Category Archives: Product Reviews

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

Product Review: Jojoba Lemon & Coconut Hand Cream

jojoba hand cream

Who hates dry, cracked hands? I know I do!

The holiday season is upon and the humidity keeps dropping so that means you’re going to need products with a lot of moisture!  For today’s review, I’m sharing my thoughts on the lemon & coconut hand cream from The Jojoba Company.

Made with jojoba, lemon and coconut oils, the lemon & coconut hand cream is a luxurious moisturizer offered selling at $22.95 for a 1.7 ounce tube. But, is it worth it?

I should begin by saying that I moisturize my hands constantly. I’m sure I’ve mentioned this on the site previously but I have to reiterate it whenever a hand cream or lotion product comes up. As I’m almost constantly washing my hands (which is great practice to avoid getting sick…knock on wood)!), I always find myself reaching for a non-greasy hand moisturizer during the day because I simply can’t stand the feeling of dry hands. This hand cream definitely offers that moisturizing lift that skin needs without being oily or greasy. For me, this is especially important as I’m often handling paperwork or typing away at the keyboard. And who wants to leave oil stains all over the place because of your hand lotion? Not I!

In addition to the oils listed above, the lemon & coconut hand cream also boasts cocoa and mango butters which helps it offer the silky smooth consistently that just feels so good. It is the combination of these oils and butters that undoubtedly makes this cream a great product.  And the moisture lasts for hours on end.

My one criticism is that, at times, the product was hard to get out of the pump contraption but my problems have been hit or miss so it’s not really a negative per se.  Also, I know realistically many guys aren’t going to be too keen on keeping a hand cream with pink packaging in their briefcases or messenger bags.  Many women won’t have that problem.  Also, as someone who doesn’t get manicures often, the cream is excellent at controlling crusty cuticles. And trust me, mine can be pretty rough this time of year.

While I think the product is excellent (and would make a great stocking stuffer) it is a little expensive.  However, with this product you get what you pay for, and that certainly is a good thing.

 

Disclosure: Sample product for review was provided by The Jojoba Company.  

The Key to Spec-tacular Screen Time

Cheesy puns aside, Eyezen™ lenses are a stylish and efficient way to promote eye health while staring at screens or monitors all, like most of us do. I’ve spent the past few week with my Eyezen™ specs and here’s my take on the fashionable eyewear that is also highly functional. Read on for more!

Eyezen™ lenses are a new product to the market that helps prevent digital eye strain, which is something that a lot of us deal with nowadays. I know that I spend  most of the hours in my day either writing or staring at my screen answering emails. I often find that my eyes are strained and bloodshot at the end of a workday.  This is undoubtedly a problem of our increasingly digital world.

Studies suggest that LED lights and compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) offer up blue light which is related to age related degeneration.  That is, “blue light” commonly found in many digital monitors like computer and phone screens causes eye strain which damages your eyesight over time.

Eyezen™ lenses offer  more comfortable reading experience.  They filter out some of that harmful blue light and only allows the good stuff in. This means you can work at your screen for a longer period of time with less eye strain, which is something both you and your boss will probably love.

I’ve been using Eyezen™ for a few weeks now and not only do I like the style and color but I have found that long days in front of screens aren’t as trying as they used to be.  And for someone like me, who spends a lot of time in front of screens, these glasses are a nice advantage to have.

Eyezen™ glasses are available as both prescription and non-prescription lenses so you can gain some benefit even if you don’t require traditional lenses.  You can visit the brand’s website to locate glasses near you.  There’s even a handy guide that you can take to your next eye appointment with your optometrist.

 

Disclosure: Sample product for review was provided courtesy of Eyezen™.  All thoughts and opinions listed herein are my own.

 

My Picks for Budget Conscious Skin Care

I’m spoiled fortunate enough to be able to try out so many great grooming products and it’s something that I obviously relish. It’s fun to try out new things and I’m always on the hunt for effective and budget conscious products that I know I’ll actually buy when I’m in my local drug store (or shopping online).

Today, I had the realization that fall is actually here.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t the cooler temperatures that made it evident but more so the increasingly dry air.  After a few times washing my hands, I noticed that my skin has begun to dry out pretty quickly. That’s right, ladies and gents, that time of year is here.

It was just earlier this week that NYC was still relying on a little bit of AC to keep our homes and offices at a cool 72 degrees, but now it seems that all of the monstrous summer humidity has left and that wonderful fall crisp air is in full effect. I love it! I got to wear a jacket. It’s almost sweater weather!  Alas, my skin is not a fan.

Not only do I have to be more conscious about not turning up the water temperature in the shower but I also have to be more intentional about taking care of my skin.  With that in mind, I created a collection of budget conscious skin care products that I often find myself going back to when I need a little something special and my wallet is hurting.  Check out my picks below!

 

Check out Budget Conscious Skin Care

by Jor-El at Mode

My 2 Favorite Products (at the moment!)

paul mitchell dynamic duo

One of the perks about being a grooming blogger, and frankly one of the downfalls, is the ability to try out so many different products on my face and mane to see what yields the best results.  While that doesn’t seem like a problem, it can be daunting to always be trying out new things. In some small way, sometimes I don’t feel satisfied when I find something that works really well as I’m always on the hunt for the new thing.  Call it product-junkieism if you will.  That’s probably how I would describe it!

I’ve been fortunate enough to be part of the #PMInsiders club which is made up of a group of bloggers, vloggers and influencers who try out some of the best offerings from hair care brand Paul Mitchell. While I’ve liked many of the products that have come across my desk, I think I’ve recently a holy combination!

Let me start by saying that I did a semi-annual hair cut a month ago. Now, the medium to big fro is gone and a little, well-coiffed one is firmly in its place.  This is always a frustrating time for me as depending on the length of the cut, due to way my hair works, I have to wait for a little length until natural curl definition happens. It hasn’t been until the past two weeks that I’ve hit that little magic spot and this has been made clear by a combination of two Paul Mitchell products, The Cream from the softstyle collection and the Tea Tree Firm Hold Gel from the teatree line.

The Cream is a lightweight styling conditioner that applies well on wet hair right out of the shower.  On my short(er) hair I use about a nickel-sized amount.  I rake in the product from root to ends with my fingers. Immediately after that, still with pretty wet hair, I use about a nickel-sized amount of the Tea Tree Firm Hold Gel and rake in using the same method. I let my hair air dry and that’s it!  What that leaves me with is defined (if not a little firm) hair.  The gel helps out by giving a lot of shine and luster which means my hair always looks bright and healthy without a greasy feel when I use it.

This unexpected duo packs a pretty good punch and has been my go-to for a couple of weeks now.  It will definitely stay on the top of my list as we start to transition the cooler fall months.

What’s at the top of your list these days?

Product Review: Mister Pompadour

mister pompadour review

Afternoon ladies and gents!

Today I’m sharing with you some thoughts on a new product that I recently tried, the Moroccan Texture Paste by Mister Pompadour. How does this styling aid hold up on my hair? Read on for more!

A few weeks ago the folks over at Mister Pompadour sent me a sample of their texture paste to try out on my fro. Initially, I have to admit that I was pretty hesitant to put a “paste” on my hair.  The name just conjures up images of Elmer’s glue in my mind, and to be honest that wasn’t too far from the truth.

The texture of the Mister Pompadour’s paste is pretty much what I expected. Its consistency is thick and paste-like.  White in color, the paste is pretty reminiscent of elementary school glue with a pretty sticky feel.  Fortunately, that texture doesn’t carry over to application.

To best use the paste, I took out about a nickel sized amount of product with my fingers and then emulsified the product in my hands.  Then I ran my hands over the ends of my hair pretty gently.

I’ve used the product on both dry and damp hair and I have to tell you that dry hair is definitely the way to go.  Water doesn’t react so favorably with this product. When used on wet hair the paste just doesn’t have that special manageability that it does on mostly dry hair.

In addition to being pretty effective at controlling fly-aways, the product also boasts some very nice key ingredients that I’m sure many of you will love:

Argania Spinosa Kernel (Argan) Oil – Deep penetrating oil that instantly absorbs into hair producing incredible shine, helps control frizz, softens and aids in curl definition, and conditions hair

Ilex Paraguariensis (Mate) Leaf Extract – Powerful nutrient and antioxidant, rich in vitamins and amino acids that helps condition and protect hair and scalp

Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil – Conditions and softens hair while adding great shine

Additionally, the Moroccan Texture paste is free of alcohol and parabens so you know your hair is getting some pretty good stuff!

Overall, I think that Mister Pompadour’s Moroccan Texture paste is a  really solid product that delivers on its promise. As an afro-wearing gent I would like a little more shine in my styling products but maybe that’s just me.

You can read more of my product reviews here!

 

Disclosure: Sample product for review was provided courtesy of Mister Pompadour.

Summer Stylin with #PMInsiders

paul mitchell mitch matterial styling clay reviewThere have been some crazy humid days this summer, hasn’t there? One of the things that I struggle with during the hot and humid summer months is how to keep my big afro puffy mane looking decent when the heat and humidity is downright disrespectful.

Luckily, the folks over at Paul Mitchell keep me in the know with a variety of hair products to try to help me keep my fro looking its best, no matter the temperature.

Paul Mitchell recently launched a new product in their MITCH line called “MATTERIAL” which is, as it sounds, an ultra-matte styling clay with strong hold. Designed to help hair look thicker and create more textured looks, MATTERIAL’s texture is a bit more sticky than the other pastes or pomades in the MITCH line. And that’s for good reason.

I should continue by saying that my hair is incredibly dense and I’ve always operated at the false assumption that I have 100 million times more hair strands than the average person. At least that’s what it feels like when I’m trying to detangle after a few days.  But, I digress.

MATTERIAL is an incredibly effective product. Its texture grips hair fibers and holds them together so well that you would be hard pressed to find a styling clay with a better hold. This stuff works. This is both a benefit and disadvantage in my eyes because when you use this your hair is going nowhere!  No movement! Unfortunately that also means that you suffer in the touchability factor.  My other qualm about MATTERIAL is that its ultra matte finish makes my already dark and dull looking kinky hair seem even more dull and “dry-looking”.  That being said, I could see many folks with thin strands or thinning hair create some damn good day-to-day hair with this stuff.

Along with MATTERIAL, I was fortunate enough to also try two products from Paul Mitchell’s softstyle line.  Once I saw the bottles, I already knew I was going to like it. I was (partially) right.

The Foaming Pommade was a pretty big miss for me unfortunately. Designed to help “take control” of hair, the liquid finisher just doesn’t do it for me. The gummy texture is thick and glue-like which my hair just simply didn’t agree with at all. Again, like MATTERIAL this product is best suited for folks who need a bit more control and texture which is not a problem that thick, afro-textured hair usually has (with the exception of a few flyaways).

On the other hand, I LOVE “The Cream” which is touted as a styling conditioner. Formulated with Hawaiian Awapuhi, The Cream gives me all the things I need in a hair product: moisture, softness and shine.  It’s seriously amazing.  And a little bit goes a long way, which makes me exponentially happier because I know that at some point I’m going to have to go out-of-pocket for this stuff. It’s that good. The ingredients list includes jojoba oil, safflower oil, and white ginger flower amongst other things, which obviously contributes to its position as a stand-out product. I routinely paired The Cream with the Reformer pomade from the MITCH line to get easy and soft manageable hair.  It’s definitely my winning combination at the moment!

 

Disclosure: Products for review were provided via courtesy of John Paul Mitchell Systems.

Product Review: eShave

eshave review maneman

eShave has been on my grooming calendar for quite some time. Finally, I was able to devote some time to giving eShave products a try and today I’ll be sharing my thoughts with you on two products: the Moisturizing Bath Soap (Orange Sandalwood) and Verbena Lime Deodorant. Read on for the full review!

I was originally intrigued by eShave as I heard its origin story. The brand’s founder Danielle Malka wanted to start a brand for the modern man who featured high quality grooming products.  Her big push was to help bring back the wet shave leading the brand to create a host of shaving products over the years. Since then, eShave has broadened its scope to include many products that men need to keep themselves looking and feeling their best.  You can see why I was drawn to the brand in the first place.

Recently, I was asked to give two products from eShave a try; the Orange Sandalwood Moisturizing Bath Soap and the Verbena Lim Deodorant.

The first product that I tried was the bath soap, which hails from the Provence region in France. Formulated with shea butter, the soap aims to cleanse effectively while not completely robbing your skin of it natural oils.  It works well overall as it’s not too drying and gives you that clean soap smell and feeling that many gents are accustomed to.  Admittedly, I don’t get much of the orange sandalwood smell when I’ve used the bar, so I can’t say that is a huge selling point.  At about $15 ber par, the soap boasts the best of both worlds; offering a good value for an elevated grooming product.  If you’re looking to expand into better quality products that don’t stray too much from what you’re used to this is a good bet.  Your skin will thank you.

I didn’t have so much luck with eShave’s Verbena Lime Deodorant. Let me begin by saying that the smell is awesome. It’s a perfect scent for summer as the lime conjures up images of beaches and tropical getaways.  The deodorant works well but I found that it required reapplication during the middle of the day.  Now, for many gents this is going to be a deal breaker and trust me I understand.  But, if you’re planning on showering mid day anyway, let’s say after a post-work gym workout, this is a great product to have in your bag.

Overall, I think eShave has some good staple products to offer.  While the Verbena Lime Deodorant left me slightly disappointed with performance the scent is amazing.  On the other hand, the Orange Sandalwood Moisturizing Bath Soap didn’t offer me much in the scent department but worked well at not robbing my skin of moisture.

For more information on eShave products, you can visit the brand’s website at eShave.com.

 

Disclosure: Product for review was provided courtesy of eShave.  All opinions listed herein are mine and mine alone.

Feeling a Little Unruly with Old Spice Hair Care + A Giveaway!

old spice hair collection maneman

Every gent needs to have an amazing set of grooming products at his fingertips at a moment’s notice. Popular brand Old Spice is now delivering more hair styling products (see above) to help keep your hair looking and smelling its best.

Designed to offer the easiest to care for hair, Old Spice’s lineup of products boasts some cleansing conditioning options as well as pomades and gels in a variety of scents to meet your needs.  And many of them have the quirky names that you’re accustomed to when it comes to Old Spice.

Recently I was able to try out the following from Old Spice:

  • Unruly Paste
  • Spiffy Pomade
  • Forge Putty
  • Deadlock Spiking Glue
  • Timber w/mint 2 in 1 Shampoo & Conditioner
  • Swagger 2 in 1 Shampoo & Conditioner

The styling products (Unruly, Spiffy and Forge), while different types of products, are eerily similar in texture and function.  They all serve as the final stop in your styling routine, designed to limit fly-away hairs and provide control to otherwise “unruly” hair.  While the textures are very similar, the scents don’t differ much either, which made them pretty interchangeable in my grooming regimen.

In my trials with the products, I ended up using Unruly the most (probably because it most described my hair).  It has a pretty clean scent, which funny enough, doesn’t linger all that much throughout the day. That’s actually one positive/critique about Old Spice’s line up of hair products…they don’t pack the potency that some of their body sprays do, which is a refreshing surprise.

I tried the pastes/pomade/putty on damp or dry hair as the products suggest, but I have to say that they prove to work much better on dry hair.  A dime-size to a nickel-sized amount worked perfectly well at taming my fro and providing much need control in humid summer weather. Overall, they’re a safe bet when it comes to controlling your locks, despite having a less than stellar ingredients list. But, that’s more of a personal preference type of thing.  Mineral oil just isn’t high up on my list of approved ingredients.

Regarding  Old Spice’s Deadlock which is the new gel in it lineup, I don’t have much to offer.  The “spiking glue” as its called, didn’t work particularly well for me on damp hair. I think there’s something about the formulation that just didn’t work well with my hair. It didn’t help clump hair into nice curls but did work well at  fighting off humidity and “the frizzies” as I like to call them.  That being said, the hold is pretty strong so a little goes a long way my friends. Use this one judiciously.

The major winners though, in my mind, were the 2-in-1 shampoo products, likely because I honestly wasn’t expecting to like them so much! Swagger and Timber work pretty well at cleansing the scalp and providing moisture. But, I have to say that I found myself indulging in Timber over and over again due to its refreshing mint smell. It just felt more natural to me, which is something I always look for in my products.

All in all, there are some good options in the new hair care line-up from Old Spice. Standouts, for me, were the Unruly Paste and the Timber 2-in-1 Shampoo & Conditioner but the other products weren’t too shabby either.  Overall, I think that Old Spice is definitely making some serious head way in improving their offerings in the hair care game and I think many guys will respond well to the availability and value of these products.

Enter in the widget below to receive your own prize pack from Old Spice featuring some of the same products reviewed above!  The giveaway will run for 1 week and prizes will be shipped out in July. So what are you waiting for? Enter now!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: Products for review were provided courtesy of Old Spice and compensation has been provided for this review. 

The Corktown Beard Oil by Detroit Grooming Co.

Beards are all the rage these days.  It seems like now, more than ever, everybody is sporting a little bit of extra facial hair. But, most folks aren’t investing in beard care the proper way.  Hoping to teach myself a little lesson, I dove face first into Detroit Grooming Company’s Corktown Beard Oil.

Named after the oldest neighborhood in Detroit, Corktown beard oil is a natural emollient that blends beautifully chosen ingredients to offer great benefits to your face and beard.

The oil boasts a ton of skin and hair benefits due to its formulation that highlights sweet almond oil.  Sweet almond oil is light and very effective.  It readily absorbs into the skin promoting softness all while not clogging pores. It’s rich in vitamins and antioxidants which means there’s really no reason not to love it.

One of the best things, and biggest surprises, about The Corktown was that it wasn’t a greasy, “oily” product as I was expecting. The formulation is light enough to not come off as greasy but also potent enough to offer some real benefits.  The softness it offers is tangible and the subtle shine from the product is really amazing.

By and large, the best part of The Corktown is that it just smells so damn good.  The blend of sweet almond oil with hints of vanilla, cedarwood and tobacco makes it one of the most delectable, masculine scents I have ever experienced.  It’s seriously a joy to wear.  And it’s not an overpowering scent either, which makes it even more impossible to resist.

Overall, I’m really surprised by how much I ended up liking The Corktown. I came from the perspective that having a special beard product wasn’t really a necessary step in a gent’s grooming regimen, but after using this gem I’m seriously starting to reconsider my position.

 

Disclosure: Product for review as provided courtesy of Detroit Grooming Company.

 

Product Review: Dove Quench Absolute Restoration Mask

dove quench absolute review

 

 

 

 

Designed to moisturize hair and define curls, Dove’s Quench Absolute Restoration Mask is a newer product in the brand’s line up.

Always on the search for the next best thing, I picked up the mask on a recent supply run at the local pharmacy.  You can read on for my full review below.

To me, there’s always been something so classic about Dove’s clean look. It’s always been something that’s just jumped off the shelf for me, branding-wise, which is probably why I even noticed this gem in the first place.

In a hair care regimen, the Dove Quench Absolute Restoration Mask is what you would call a deep conditioner as its main focus is to restore the hair to health. Its designed to repair all the damage that you’ve done to your mane as well as the damage done by the sun and the elements.

Here’s the good news: the Absolute Restoration Mask is as good as any other off the shelf deep conditioner. It has a great consistency and amazing slip that makes it easy to distribute through thick hair like my fro. I have an inkling that kinky-haired naturalistas will love it for this reason alone.  But that’s sort of where the good news ends unfortunately.

There’s nothing inherently bad about the product. It just doesn’t deliver on all its promises to define curls and provide nourishment and shine.  All that heavy lifting is left up to whatever styler you plan on using at this time. In my opinion there are other, more effective, quick deep conditioners out there to try.