Category Archives: Sponsored

How to be Confident & Stylish with Your Hair Loss

This is a sponsored post submitted by Skalp.

Whether you started losing your hair long before you expected that you would or you had a feeling this process was coming, you still aren’t thrilled about it. Instead of allowing hair loss to drain your confidence and style, consider ways to maintain your good looks and to feel pleased with your appearance.

Know You Deserve Confidence

Building confidence is such an important part of handling physical insecurities. For example, you may think that it is impossible to look stylish and attractive with the loss of hair, and this state of mind is the first mistake. When you decide that a certain demeanor is impossible, then it becomes impossible. The first step is to recognize that you can look good without making changes to your being. Recognize the fact that you deserve to have confidence. You can even look to images of other individuals who are attractive and confident despite their loss.

Purchase Hats

Even if you’ve never been much of a hat person, now is the time to explore some new styles. When you think of hats, you may envision baseball caps, leading you to wonder how you could possibly wear a hat in a more formal environment. Plenty of hat styles are popular now. You don’t have to be going to a sports game or even have any athletic inclinations at all to put a hat on your head. The fact that you lost all or some of your hair might even push you in the direction of a new style. If you’ve never considered hats before, you may now feel more drawn in that direction.

Seek Permanent Replacement Options

Another option is to look into a hair tattoo, such as Skalp, a micropigmentation procedure. You might think that your hair has been lost forever, but you can actually restore the look of it with one of these procedures. If you are familiar with the concept of permanent makeup, then you may have a sense of what this procedure may entail. You may have some skepticism about how realistic the hair will look, and browsing through some photos can convince you of the procedure’s ability.

Skalp procedure, before and after.

Research Temporary Replacement Options

Maybe you’re still deciding if you like your new look or if you want to go back to your old style. You could look into purchasing products that inspire the regrowth of your hair. Once your hair has started to growing back, you will likely need to continue using these products on a regular basis to keep the hair in place. You may decide that you actually like the loss! Some people prefer to have less hair to take care of.

Dye Your Remaining Hair

If you have minor loss of hair, then you could consider dying what is left the color that you have always wanted. Instead of having to worry if people are thinking about the loss of your hair, you can show off the new color. This method is one that can help you to build confidence and to check an item off of the to-do list.

If you have an abnormal loss of hair or you suspect another problem is at the heart of this trouble, you should speak with a doctor. You may be able to resolve the issue, restore the growth of your hair and treat an underlying medical condition.

 

Product Review: Harklinikken Hair Hydrating Mask

Disclosure: Product for review was provided courtesy of Harklinikken for the purposes of this review. The opinions listed herein are mine alone.

I have to admit it. When it comes to the natural hair care team…I’m a slacker. I honestly can’t remember the last time that I deep conditioned my hair.  While I’m not opposed to it, it just takes too long to do it normally, but I decided to give it a try when the folks at Harklinikken reached out with their Hair Hydrating Mask.

The promise:

The Mask is a revolutionary product for dry, damaged hair that opens the hair shaft adding intense hydration without the use of substances that leave a film on your hair. The Mask promotes softer, healthier hair improving elasticity and shine.

Does Harklinikken deliver?

Pretty much!

Let’s me start by saying that I don’t think I’ve ever followed the directions to use a product so closely. They aren’t complicated though. The instructions advise you to apply the mask on wet hair (or damp hair) and let it sit for 10 to 30 minutes and then rinse with only warm water. I let me mane marinate for about 12-15 minutes with the mask and detangled using my trusty Ouidad Double Detangler.

The result?

Shinier, hydrated hair.  While I tend to opt for quick fixes for taking care of my mane, Harklinikken has made me realize that maybe there isn’t something to the idea of actual deep conditioning. And what’s so great about this product is that it doesn’t come with the “junk” that you often see in much less expensive products such as “cones”, petrolatum, etc. All those ingredients have their place in my opinion, but I have to say that when I rinsed out this product my hair felt soft, uncoated and healthy.  And for those with sensitive noses or skin, this product is light in smell and my sensitive skin and scalp had no issues whatsoever. Simply put, it works.

To check out this Hair Hydrating Mask ($56, 8.5 oz) for yourself, you can visit the Harklinikken store to purchase.

Product Review: Artnaturals Bluetooth Diffuser

Disclosure: Artnaturals was courteous enough to provide sample products for the purpose of the review. All opinions listed herein are my own.

Everyone likes to have a home that smells welcoming to guests (and frankly helps cover up any food scents or other odors).  Most of us rely on candles but diffusers, now growing in popularity, may be a better and more sustainable option.

Many of us are somewhat familiar with diffusers. Often they come in sleek little bottles that sit on our desks at work. But what if you had one that gave out a pleasant mist in controllable increments and worked as a bluetooth speaker?

Artnaturals Bluetooth Diffuser does just that.

Previously, the folks at Artnaturals sent me their bluetooth diffuser to try out in my home office space. After using it for a while, I thought I’d share my thoughts with all of you.

Let me begin by saying that I’ve never actually owned a diffuser of my own but had been thinking about purchasing one as I’ve become increasingly interested in the use of essential oils (thanks hair care research) especially as it relates to managing mood and energy.  This opportunity gave me a chance to really see how I felt about it.

What I Loved

I think that the Top 16 essential oil pack is a great selling feature of this combo. What’s best about that is that with the purchase you also get, what I call, a recipe book that provides some potential mixes for you to try out in your space. It helps provide a strong foundation to work from, and to be honest I haven’t tried even half of the mixes and I’m already a few months in.

I also think that the design of the diffuser/speaker itself is neat. If you watch closely, you can see the mist escaping from the top of the spout when the diffuser is on. It also has a clock which is a nice add-on, especially if your diffuser is in a space without another visible clock.

But, by far, having control over the diffuser is the best-selling point for me. You can simply have it turned on until your water-oil mix runs out and/or you can put it on specific time increments such as 1 hour, 3 hours or 6 hours. This makes it great for creating a specific feel in an environment, whether that’s the work place or your home.

There is also a feature that allows the diffuser to show different colored lights when it’s on. Again, you have control over this so you can opt for no lights or opt for one color the whole time which can add a little ambiance if you’re looking for that extra little touch.

And ultimately, the diffuser with 16 essential oils retails for less than $60. That means you’re getting a diffuser, bluetooth speaker, and a nice set oils for a damn good price. It’s a great value.

What Could Use Improvement

I don’t think that the bluetooth speaker has the best sound quality., to be honest. I  didn’t expect it to provide super high quality sound. But, it works just fine for ambient and instrumental music. Surprisingly though, it can get quite loud (it has volume controls) so it has that going for it on the plus side.

Overall, I think that an electronic diffuser is a great idea because it gives you a lot of control over how often and how much you diffuse in your space. I wish that the smells lingered more often, but then again, maybe that’s just to the fact that we tend to assimilate to smell very quickly.  Needless to say, my home office nook smells pretty good and it’s fun to play around with different scent combinations to create different moods.  I personally think the set I tried out would make a great gift for someone who’s learning more about oils and their use in the home or office. And, the style is simple, yet decorative enough to not be so disruptive to most spaces.

To learn more about Artnaturals and to buy the Top 16 Essential Oils and Bluetooth Speaker set.

 

Product Review: ArtNaturals Men’s Body Wash

Disclosure: Product for review was provided courtesy of ArtNaturals.

Let’s face it, there are a LOT of options out there when it comes to men’s body washes.  Does anyone else remember the days when it was less “manly” to use body wash and you had to use bar soap to be a real guy? I do. And Im glad those days are long gone.

ArtNaturals, as the name suggests, is a personal grooming brand focused on bring its customers high quality, natural products. They craft everything from body washes to essential oils (and diffusers!), lotion, shaving cream, etc. They basically have anything that you might need for your grooming needs.

The folks over at ArtNaturals shared some of their goodies with me and I’ll look forward to sharing all my thoughts with you. Today, I’ll talk about my experience with Men’s Body Wash.

You may have noticed by now, but I’m a sucker for a natural ( or mostly natural) product. I figure, why not use mostly natural products as much as possible, right? They can often be more expensive than products with a lot of synthetic, or man-made chemicals, and that’s often something to consider. But, I think it’s worth to cut back in other places when you can have more knowledge about putting better ingredients on or in your body.

It is exactly this reason that I really enjoy what I’ve tried from ArtNaturals so far. You can smell and FEEL the natural quality of their creations. They are effective, but not harsh. Fragrant, but not overwhelming in any way. In short, they hit my natural product sweet-spot.

The Men’s Body Wash is a great example of this. Formulated with aloe, cocoa butter and shea butter, it’s evident from the second this stuff touches your skin that you’re not only being cleansed but also being nourished. It has hints of that nutty shea butter smell and has that smoothness that cocoa butter and aloe provide so well.

For those use to super soapy and sudsy washes, this isn’t going to seem to be a great cleanser for you, but I think it is. It cleanses well without completely stripping my skin. It’s one of the reasons why I think it’s  perfect for summer. Imagine that you’ve been at the beach all day reading a book, playing in the sand or diving in and out of the ocean. It’s hot and you get home about 3 shades darker than when you left (I’ve been there!). You KNOW your skins is parched even though you used sunblock and tried to say hydrated. This Men’s Body Wash is what you need afterwards. The combination of ingredients offers your skin the nourishment that it needs, without the stripping element of your average body wash.  It’s a winner, in my eyes, and I think that if you try it, it will be one for you too.

For more on ArtNaturals Men’s Body Wash and their line up of products you can visit their website and shop.

 

Van Der Hagen Premium Shave Set Review + A GIVEAWAY!

Every gent needs a good shaving system as some point in his life. I recall the days when I first started shaving and struggled with nicks, cuts and just using whatever the cheapest shaving products was out there. As the years have gone by, and I’ve been exposed to a wider variety of product choices, I’m glad that I’ve been able to try Van Der Hagen’s line up from time to time.

Shaving soap is something I’m still not all that familiar with, as I’ve mostly tried out gels and creams, however there is something to be said to using a tried and true method like the Van Der Hagen Premium Shave Set.  It comes complete with a shaving brush and soap which is housed within a nice ceramic bowl.

After washing your face, and exfoliating which I recommend, you wet your shaving brush with warm water, lather up the soap in the included bowl and then brush your face in a gentle circular motion. This part is important, especially for gents with curly or coarse hair types. Applying shaving soap in a circular motion will help lift those stubborn hairs reducing irritation and nicks.  From there, you shave as normal.

The Van Der Hagen Premium Shave Set is affordable at about $13.99, which means it works as gift for anyone, especially someone who may not have used a brush or shave soap before. It’s a great value.

My only qualm about the product is that, at times, the brush sheds a few hairs, which can trip you up at shaving time so be on the lookout for that. Otherwise, the set presents an affordable and quality option for gents looking forward to having a better shave without breaking the bank.

I’ve also teamed up with the folks at Van Der Hagen to bring you the opportunity to win a shaving set for Father’s Day! Enter in the widget below for your chance to win. Winners must be U.S. residents and one winner will be chosen one week from today, on June 5.  Good luck!

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Old Spice Hydro Wash Giveaway!

Disclosure: This content was sponsored by Old Spice, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.

A few weeks ago, I shared my thoughts on the new Old Spice Hydro Wash. From there you might have gleaned that I’m a fan of the product. So much so that I have steadily been using these new washes for a couple months now.

Here’s the skinny on Old Spice Hydro Wash:

  • Hydro Wash offers superior hydration with over 20% hydro-moisturizing complex.
  • Features Old Spice’s proprietary “dual stream” formula, keeping moisturizers and cleansers separate so that the moisturizers don’t wash away with the lather before hydrating the skin.
  • Thicker and richer lather means less product down the drain, resulting in a better overall shower experience that leaves skin feeling hydrated and clean.
  • Debuts in NEW Steel Courage scent. Old Spice’s daring new scent is assertive yet laid-back, combining the energizing top notes of pineapple and warm rum with a mid-note of intoxicating clove, crisp pepper and sage. Hints of sandalwood and warm amber add a balanced finish. SO GOOD!

Today I’m happy to share with you that I’ve teamed up with Old Spice to host as giveaway of their Old Spice Hydro Wash “Power Shower” Pack!

In this pack you will get the following:

  • *New* Old Spice Hydro Wash – Combines ultra-superior hydration with Old Spice’s long-lasting, masculine scents. Guys, you’re smellcome. (Enjoy in new Steel Courage scent, plus popular scents Live Wire and Pure Sport Plus.)
  • Old Spice Shower Speaker – Another way to amp up your shower experience. Power ballads or air guitar optional.
  • Old Spice Towel – Go ahead, show your #smellegendary status to your medicine cabinet mirror-reflection self. And as a BONUS you’ll also get Old Spice Sweat Defense – Your post-shower Hardest Working Collection hero. Because your pits deserve powerful anti-perspirant protection, too.

The team over at Old Spice also sends some thoughts via Janine Miletic:

We’re proud to support guys on their journey to legendary freshness with the launch of new Old Spice Hydro Wash body wash,” said Janine Miletic, Old Spice Brand Director at Procter & Gamble. “This new shower innovation combines ultra-superior hydration with our long-lasting, masculine Old Spice scents. Guys, you’re smellcome.”

Winner will be announced next week. Enter in the widget below & good luck!

 

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Product Review: Old Spice Hydro Wash

Disclosure: This content was sponsored by Old Spice, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, then you know I have had a long love affair with Old Spice products. Old Spice is a brand, for me, that very much symbolizes my own journey from boyhood to manhood. I remember that my first experiences with Old Spice were when I first started wearing deodorant. I remember picking up a tube in the grocery store. I remember the fresh, masculine scent and it’s always something that will be a very strong memory for me.

With that, I’m happy to be sharing with you my latest review featuring some of Old Spice’s newest offerings: Hydro Wash!

Hydro Wash is the newest addition to the brand’s Hardest Working Collection, which is the highest performing anti-perspirant and body wash line-up.  If you’re a sweater, like me, this is probably right up your alley.

Here are some key points about Old Spice’s new Hydro Wash:

  • Hydro Wash offers superior hydration with over 20% hydro-moisturizing complex.
  • It features Old Spice’s proprietary “dual stream” formula, keeping moisturizers and cleansers separate so that the moisturizers don’t wash away with the lather before hydrating the skin.
  • Thicker and richer lather means less product down the drain, resulting in a better overall shower experience that leaves skin feeling hydrated and clean.
  • Debuts in NEW Steel Courage scent. Old Spice’s daring new scent is assertive yet laid-back, combining the energizing top notes of pineapple and warm rum with a mid-note of intoxicating clove, crisp pepper and sage. Hints of sandalwood and warm amber add a balanced finish.
  • Old Spice Hydro Wash is also available in popular Old Spice scents Pure Sport Plus and Live Wire.
  • Old Spice Hydro Wash is available nationwide at drugstores, food stores and mass merchandisers beginning February 2017 (The standard retail price is $4.99 but pricing is also at the sole discretion of stores)

Also, The Walking Dead fans probably recognize this mug (Steven Ogg who plays Simon, one of Negan’s henchmen)! 

So what do I think?

Overall, I think Hydro Wash does a pretty good job at living up to its name. I found that all varieties of the wash do a stand-up job at keeping my skin moisturized. They feel pretty smooth on the skin and not drying like other body washes feel. They also come in pretty big bottles which means you’re going to get to use it for a pretty long time. I’ve had the three bottles for over a month (maybe 2?!) and it looks like I’ve barely made a dent in all three. You definitely get your money’s worth.

What about scents? Here’s my breakdown…

Live Wire – This name always reminds me of the one certain app us old-heads used in the 90s to share music LOL  But, scent-wise it’s one of my favorites as it has this really fresh, citrusy kind of scent. It very much reminds me of Iime. There’s always an extra little pick-up in my step when I use this one. Very fresh & clean scent.

Pure Sport – This is probably my least favorite scent out of the bunch. That being said, I recognize it might be a favorite for a lot of gents. It has a very soapy, clean smell. I imagine that a lot athletes will find this one to be a familiar scent, especially if you also use the Old Spice deodorant of the same name.

Steel Courage – This scent reminds me of a cross between Zoolander’s blue steel model-pose and James Bond. There’s a smooth, warm sexiness to this one. It has touches of sandalwood and amber with close which makes it pretty intoxicating.  As far as favorites go, I find it hard to decide between Steel Courage and Live Wire, but thankfully I don’t have to choose! Which one I use just depends on my mood.

You can purchase Old Spice Hydro Wash at most major retailers and at OldSpice.com.

Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for more from Old Spice here on MANE MAN very soon!

 

How to Look as Cool as Your Favorite Movie Character for Less!

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by the folks at Sunglass Warehouse.

Many of us spend a good amount of time watching movies. Sometimes the humor is what keeps us entertained, like in The Hangover. Sometimes its the genuine badassness that hooks us like in Scarface.  From Bradley Cooper to Al Pacino to Zach Galifinakis and the Blues Brothers, classic movie characters often come with classic style.

While we can’t typically afford the threads that our favorite actors wear on the silver screen, we can get their look for less.

For those of us on a budget (like me) trying to look like these iconic characters can be tough. That’s where Sunglass Warehouse helps us out! You can find a variety of styles inspired from some of the styles in these classic guy movies.

Personally, aviator sunglasses have long been a favorite Spring and Summer style staple for me but I like to switch it up every now and then. After all, style is all about personal expression and how often do we always feel the same?  Right?!

Take a look below to see how you can have your favorite sunglass looks for less.

Click on the image to buy the recommended alternative from Sunglass Warehouse.

 

 

Old Spice Giveaway!

Disclosure: This post is sponsored Old Spice.

Last week you may have read my review of Old Spice’s Swagger Gel, well this time around the folks at Old Spice are giving away a TON of grooming goodies and you have a chance to win!

Swagger Gel is an easy to use hair gel (and so accessible and affordable too). It has a great #smellegendary scent and offers high hold and moderate shine, which is good for a variety of hair types.

By entering the giveaway below you have a chance to win a prize pack that includes:

  • Swagger Gel, Pomade, Steel Courage Shampoo, an Old Spice Beanie AND a $25 gift card for popular online hat store Lids!
Old Spice Swagger Gel Giveaway Bundle. Winner we be announced on March 30, 2017.

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And for those of you who struggle with hat hair, check out these tips from Old Spice and Celebrity Groomer, Benjaming Thigpen.

How to Combat “Hat Hair”

Start with Old Spice Swagger Gel

Simply apply a small amount (no more than nickel size) to your fingertips and rub together before applying to the hat line.

Keep it Dry

Make sure your hair is completely dry and styled before wearing the hat. Otherwise, your hair will flatten and take the hat’s shape when wet.

Hat Indentation Quick Fix

Use your fingertips to press and start rubbing the hat line out. Think of your fingertips as an eraser!

Water Works

In a pinch and without product? Wet your hands with water and flick excess off. Start with a small amount because you can’t unwet your hair. Remember, it’s just a quick touch up!

Hats Off to Hats

Many guys wear hats on a daily basis, and hats can also be cleverly used as a styling tool. They work great to bring down hair volume, or to help keep Swagger-styled hair in place from home to your destination.

Benjamin’s clients include: Marc Jacobs, Bruce Willis, Nate Berkus, Francisco Costa, Nick Swisher, Josh Duhamel, Tony Hale, Jimmi Simpson, Boyd Holbrook, and many more.

You can find Old Spice Hair products nationwide in retailer hair care aisles (usually ranging between $6.99 – $7.99). To learn more about Old Spice you may visit the brand’s site at oldspice.com, on Facebook, Twitter (@OldSpice), Instagram (oldspice). You can also catch more Old Spice videos on the Manmercials channel on YouTube.

Product Review: Old Spice Swagger Gel

Disclosure: This post has been sponsored by Old Spice.

“As a grooming expert, I’m so excited to team up with Old Spice to help introduce new Swagger Gel that’s designed for guys looking for high hold and a moderate shine. Let’s face it, guys want hair that looks like it’s not trying too hard, and Old Spice Swagger Gel does just that! Simply rub a nickel size amount on your fingertips and work into your hair for that ultimate rockstar look.” – Benjamin Thigpen, Celebrity Groomer

It’s not often that I find myself trying our new hair products these days. More or less, I’ve found myself pretty settled into a routine of using a simple leave-in conditioner and styling pomade. But, as with most things, it’s always helpful to switch it up a bit. After all, variety is the SPICE of life…right?!

Recently, the folks at Old Spice passed along their Swagger gel for me to try out. Now recently I got a pretty big hair cut so I haven’t been able to try out the gel on what was my much bigger hair. The good news is, I was able try out the gel on my new, shorter cut and it works pretty well.

The thing I’ve always liked about gel on natural hair is that it helps tame my fro a bit. While some gels tend to dry out hair due to their problematic ingredients list, I’ve learned that using only a bit provides control for fly-aways. Swagger is a high hold gel which means it will help unruly hair stay in place. This is definitely a plus when you’re spending long days out and about. No gent really wants to be concerned with how their hair is holding up through midday meetings or classes.

One of the biggest benefits, however, is that Swagger also provides a moderate shine. Naturally curly hair, due to its structure, tends to look duller than straight hair. One of the great things about Swagger Gel is that it helps curly, coily hair look shinier due to its blend of ingredients. And if you’re someone, like me, whose hair tends took dull in most light, Swagger Gel works wonders.

When you try to look cool but all you can manage to do is #smellegendary #afro #shine #sponsored @oldspice

A post shared by Jor-El (@manemanblog) on

One of the lessons I have learned so far with gel is that a little goes a LONG way. For hair as short as mine now, I only use about a nickel-sized amount of product. Longer, bigger, thicker hair will definitely require more. I’ve found that when using gel it’s best to err on the side of caution as using too much product will leave your hair a crunchy, flaky, untouchable mess. Every now and then I tend to be a bit heavy-handed but it’s something I look out for. On other days, when I’m looking for a lot of definition, I might intentionally over do it. But generally, I tend to try to keep my hair pretty touchable.

Gel is best used, for me, on damp or wet hair. When I tried using Swagger Gel on dry hair, it just lead to white flakes, which definitely isn’t a good thing. If you have a hair type similar to mine, that may be something you want to try out instead.

The other thing that I really enjoy about Old Spice’s Swagger Gel is that it has a nice clean and masculine scent, which the brand noteS as #smellegendary. For gents who don’t like to wear a lot of cologne daily, Swagger gives you a faint masculine scent that only those REALLY close will pick up on. If you do wear a daily fragrance, Swagger is inoffensive enough that it won’t interfere. It strikes a really good balance!

One of the great things about Old Spice, and why it has always been a favorite brand of mine, is that it is always affordable and accessible. Finding the right products for you shouldn’t break the bank. It’s always nice to splurge, but I think it’s always great to have solid, everyday products to keep your grooming game on point. Old Spice certainly has a bit of everything to offer. The Old Spice Hair lineup – including new Swagger Gel – features shampoos, conditioners and styling products designed to give guys the hair and confidence they need to succeed. You can find Old Spice Hair products nationwide in retailer hair care aisles. The products generally range from about $6.99 to $7.99 and last quite a while, especially if you have shorter hair.

You can shop the entire lineup of Old Spice products, including Swagger Gel, at OldSpice.com.