Tag Archives: men’s grooming

A Look at Grooming for the Simple Man

If you’ve looked through the product review section here on MANE MAN then you know that there are a LOT of grooming products out there. It seems that I’ve made it my personal mission to try just about everything. This means that when something new comes across my desk I want to share my experience with all of you!

I recently had the opportunity to try out Simple Man products. These products are described as “salon quality male grooming products”.

For my trials with the products I spent some time with two varieties of shampoo, conditioner and body wash; one formulated with tea tree oil and the other with lavender oil. I personally liked both scents but found it best to keep both body washes away from my face or eyes as the scents/oils can be irritating.

That being said, the products work pretty well. Overall, I think that the body washes were actually my favorite of the bunch, keeping in mind that I am pretty finicky about what I use on my hair. The products are solid, there’s no doubt about that, but for someone with hair as dense and thick (and long?) as mine is as the moment, I needed more oil and slip to these formulations.

I particularly enjoyed the shampoo formulated with tea tree oil as it is so good for your scalp. The gentle tingle of tea tree oil is one I’m familiar with and I like to revisit as often as I can. I generally find the scent nice as well as it seems distinctly fresh and masculine in my opinion.

It should be noted that the products that I have actually used the most thus far are: lavender oil body wash, tea tree oil conditioner and teal tree oil body wash.  These are the products that I found myself going back to again and again without so much of a thought. The body washes aren’t drying and leave a nice, lingering scent for both the lavender and tea tree oil varieties.

Here is what’s cool about Simple Man….you can purchase a set of their respective body care lines for $35.00. With that you get a 16 oz. body wash, conditioner and shampoo with the scent of your choice. That’s not a bad deal, is it? And for those of you who live in houses with a couple of gents in the home, these are good quality buys for a reasonable price. As always, you get what you pay for and when you opt for better products that include actual oils (and not just synthetic ones) you get better results like moisturized and nourished skin and hair.

If you’re looking to keep it simple, give Simple Man a try.  You can view more about Simple Man at simplemanbrand.com.

 

Disclosure: Product for review was provided courtesy of Simple Man.

5 Tips to Keep Your Skin Healthy in the Winter

This is a guest post by writer Wesley Oaks of iManscape.com.

The winter weather can be tough on your skin. The dry winter air steals moisture away from the skin every moment you’re exposed. If you don’t treat your skin you could end up with dry skin, cracking, or bleeding and the colder it is the worse it can make the problem.

Things that we typically do in the winter can even add to the damage. Indoor heating robs the air of moisture. Hot showers & baths and over the top skin cleansers can also mean dry skin.

Giving your skin additional moisture indeed helps, but there’s more to do if you’re going to counteract the effects of winter and keep your skin looking healthy. Here’s a couple of tips to help reduce itching, redness, chapping.

1 – Choose Moisturizer Carefully

Some of the moisturizers out there have ingredients that will further dry your skin in winter months. Keep an eye out for petroleum-based moisturizers and dry to avoid them.

Choose a moisturizer with natural ingredients & is oil based. Oil based moisturizers do a better job of retaining moisture compared to water-based options.

2 – Use Lukewarm Water

No one’s going to argue that a hot shower during the winter doesn’t feel amazing. However, when possible, opt for a lukewarm temperature, particularly when washing your face, hands, or smaller area of your body. You’ll avoid stripping away natural healthy oils from your skin.

3 – Protect

Always protect your skin with gloves, scarfs, and other clothing. You’re already trying to stay warm so go ahead and grab a couple more pieces to do the job well. Also, don’t be fooled by the winter sun. It can be just as harmful as in the summer.

Grab a healthy sun screen and use small amounts. Products with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide are great choices.

4 – Drink Up

We often forget how important water is when it isn’t so hot outside. We end up turning to a warm drink over water. Your coffee, cocoa, and warm teas are wonderful, but they aren’t doing your skin any good.

If you want the best of both worlds you may like to try warm water with lemon.

5 – Exfoliate

We tend to forget about exfoliating during the winter. It’s a very important activity that should always be done. By removing dead skin cells you’ll help moisturizers do a better job by being able to reach more of your skin.

If left alone, dead skin will layer over old skin and prevent your moisturizers from being as effective.

Conclusion

Hopefully this post was a great reminder to take care of your skin this winter. Life can always get busy and we sometimes forget we just need to take care of ourselves. Treat your skin right and it will keep you looking youthful for a long time to come.

Please let us know if you enjoyed the post and share some of your own skin care tips below!

 

Wesley is the owner of iManscape, a website for men, beards, and manscaping. For more from him visit his website or like iManscape on Facebook.

Winter Skin Care Secrets with Dr. Brian Zelickson

It’s almost winter time which means it’s time to break out those humidifiers and extra thick lotions to take good care of your skin. Personally, I always struggle during the winter months because the air is so dry. My already dry scalp continues to suffer and if I forget to lotion right out of the shower, I get a BAD case of the itchies which is terrible for your skin.

Most of us spend winters covered up, from head to toe. As a New Yorker, it’s something I’m intimately familiar with.  Sometimes it takes 10 minutes just to gear up with a scarf, gloves, coat and hat. It’s rough!

I always look for advice from the experts on how to practice the best grooming possible, because we all need help, right?  I was able to speak with Dr. Brian Zelickson via email about some of his winter skin care tips for men. Here are some helpful tips and product recommendations that I think will help you out this winter!

Tip 1

Nothing speeds up the aging process like excess sun exposure. It’s important to wear an SPF during the winter, even when the sun isn’t as noticeable. I recommend an SPF of at least 30.

Product Recommendation: MD Complete Anti-Aging Youthful Skin Sun Shield Broad Spectrum SPF 50

Tip 2

Apply a body moisturizer when skin is still slightly damp to help seal in moisture, and avoid products with dyes and scents that can aggravate skin.

Product Recommendation: Curél Itch Defense Lotion

Tip 3

Wash your face at night, so you cleanse all of the oils and dirt from the day. In the morning, simply rinse with water and buff with a gentle cloth. If you have issues with acne, try a gentle cleanser with Salicylic Acid.

Product Recommendation: MD Complete Skin Clearing Clarifying Cleanser

Tip 4

If your skin is constantly dry, add a product that is formulated with Hyaluronic Acid. It’s naturally found in the body, and is a moisture-binding ingredient that plumps skin with hydration.

Product Recommendation: Dermarché Labs Fullfill

What are your favorite products to use during winter? Let’s share some recommendations in the comment section below!

 

Dr. Brian Zelickson is an internationally renowned board-certified dermatologist who graduated from the Mayo Clinic. He is a pioneer in laser medicine and surgery. He is also a faculty member at the University of Minnesota Medical School’s Department of Dermatology and a member of American Academy of Dermatology & American Dermatologic Association.

Men’s Grooming in the New Age

man-with-face-in-hands

This is a guest post by freelance writer Mark Greene.

Since we have entered the new age of men’s grooming, more and more products have appeared on the market. Their main purpose is to help you look and feel great, but are all these products necessary? And which ones are better than others?! Here are some ideas you should try to keep in mind!

Shaving soaps

Shaving soaps are great because not only do they offer you a very good value, but they also protect your skin. Not only do shaving soaps make facial hair easier to remove, but thanks to shaving soaps you also have the ability to moisturize your skin.

Face wash

Daily face wash is one of the product types that has historically been geared towards women, but there are many men that still use it without a problem. Opening up the pores is crucial if you want to look at your best. Choosing the best face wash might be a little difficult if you don’t know what you’re looking for. Experimentation is key so try out these products and figure out which one works great for you.

lip-balm

Lip balm

Sometimes men can struggle with having smooth, soft lips. A good lip balm can come in handy in your grooming regimen.  Lip balms can range in price but getting a high quality lip balm is usually not that expensive. These days,  your neighborhood grocery store or pharmacy probably has plenty of good options.  

Facial lotion

A good facial lotion, or daily moisturizer,  will help you better deal with the UVB rays not to mention it can eliminate the effects that comes from UVA rays as well. Facial lotion with SPF can help protect your skin from ongoing damage. Some options that include glycerin and other ingredients, like aloe vera, can help you maintain fresh and healthy looking skin.

Facial scrub

A good facial scrub will eliminate dead skin cells and smooth your skin. This helps will keeping your face looking bright and fresh. And depending on what facial scrub you use, you can also harness the power of ingredients like citrus, menthol, caffeine and many others.

Anti-fatigue eye gel

It might not sound like much at first, but this type of gel is actually very helpful. Eye gels, or creams if you prefer, enable you to hide the under-eye bags or dark circles making your face look brighter for your early morning meetings.

These grooming staples are products that offer you an immense value and outstanding results that you will appreciate right from the start. While good grooming products can be hard to find, this list of product suggestions for you to try can help you find what best fits your needs.

 

Mark Greene is the owner of one of the well visited men’s blog on the web today: Men’s Axis. He is a lifestyle professional writer and digital nomad with a keen interest in men’s mental and physical health, life hacks, grooming, men’s fashion, sex, dating, career and overall day-to-day solutions for men. The world, according to him, is what you make of it. So go out there and make it amazing.

 

Product Review: 7th Heaven Face Masks for Men

Disclosure: Products for review were provided courtesy of 7th Heaven.

Men’s skin has special needs. Larger pores allow for more sweating and buildup than women’s skin. But how many of us actually take the time to care enough to counteract that?

Over the past several years, I’ve been much more diligent about skin care. Part of the reason is vanity but another part of this is about promoting an overall sense of wellness.  Skin care is self care, I say.

In an effort to use whatever skin care products I can get my hands on, I recently had the opportunity to try 7th Heaven’s skin masks for men. Here’s that I thought!

7th heaven men dead sea peel off mask review

Deep Pore Cleansing Peel Off Mask

Enriched with sea salt, this mask is designed to deeply cleanse the skin and help deliver a clean and smooth complexion. The first step to any mask, ironically is to start with a clean face. I’ve been using an oil free cleanser for my routine which I find keeps my skin pretty clear.  After cleansing, I then applied the mask and let it set for 15-20 minutes per package instructions. After applying I immediately felt some stinging/burning sensation that dissipated after a few minutes. It wasn’t painful but definitely noticeable. In the spirit of discovery, I forged ahead and had no negative effects otherwise. I think the reaction was a combination of the powerful spearmint, my already very sensitive skin, and a lot of recent (and significant sun exposure). Since then, I haven’t experienced any negative effects.

After a few minutes of a much nicer (and calmer) cooling sensation, I peeled off the mask like some horror movie monster, as opposed to the traditional method of washing it off. This is actually one of the best things about this mask…easy clean up!  After 20 minutes you just peel off the mask and you’re good to go. It left my skin feeling refreshed and cool.  The smoothness and moisture was on point.

Deep Sea Rescue Mud Masque

I also had the opportunity to try out the Deep Sea Rescue Mud Masque, which as you might imagine, is a bit messier than it’s peel off counterpart.  This is a more traditional product as far as masks are concerned. The rest time for this product is shorter, at 10-15 minutes, which makes it slightly less time intensive. I didn’t mind either way, as I tried it at the end of a day while catching up on some much needed Netflix.

The mud sea masque doesn’t have the same medicated/tingly feeling that the spearmint mask offers, but those familiar with face masks will recognize the feeling of your skin firming underneath the mask’s surface.  My skin felt equally as smooth nourished after this mask, even though the mess of it is a little annoying as it relates to clean up.

If I HAD to pick one over the other that I prefer, I’m not sure which I feel like is a better option. Truth is, they both work well and come housed in individual use packets, which I think is convenient and allows you to purchase just the amount that you need. At around $2 a pop, I think these masks are a GREAT investment for a once weekly part of your skin care routine. I think they’re a great way to balance otherwise unruly or unnourished skin.

To learn more about these masks, and other offerings, you can visit the 7th Heaven website.

 

Product Review: Victory Shampoo

When I have a really good hair day and the fro is looking moisturized and perfectly coiffed “VICTORY!” is one word that comes to mind. It’s only appropriate that I share with you my thoughts on some of the products from Victory hair care.  Continue reading for my review!

I have long had a love/hate relationship with shampoo. I LOVE the feeling of clean hair and a clean scalp but hate how many shampoos leave my hair feeling stripped of all its luster and moisture. Everyone knows that a straw like fro is not a happy fro. I’m always skittish when it comes to trying out a new shampoo for that reason.  Today, I’m going to be sharing my thoughts and reactions on Victory’s line up of shampoo products.

Generally speaking, I find that 2 in 1 shampoo products work relatively well. I generally use them more like a traditional shampoo. Fortunately for all of us, companies have become more knowledgable about how harmful shampoo can be to your hair (for the reasoning mentioned above) and have made adjustments in their formulations to minimize bad effects.

2 in 1 products can have a great benefit of cleaning and nurturing your hair and scalp. That being said, I would not use this kind of product as the end all be all in my hair care routine.  2 in 1 products are great as a shampoo substitute but not for both a shampoo AND conditioner regimen.  At least not on my hair. I learned that the hard way.

Now on to Victory…the folks at Victory sent me some product to try. I was able to try the following:

  • Hydrate & Recover
  • 2-in-1 Triple Threat
  • 2-in-1 Superior Clean
  • 2-in-1 Legendary for Men

The first product I used was the mango-scented 2 in 1 (Triple Threat) which I really enjoyed. It has a nice scent that isn’t overpowering. That being said, it should be noted that Victory products come packed  with phytherioone zinc to help with scalp care and prevent dryness and dandruff so there is a slight-chemical smell.

I tried a few different varieties of the product and I personally didn’t find them different enough to differentiate effectively, with the exception of Hydrate & Recover which isn’t a 2-in-1 at all and only a shampoo.

Overall, I experienced mixed results. There were some days when my hair loved the shampoo and other days when it felt dry and brittle after shampooing. It should be noted that this is also impacted by the heat here in NYC and my time outside which varies from day to day.  With sweating and varied water intake, these are factors to consider in the variability of my results.

Overall, though, I think that there will certainly be folks out there who can appreciate Victory’s offerings. As I don’t frequently suffer with dandruff, I can’t speak to how effective these products are at preventing or minimizing it. For those with thinner hair types and textures, I imagine that it could work really well as a 2-in-1, but for those with thick, dense hair like mine, Victory is best used as you would a normal shampoo…as a precursor to a traditional conditioner. You will still reap the benefits of 2-in-1 factor but it’s important to manage your expectations, particularly if you have very dense, coily hair like mine.

Victory products are available at WalMart stores. You can learn more about Victory hair care at startwithvictory.com.
Disclosure: Products for review were provided courtesy of Victory for the purpose of this review. 

Product Review: Oyin Handmade

Oyin handmade has been on my radar for a long time now. The natural hair care and body brand offers a variety of natural products for hair and body care. I  finally took the plunge and purchased some of their products so today I’m sharing with you my thoughts.

Let me start by saying that I am in product junkie recovery. I’ve done a lot better over the past several months, mostly because I’ve decided not to spend all of my discretionary income on grooming products. So, it’s gotten better. With that in mind, I’ve been a lot more careful about my spending habits. When I decided to try out Oyin products I made the conscious effort to try out their mini samples. I’ve had each of them for several weeks now so I feel like I’m fully informed about how these products have worked for me…and how they may or may not work for you.

Honey Wash: I was pleasantly surprised this shampoo worked as well as it did. I’ve used other honey based shampoos before (OK, maybe just one that I can recall) and this one was pretty good. I got a surprisingly helpful amount of slip which is great for thick, dense hair like mine (4b-cish, if you subscribe that sort of thing). My only real criticism is that it’s a little thinner than I would like but perhaps that works in my hair’s favor more than I know.

Honey Hemp Conditioner: While I’m usually harsher on shampoo products (because they can be SO drying), I’m actually feeling very critical of the Honey Hemp Conditioner. It worked OK, smelled good but it just didn’t live up to my high expectations. It’s not something that I would personally consider repurchasing.

Frank Juice: Frank Juice is a hair spritz designed to give thirsty hair a little bit of extra life. I’ve used this several different ways. I’ve used it as a second day refresher. In this way, it works fine, but it’s nothing to write home about in my opinion. I’ve never had great results with this kind of product to be honest. I’ve used it as a late day refresher for thirsty hair and recently took it to the beach to help my hair get a little extra protection and r&r. The sun can really dry out your hair and scalp when you’re baking with no cloud cover! All that being said, it’s not a wonder product but it’s cool for what it is, I suppose. This one’s not high on my repurchase list but I’m curious about the other scents available.

Shine & Define: I’m always looking for that one magical product that will give me just enough definition and control so that my fro doesn’t look like it’s all over the place. Unfortunately shine & define does not get me there. It moisturized my hair just fine but had a tacky quality on my hair which makes me think that it’s not easily absorbed. I definitely won’t be re-purchasing this one.

Boing!:  I’ve heard A LOT about boing! So much that I really researched whether this would be a good product for me or not. I have to say that is, by far, my favorite Oyin product. This formula worked really well for me as an all in one conditioner and styler. I just raked it through wet hair at the end of my shower and I always ended up with touchable, yet softly defined coils. I love it. The smell ain’t too shabby either. I WILL absolutely be buying this product again…and the full-sized tub at that.

Burnt Sugar Pomade: I’m not a huge fan of pomades as sometimes they can be quite greasy and just using them can help my face break out with a little extra acne  and I don’t have time for that.  I will say this about burnt sugar pomade though, it works really well. I think that the formula, while a little oily/greasy, is great for my hair. It helps provide structure and control and I think that many people could use this with good results. Whether you put in twists, have waves or just need to tame your fro’s ends, this is a pretty safe bet. I like the scent but it is potent. It smells very sugary, without a doubt, but the burnt sugar smell reminds me of fancy desserts and I can’t find much fault in that. The name really fits on this one.

All in all, I would say that my first run with Oyin Handmade was a mixed bag. While Shine & Define and the Honey Hemp Conditioner left a lot to be desired, Boing! and Burnt Sugar Pomade are stand outs. As far as Frank Juice goes, I’m still not entirely sure what to make of it but I think I kind of like it.

Until next time!

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.

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.

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!