Beauty and…Male: Men and pedicures?

BEAUTY AND THE MALE
“FEET…THE FINAL FRONTIER”
I’m not sure how it happened.
It caught me by surprise.
The feeling was so nice.
It about brought tears to my eyes.
Ok.  Now, let’s remove your mind from the gutter and follow me as we approach the final frontier for ‘Beauty and the Male’—the male pedicure.  The sad story is that men rarely pamper themselves.  Most of your husbands or boyfriends wouldn’t know the word “pamper” if it wasn’t on your baby’s diapers.  Now, I do consider myself a ‘metro” guy but this is just one thing I have never given on.  But thanks to some encouragement from good friends, I got over it and to my surprise—loved it.  So, how did they convince me? Here’s several ways to get your man to the salon with you for a pedicure:

1)      Start with telling him how awesome his looks already are.  Many guys just need that extra push and there is nothing that beats hearing that from your woman.  Once you gush a bit about how fine and sexy he is….
2)      Offer to go with him and treat the two of you.  Many men think this costs a bunch of money but you can take that argument out of it by offering to P-A-Y.  Most gentlemen are used to paying so its nice to be treated some of the time!  Now that he is considering it…
3)      Find a place that won’t intimidate him and make the appointment.  If there are flowers and pastels on the wall, keep looking.  Any place where he might be seen by his boys or coworkers is out of the question.  Search your city for places that have a more masculine feel to them.  Now, after you have the place selected….
4)      Choose a time when there will not be a lot of folks there.  You can even earn bonus points if you can manage to ask the salon to schedule you both when another guy already has an appointment.  Private booths can help ease this anxiety too since he won’t want everyone staring.  The icing on the cake is….
5)      After the service is done, you must tell him how great his feet now look and feel.  Offer to take him with you four times a year (at the beginning of each season).  Encouragement is just part of the ego thing.  Accept it; deal with it;  and use it to what will ultimately be your advantage—after all, those feet will be rubbing against your feet tonight!

Yes, its hard to be a man
‘Cause pampering can be a sin
But once you get that pedicure
You’ll be headed back again.
Until next time, Clumpers….

More about Kenneth:

Kenneth D. Pratt Esq. is a graduate of Morehouse College and the Florida State University College of Law. A native of Tallahassee, Florida, he began his career there, as a certified legal intern at the Office of the State Attorney and progressed to the Office of the Attorney General where he served for three years. Pratt has published several short stories, poems, and op eds in National as well as local publications. In his spare time he enjoys reading, travel, and sports.

Beauty and…the Male: Jock Soap review

Greetings again, Clumpers! With it being close to Christmas time, it’s time for me to start some product reviews so that you can begin to get that husband, boyfriend, brother, father, or friend, some of the new products out there for HIM!

BEAUTY AND THE MALE PRODUCT REVIEW:
JOCK SOAP– “A HEAD OF THE CLASS”


http://www.thejocksoapcompany.com/v/vspfiles/assets/images/holidaygiftshop_1.gif

Company: Jock Soap

Products: Face, Shave, Body, Cologne, Hair, Etc.

Product Reviewed: The 4 piece Shave Collection

Price: $39

How to get it: TheJockSoapCompany.com

SHORE LEAVE SHAVE CREAM: A+

Finally! Jock Soap understands the most important part of the shaving experience—THE LATHER!! This lathered up VERY nicely and the best part is that a little bit goes a LONG way! Fellas will probably get about 10+ shaves out of this (and my mama gave me a pretty big head to shave)!

JOCK SOAP SHAVE BRUSH: A+

I had heard that shave brushes were unbelievable but I wasn’t expecting such a high quality brush! It washes and dries quickly and using it I could actually feel the brush moving my hair bristles around. And I have to admit…a few times, I just got in some extra lathering because it was giving me a nice head massage! Go get one of these for the man in your life NOW!

“TALL DRINK” AFTER SHAVE LOTION: B+

Cool a$ name. But, unfortunately the bottle and name was cooler than the product inside. Don’t get me wrong, it was not heavy was refreshing and did an adequate job of moisturizing my skin. However, I’ve used better products and this one won’t make me stray from my normal aftershave lotion.

STRAPPING COMPLEXION BAR: C

Same deal here. There was nothing too special about this face soap that would make me switch. It does the cleaning adequately though. However, here’s a NEWS FLASH for the folks at Jock Soap—men barely use face soap and women take up 90% of shower space with their products—put the cleanser in a bottle!

SPECIAL BONUS–LIP BALM: B+

Very nice. Medicated and something that would your man would probably use if he could keep up with it. If you’re into having your man use this, buy about 10 of these and put them everywhere (his car, his nightstand, his office drawer). This is a big step for a man (my girl laughed at first…’til she got a taste) but if you compliment him REPEATEDLY and shower him with kisses, you’ll always get what you want!

Overall grade: A

High quality + low price=a new customer. This one was complimentary from Jock Soap but my head is hooked on the shave! The products were well packaged (except for the soap) with dark colors and cool manly themes. Visual is half of the battle with us—trust me! The product far exceeded my expectations; in fact, I’m gonna end this right about NOW…it’s about time for a head massage!

Until next time,

KP

More about Kenneth:

Kenneth D. Pratt Esq. is a graduate of Morehouse College and the Florida State University College of Law. A native of Tallahassee, Florida, he began his career there, as a certified legal intern at the Office of the State Attorney and progressed to the Office of the Attorney General where he served for three years. Pratt has published several short stories, poems, and op eds in National as well as local publications. In his spare time he enjoys reading, travel, and sports.




This review contains a sample product sent for consideration by a PR representative. Read our disclosure policy here.


Beauty…and the Male: Man in the Mirror

THE MAN IN THE MIRROR

Recently, I found it interesting that the undergraduate institution that I attended initiated a dress code. I happen to love my school and when I left college, Morehouse was the only school that I sent my application to. This was primarily because what I SAW or perceived on the campus of the school was professional, mature and well put together.

When most of us think of college, we think of freedom to say, do, and even WEAR what we want. But, my school has adopted about 15 rules of things they prohibit. I won’t bore you with all of them but I will reprint some of them here:

Examples of inappropriate attire and/or appearance include but are not limited to:

-Caps, do-rags or hoods in classrooms, the cafeteria, or other indoor venues. This policy item does not apply to headgear considered as a part of religious or cultural dress.

-Jeans at major programs such as, Opening Convocation, Commencement, Founder’s Day or other programs dictating professional, business casual attire, semi-formal or formal attire.

-Sagging – the wearing of one’s pants or shorts low enough to reveal undergarments or secondary layers of clothing.

-Pajamas, shall not be worn while in public or in common areas of the College.

-Wearing clothing associated with women’s garb (dresses, tops, tunics, purses, pumps, etc.) on the campus or at College-sponsored events.

-Additional dress regulations may be imposed upon students participating in certain extracurricular activities that are sponsored or organized by the College.

When I read these rules, I had to think about this for a minute. Most of this stuff SHOULD BE common sense to men. However, apparently they are not. I certainly would have never thought about leaving the house in my pajamas but that appears to be somewhat popular these days. For those that read my previous link on THE FLIP FLOP REVOLUTION (see link), I think this is what I was trying to get at. We’ve relaxed many societal rules. But is relaxing always good? Are men wearing DRESSES to convocation now? Shouldn’t budding college men know better?

Like it or not, perception matters. It’s been proven OVER and OVER again. The “beautiful” make more money, do more things, etc. By no means am I suggesting that we are not ALL beautiful but do we ALL take the time to enhance that beauty?

Ultimately, I think that when we want to do better, it is incumbent upon us to look at the man (or woman) in the mirror and determine if the way that we are dressed is the way that we want to be perceived by others. If the answer is NO, then I suggest we see the above list. Feel free to post this in your closet if necessary!

Until next time,

KP

More about Kenneth:

Kenneth D. Pratt Esq. is a graduate of Morehouse College and the Florida State University College of Law. A native of Tallahassee, Florida, he began his career there, as a certified legal intern at the Office of the State Attorney and progressed to the Office of the Attorney General where he served for three years. Pratt has published several short stories, poems, and op eds in National as well as local publications. In his spare time he enjoys reading, travel, and sports.

(photo source)

Beauty…and the Male: Why men should care about saving the tatas

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Unless you have been in a coma for the last two weeks, you’ve noticed that everywhere you go, you see some form of PINK. That means that it’s October again and it’s time that we ALL turn our focus to Breast Cancer Awareness Month. That’s right…ALL! Men also!

While breast cancer only involves about 1% of men directly, it does effect us in many, many indirect ways. Many men have grandmothers, mothers, sisters, aunts, cousins, close friends, etc., that have seen the terrible vestiges of the disease of breast cancer. I’ve watched close ones to me go through a very painful and lengthy chemotherapy period where I could do nothing to comfort them.

When my boss was diagnosed with breast cancer, it even made me fear for my own employment. A woman’s strength, her vibrancy, her hair, and her breasts (things that we as men love about women) are forever changed through the process.

Even today, I still chuckle when I see those “SAVE THE TATAS” bumper stickers. The brilliant mind that came up with that campaign totally realized that men needed to be reminded that OUR intimacy with OUR mates is many times drastically effected by breast cancer. And this year, even the National Football League (aka the bastion of maleness), has reminded men everywhere that we MUST do what we can to support research by playing with PINK armbands, PINK cleats, and even a PINK football. Thankfully, they raised millions to support research to end this condition.

So while my posts probably only reach about 1% of men and while the disease only effects 1% of men directly, this is a movement that we can ALL support 100%. Donate today.

More about Kenneth:

Kenneth D. Pratt Esq. is a graduate of Morehouse College and the Florida State University College of Law. A native of Tallahassee, Florida, he began his career there, as a certified legal intern at the Office of the State Attorney and progressed to the Office of the Attorney General where he served for three years. Pratt has published several short stories, poems, and op eds in National as well as local publications. In his spare time he enjoys reading, travel, and sports.

Beauty…and the Male: The Flip Flop Revolution

Part of the reason for my column on COM, is that several ladies commented that they want to know more about what men really like. Many times, men are too embarrassed or frightened to tell you what we really find attractive. So we just go along, to get along. However, I feel compelled to use my voice to speak out for all men (well, the ones that care about fashion).

I’m not sure exactly what is happening in the culture of women’s fashion in this country, but the flip flop has seriously taken over. And as a man, I have to say, I am NOT happy about it! First, let me say that I am all for comfort in today’s stressful society. If you are out and about on a weekend, running errands, or taking your kids to soccer practice, then by all means, enjoy yourself and the comfort of having your feet exposed to the sun (pedicure–mandatory).

Yet, while I believe in comfort, I also believe in appropriateness and the envelope has been pushed way too far! Recently, I did an informal survey and just began to pay more attention to women’s footwear in professional and more formal settings. I observed flip flops at work, at school, in airports, in business meetings, and even at funerals! Is it too much to ask for a little black pump during a FUNERAL!?!?!? The sexiest image is and continue to be a woman walking down the street in a nice skirt and a nice pair of heels!

Call me a bad person, but I firmly believe that this is the difference between our current generation and the ones in the past. Take a look at the adults in the 20s and 30s. If someone came out in public wearing flannel nightclothes, they would have been stoned in the public square. Yet, we allow it under the guise of it being more comfortable.

Very slowly, our society is corroding. The “rules” are being relaxed. Even in those instances when they should not be. Well, I, for one am ready to stand against it!! Get a grip and hold on to your soles, ladies…here’s a newsflash…the Flip Flop Revolution is OVER!

Until next time,
KP

More about Kenneth:

Kenneth D. Pratt Esq. is a graduate of Morehouse College and the Florida State University College of Law. A native of Tallahassee, Florida, he began his career there, as a certified legal intern at the Office of the State Attorney and progressed to the Office of the Attorney General where he served for three years. Pratt has published several short stories, poems, and op eds in National as well as local publications. In his spare time he enjoys reading, travel, and sports.

Beauty….and the Male: African Heritage Products for Men review

Clumpers,

By popular demand, I will be doing some product reviews of items that I have sampled. As a former teacher, I will be handing out grades and giving you the reason for the grade. Without further ado, let’s get it started HA…let’s get it started in here….

Company: Ikhala
Products: Face and Body products designed for men of African heritage
Price: $12-$18 per tube
How to get it: http://www.africanmale.menessentials.com/

Body Wash: F
Not a great smell, didn’t make me even feel clean. Definitely not for anyone who wants that all over feeling of clean. I felt like I needed to keep showering! As you can see from the photo, I didn’t even use the whole tube…can I GIVE this stuff away?

Face Wash: C
Nothing special about this; bottle leaked in my shower; not something that I would use daily. Very watery which means more ends up on your shower floor than on your face.

Shave Cream: D
Nothing special here either; kinda messy and watery and dries out quickly if you let it sit for 5 seconds. Seemed to work just fine with my razor but didn’t live up to the hype. I still prefer a heavy cream when shaving my head. Shaving your face for Black men is a whole column in itself. Coming soon!

Moisturizing Cream: B
Now this is what I am talking about! I was impressed with the lightness of this cream. It was not oily and left my skin still feeling clean but also moisturized my face. I actually put down my normal cream and began using this regularly.

Face Scrub: B+
Finally! They hit it on the head with this scrub for your face. Really felt like it was exfoliating my skin but also moisturizing it. Even felt great on my head after shaving it. This product along with the moisturizing cream are the two things that I ran out of. I would actually purchase these products again.

Summary: C-
Love the concept of a product for men of African Heritage. I wanted to like this product! I really did! Men of African heritage certainly have special challenges with razor bumps and dry skin and other issues. This product could have been improved with two things–a better marketing plan and Also, this might have been more attractive in better containers that don’t leak! All in all, love the concept but the Ikahla is not the answer to what you’ve been waiting for! I’ll let you know when I’m ready to drop “PRODUCT BY PRATT”!!

KP’s says, “BOOKMARK IT”!

Check out this site for a LOT of great information on products and what works. I found the community forum particularly great because you get responses from real guys, just like you and me, discussing male grooming. BOOKMARK IT!!

Until next time,
KP

More about Kenneth:

Kenneth D. Pratt Esq. is a graduate of Morehouse College and the Florida State University College of Law. A native of Tallahassee, Florida, he began his career there, as a certified legal intern at the Office of the State Attorney and progressed to the Office of the Attorney General where he served for three years. Pratt has published several short stories, poems, and op eds in National as well as local publications. In his spare time he enjoys reading, travel, and sports.

Beauty…and the Male: An Open Letter

CLUMPERS,

I want to thank you all for the love on my first ever blog entry. Frankly, I wasn’t sure if I would get calls for an encore or pumpkins thrown at me! But, I am excited about a new opportunity to bring a different view and perspective to what COM is already? So, after kicking it around with COM’s Founder and EIC, I figured we would do like the song says, “give the people what they want!” This is your chance! Write in and tell me what YOU want to see? A monthly review of a male product? Q&A column done bi-weekly? Tell me what YOU want to see from the newest male beauty blogger!

KP

Beauty and……the Male

A Clumps of Mascara first: Beauty from a male’s view.

Check out what Kenneth has to say about “The M-word”.

When it comes to societal norms, one thing that I have never quite grasped is why it is largely socially unacceptable for men to take care of their bodies—inside and out. I am thoroughly convinced that one of the reasons that women, in some circumstances, do not end up with men that they are happy to be with is because some women really don’t know what they want in a man. On one hand you say, I want a “manly man” who exhibits all of the macho images in the media. Then you turn around and denigrate those men who do dress nicely and take care of themselves in special ways. You leave men to wonder, “which is it?” What I find even more curious is that some women who say that they want a “manly man” feed into this stereotype.

What I have never quite grasped is why any woman would want to be with a man who is less than clean, neat and well put together? Someone, somewhere has come up with a list of items that “manly men” are not to engage in. And it seems like every day the number of “unmanly” things increases. To date, here is just a small list of what women have told me manly men should not do:

-Pluck or manage their eyebrows

-Shave their underarm hair or chest hair

-Get a facial, pedicure, or massage

-Use chap stick on their lips

-Applying lotion daily

-Have soft hands

-Dress nicely

-Smell nicely

-Eat a salad (yes!)

The list could certainly go on, but you understand what I am getting at. Now, ladies, close your eyes and think for a moment about the “manly man” who is a result of not taking care of himself by doing none of these things. He has eyebrows going every which way, hair growing out from under his arms, his nails are jagged, his lips are chapped, his skin is chaffed, and he is an overall disaster. Now pucker up to kiss this Adonis of a man!

The point might be made that men, themselves, also play a role in this quandary. I do not disagree. Once I was reading a book on etiquette and a male friend of mine called me the dirty M-word,“Metro.” I find these men to be just plain jealous, or “haters”. Many of these men do not want to take the time or energy to be neat, clean and dress nicely. Why? Beauty doesn’t just happen after all, you have to work at it!

Let me be clear on this. I am all for men playing their natural role in society. Yes, there is such a thing as taking it over the top on beautifying oneself as a man. However, we have taken it too far as a society when we refer to a man as the dirty “M-word” for exfoliating his skin or using lip balm. We, as men, must play our part to not allow the stereotypes to keep us from taking care of ourselves. Exfoliating your skin says nothing about your manliness, your sexual orientation or your ability to play the natural role that God has ordained men to play in our society. “Clump” readers, the paradigm shift begins with you. Begin to celebrate and appreciate those men that do take the time to take care of themselves, and hope that you end up with one!

So ladies Do you want your man groomed? When he takes the initiative do you call him the “M” word? Would he take offense if you did?

Kenneth D. Pratt, Esq.

Kenneth D. Pratt is a graduate of Morehouse College and the Florida State University College of Law. A native of Tallahassee, Florida, he began his career there, as a certified legal intern at the Office of the State Attorney and progressed to the Office of the Attorney General where he served for three years. Pratt has published several short stories, poems, and op eds in National as well as local publications. Kenneth is a member of Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church and in his spare time enjoys reading, travel, and sports.