Category Archives: Product Reviews

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

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?

 

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.