American Crew Matte Clay Review | Hair Products for Men

American Crew, the official supplier to men, introduces new matte clay the latest addition to the brands clay family. This was a product that felt like it was ergonomically designed for my hair length. Sometimes I can get a bit overwhelmed with the amount of hair products on the market, so knowing this one designed for shorter to medium length hair, with workable hold, got me really excited.

About American Crew

The American Crew family of grooming products delivers everything needed to create and care for men’s styles including products in the hair body shave style and fragrance categories. 

The American Crew Matte Clay is presented in a cylindrical vase, with the signature American Crew burnt orange label and branding logos. 

How to use Matte Clay

Let's dial it back a notch and first ensure we're applying the clay correctly. 

Dip your finger and grab a healthy pea-size amount, work with slightly damp hands before you apply it to your hair so the clay can distribute evenly. 

The clay is a creamy texture, like putty. For my money you should always go for a matte finish. Be sure to prep the hair before application.

I simply gave my hair a quick wash, towel dried and then shot the hair drier around the roots for about 30 seconds. 

When using the American Crew Matte Clay be sure to warm the product up by rubbing around your palms for a short spell. 20 seconds should do it. This heats the clay ensuring there are no lumps or bumps. The clay can then be distributed evenly through your hair. 

Depending on your hair style, you can now blow-dry your hair again on a cold heat to create your perfect finish or alternatively use your fingers to complete the style.

The Result Carl?

I was really impressed. Firstly, I felt the clay could really work with my coarse hair. It has a workability, it can fix to a decent finish with the required matte finish. 

Whilst other products in this field that I've tried make the hold effort-FULL, this felt like it delivered a shape that was effort-LESS. (Thanks, that's why I get the big bucks).

Ideal if.. 

So simply look at my pictures. If you have medium-short, coarse hair like mine that needs a bit of engineering, then this is certainly worth a try. If you're typically used to a more hardened wax and get a bit tired of the constant maintenance. This American Crew Matte Clay could be a more manageable everyday alternative. 

The Matte Clay is available at selected retailers nationwide at £15.20

Key Features: 

Matte finish. High Style. Build-able mouldable texture. Increased volume with a workable medium hold. Ideal for short to medium length. 

 

 

American Crew Launch Fiber Grooming Foam

American Crew have just launched NEW Fiber Grooming Foam, an expansion of the brand's Fiber Line that caters to the popularity of longer length hairstyle for men. 

Formulated with unique Fiber technology (ps - yes it does pain me to spell 'Fiber' the American way, but it's their product, their rules) Fiber Grooming foam takes the diverse product to new lengths. 

Is it any good Carl? 

I've taken the product out here with me and road tested it in the hot climates. Where most hair products fall down is that the application is greasy, the finish is wet-unnatural look as opposed to a nice clean shine and the damn thing doesn't last longer than an hour. 

This American Crew Fiber Grooming foam is designed specifically from medium to longer length hair. Although mine is on the shorter end, I still wanted to test the hold and the finish and I was pleased with both. It's high performing and leaves a natural shine and soft feel. 

"Grooming foam has a strong hold that adds thickness to fine hair with its fibrous properties, without leaving any residue in the hair. When working with thick hair it comes into its own with a malleable Fiber that grips the hair to give support and help lock in their style whilst adding volume." Ian Harrold American Crew - All-Star

The Application

It's water based, its similar to what you see in mousse and aerosol products with a citrus smell. It is unlike any other product due to the Fibers. The hair feels like it has volume and movement, has bounce. Not rigid or crispy. All the good stuff of a mousse. 

Perfect For

Obviously if you have long hair but you want to it to dance to your tune, then give this a try. But if you have hair like mine that's short-medium but coarse and curly, this can also play some neat tricks. I've enjoyed using it. I like the texture it has that by-the-beach feel to it. Also as it adds texture and weight, maybe if you're thinning out this could also be the product for you. 

*This paid post was created in collaboration with American Crew UK.

American Crew Introduce ACUMEN | Premium Men's Grooming Products

It's not every day you get to meet a legend. But it's been something of a 'meet the legend week' for me so far. Check out my blog post about my night at the GQ Awards, but for now let me talk about meeting David Ruccuglia, the founder of American Crew! 

One of the most charismatic, unassuming, yet at the same time wildly fascinating and gregarious souls I've yet to encounter. David started American Crew mixing products in his house, playing a various assortment of fragrances and scents. The backstory reads like a Roald Dahl novel (Georges Marvellous Medicine reference there for you Millennials) and he struck gold when he went to Japan and chanced across a water based pomade that didn't exist back in the US. 

The US pomades long ago were very greasy and you commit to several washing to get the residue from your scalp. Not a pleasant experience. With this discovery David began his obsession with male grooming and launched his Brand American Crew in 1990. 

Since then American Crew's styling products have all centred around the expression of excellence and attaining masterful poise the American Crew acumen assembly of products was created with the successful man in mind.

Cue the music and the dry ice, tonight Matthew, I'm going to be Mr Success. (Rapturous applause). That at least was the inner dialogue as David snapped away. Can you believe he was taking pictures of me? The day couldn't get any more surreal. 

 

 

American Crew introduce ACUMEN

I'm already a huge proponent of American Crew grooming products, so was buoyed by the news of a new product launch; ACUMEN,  a line of scientifically formulated products with proprietary ingredients to fit a mans grooming needs, available exclusively in Selfridges

American Crew, the official supplier to men, is proud to announce the latest innovation in men's personal care.

'As the official supplier to men we hope to inspire men to groom with confidence each day,' said David. 'Acumen brings a level of sharpness, sophistication and aspiration to the skin care beard grooming and body care routine.'

Being the unyielding gatekeepers to Grooming tradition, the Acumen collection  of grooming and skincare products are formulated exclusively for men who have specific issues and needs due to their male hormone levels, oily skin, thick skin, large pores, sweating and the inevitable dreaded ageing. 

 

 

What's so different about Acumen? 

You might want to know a couple of the ingredients so I've sketched some down for you. The Acumen products contain both Vitamin B5 and E and are fused with superior performance hyaluronic acid, ginger root extract, bisabolol and cranberry extract to increase blood flow retain moisture fight free radicals. How do you like those apples?

In total there are 15 products in the range specifically engineered to fit a man’s tone texture and grooming needs designed as a regime of 4 steps covering shower, shave care and style. 

Maximum Style UK: New Men's Grooming Site Launch

Guys I have a newsflash, a brand new men’s grooming site has been officially launched today called Maximum Style. Maximum Style also sounds like the best dressed Autobot on Cybertron right? What would he transform into though? Maybe a hat stand or a clothes horse right? 

I'll certainly be a visitor to this site, purely because of the brands they have on their portfolio. Yes, they don't have a huge welter of brands but they have brands that are modern, disruptive, bit like the current England football team, not a huge breadth of experience or household names, but some serious up and comers. 

Ok Carl we get it, what men’s grooming brands can I find on Maximum Style? 

They have some headline acts such as American Crew, Morgans and Bluebeards Revenge. You should also look out for the Islington Rock and Rollers, TommyRiots. Willy O’Shea's Uppercut Deluxe is also one to look out for. Quality male grooming products without fancy embellishments.

"We are just a small company trying to make I difference in a big sector. We love messaging and replying to our customers we encourage it. We are constantly talking to brands and getting them on board and on our site. 

We just think having products and a huge range at your fingertips in 2018 should be available and currently it’s not some sites do have lots of brands but there not current there not the brands that people love not the brands that are modern and fresh.

24hr delivery as standard a handful of clicks, done. It should be any harder than that and with Maximum Style it isn’t any harder than that." - The founders. 

 

What brands would I like to see on the site? 

As a man that runs an independent e-commerce store myself I'm keen to champion up and comers like Maximum Style. I was sad to see Niven & Joshua (men’s grooming site) close its doors last year so I think the market will be tough, but there is certainly space and a demand.

I'm also hoping people will invest and experiment with new grooming brands as they continue to work on their personal style. 

I'd love to see them bring in Murdock London as I feel these are the unsung heroes of men’s grooming currently. 

They're in the same space as Ted Baker whom have also released their own Teds Grooming Room collection. Not as good pound for pound as the Murdock London boys but it would be a big pull for Maximum Style to get Ted onboard. 

 

How I Get Ready For a Date | Men's Grooming & Fashion Advice

You're getting ready for the biggest date of your life, or week, depending how much of a woodsman you are.

I've just uploaded a new tutorial to my YouTube channel, giving you run down on how I get myself in the groove. In this article I'll give you the highlights reel on the MUST DO's to get you ready for that big first date

I've also teamed up with Base London to give my readers a chance to win a Base London £100 Gift Card and a Carl Thompson first date grooming kit.

I've included all the details at the bottom of the article but first, guys let's get you prepped. 

Get in the mood with ..  

I want to get in the mood, put a little Marvin Gaye on Let’s Get it On. Only joking. Normally I go for a bit of Jacko, I want to Rock with you or something equally as cheesy, don't ask me to sing it. Or how about a bit of Bobby Womack, Across 110th Street? Yessss now we're talking.

Make sure you're bopping around to a song that empowers you and gets you relaxed.  

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What's in my grooming kit? 

OK give the cash register a nice facial scrub. I currently using one from Lab Series, they're riding the crest of a wave at the moment these guys and I can see why. Makes my face feel really fresh, wakes me up! 

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Not all the girls like a man with a beard, so I make sure mine doesn't look to scabrous. I tame the beast with a bit of American Crew Beard serum

Moving onto the skin, I use the Clinique Maximum Hydrator moisturiser.

They say the eyes are the windows to your soul right? So got to have a little window dressing. Eye contact on dates, so important. I have been using Perricone MD for as long as I can remember. 

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What about my hair? 

You need something that is going to do your hair a solid service for the date, especially if you're going straight from work to the date. 

I use David Beckham's House 99 Pomade; it can give a decent enough hold for 8-9 hours before it starts to lose its lustre. 

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And the best Aftershave for a First Date? 

Keep that aftershave light and fresh, you don't want to overpower the poor girl or else she'll want to dine on one of those tables from that Bruce Wayne used to entertain Vicky Vale.

(That is a timely reference from 1989 and if you get that gag, then let’s go out for a beer). 

The best first date aftershave out there right now is Tom Ford Noir de Noir. It's pushy, but not assertive. 

Why I dress casual on a first date

Suits are too stiff for a first date, that's why I dress light

What’s the most important rule for light dressing? Go easy on the white wine vinegar but plenty of turmeric. Oh you mean clothes? Gotcha, (I have better jokes, haha) light dressing.

You should wear something that makes you feel comfortable and relaxed. Dates can be quite nerve racking; you don't want to feel rigid in an outfit you hardly wear.

I have my go-to outfit. 

Before you leave the house remember? 

If you've met her online give her profile one last eyeball before heading out. Look for some veiled clues, like if she's been traveling we can talk about places she's been that I might have been also.

Some people call that semi-stalkery, I call it good old fashioned research.

 

COMPETITION TIME FOLKS

As I promised you, here is your chance to win a Base London £100 Gift Card and a Carl Thompson first date grooming kit. Competition closes 31st May, UK Entrants Only. Enter by clicking this link https://mailchi.mp/683daaf6009a/07k68...

T&Cs blurb for competition:

Gift card can only be used at www.baselondon.com and cannot be exchanged for a cash alternative. Competition only open to UK entrants. Prize will be for one £100 Gift Card and a selection of men’s skin care and grooming products which will be delivered to the winner’s UK address. 

This competition is in no way sponsored, administered or associated with Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, Lab Series, American Crew, Clinique for Men, Perricone MD, or David Beckham’s House 99. By entering, entrants confirm they are 18+ years of age, release Instagram, Facebook & Youtube of responsibility and agree to Instagram’s, Facebook’s and Youtube's terms of use. .....phew! 😓 Good Luck!

 

Recreate the Look: The ‘Godfather’ by American Crew

American Crew has created a concept called ‘Mixology’ which is the art of mixing a combination of their products to create a particular look. This week I have been working with them to recreate their iconic ‘The Godfather’ look, which is for guys with a short, mid-length or long beard.  

American Crew has a long-standing, exceptional reputation in the history of men’s grooming. It is the leading salon brand created specifically for men and is the dominant professional men’s grooming brand in the world. The brand develops the latest in men’s hair, body, shave and style products and for more than 20 years, they’ve delivered.

This look and the products that I’ve used perfectly complement each other, so you’ll get the nourishment and hydration of the face balm. Combined that with the softness of the texture lotion and you’ll get a soft smooth finish. Complete the look with the beard serum which has an oil blend that keeps the beard soft, shiny and smoothe.

 

RECREATE THE GODFATHER LOOK

1.     Massage around 2-3 pumps of All in One Face Balm into the whole face, using a circular motion around forehead, eyes and cheek area.

2.     Apply Light Hold Texture Lotion to damp beard.
a) 2cm on short beards.
b) Up to 4cm on longer beards.

3.     Blow dry into the beard on a low heat, to condition and smooth.

4.     Finish by applying 3-4 pumps of Beard Serum to the blow dried beard, depending on the length and thickness of the beard.

 

PRODUCTS USED

Top 5 Beard Oils for Men

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Does your beard look shiny and groomed or dusty, flaky and unkempt?
Many gentlemen use beard oil to remedy this.
What is beard oil and what do we need it for?
When is the best time to apply beard oil?

WHY DO WE NEED BEARD OIL?

It might come as news for some but what does Beard Oil actually do? Why do we need it? Firstly; a little bit of science. Each beard follicle has a pair of glands called the sebaceous glands. These glands enable your beard to stay nourished by secreting called sebum oil. As your beard follicle gets longer it demands more sebum oil to coat the follicle. This is why we apply beard oil, to act as a sebum oil and nourish and moisturise the hair follicle. 

What I look for in a Beard Oil is one that softens my beard, gives it a nice shine and above all, keeps the itchiness levels down to zero. I have an interchangeable beard oil collection, below are my top 5 beard oils for men. 

1# Gentlemen's Chuckaboo - The Gigglemug Beard Oil - £19.99

Whilst this list is in no discernible order, I'd have to rate this number one on the name alone. It has a mixture of mint, zest and spice. I like the fact it contains Sandalwood Oil, which has been widely used for its anti-aging properties. When shopping for beard oil try and find one with Vitamin E (which The Gigglemug Beard Oil has) as it stimulates the hair follicle.

2# Tom Ford Conditioning Beard Oil - £36.50

Bringing in the big guns now. The Tom Ford beard oil has a very soft appliance without being greasy. It's probably the punchiest and longest-lasting fragranced beard oil I’ve tried and possibly the most potent. You'll definitely get a whiff of almond, maybe a little grape seed, but the Oud oil will deliver the most impact. Quite pricey but you get what you pay for. 

3# Jonny's Chop Shop Beard Oil - £6

I'm not sure if this is a best kept secret or not but it's definitely my top bargain pick. It has some interesting core oils (sweet almond, olive, wheat germ and apricot kernel), I like bottle - very voguish-retro. There is a mild scent, although it says it's un-fragranced. The best thing is the price, can't go wrong for £6. 

4# American Crew Beard Serum - £12.95

Another inexpensive bottle from a trusted brand that's been going over 20 years. Not as thin and spreadable as some of the others, but it still does the job and leaves my beard feeling soft. I have this as my emergency go-to serum if the others are running low or misplaced. 

5# Susanne Kaufmann Beard Oil Line M - £32

Who wouldn't trust someone with a name like Kaufmann? I use this one when my beard feels a little itchier than usual. Its active ingredients strengthens the elasticity of my skin and it also delivers a nice shine.

National Grooming Day Essentials | Men's Edit

National Grooming Day

To all the gentlemen out there, it's 2017 so there is no excuse for an unkept unruly beard these days - the stigma around men's grooming has well and truly dissipated. With National Grooming Day actually 'a thing' it aims to raise awareness and ultimately educate men on how to look after themselves better. Skincare and haircare are the main two areas of which small changes to your daily men's grooming regime will make major improvements. Here are my top male grooming products which have all be tried and tested by myself.

Jo Malone - Lime Basil & Mandarin Shower Oil

£32.00 for 250ml - A soft shower oil which leaves your skin feeling soft and aromatic.

Heath - Hair & Body Wash

£8.00 for 250ml - Made in England this affordable option is enriched with ginseng and caffeine to provide an immediate power boost. 

Kiehl's - Nourishing Shampoo & Conditioner

£19.50 for 250ml - The masculine scented product removes hair product buildup whilst hydrating the scalp.

Jo Malone - Geranium & Walnut Body Scrub

£42.00 for 200ml - A unisex product that for a body scrub is gentle on your skin and therefore usable for frequent use. The scent is incredible.

Clinique for Men - Charcoal Face Wash & Face Scrub

Face wash £18.00 for 200ml / Face scrub £21.00 for 100ml - Best used together, firstly with the face scrub followed by the face wash. Revitalises and smoothes your skin.

LAB Series - Multi-Action Face Wash

£19.00 for 100ml - Being 100ml and multi-action makes this product perfect for travelling. The cream is foamy and leaves the face extremely conditioned.

Harry's - Shave Gel & Razor

£24 for the set - The shave gel is easy on the skin and allows the razor to glide along effortlessly. German blades, precision shaving.

Remington - Barba Beard Trimmer

£29.99 - The godfather of all beard trimmers, this little beauty is robust, affordable and does exactly what you need it to do, no gimmicks no fuss.

LA MER - All skincare products

The LA MER product range is unbelievable, you pay for what you get. The LA MER moisturising matte lotion is £180 but you'll be able to tell the difference immediately between this and a cheaper entry level moisturiser so if you love to indulge in the best, these products are it.

Tom Ford - Conditioning Beard Oil & American Crew Beard Serum

In my opinion these are two of the best beard oils on the market. The Tom Ford, is infused with their private blend scent and slightly lighter than the American Crew version which is better for shorter stubble.

Guerlain - Super Aqua Crème Day Gel

£83.00 for 50ml - This luxury face creme protects your face during the day whilst wrinkles and fine lines are smoothed out.

Dr Sebagh & Estée Lauder - Eye Serum

These beauties are great for making the eye area look smoother, younger and more vibrant whilst reducing dehydrated dark circles. Use Dr Sebagh during the day and the Estée Lauder serum during the night.

Clinique for Men - Maximum Hydrator

£34.00 for 100ml - Lightweight is weight but a heavyweight in stature this is a new product from Clinique for Men. This water-gel formula intensely hydrates the skins moisture over a 24 hour period, perfect to take away on holiday when your skin is over exposed to the sun and other elements.

TONI&GUY - Hair Products

I only use the best hair products and these are the TONI&GUY for Men range. Developed specifically for men their range is extensive and can cater for all type of hair and all styles.

Jo Malone - Oud & Bergamot Cologne Intense

£112.00 for 100ml - Beautifully intense with notes of precious Middle-Eastern oud combined with the sweet citrus bergamot and cedarwood.

Tom Ford - Private Blend Fragrances

The godfather of fragrance, only the finest ingredients are used and you can smell evert single, perfectly put together notes. Two of my all time favourite fragrances are Tuscan Leather and Tobacco Vanille, whilst Oud Minérale is new to the party.