Tag Archives: sponsored

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.

 

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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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.

Product Review: eShave FACE SCRUB

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

eShave FACE SCRUB

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

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

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

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

 

Disclosure: Product for review was provided courtesy of eShave.

Product Review: Remington Beard Boss™ Grooming

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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.

Guys’ Night Out Rockport Challenge Giveaway

giveaway - maneman

As promised in my previous post, A Guys Night Out with Rockport,I’m happy to bring you our latest giveaway!  Sponsored by Rockport shoes you can win a  pair of Rockport Parker Hill Desert Boots for yourself (or a friend you really like).  All you have to do is leave a comment on this blog post to enter.  That’s the only mandatory option!  Follow me, @manemanblog and Rockport shoes @Rockport for an additional entry each.  Winners will be announced on Monday, September 29, 2014.  Please enter the contest via the widget below.

Good luck!

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Carb Overload! Perfect Pasta Dishes

Check out Pasta Overload: Perfect Pasta Dishes

by Jor-El at Foodie.com

Have you been looking for the perfect pasta recipe to try?  Look no further! Here are 12 Perfect Pasta Dishes that you should make tonight!

Like most people, I’ve long had an unhealthy obsession with pasta. Sometimes I try and convince myself that I’m due pasta because I try to run regularly but I know in my heart of hearts that’s usually just a silly excuse to go into full-fledged carb-beast-mode. But that’s neither here nor there.

Today, I’m sharing with you some of my favorite pasta recipes, which include everything from light summery salads to incredibly rich and indulgent cheesy-pasta fests.  Hey, they both have a perfectly valid place in the world, right?!

I’m a Southern boy at heart so I would be remiss not to include a classic southern mac & cheese recipe although since relocating to NYC years ago, I have to say I don’t eat it nearly as much as I used to. Yes, there are restaurants that serve it here, but there’s nothing quite like mom’s mac & cheese that has way too much butter and cheese, right?  Nonetheless, it’s still my much welcomed go-to for pot luck dinners so I must be doing something right.

Here are some of the best/most intriguing pasta recipes around. While I haven’t made all of them, several have found their way into my tummy over the years and the rest, well, they’re on my short list of things to cook up.

Here are the recipes included in my collection:

  • Artichoke Spinach Cannelloni with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
  • Chicken Picatta
  • Missouri Toasted Ravioli
  • Roasted Vegetable and Spinach Lasagna
  • Ranch BLT Macaroni Salad (SUPER easy and good!)
  • Rotini Salad with Kalamata Olive Dressing
  • Easy Lasagna
  • Classic Macaroni Salad
  • Baked Ziti Casserole
  • Classic Southern Macaroni and Cheese
  • Creamy Philly Beef Stroganoff
  • Pesto Pasta
  • Pasta Salad (made with Rotini)
  • Easy Tuna Casserole

HAPPY EATING!

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post from my friends over at Foodie. Check out their site for a plethora of recipes that you can collect on your own.  There’s tons of inspiration!

Stimulate Your Senses with FOCUS by Coffee Blenders

Coffee Blenders Line

If you’ve read my previous post about battling caffeine addiction, then you probably have a good idea about how much I love coffee.

Ever since I was a kid, I remembered enjoying emulating my parents and drinking coffee on Sunday mornings with my French toast. Doesn’t that sound delicious?!

As I’m in caffeine recovery (now only drinking 1-2 coffee drinks per week!) I was all too excited to give Coffee Blenders FOCUS coffee a try.

FOCUS is a 100% Arabica coffee from the folks at Coffee Blenders. FOCUS is aimed at improving cognitive performance, but does it really work?

I was beyond skeptical that FOCUS would actually have any effect on my mental state so I actually tried it out for the first time on what was supposed to be a Saturday filled with a lot of lounging and light reading.

I used my Keurig K-cup French Press and brewed my first cup. To be honest, my first cup was a little too weak for my taste when I brewed it with 8 ounces of water, but since then I’ve made cups with between 6-7 ounces of water. Remember, how much I said I like coffee?  The real question is, did it help me focus?

The kicker is, I ended up feeling energized enough that I ended up writing 3 posts within the next hour or so. Now that may not sound like much, however when I set my mind to a  lazy day, I’m incredibly adept at meeting my goal. I created three posts and polished off some additional work for Brash.com as well. So it turns out there is a little something special about this coffee!

The proprietary ingredient is Cereboost which is actually American Ginseng. Apparently American Ginseng is a potent and fast acting root which helps improve memory, cognitive performance and helps you manage cold symptoms. Not bad.

While you can only brew one cup of FOUS at a time, if you’re anything like me, that may be all you need to give your day a quick jump-start. And with the addition of Cereboost, you may find that the lethal combination of caffeine and American ginseng might just be what you need to get your day off to a productive start or midday pick-me-up.  To find out more about FOCUS, you can visit www.coffeeblenders.com.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post.  Products for review were provided courtesy of Coffee Blenders for the sole purpose of this review.