Category Archives: Product Reviews

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

Product Review: Urban Exec Political Party Socks

Let’s be honest, this election season in BANANAS! The campaign season is entirely too long and folks, we’ve still got a LONG way to go.  If you’re politically minded and want to show off your party pride for the rest of this campaign season, I think that you may be interested in some pretty cool offerings via Urban Exec Socks.

Recently, the folks over at Urban Execs sent me a cool pair of their Political Party Socks. As I fall on the more liberal side of the political spectrum, I chose the Democratic Party Socks. What makes them democratic you ask?  They come complete with little blue donkeys, a symbol for the democratic party.

Urban Exec Socks are a cool, and subtle, way to honor your political party affiliation (or your general love of America).  But, not only do they have these themed socks, but they have an array of stylish socks for everyday wear as well. I find them to be pretty comfortable and perfectly thick/thin. They’re of pretty good quality and you definitely pay for that at around $21-22 bucks per pair.

I’ll definitely be wearing what I like to call my “donkey socks” again, but perhaps elephants are more your speed.  Either way, check out Urban Exec Socks, I’m sure you’ll find something to your liking. And if you’re buying for dad, these socks would make a great Father’s Day gift and were included as a bonus pick in my recent collection 19 Incredible Gifts for Dad on Father’s Day.

 

Disclosure: Sample products for review were provided courtesy of Urban Exec Socks.

Product Review: eShave FACE SCRUB

I remember what a revelation it was years ago to discover that exfoliating prior to shaving was the missing link to my grooming routine.  Ever since then, I’ve made regular skin exfoliation a part of my grooming routine. Today, I’m going to share with you my take on a new product, eShave FACE SCRUB.

eShave FACE SCRUB

In order to keep your skin looking youthful, exfoliation is key.  The process helps remove dead, dull skin skills and reveals that more energized, healthy looking ones.  Not only does it keep you looking younger, but exfoliation also helps lift up hairs in preparation for shaving. This is especially for men of color and those with coarser, curlier hair types who are often prone to ingrown hairs.  It’s worked wonders for me.

I recently got my hands on eShave FACE SCRUB, which is an exfoliating product designed to help you get that close shave.  Housed in a small, pump plastic container the product is easy to use. Just use two to three pumps on wet hands, massage it gently into your face targeting areas for shaving and rinse. That’s it, you’re done!  It helps smooth out skin and lift up those hair, providing for that closer shave. I use a single blade razor and have for a while now and after exfoliating I’ve gotten pretty good results with the eShave FACE SCRUB.

My qualms about the product are small, but notable. Mainly, I wold like for more product to come out per pump. It’s a small amount I can’t decide if this is to control my often heavy hands (and other gents like me) or if it’s just a design flaw. I haven’t decided but it is a little bothersome. The “white tea” scent I tried is fragrant but not overpowering.  I will warn that those with sensitive eyes may want to limit this product’s use on areas to be shaved and not necessarily as an all-face exfoliator for that reason, which is something to consider if you’re on a budget and looking for grooming products. At $18 per 1.7 ounces of product, the price is high. I’m not sure that it’s quite worth the cost for such little product.

Overall, the White Tea FACE SCRUB by eShave is solid. It does help deliver a smooth shave, but I’m not sure it’s worth the $18 investment when other scrubs on the market offer the same benefit, but for less.

 

Disclosure: Product for review was provided courtesy of eShave.

Product Review: ManCave Hair Care

I often find myself reviewing products that aren’t typically created especially for men. While the grooming industry is a big business, it should be noted that most products are created marketed towards women.  But that doesn’t mean that the guys have to suffer!  If you’re not a big fan of pink product packages and the like, I think you’ll appreciate what I’m offering today.

Today, I’m reviewing two products from ManCave, a brand specifically created to offer gents honest to goodness grooming products, all at a very reasonable price! I have the opportunity to try out two of the brand’s offerings: Caffeine Shampoo and Conditioning Stylecream.  Read on for more thoughts below!

ManCave Caffeine Shampoo

I don’t know about you but when I hear caffeine my first thoughts if COFFEE. Then, the sadness of having to wake up in the morning, and then work.  Yuck. Caffeine.  I kid, but it’s not too often that I’ve heard of caffeine in hair care products. I can only actually think of one other shampoo that I think had caffeine as well. More often than not, caffeine is reserved for rejuvenating eye creams (side note: it really does help!).  Nonetheless, I felt a little nervous about what this ‘poo might be like.

The Caffeine Shampoo comes in a simply colored squeeze tube that’s a little dull, if not masculine.  Clearly, this isn’t your girlfriends’, mom’s or daughter’s hair care stuff. It’s designed for dudes, plain and simple. The shampoo itself is rich feeling, which is surprising given its low price point ($10.50 for a 6.76 oz tube).  What I also found surprising is the green color of the shampoo itself.  For some reason, I expected something completely different.  Anyway, for my fro (which is getting bigger by the day..again) the shampoo actually has a very pleasant amount of slip that aids in detangling. It’s work well in cleaning my scalp and hair, removing all of the built up product debris. The best part is, though, that it doesn’t feel as stripping as it could be.  It actually has quite a nice “hair feel”.  Perhaps that’s because it pack 12 different essential oils, vitamin E and shea butter. This stuff is made to take care of your hair while it cleans. I certainly have no complaints!

ManCave Conditioning Stylecream

I had a much harder time figuring out the best use for the Conditioning Stylecream in my grooming routine. The product is a styling pomade and conditioning agent with little to no hold so it’s not really made for creating control or the shape of hair. I thought I could use it like any of the other pomades I’ve used recently, with my hair completely dry. NOPE. Terrible results. It felt weird on my hair and clearly didn’t deliver that conditioned feeling that I was looking for.  My hair was the opposite of soft.

One day I applied the cream on wet second-day hair right out of the shower. Essentially, that means that I had applied some hair gel the day before but then dunked my head underneath the shower stream the morning of day two.  So, out of the shower I applied about a quarter-size of pomade to my palms, rubbed it together and then rubbed it over my wet hair. About 30 minutes later (my hair takes a long time to air dry), my hair was mostly dry on the surface and that pomade had done its job. I finally had soft, touchable second day hair.  BINGO!  From that day forward, I’ve loved using the Conditioning Stylecream and it’s become my new favorite second day hair treatment. My hair feels smooth and touchable with it. And the whiskey fragrance is pretty nice too! The product retails for $16 for 2.53 oz.

For more information on ManCave products, or to try your own, you can visit the brand’s website at www.mancaveinc.com.

 

Disclosure: This is s sponsored post and products for review were provided courtesy of ManCave Inc.

 

Product Review: Remington Beard Boss™ Grooming

Disclosure: This is a sponsored review by Remington. Products for review were provided courtesy of Remington. All opinions contained in this post are mine, and mine alone.

Every guy needs an effective trimmer in his life.  From the ‘stache squad to #beardgang, to be a well-maintained gent you must have the right tools. This is where a company like Remington comes in. With a well-established reputation in the grooming community, Remington has long offered men grooming tools to keep us looking stylish and feeling suave. Today, I’m sharing with you my thoughts on two of their latest, The Crafter and The Beardsman.

The Beardsman ($54.99) is a full grooming kit that enables gents with sizable, and thick beards to maintain their facial manes. It features:

  • 120 minute runtime
  • 3 length combs
  • Zoom wheel
  • Detail trimmer
  • Quick-release blade
  • Brush and scissors

So let’s talk about the Beardsman!  For me, I find that the Beardsman is one of those trimmers that works best for people with a lot of facial hair to maintain. As someone who generally rocks a goatee, there’s not a lot I need in a shaver.  So for a week or so, I let the facial thickness set in and gave The Beardsman a try. I was pleasantly surprised.

While I still think that The Beardsman is for gents with really lush beards, it does work really well for shorter hair. It feels substantial in the hand and has an ease of use about it which makes it really comfortable. It’s not complicated, odd or gimmicky. It’s just what a gent with a well-coiffed beard needs. It comes with an XL grooming comb made for guys with long beards but also offers up the use of smaller combs for less than full faces. While I have yet to really master the practicality of the zoom wheel, the bonus brush and grooming scissors are a mainstay in helping me keep those edges in check.

The Crafter ($49.99) is a bit more of a maintenance type of product that you can use more regularly for the details in keeping your face smooth and tidy. It features some pretty nifty features such as:

  • 180 minute runtime
  • Titanium coated blades
  • Waterproof!
  • Turbo mode
  • Adjustable comb
  • Extended neck
  • Bonus detail trimmer with attachments

On a day-to-day basis, I find that The Crafter offers more of what I need to keep myself looking good. Its focus on style and detail helps you maintain clean lines and edges and provides attachments to clean up those pesky nose hairs and any other strays may be floating around. It doesn’t quite have the heft of The Beardsman, which is to be expected. It is also waterproof, so that  means that you can also take it into the shower with you if you need. Or, at the very least, if it falls into the sink you won’t immediately freak out that is automatically ruined.  It’s a versatile product with a pretty lengthy run time.  As an added bonus, it comes with a nice little carrying kit, which means its great for guys who need to maintain their stylish scruff on the road.

Overall, I think that heavily bearded gents would definitely benefit most from The Beardsman, which is an effective all in one kit for maintaining a lush beard.  For those of us who tend to go more minimal, The Crafter will likely be sufficient. And, at a slightly lower price point, its the more accessible tool of the two.  Either, however, would make a great Father’s Day or Graduation Day gift.

You can learn more about Remington’s line up at RemingtonProducts.com.

 

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.

Join The Frey

Men have their own hair care and skin care items these days, so why not laundry detergent?

Frey is a laundry detergent created especially for men. With many men doing their own laundry, the creators at Frey wanted to make a product that many men could be proud to use in their laundry rooms (or laundromats).

Housed in a sleek black bottle, Frey boasts a masculine scent inspired from some of the top’s mens colognes.  The detergent itself is designer-label safe which means its good for all of your threads, even the fancier ones. It’s also eco-friendly so you can rest assured that you won’t be harming the environment with each use.

Because of Frey’s unique makeup, it helps your clothing last longer. It helps retain the natural colors and feel of your favorite threads.  And if that weren’t enough to sell you, Frey donates 10% of all profits to important foundations and charities like: Americares, The Breast Cancer Research Foundation, Movember, The Wounded Warrior Project and The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation.

I’ve been using Frey for several weeks now. I was originally concerned that the “fragrances” in the product might irritate my otherwise sensitive skin (I usually use Arm & Hammer detergent) but thankfully I’ve had little to no reaction to the detergent at all which says to me that the detergent is gentle, yet effective enough to actually clean my clothing.

The scent itself is warm, masculine, and woodsy and not overpowering at all thankfully. Your clothes have a lingering masculine scent but nothing too intense or distracting. It’s also good to wash linens in so that smell can linger in the bedroom too.

For a reasonable price of $20 per bottle you can have Frey as a part of your laundry routine. And even better than that, you can order the product on an ongoing subscription basis so that you never have to worry about heading to the store for detergent again. If you subscribe, you can set your own delivery intervals. Plus you get to save 20% on each bottle!

To learn more Frey, you can visit the website at freyformen.com.

 

Disclosure: Product for review was provided courtesy of Frey for the purposes of this review.

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

 

My *New Winter Skin Care Regimen

Winter is in full force and the air is dry as hell. I figured that it was about time that I started to take my skin care a little bit more seriously so I decided to drop by one of my favorite spots, Kiehl’s, for a much-needed consultation.

First, I feel that I should let you know that if you sign up for Kiehl’s newsletter/rewards system you are going to routinely get emails with discounts and all kinds of special offers. One of the things that Kiehl’s offers periodically is free skin consultations/in store facials, usually when they’re about to launch a new product.  So there you have it, a free facial!

Anywho, so I stopped into my local Kiehl’s and met with a skin care expert (they REALLY know what they’re talking about) and had an assessment. My new friend Dayanara gave me the rundown on my combination skin (DAMN YOU T-ZONE!) and gave me a trial use of the products during my skin care consultation. I left the store with shallower pockets, and a bag full of Kiehl’s goodies that are supposed to keep my skin looking its best. I made a promise to myself that I was going to actually keep up with the multi-step routine where as most days I hadn’t even made it a point to actually wash my face before bed. I know…I’ve really been slacking.

Here’s the rundown of products I bought & the new regimen:

  1. Cleanse with Ultra Facial Oil-Free Cleanser
  2. Tone with Calendula Herbal Extract Toner (alcohol free)
  3. Reduce puffiness & periodic dark eye circles with Eye Alert
  4. Give my mug a little extra tlc with Midnight Recovery Concentrate (or Daily Reviving Concentrate in the mornings-smells so good!)
  5. Moisturize with Ultra Facial Moisturizer

I know this sounds like a lot…and it is. But to be honest, it’s only added 5-10 minutes to my night-time routine and having done it for a few days so far it’s not that bad. It definitely feels like I’m doing something good to take care of myself which is always nice. I’ll keep you posted on how it goes and if I keep up the regimen.  It’s definitely a far cry away from just washing and moisturizing in the mornings.

Until next time!

Budget Friendly Shaving Picks!

Both Movember and No-Shave November are now over so it’s time to start thinking about your next shave gents!

It’s no secret that shaving is BIG BUSINESS. While hipster culture has undoubtedly changed how many people shave, there are still plenty of us out there who relish at least partially shaved mugs.

Quality grooming products often come at a premium cost. That is something that I’ve definitely learned through my experiences with this blog.  Typically, to get quality, effective ingredients you really have to spend a pretty penny.  But, that’s not always the case. Your local drugstore can be host to some of the most consistent and widely used products out there.  Today, I want to share with you some of my personal favorites.

When it comes to shaving, for me it’s always about reducing irritation and achieving long-lasting moisture and smoothness. That’s what I look for in both “luxury” and your everyday value products.  To share some of my personal favorites for a smooth shave this season, check out my collection “Budget Friendly Shaving Finds for the Holidays”.

 

Check out Budget Friendly Shaving Finds for the Holidays

by Jor-El at Mode

 

 

Did any of your personal favorites make the list?