Fortunately, for me (and you) Old Spice provided me some of their newest bar soaps to review.  So without further adieu, here are my two cents…

Swagger – This was the first soap that I was able to use from the pack that Old Spice sent my way. What I love about it is the great scent which makes it almost unnecessary to wear a scented deodorant.  It’s a strong, masculine scent that lingers, in a good way. It almost guarantees you a bundle of compliments.

Fiji – Personally, I’m a little partial to Fiji’s lighter scent that smells like you’ve traveled off to a far away land.  This one packs some serious shower relaxation points.

Pure Sport – A classic scent that personally reminds me of the Old Spice deodorant that I used back in the day. It’s definitely a great one to use in the warmer summer months as it has that clean, fresh scent that can be so important on those crowded subway cars or sweaty locker rooms.

Old Spice has definitely been one of my go-to brands in the past and the new bar soaps perform well by working up a pretty serious lather so you know they are putting in some work.  My one point of feedback/criticism is to make sure that you moisturize right after showering.  While this is a pretty general rule of thumb for me, I found that the Old Spice bar soaps also tend to be a little drying as they use harsher surfactants than, let’s say, a natural or vegan soap.  All in all, Old Spice delivers a consistent product that will definitely work in a pinch.  The variety of scents are great as it can help you pick out a signature smell that will have people asking you, “What do you smell like?!”

And have you seen this commercial? Hilarious.

The Many Uses of Shea Butter

Shea_Butter_Cream_thumbnail

Shea butter, oh shea butter.  For many years of my life, the wonders of natural shea butter have alluded me but now that I have experienced what awesome an ingredient shea is, I have become a little obsessed.

Do you remember in the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding how windex was the go-to fix for pretty much everything? Well, that’s basically what shea butter has become for me.  I now have a pretty hefty supply, thanks in part, to Abe of Love Shea who passed on his newly launched shea butter mix for me to try.

Let me say that Love Shea’s Shea Butter Cream is pretty solid.  The formula is basic, super creamy and works for pretty much anything.  The scent is also light and inoffensive which makes it great for guys and girls as well as all these other cool things in the list below.  Having it around the house has helped me indulge in my shea butter-takeover and inspired me to create this list of the many uses of shea.  Have you tried any of these?

  1. Daily lotion
  2. Face moisturizer
  3. After shave
  4. Got a small nick when shaving?  Use a dab to help clot the cut.
  5. Cuticle oil to help smooth dry nail beds
  6. Creaky door? Use shea in place of WD40!
  7. Hair styling pomade
  8. Dress shoe polish
  9. Lip balm
  10. Wood furniture polish
  11. Beard/grooming mold to help facial hair stay in place
  12. Pre-shave treatment
  13. Foot cream for cracked/dry skin
  14. Stretch mark cream
  15. Nightly under eye cream
  16. After sun skin treatment

And as a bonus, if you want to give Love Shea’s Shea Butter Cream a shot for yourself, head over to their site and purchase using the discount code MANEMAN. You’ll get 10% off of your order and you’ll be supporting a new business. Not too shabby, eh?

What uses would you add to the list? WEIGH IN!

Product Review: Morrocco Method Hair Care

line up

Products for review provided courtesy of Morrocco Method.

If you are new to the blog then you will quickly learn that I like to try out as many natural and organic products as possible. If you are a regular subscriber, first I say thank you, and you already knew this about me!  When the folks over at Morrocco Method reached out to me, I was more than happy to give their products a try as they have been on a long list of brands I have wanted to review for the site.

For today’s review I was fortunate enough to try the Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo, the Chi Instant Conditioner, and Blood of the Dragon Styling Gel.  Here are my thoughts:

Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo: If you are looking for a shampoo to clarify your locks, then this is a good option.  This product works really well at removing product build up in a pinch.  Unfortunately, I also found it to be so thorough a clean that it left my hair  squeaky clean.   I don’t know why, but I thought that it would leave more moisture, but that simply just was not the case.  If you decide to try it for yourself, thick haired folks should probably be sure to deep condition after.  I’m usually not as diligent about deep conditioning which I’m pretty sure is a hair care sin, but I’m a work in progress.

Chi Instant Conditioner: While the shampoo excelled at doing serving its intended purpose, the Chi Instant Conditioner just did not do it for me.  I found the consistency to be fair but I had a difficult time of distributing the product throughout my mane.  I attempting to finger detangle with just this conditioner and my hair rebelled. I had to add a slicker shampoo for that added bit of slip.  Unfortunately, the Chi Instant Conditioner just didn’t work for me.

Blood of the Dragon Styling Gel:  Where the shampoo was good, the conditioner poor, the gel performed pretty well for me in my trials with the product. The smell is good and inoffensive and the consistency is pretty much what you would expect from a gel so no surprises there. All in all, a decent styling aid for a variety of hair types.

Overall Impression: Overall, I have to say that the Morrocco Method is not for me. While the shampoo cleaned very well, I found it to be drying and the conditioner unfortunately didn’t deliver the moisture or softness I was hoping for.  The Blood of the Dragon Styling Gel performed well and would likely be the only product from the three that I would use again. I felt that the products were generally tough to distribute through my hair so I gifted the last 25% or so of each bottle to a female friend with long 2C hair and she said that all three worked well for her. Maybe these products are best suited for those with less dense and less kinky hair types.

Product Review: Shea Moisture Curling Souffle

Shea Moisture Curling Souffle

Shea Moisture Curling Souffle

Let’s be honest, the reviews of the Curling Souffle have been mixed.  Natural hair gurus have said everything from, “it works great for my twist outs” to “it leaves my hair sticky!”.  Well, I have to say, my experience with the Curling Souffle has been mixed as well.

First, let my start by saying that I have used pretty much the entire tub of it…I really wanted to give this one a fair shake.  So what do I think?  Here are some pros:

  • Great…no GREAT shine with the product
  • My fro stayed soft and looked good when I used it
  • The price is great, making the souffle a good value
  • The product is readily available at many drug stores and pharmacies around the country

So, what are the cons?

  • My hair often felt tacky or greasy when I used it
  • The product is thin, making it a little tricky to apply
  • Finding the right amount of product to use is challenging
  • The product left my hair feeling “coated” in product and tacky
  • Curl definition was just OK for my wash and go; no clumping

All in all, I have to be honest and say that I would not purchase the Curling Souffle again.  While it does work well enough to work in a pinch, it is definitely not one of my favorites due to how it made my hair feel. I invariably shampoo’ed my hair on day two or three because I couldn’t stand how it made my hair feel.  Have you tried it? What do you think?

Weigh in!

Amazon Launches New Grooming Hub

Amazon men's grooming capture

Shopping mega-site Amazon.com just launched a new men’s grooming site at www.amazon.com/mensgrooming.  The new site offers a special male-friendly hub to help you shop for your favorite brands as well as discover new ones while looking through great information on the best ways to keep yourself looking and feeling fresh.

In addition to having all your brands in one easy place, you can also read through the “Problem Solvers” section which will help you brighten your smile as well as ease the symptoms of razor burn.  The “How To Guides” section comes to Amazon via Men’s Fitness to help you step up your grooming game too.  And, its intuitive, offering you specific products while you browse.  Not bad, eh?