Inside the Brazilian Amazon With VEJA

IT’S A GRAY JUNE MORNING in Brazil’s Amazon, and Julio Barbosa de Aquino is carving a long, shallow line into a tree outside his home in the state of Acre. The tree’s bark looks like a patchwork quilt: Semi-horizontal and vertical grooves cover just about every inch you can see.

Seconds later, a white liquid that almost resembles Elmer’s glue fills the space where Barbosa has carved, and it flows down diagonally into a separate vertical line. Finally, a few beads drip into a small black bucket that’s attached to the bark.

This is the morning’s main event: This is how you get wild rubber.

julio-veja-rubber
Julio Barbosa demonstrates the proper way to carve the trees to extract the wild rubber outside his home in Brazil’s Amazon. Photographs by John Lonsdale

TO REACH THE CHICO MENDES EXTRACTIVE RESERVE where Barbosa lives, you have to drive down a long, bumpy dirt road until you reach a river. Then, a short boat ride across the water later, you climb up a steep path to the top of the hill. The Chico Mendes Extractive Reserve is named after Barbosa’s best friend, Chico Mendes, who led a peaceful movement in the ’80s to protect Acre’s rubber tapping community from deforestation and farming, and was killed in 1988. Today, Barbosa, 64, is the president of the Chico Mendes Extractive Reserve Residents and Producers Association Xapuri, AMOPREX.

This is just one of eight associations where Veja, the sustainable French footwear brand, works with rubber tappers, or seringueiros, who collect wild rubber from the forest that goes into Veja’s popular lines of sleek and stylish sneakers like the Esplars, the Campos, and V-10s—all of which are made with the wild rubber.

“You need to get to the vein of the milk, but you cannot reach the tissue that is right behind,” says Barbosa, a few hours later while leading us on a nearly four-hour hike through the forest with the rubber tappers. It’s only part of a route the rubber tappers take every three days during the week. Along the way, they cut sections of the trees called “flags” to collect the rubber. “When they do this, there will be a scar,” he says. When a cut has gone too deep, the tree releases water, he explains. Instead, it’s better for the tree to make shallow cuts to get the rubber.

wild-rubber-veja
Wild rubber “cakes” in the town of Xapuri, Brazil, will eventually find their way into Veja’s line of stylish sneakers, including its new Condor running shoes. Photograph by John Lonsdale

From there, once collected and dry, wild rubber is sent to get processed, then it’s assembled with the sneakers in a factory in Porto Alegre, Brazil.

“We buy the wild rubber from Amazonia,” Veja co-founder Sébastien Kopp says during a break in our hike with the rubber tappers and Barbosa. “We buy the rubber coming from the trees from the forest, inside the forest. And this rubber becomes the soles of our shoes.”

veja-factory
A pair of Veja’s recently assembled in the brand’s factory in Porto Alegre, Brazil. Photograph by John Lonsdale

According to Kopp, each pair of Veja’s sneakers’ soles have about 20-40 percent of the wild rubber. “This year we’re going to buy 170 tons of wild rubber at a price that we call fair that has nothing to do with the market price, and that is how the rubber tapper can make a living out of it and can make a living better than raising cattle or cutting down the forest.

“Because the paradox is that [the rubber tappers] can be the destroyer of the forest if they don’t have an income, don’t earn money, they can cut the forest to sell the trees and put cattle,” he says. “But they can also be the guardians of the forest, and that’s the way we try to push them towards.”

veja co-founders
VEJA co-founders Sébastien Kopp (left) and François Ghislain Morillion (right) Courtesy VEJA

KOPP, ALONG WITH François Ghislain Morillion, founded Veja in 2005 and began working in Acre just a year earlier.

In 2007, Bia Saldanha, who lives in the Brazilian Amazon, started working as Veja’s wild rubber chain designer and coordinator to help streamline the production process. “My mission is to make sure that the relationship between the company and the rubber tappers is growing and being fair and healthy for both parts, especially for the rubber tappers,” says Saldanha.

veja
Bia Saldanha (left) and Sébastien Kopp (right) in the Brazilian Amazon. Courtesy Veja

After years of working in Acre, the brand’s work with the rubber tappers who help maintain the forest feels especially important today.

This summer, Brazil made headlines because of the Amazon’s wildfires. NASA could see the smoke from space, and the Amazon saw over an 80 percent increase in wildfires since this time in 2018, along with an increase in deforestation in June.

We try to say that a forest which is up has more value than a forest which is down.

“We don’t try to fight against deforestation. We try to valorize the forest,” Kopp explained to me on our walk through the forest, weeks before the wildfires made the news. “We try to say that a forest which is up has more value than a forest which is down. That’s what we’re trying to do with the rubber for 15 years. We’re trying to prove that you can make an economic value with the forest—but with the forest standing up.”

veja condor
Veja has launched its first running shoes, the Condor, which are designed with recycled plastic, wild rubber, and more. Courtesy VEJA

Now, months since Barbosa demonstrated how to properly collect wild rubber, Veja’s launching its next project: the brand’s first running shoes. The name: the Condor. Four years in the making, the Condors retail for under $ 150 and forego some of the materials and plastics you might find in other running kicks in your closet. These pack in an upper made of recycled plastic bottles, for example, along with organic cotton in the lining.

veja condor running shoes
Veja has launched its first running shoes, the Condors. Courtesy Veja

Morillion explains that, for the brand, the decision to eventually design running sneakers was “quite natural.” He says the Condors are built for running a 20K, or a half-marathon race.

veja condor
Veja’s new Condor running shoes include an outsole made with a mix of wild rubber, wild rice husk, and synthetic rubber. Courtesy Veja

The Condors’ outsole alone has 31 percent rice husk, 30 percent synthetic rubber, and 30 percent wild rubber that came from the Brazilian Amazon. The Condors are what Veja calls the “first post-petroleum running shoe”—a pair of sneakers that are 53 percent recycled and bio-based.

“We know we’re not 100 percent,” Morillion says, “but it’s the direction. And it’s really the goal that we want to reach.”

The post Inside the Brazilian Amazon With VEJA appeared first on Men's Journal.

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The 15 Best Beard Balms You Can Buy on Amazon

If you have a beard, you know how hard it is to keep it under control. There are a ton of beard balms on the market these days that claim to do that—but do they really work? Are they all the same, or do some work better than others? The differences can be subtle, indeed; some use different oils, and most have different smells. But at the end of the day they’re all trying to accomplish the same task. So choosing the right one for you can be confusing.

So which beard balm is the best? We chose Honest Amish Beard Balm as our Best Overall Beard Balm. But like the beards they’re intended to tame, all beard balms are different. This list should help you decide which beard balm is perfect for you.

What was our criteria? If a product can both tame and moisturize your beard, there’s a good chance it made our Best Beard Balms list. If it can do all that and use all-natural or organic ingredients, there’s a very good chance it made our list. The ones that definitely made our list of the Best Beard Balms are the products that did all those things, and were very highly rated by users—particularly those products that held on to their high rankings after hundreds, or even thousands, of user evaluations.

Of course, we should all be a little skeptical of user reviews. But when a product has a four- to five-star rating after nearly 7,500 reviews, as Honest Amish Beard Balm does, it’s impossible to deny that the stuff really works.

Which Other Beard Balms Did We Like?

Smooth Viking—One of the first of the myriad new beard-specific brands to launch after the latest facial hair trend, Smooth Viking was founded in Delaware back in 2014. It works well, and smells great;
Hoot’s Naturals—We like the down-home approach of Hoot’s. Even the label appears hand-drawn. It’s natural and organic, ethically sourced, completely unscented, and comes in a 3.5-ounce tin;
Badass Beard Balm—One of the most particular things about beard balms is the smell—it’s completely subjective and can definitely be a deal-breaker. Badass has 13 scents to choose from. Best of all, it’s owned by veterans;
Hunter Jack—Killer packaging, a near-perfect 4.9-star Amazon rating, and a flask of beard oil on a key chain. What’s not to love?

Why Beard Balm?

The main purpose of beard balm is to tame your beard, and to allow you to shape it the way you want. In order to do that, you need to put product on it—otherwise your beard just flies all over the place. Many guys who grow beards experience itching and dry, flaky skin—sometimes referred to as “beardruff.” It’s a funny word, sure—but it’s not a good look. These days, most beard grooming products are designed not just to help you shape your beard, but also to nourish and moisturize the hairs—and your face underneath.

The difference between beard balm and beard oil? Depends on your beard. Oil is more viscous than balm. It’s generally better for moisturizing, but oil can’t hold or tame hair quite as well as thicker balms. General rule: If you’re growing out your beard, or just like to keep it short, try a beard oil for moisturizing and fighting beardruff. If your beard is hanging, or won’t get itself into the shape you desire, beard balm is the way to go. With the myriad beard grooming products on the market today, we chose not to include oils on this list in an effort to keep it tight.

Did your beard balm make our list of the 15 Best Beard Balms? If not, maybe it’s time to try one of the ones below.

Best Overall

Honest Amish

The number-one rated and reviewed beard balm on Amazon tops our list as well as the Best Overall Beard Balm. Nearly 7,500 reviewers—more than twice as many as the next most popular brand—just can’t be wrong.

It’s all-natural and 100 percent organic. Starting with a proprietary blend of 15 strengthening botanicals infused in a base of virgin argan, avocado, almond, pumpkin seed, and apricot kernal oils, it’s then masterfully crafted with fruit and nut butters and essential oils. It will help soften and condition your beard, repairing dry, splitting hairs and nourishing new growth. 

PROS:

-No man-made chemicals or preservatives; no fake fragrances or colorants.

-Eliminates “beardruff.”

Packaged in a recyclable tin.

CONS:

-Guys with nut allergies might want to steer clear—just in case.

Get It: Pick up Honest Amish Beard Balm ($ 11, 2oz.) at Amazon

Amazon

Best All-natural

Rocky Mountain Barber Company

Natural ingredients, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and essential fatty acids to nourish and strengthen your beard. Get the style and control you want without weighing down or leaving your beard greasy or oily. 

Small batches and frequent production runs deliver a fresh product to you, every time. We like the Cedarwood scent, but there are several. Try the variety pack of RMBC beard oils and change it up occasionally.

PROS:

-Almost 500 reviewers give it 4.3 stars.

-Helps control “beardruff.”

CONS:

-Scent is manly and dissapates quickly, but some reviewers note more pine than cedar.

Get It: Pick up Rocky Mountain Barber Company Cedarwood ($ 13, 2oz.) at Amazon

Amazon

Best for Shaping

Smooth Viking

Smooth Viking was started in 2014 by a bunch of regular beardos who weren’t satisfied by the old-style products they found gathering dust on store shelves. You can tame even the wildest beard thanks to its superior hold, softening properties, and shaping power.

If it’s style and shape you want, this formula has you covered with its blend of premium wax and natural oils.

PROS:

-One of the most-reviewed beard balms on Amazon—2,500 and counting with a 4.5-star rating.

-Excellent customer service.

CONS:

-Some Amazon reviewers weren’t a fan of the fragrance, but most either didn’t smell anything or loved it.

Get It: Save 5% on Smooth Viking Beard Balm ($ 14, 2oz.; was $ 14)

Smooth Viking

Best for Patchy Beards

Prophet and Tools 

This 2-in1 balm and wax is excellent for filling out patchy beards because it tames flyaways, strengthens thin and weak hairs, and helps new growth come in. Prophet & Tools is designed to inject proteins and vitamins into facial hair, resulting in thicker hair strands. Many guys see a difference within four weeks.

And, it’s made clear to stay clear—unlike beard balms made with yellow beeswax, which can color and dye light-colored beards.

PROS:

-4.5 stars on nearly 1.3K reviews.

-Every order gets a free beard care eBook.

CONS:

-Scent might be too floral for some men.

Get It: Pick up Prophet and Tools Beard Balm Premium (starting at $ 15, 60g) at Amazon

Amazon

Best Value

Hoot’s Naturals

Completely unscented, this stuff lets your magnificent mane do all the talking. It’s made of organic hempseed oil, beeswax, jojoba, grape seed oil, amd argan oils, murumuru butter, and rosemary extract. Oh, and vitamin E. Nothing else is added, or needed.

The extra large 3.5-ounce tin contains almost twice as much beard balm as some of the other guys. And the price is comparable. A lot of beard oils conflict with colognes, deodorants, etc. Not this one.

PROS:

-94 percent of 700 reviewers rate it at least four stars.

-Hoot’s gets high marks for its customer service.

CONS:

-Doesn’t include a comb, but you probably have one you prefer, anyway.

Get It: Pick up Hoot’s Naturals Beard Balm ($ 15, 3.5oz.) at Amazon

Amazon

Best Strong Hold

Urban Nomads Stronghold Beard & Hair Wax

Urban Nomads’ formula uses the best natural ingredients for control and conditioning, while also providing strong hold to keep your favorite style. Use it as a beard balm, conditioner, and styling wax for styles that last all day. If you’ve ever wanted a handlebar mustache, here’s your ticket.

Made of a healthy mix of carotenes, sesame seed oils, bergamot, and citrus fruit oil to repair dry and splitting hair, restore shine, promote hair growth, and moisturize your skin and scalp.

PROS:

-100 percent organic; no animal fats or petroleum oils.

-Handcrafted in Barcelona, Spain.

CONS:

-The strong hold keeps going out of stock—pick it up while it’s still available!

Get It: Pick up Urban Nomads Stronghold Beard & Hair Wax (starting at $ 18, 2oz.) at Amazon

Amazon

Best for Itching

Mountaineer Brand 

This balm has a creamy consistency that quickly liquefies in the palm of your hand and easily absorbs into your beard and skin. 100 percent natural, it’s handmade in smal batches in West Virginia.

Six scents include WV Coal, WV Timber, WV Pine Tar, Citrus & Spice, Lime & Sage, and Original (cedarwood, clove, and eucalyptus).

PROS:

-Only three ingredients: oils, botanical butter, and beeswax.

-Made in the US.

CONS:

-Some reviewers claim the scent is stronger than necessary.

Get It: Pick up Mountaineer Brand Magic Beard Balm ($ 10, 2oz.) at Amazon

Amazon

Best Beard Kit

Hunter Jack Balm & Oil Kit

After almost 350 Amazon reviews, this product maintains a near-perfect 4.9-star rating. Use these two products in concert for complete, all-natural beard (and mustache) care. It has a fresh, manly scent with no chemicals or preservatives. 

Made with organic jojoba oil, aloe vera, chamomile and vitamin E, it’s vegan-friendly. 

PROS:

-Fantastic packaging; makes a great gift.

-Money-back guarantee.

CONS:

-Mostly everyone loves the scent, though a couple of Amazon reviewers said it was too much for any sensitive noses.

Get It: Pick up the Hunter Jack Beard Balm & Beard Oil Deluxe Kit ($ 14) at Amazon

Amazon

Best for Dry, Brittle Beards

BushKlawz Urban Prince 

Improves softness, manageability, and beard hair health by conditioning with all natural ingredients. It’s particularly helpful for dry, brittle, or unruly beards because it keeps hair follicles moist and promotes growth from within. Keeps your beard conditioned, smooth and soft, all the while maintaining a slight hold.

The Urban Prince scent is a balance of masculine, sporty, refreshing, and crisp ocean breeze. There are also Lumber and Pacific Prince versions.

PROS:

-More than 70% of reviewers give it at least four stars.

-This scent is 30 percent off right now.

CONS:

-Not all reviewers love all the scents; Urban Prince is by far the favorite among users.

Get It: Save $ 5 on BushKlawz Urban Prince Beard Balm ($ 11; was $ 16 for 2oz.) at Amazon

Amazon

Best for Thick Beards

Scotch Porter 

Experience what a smooth and supple beard is supposed to feel like. Scotch Porter makes a complete line of renowned men’s grooming products, so you know you can trust this stuff to be top-notch. It contains no parabens, silicones, petroleum, mineral oil, or artificial colors. And if you’re hiding the greys, it’s safe for color-treated beards.

A masculine but floral blend of carnation, with subtle notes of sandalwood, powdery musk, and spicy undertones.

PROS:

-It’s ideal for extra-thick beards.

-Excellent for “beardruff” and dry skin.

CONS:

-It has a lighter hold.

Get It: Pick up Scotch Porter Beard Balm ($ 20, 3 oz.) at Amazon

Scotch Porter

Best for Stubble & Scruff

Cremo Beard & Scruff Cream

Whether you’re growing out your facial hair or just like to keep things tight, Cremo moisturizes and softens while providing nourishment. The plant-based formula minimizes irritation and itching, without weight or greasiness. 

This is not a traditional beard balm; it’s smoother and creamier blend that’s made specifically for shorter beards. The Mint scent doesn’t overpower; also try the woodsier Forest Blend.

PROS:

-Cremo makes a full line of beard care products.

-Specifically designed for shorter beards.

CONS:

-Guys with longer beards might want to opt for a traditional beard balm.

Get It: Pick up Cremo Beard & Scruff Cream ($ 7, 4oz.) at Amazon

Amazon

Best Smell

Beardbrand Utility Balm

With an outdoorsy aroma and excellent hold, Tree Ranger is this particular scent of Utility Balm (we also like Lumber). It’s not an overpowering fragrance; in fact, it mellows quickly and blends well with musky colognes.

As for the balm, it lasts a long time, softens and conditions the beard, and is solid at room temperature but melts quickly and smoothes easily. 

PROS:

-Fantastic on skin.

-Great for rejuvenating the appearance of your tattoos.

CONS:

-A bit pricy, but it’s a great brand.

Get It: Pick up Beardbrand Tree Ranger Utility Balm ($ 40, 4oz) at Amazon

Amazon

Best for Mustaches, Too

ArtNaturals Beard & Stache Balm

This unscented beard and mustache balm uses argan and jojoba oil to hydrate and nourish your facial hair while promoting healthy growth and volume. It conditions and softens beards while also treating dry skin, beard itch, irritation, and flakes.

The natural antioxidant benefits of the organic oils cleans and purifies your skin’s pores. Gentle and safe for all skin types.

PROS:

100 percent natural; paraben- and cruelty-free.

-1.6K reviews; 4.3 stars.

CONS:

-Beard balm will expire after a while; whichever one you order, keep an eye on the date.

Get It: Pick up ArtNaturals Beard & Stache Balm ($ 7, 2oz.) at Amazon

Amazon

Best Variety

Badass Beard Balm

With 13 styles to choose from, there’s a Badass Beard Balm for everyone. Hand crafted with all-natural and organic food-grade ingredients and essential oils, they’re easy to work with. Formulated to reduce itchy and flaky skin, promote thicker and faster growth, tame fly-aways, repair split ends, and leave you with a light to medium hold. 

The Original scent is a sandalwood and vanilla blend. 

PROS:

-Owned by bearded veterans.

-More than 700 reviews; 4.6-star rating.

CONS:

-So many scents, we haven’t even tried them all.

Get It: Pick up Badass Beard Balm (starting at $ 20, 2oz.) at Amazon

Badass Beard Care

Best for Thin Beards

Bossman Relaxing Beard Balm

Helps to relax your beard making it more manageable, taming the fly-aways. Ingredients like mango, shea butter, and other nutritious oils nourish, strengthen, and facilitate growth for a thicker and more mature beard.

Magic is a blend of rich sandalwood and vanilla that highlights the bergamont, patchouli and frankincense accents. There are three other Bossman scents, plus an unscented version called Naked.

PROS:

-All natural, not tested on animals.

-Made in the US.

CONS:

-Heat before application by rubbing a small amount between your palms; it will spread more easily.

Get It: Pick up the Bossman Relaxing Beard Balm “Magic” ($ 15, 2oz.) at Amazon

Amazon

The post The 15 Best Beard Balms You Can Buy on Amazon appeared first on Men's Journal.

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9 Awesome Deals on Fitness Apparel at Amazon

Ever heard the phrase “the right tool for the job”? As any trainer would tell you, that applies to fitness as well. Use the right equipment, do the job right, and make the most of your effort. Beyond just racks, gear, and gadgets, the right fitness apparel can make all the difference in crushing your goals—and your recovery the next day. We found a bunch of great fitness apparel at Amazon; check it out below.

If you’re under the impression fitness apparel is not for you, think again. Even if you only go to the gym occasionally, ride your bike once in a while, or even just play in a casual weekend sports league, the right apparel can make all the difference. You’ll feel better, so your goals will be easier to achieve. You’ll perform better, so the results you see will be worthwhile. And you’ll look better, too—so the attention you get will be nothing but positive.

There’s a lot to be found on this list of Amazon fitness apparel. From casual, comfortable soccer sweats that look as good on the street as they do in the gym, to a good price on the ideal compression base layer for improving blood flow and speeding recovery, to a fantastic deal on a bike bib that will have to ready, willing, and able to pedal serious miles, there’s something for everyone.

What If I’m Not A Gym Guy?

Even if you’re not into fitness, fitness gear can have immense benefits. For example, if you’re on your feet all day at work or walk for a living, knee-high compression socks can make the difference between sore feet and feeling ready to rock in the morning. A long-sleeve, UPF 50+ shirt is a lifesaver for those who are sensitive to the sun. And if you’ve never tried compression underwear, you may end up among the more than one thousand reviewers who say they’re never going back to boxers or briefs.

So if you’re on the hunt for new gear, check out our picks for fitness apparel from Amazon.

TSLA Cool Dry Compression Baselayer

With dozens of colors and styles to choose from, you’re sure to love this baselayer. The poly/spandex bland provides UPF 50+ sun protection. If you prefer regular, more comfortable compression, you may want to size up.

Amazon

Neleus 3-pack Compression Short

Keep everything where it’s supposed to be with this great deal on compression shorts. Featuring four-way stretch construction of soft, lightweight fabric, they’re great for sports, working out, work, or everyday wear. Size up, as these can run a little tight.

Amazon

adidas Tiro 17 Training Pants

Featuring ventilated climacool and mesh inserts for maximum breathability, these soccer training pants help you warm up without overheating. A slim fit 30-inch inseam (size Medium) and zip ankles promote easy footwork. 

Amazon

Laite Hebe 7-pack Compression Socks

One of the top-rated items in Amazon’s Fitness Apparel section (nearly 6k reviews!), these unisex compression socks are fantastic for active guys—but also ideal for anyone who spends a lot of time on their feet every day. At this price, you can’t afford not to give them a try. 

Amazon

Under Armour Raid 10″ Shorts

Nearly 2k reviewers agree: These shorts are awesome. And there are more than 20 colors and styles available. The HeatGear fabric is ultra-soft and smooth for lightweight comfort, and four-way stretch construction provides wiggle room. With anti-odor technology, sweat-wicking fabric that dries fast, and UPF30+ protection. 

Amazon

Injinji Run 2.0 No-Show Toe Socks

Maximize your comfort by minimizing bulk, moisture, and friction with this ultra-thin, minimalist style performance toesock. It allows your toes to align and splay naturally, resulting in a more comfortable fit. The clever heel tab protects against chafing and keeps the sock from sliding down into the shoe. 

Amazon

Przewalski 3D Padded Cycling Bike Bib Shorts

Stay cool and comfortable on your next trek. You’ll get excellent stretch, support, and recovery with UPF protection and compression fabric that stays dry even when you sweat. Multi-panels optimize breatheability and flat-seam construction prevents chafing. The gel pad absorbs shock and reduces skin irritation. 800 reviewers swear by this riding bib.

Amazon

Neleus 3-pack Y-Back Tank Top

The Y-back, sometimes known as the T-back or racerback, is the preferred style for bodybuilders, gym fanatics, and guys with muscular athletic physiques. Soft and breathable moisture-wicking fabrics keep you dry and comfortable.

Amazon

DRSKIN Compression Sports Leggings

These come in a variety of styles, colors, and packages, so your cost will vary depending on what you order. But there’s no denying the value you get from quality compression gear. If you’ve never tried leggings, at this price you’ve got nothing to lose. If you know you’ll love them, go for the 3-pack.

Check out all the products and gear we’ve selected for Men’s Journal readers here

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The post 9 Awesome Deals on Fitness Apparel at Amazon appeared first on Men's Journal.

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More Than 50,000 Reviewers Agree: These Are the Best Sheets on Amazon

Does your bed make you happy? When was the last time you bought new sheets? Chances are, it’s time for an upgrade. (Hey, it couldn’t hurt). You could easily spend hundreds on your new sheet set—but why? These top-rated sheets at Amazon have over 50,000 reviews and get a solid 4.4 out of five stars—and they’re on sale right now, starting at just $ 17.

Made of a synthetic brushed microfiber polyester material that’s as soft as silk and smooth as satin, Mellanni 1800 sheets are hypoallergenic, stain-resistant, and made to last wash after wash. And that’s not just sales-pitch jargon; these are the opinions of literally tens of thousands of satisfied customers. And at this price, you can’t afford not to find out for yourself if the raves are true.

sheets
Amazon

If you’re having trouble sleeping at night, or are just ready to ditch your grubby old sheets, Mellanni 1800 Bed Sheets are a perfect upgrade. There are nearly 40 colors and prints to choose from. The polyester microfiber is more durable than cotton, and as long as you wash them in cold water and tumble dry them on low, they’ll remain stain-, wrinkle-, and fade-resistant for years. Even if you’re happy with the sheets on your bed, these sheets are perfect for kids’ beds, ideal for the guest room, and perfect as a back-up set.

Sizes are as follows:

Twin (from $ 17) – 1 flat sheet 66″x96″, 1 fitted sheet 39″ x 75″, 1 pillowcase 20″x30″
Twin XL (from $ 30) – 1 flat sheet 66″x102″, 1 fitted sheet 39″ x 80″, 1 pillowcase 20″x30″
Full (from $ 27) – 1 flat sheet 81”x96””, 1 fitted sheet 54″ x 75″, 2 pillowcases 20″x30″
Queen (from $ 30) – 1 flat sheet 102″x90″, 1 fitted sheet 80″ x 60″, 2 pillowcases 20″x30″
King (from $ 30) – 1 flat sheet 102″x105″, 1 fitted sheet 78″ x 80″, 2 pillowcases 20″x40″
California King (from $ 33) – 1 flat sheet 102″x108″, 1 fitted sheet 72″ x 84″, 2 king size pillowcases 20″x40″
Split King (from $ 30) – 1 flat sheet 108″ x 102″, 2 fitted sheets 39″ x 80″, 2 king size pillowcases 20″ x 40″

These prices are particularly notable because even as the size of the sheets increases—and from Queen on up, you get two pillowcases—it stays right around the $ 30 mark. And unlike many sheet sets, the fitted sheets here feature an elastic band all the way around, rather than just the corners.

sheets
Amazon

Get It: Pick up a set of Mellanni 1800 Bedsheets from $ 17 and up at Amazon.

Check out all the products and gear selected just for Men’s Journal readers here.

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The post More Than 50,000 Reviewers Agree: These Are the Best Sheets on Amazon appeared first on Men's Journal.

Men’s Journal Latest Style News

Oakland’s Feelmore Adult Gallery Featured in Amazon Series ‘Dyke Central’

Nenna Joiner’s Feelmore Adult Gallery was a filming location for “Dyke Central,” a queer-centric television series now streaming on Amazon.
XBIZ.com – Pleasure & Retail

Now Amazon Wants to Take Over Your Closet

Amazon has already changed the way humans shop for pretty much everything. Now the company has its sights set on the fastest growing segment of e-commerce on the planet: apparel.

Of course, there are plenty of hurdles. People have always been leery of buying clothes they can’t first see, feel, and/or try on. And guys notoriously hate shopping for clothes. Most importantly, until recently absolutely nothing about Amazon was considered “cool.” Rather, Amazon earned its renown as the source for the life’s necessary staples: trash bags, light bulbs, and batteries.

Alexa changed all that.

The groundbreaking smart home accessory beat established tech companies to market with a  fun, intuitive, and—so far—reliable product with the Echo. Thanks to its success, Amazon has been emboldened in recent years, branching into segments (like groceries) that had traditionally been off-limits to the company. It still might not be “cool,” but it’s definitely on the cutting edge.


RELATED: The Best Amazon Alexa-Powered Tech You Need in Your Home

Fashion, though, is purely subjective. Thanks to the commerce models put in place by apparel companies like Bonobos and Warby Parker, the online fashion commerce business plan has been firmly established. Now it’s up to Amazon to convince us that it’s developed a tasteful sense of style.

Amazon
Amazon

Enter Amazon Fashion.

It follows Amazon’s traditional presentation to a T, sorting its offerings into categories by price, size, Big & Tall, brand, and more. But Amazon Fashion breaks it down even further into curated sections such as Night Out (stylish streetwear), Workout, and In for the Night (loungewear, pajamas). Better, it curates pages to offer recommendations on various styles of dress. The Cool section features plenty of black garb, skinny jeans, leather jackets, and boots; Minimal offers staples in warm tones, like coats, sweaters, and sneakers; Casual goes for the comfortable, laid-back look with chinos, chukkas, and natural fabrics; and Classic offers traditional everyday fare like jeans, t-shirts, work boots, and pea coats.


ALSO: Unboxing Amazon: How to Get the Most From Your Prime Subscription

Recently, Amazon also unveiled a number of technical innovations designed to drive its apparel business. The Echo Look is an Alexa-powered “hands-free camera and style assistant” that records and comments on your clothing choices—and offers recommendations for improvement, based on a variety of AI factors. (If that seems kinda creepy, we don’t blame you—but so did horseless carriages way back when.) The Look hasn’t yet exploded like the Alexa has, perhaps because it doesn’t allow calling and messaging the way a traditional Echo does. But with a holiday sale price of $ 50 (it’s regularly $ 200), the Echo Look is priced to move. We’ll see.

Amazon
Amazon

Another new fashion feature, Prime Wardrobe, lets you to try up to eight items for seven days (no dressing rooms!) and return what you don’t want, free, in a resealable box with a preprinted label. It’s another modern approach that Amazon learned from the real innovators in the e-commerce apparel space, like StitchFix.

So take a spin around Amazon Fashion. If you’re already a Prime member, you’ve got nothing to lose; just return the stuff you won’t wear. It might not totally revolutionize your closet, but it’s way easier than a dozen laps around the mall. And hey, no dressing rooms.

The post Now Amazon Wants to Take Over Your Closet appeared first on Men's Journal.

Men’s Journal Latest Style News

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos Speaks at WIRED25

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos spoke with WIRED’s Steven Levy as part of WIRED25, WIRED’s 25th anniversary celebration in San Francisco.
WIRED Videos

Snoop Dogg Drops Amazon Original “Grateful” With E-40 & Tyrese

The D-O Double G celebrates his star on the Walk of Fame with a new song.


HipHopDX News

Taking on Amazon, Google & Silicon Valley: EU Competition Chief Talks Tech with WIRED’s Nicholas Thompson

WIRED Editor in Chief Nicholas Thompson discusses the regulation of tech companies and their products with European Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager.
WIRED Videos

5 Stylish Picks to Grab From the Amazon Prime Day Sale

The Amazon Prime Day Sale is in full swing and there’s no shortage of pieces to pick up to upgrade your style. The perfect time to add some stylish pieces to your closet, the sale is a great excuse to stock up on both basic closet essentials and stylish finds. Everything from comfortable kicks, denim offerings, and stylish shades are deeply discounted. To keep you ahead of the game, we selected a few of our favorites that will spruce up your wardrobe.


5 Best Gear Deals to Shop on Amazon Prime Day

Calvin Klein Men’s Denim Trucker Jacket

Denim jackets are a mainstay for every guy’s wardrobe. The main reason: They offer that timeless, classic style that’s perfect for just about every situation. Whether you want to dress it up with your favorite button-down or a simple white tee, this Calvin Klein jacket is an essential, versatile staple you can wear all year long.

Calvin Klein Men’s Denim Trucker Jacket, $ 64.99 (18% off)

Amazon

Cole Haan Crosscourt Sneaker

These leather sneakers somehow achieve that perfect balance of looking both casual and dressed-up at the same time. They’re the kind of grown-up shoe you need for work and for date night. Get them in eight different colors and a variety of uppers, ranging from suede to leather. No one has to know you got them for under $ 100, either.

Cole Haan Men’s Grand Crosscourt II Sneaker, $ 63.85 (29% off)

 

Amazon

MVMT Hyde Polarized Rectangular Sunglasses

Protect your eyes in style this summer. MVMT Hyde shades have always been on trend and this rugged pair is no exception. Round frames with a retro printed design come together to provide a classic-meets-modern finish.

MVMT Hyde Polarized Rectangular Women’s & Men’s Sunglasses, $ 72 (20% off)

Amazon

Goodthreads Men’s 5-Pocket Chino Pant

For days when you’re looking for the perfect office-to-happy hour look, these chino pants are just what you’ll need. With a sleek and stylish design, they’ll become your new go-to pants to get you through big meeting days when paired with a tie or with a crewneck tee and a blazer. Your call, but you can’t go wrong. 

Goodthreads Men’s 5-Pocket Chino Pant, $ 21 (30% Off)

Amazon

Calvin Klein Men’s Ivo Loafer

Whether you’re all about keep things simple or looking to dress it up for a special occasion, these loafers are an ideal pick. The classic and minimal aesthetic lends itself to just about every summer activity. Wear them with lightweight chinos to your next BBQ bash or that lightweight suit you bought just for summer.

Calvin Klein Men’s Ivo Loafer, $ 49.99 (49% off)

Prices are accurate at the time this article was published, but may change over time.

Amazon

The post 5 Stylish Picks to Grab From the Amazon Prime Day Sale appeared first on Men's Journal.

Men’s Journal Latest Style News

Mozart in the Jungle: Seasons 1 and 2 (An Amazon Music Original Soundtrack) – Various Artists


Mozart in the Jungle: Seasons 1 and 2 (An Amazon Music Original Soundtrack)

Release Date:
August 12, 2016
Total Songs:
10

Genre:
Soundtrack

Price:
$ 9.99

Copyright
℗ 2016 Amazon Content Services


iTunes 100 New Releases

Amazon Now Considers Itself an AI Company | WIRED BizCon

Speaking at the WIRED Business Conference, Amazon SVP of Devices, David Limp confessed that if Amazon is to continue to thrive in the future, it has to consider itself an AI company.
WIRED Videos

Style Notes: Uniqlo’s Mind-Reading Shopping Experience; Amazon Enters Handmade Market


Stylish weekend reads.

read more



Style

World’s Tallest Actress Wants Protection … From ‘Amazon’ Shooter

Lindsay Kay Hayward says a guy with a gun has made her life miserable and she needs a judge to protect her from harassment and harm. Lindsay — the nearly 7 footer on TLC’s “My Giant Life” — claims her manager has guns, practices shooting…

Permalink

TMZ Celebrity News for Celebrity Justice


Spot the Fake Review on Amazon

This new one fits all the tells for a fake review. (Allegedly!) 

See if you agree.

Those of you who were smart enough to read my book can confirm that this fellow didn’t get the central theme, which would be hard to miss. (He thinks systems and habits are sort of the same, I think, for example.)

If you look at the good reviews for the same book, people usually show an understanding of the content. The fake reviews look like someone guessing incorrectly based on skimming or looking at the summary description.

The fake reviews pop up whenever I hit a hot button on a political issue in my blog.

Clearly I am pointing out the fake reviews for self-serving reasons. But it also fits the persuasion theme I have been writing about. The fake reviews stand out to me because detecting lies is one of the skills you pick up almost accidentally while mastering hypnosis and persuasion and negotiating and the like. People lie according to certain patterns. Law enforcement folks have the same training. We look for the same tells. I blogged on fake review tells before.


Scott Adams Blog

Piers Morgan: Jeremy Clarkson’s New Amazon Motoring Show Won’t Be “Big” in U.K.


“I would imagine within two years they’ll have a very successful online show, just not many people will be watching it in this country.”

read more



International

Cam’ron Pokes Fun Of Amazon Workplace Scandal

Cam’ron serves as Human Resources Manager as part of “The Nightly Show” sketch.


HipHopDX News

News in Brief: Jeff Bezos Assures Amazon Employees That HR Working 100 Hours A Week To Address Their Complaints

SEATTLE—In response to accusations of an abusive workplace environment, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos assured employees Tuesday that the company’s human resources staff was working 100 hours a week to address their complaints. “I’ve heard your grievances, and I promise that HR is toiling 16 hours a day, plus weekends, until the problem is solved,” read a company-wide email from Bezos, who promised that members of the human resources department would not be allowed to rest for a single second until allegations of a cruel, backstabbing office culture at Amazon were fully dealt with. “Nothing matters more to me than the well-being of our employees, and our HR staff will continue to work their fingers to the bone—not seeing their families or friends or anything at all outside their offices—for as long as it takes to make this right.” Bezos added that any employee not fully …




The Onion

American Voices: Amazon Exposé Alleges Mistreatment Of Workers

The New York Times’ recent exposé on Amazon’s treatment of its workforce has caused public outcry, though the online retail giant’s CEO, Jeff Bezos, has denied the allegations, saying that if such accusations were true, employees would be “crazy to stay.” What do you think?




The Onion

India’s Zee Launches Dishflix Ahead of Netflix, Amazon Entry Into Country


The satellite delivered service offers both Hollywood and Bollywood content.

read more



International

Jeremy Clarkson: New Amazon Motoring Show Is “Music to My Ears”

The former ‘Top Gear’ host hails the lack of editorial pressure from his new paymasters.
Music News Headlines – Yahoo News

Former ‘Top Gear’ Producer: Amazon Deal Was “Strongest and Most Intelligent Offer”


Andy Wilman claims the new motoring show with Jeremy Clarkson will offers “lots of newness.”

read more



International

American Voices: Walmart Announces Sales To Rival Amazon Prime Day

After Amazon announced it would celebrate its 20th anniversary on July 15 with a massive sales event called Prime Day, Walmart has responded that it too will launch an online sale this Wednesday, complete with “special atomic deals” and expanded free shipping options. What do you think?



The Onion

Wenona The Gymnast Take on Amazon “Wonder” Pink in Erotic Wrestling

This is Summer Vengeance. The girls come at each other hard and fast. One wrestler gets trapped on the mats begging for air while the dominate wrestler brutally keeps fingering her until she has to quit.
Ultimate Surrender Gallery Update

Wenona The Gymnast Take on Amazon “Wonder” Pink in Erotic Wrestling

This is Summer Vengeance. The girls come at each other hard and fast. One wrestler gets trapped on the mats begging for air while the dominate wrestler brutally keeps fingering her until she has to quit.
Ultimate Surrender Gallery Update

Wenona The Gymnast Take on Amazon “Wonder” Pink in Erotic Wrestling

This is Summer Vengeance. The girls come at each other hard and fast. One wrestler gets trapped on the mats begging for air while the dominate wrestler brutally keeps fingering her until she has to quit.
Ultimate Surrender Gallery Update

Wenona The Gymnast Take on Amazon “Wonder” Pink in Erotic Wrestling

This is Summer Vengeance. The girls come at each other hard and fast. One wrestler gets trapped on the mats begging for air while the dominate wrestler brutally keeps fingering her until she has to quit.
Ultimate Surrender Gallery Update

Wenona The Gymnast Take on Amazon “Wonder” Pink in Erotic Wrestling

This is Summer Vengeance. The girls come at each other hard and fast. One wrestler gets trapped on the mats begging for air while the dominate wrestler brutally keeps fingering her until she has to quit.
Ultimate Surrender Gallery Update

Wenona The Gymnast Take on Amazon “Wonder” Pink in Erotic Wrestling

This is Summer Vengeance. The girls come at each other hard and fast. One wrestler gets trapped on the mats begging for air while the dominate wrestler brutally keeps fingering her until she has to quit.
Ultimate Surrender Gallery Update

Wenona The Gymnast Take on Amazon “Wonder” Pink in Erotic Wrestling

This is Summer Vengeance. The girls come at each other hard and fast. One wrestler gets trapped on the mats begging for air while the dominate wrestler brutally keeps fingering her until she has to quit.
Ultimate Surrender Gallery Update

Wenona The Gymnast Take on Amazon “Wonder” Pink in Erotic Wrestling

This is Summer Vengeance. The girls come at each other hard and fast. One wrestler gets trapped on the mats begging for air while the dominate wrestler brutally keeps fingering her until she has to quit.
Ultimate Surrender Gallery Update

Wenona The Gymnast Take on Amazon “Wonder” Pink in Erotic Wrestling

This is Summer Vengeance. The girls come at each other hard and fast. One wrestler gets trapped on the mats begging for air while the dominate wrestler brutally keeps fingering her until she has to quit.
Ultimate Surrender Gallery Update

Wenona The Gymnast Take on Amazon “Wonder” Pink in Erotic Wrestling

This is Summer Vengeance. The girls come at each other hard and fast. One wrestler gets trapped on the mats begging for air while the dominate wrestler brutally keeps fingering her until she has to quit.
Ultimate Surrender Gallery Update

Wenona The Gymnast Take on Amazon “Wonder” Pink in Erotic Wrestling

This is Summer Vengeance. The girls come at each other hard and fast. One wrestler gets trapped on the mats begging for air while the dominate wrestler brutally keeps fingering her until she has to quit.
Ultimate Surrender Gallery Update

Wenona The Gymnast Take on Amazon “Wonder” Pink in Erotic Wrestling

This is Summer Vengeance. The girls come at each other hard and fast. One wrestler gets trapped on the mats begging for air while the dominate wrestler brutally keeps fingering her until she has to quit.
Ultimate Surrender Gallery Update

Wenona The Gymnast Take on Amazon “Wonder” Pink in Erotic Wrestling

This is Summer Vengeance. The girls come at each other hard and fast. One wrestler gets trapped on the mats begging for air while the dominate wrestler brutally keeps fingering her until she has to quit.
Ultimate Surrender Gallery Update

Wenona The Gymnast Take on Amazon “Wonder” Pink in Erotic Wrestling

This is Summer Vengeance. The girls come at each other hard and fast. One wrestler gets trapped on the mats begging for air while the dominate wrestler brutally keeps fingering her until she has to quit.
Ultimate Surrender Gallery Update

Wenona The Gymnast Take on Amazon “Wonder” Pink in Erotic Wrestling

This is Summer Vengeance. The girls come at each other hard and fast. One wrestler gets trapped on the mats begging for air while the dominate wrestler brutally keeps fingering her until she has to quit.
Ultimate Surrender Gallery Update

Wenona The Gymnast Take on Amazon “Wonder” Pink in Erotic Wrestling

This is Summer Vengeance. The girls come at each other hard and fast. One wrestler gets trapped on the mats begging for air while the dominate wrestler brutally keeps fingering her until she has to quit.
Ultimate Surrender Gallery Update

Wenona The Gymnast Take on Amazon “Wonder” Pink in Erotic Wrestling

This is Summer Vengeance. The girls come at each other hard and fast. One wrestler gets trapped on the mats begging for air while the dominate wrestler brutally keeps fingering her until she has to quit.
Ultimate Surrender Gallery Update

Wenona The Gymnast Take on Amazon “Wonder” Pink in Erotic Wrestling

This is Summer Vengeance. The girls come at each other hard and fast. One wrestler gets trapped on the mats begging for air while the dominate wrestler brutally keeps fingering her until she has to quit.
Ultimate Surrender Gallery Update

Wenona The Gymnast Take on Amazon “Wonder” Pink in Erotic Wrestling

This is Summer Vengeance. The girls come at each other hard and fast. One wrestler gets trapped on the mats begging for air while the dominate wrestler brutally keeps fingering her until she has to quit.
Ultimate Surrender Gallery Update

Wenona The Gymnast Take on Amazon “Wonder” Pink in Erotic Wrestling

This is Summer Vengeance. The girls come at each other hard and fast. One wrestler gets trapped on the mats begging for air while the dominate wrestler brutally keeps fingering her until she has to quit.
Ultimate Surrender Gallery Update

Fourth Of July: 10 Favorite Films From Amazon

Get in the Fourth of July spirit with these 10 films, available to rent or buy on Amazon Instant Video.


Access Hollywood Latest Photos

Fox Yanks ‘Fantastic Four’ Films from iTunes, Amazon Before Reboot Release

The 2005 film and its ‘Rise of the Silver Surfer’ sequel, released in 2007, have been removed from digital platforms, as Fox seeks to relaunch the franchise with its new film.
Music News Headlines – Yahoo News

I Wrote an Amazon Bestseller in a Week

I wrote a book last week. I’ve never written a book before but so what? They’re just words on a computer screen, right? I’ve written stuff before — emails and lists of things to get at the hardware store — so I have experience. Anybody can do it.

It all started when my friend Bert said, “You know Bud, you should write a book about your crazy family.” I thought about it for a minute. It was a totally unique idea. So I wrote it. The words just flowed out of me like diarrhea.

It took me a pretty long time — three hours — to think up a catchy title. I finally came up with, My Crazy Family. How could you not sell a million books with a grabber like that?

I slapped together a cover — my niece Sarah Jane (she’s so cute) helped with the finger-painting — and uploaded it on Amazon as a Kindle and a paperback. Heck, the uploading was harder than writing the book!

The next thing I did was change my Facebook profile. It used to say, “Works at Plumber.” Now it says, “Works at Author.”

Then I had to do some marketing. My first idea was total genius — I got all the members of my crazy family and a bunch of my friends to write customer reviews on Amazon. In a few hours, I had 20 reviews and a 5-star rating!

Next, I pasted the Amazon link on Facebook, which is also a really clever idea that’s probably never been done.

I heard that Amazon has a freebie program where you give the book away for free to create what they call “buzz.” I knew this would work. How often have I stood in line outside of Walmart to get a free set of beer coasters or an umbrella hat?

I ended up selling 8000 books for free. Now I had a following!

I thought about trying to get reviews from hoity-toity newspapers like the New York Times — (it’s pretty simple — you just send them a copy of your book with a nice letter) — but the Post Office was going to charge me $ 9.95 for Priority Mail, so I didn’t bother.

The book sold pretty well (getting my friends and relatives to buy it was another brilliant marketing scheme — has anybody tried that before?)

About a week after publishing the book, my son caught our dog Bowzer tearing out the pages and eating them (everybody’s a critic, right?). It was the cutest thing! My son got the whole thing on video and made a YouTube and pasted it on Facebook. The damn thing went — what do you call it? — virile in two days.

The next day, I sold 150,000 copies but poor old Bowzer was constipated for a week.

A few days later, I got a call from a guy named Marty from Hollywood. Said he loved my book and wanted to make a TV sitcom out of it. He asked me if I have an agent and I told him I did. (Mickey Bergan has been my insurance agent for 20 years.)

But I told Marty I didn’t want to sell. I figured I could shoot a TV series myself. How hard could it be? Most TV sucks. All I had to do is shoot an episode and send it to a network and they’d pay me a ton of money and run it on TV. My family is pretty excited about starring in a TV series.

I plan to use the video on my son’s smartphone. We start shooting next week.
Comedy – The Huffington Post
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