MANTL Review: The Complete Routine Kit

Mantl is a relatively new brand to the market, predominantly focused on the needs of the bald guy, their manifesto is clear and something the Bald Gent fully supports.

“At MANTL we believe that bald is fearless.

We choose to stand against the outdated ideas of masculinity.

We choose to challenge media’s representation of baldness.

We choose to build community.

We choose confidence.

We choose action”.

We were pleased when Pete Ricci and his co-founder Karamo Brown (Queer Eye) approached us to review their products. Considering we get several requests to review and endorse products each month I was interested to learn more about this brand as it was not one I had come across recently. If you want to learn more about the brand and their ethos visit their website but for now, let’s get on with reviewing their product range.

Their ‘Complete Routine’ is made  up of four complementary products:

I’ll look at each one in-turn and delve a little deeper into what I think about each, but first, let me talk about their presentation.

I know a box is box and packaging is just something need to make sure goods arise safely to the customer, but for those that go a little further, I salute you. Brand building and brand perception starts from the moment you visit someone’s site/store, to the products arriving and the service thereafter.

Mantl box

Mantl has nailed it when it comes to presentation and brand building. Not only is their website clean and easy to use, you feel from the moment you order to the time your products arrive that you’re a valued customer – I am a big fan of brands understanding the needs of the bald guy, especially when the creators are in the same club!

I was sent The Complete Routine which consists of the products listed above. As you can see from the pictures , no expense has been spared in both the packaging and the presentation. From a fully branded box to the products being wrapped carefully in a lovely paper bag, straight away you get the feeling this is going to be a good experience – well done guys.

As you can see, thought and care and been put into the presentation so you’d expect the same from the products – let’s get onto them, the exciting bit!

Cleanser

Buy it from Mantl | $17.00

Let’s start with Mantl’s description of the product. “Our pH balanced formula gently removes dirt without drying or overstripping. Aloe & natural extracts help soothe & moisturize your skin for a healthy, clean Face + Scalp”.

I have been using the cleanser now for a few weeks and I can say, it’s brilliant, really does make your face and head feel smooth and clean after you’ve used it.

As you know, I’m quite a liberal user of products so I probably use more than I need on each wash. Mantl claim 1-2 pumps should be fine but I found myself using more.

When you first pump the gel into your hand you notice the slightly yellow transparent colour and the soft texture. The product has a lovely subtle woody/citrus smell to it that lasts whilst washing.

The cleanser foams up well but not too much to make you feel you’re using face cream or an over-indulgent body foam.

Key ingredients are: Aloe, Allantoin and Willow Herb Extract, all of which combine to make a nice and satisfying cleanser.

As mentioned I have been using it for several weeks now and I have noticed a difference on not only the quality of my face and scalp but the lasting effect it had on reducing spots and blemishes. Longer-term use I hope these benefits will continue.
The cleanser is Sulphate-Free, Paraben-Free, Silicone-Free has no synthetic dyes, no synthetic fragrances and is not tested on animals – a big thumbs up from me.

At around $17 for a 173ml bottle it’s on the pricier side of cleanser products but I think it’s definitely worth it, esp given how it’s lasting and how good my skin feels after using it.

Conclusion

Considering how many facial cleansers/face washing products there are on the market for men it’s difficult for any brand to stand out or offer something different to the rest. I must say Mantl Cleanser is really up there with the best I have tried, and I’ve tried a few! The quality is reflected in the price but don’t let that put you off trying it, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

My only criticism is the bottle size, 173ml is not travel friendly so I’d love to see them offer a smaller travel bottle whilst retaining the current size for home use.

Invisible Daily SPF 30

Buy it from Mantl | $27.00

Let’s start with Mantl’s description of this product: “No-shine, no streak sun protection for all skin types. Our innovative, transparent SPF moisturizer keeps your skin hydrated while fighting harmful rays”.

To say I was excited to try the product was an understatement! As you know, I’m a big fan of those brands that claim ‘No-Shine’ and even better those that offer sun protection. Unfortunately most brands, including quite a few I have tested never live up to their claims, especially when it comes to no-shine.

So with a sense of trepidation and an expectance to be underwhelmed I started to test the moisturiser.

The first reaction – WOW, yes that’s a WOW!

Firstly let’s have a look at the product before I get onto the WOW!

The first thing you notice is the moisturiser is completely transparent and very light, in fact, if you didn’t look on your hand you wouldn’t notice you’d dispensed it. Mantl suggests you use 1-2 pumps, I have been using two, either because of my liberal approach or the fact I have a big head – either way the product is worth that extra pump.

Now let’s get onto the WOW! This is like no other moisturiser I have used, I can say that with confidence and it has NOTHING to do with the fact we were sent the product to review. Why a WOW I hear you ask? Well once you start using it you will know. Once applied to the face, scalp and neck the product literally disappears! It’s a really strange feeling, as you’re applying the moisturiser it feels like there is nothing on your skin, like you are just rubbing smooth hands over your face and head. I can’t describe the feeling but it’s one I recommend all our readers try. Not only is the feeling of the product like no other I have tried, the way it instantly mattes your skin is unbelievable.

Within seconds my skin looks matte and smooth when applying the moisturiser, you get the feeling you’ve not actually applied anything to your skin which is amazing.
To put it straight – it is simply the best moisturiser I have used yet – quite a claim from me, but trust me it is amazing. The added bonus to all this is also the SPF 30, simply brilliant as it not only moisturises your skin but protects it too.

Over the last few weeks in the UK we have been blessed with early April/May sunshine so I have been testing the SPF claims on a daily basis and I’m happy to report the product performs really well given how crucial it is to wear sunscreen, esp on the face and scalp – just make sure you keep applying it throughout the day to make sure you’re fully protected.

Given the bottle/dispenser is just under 100ml this is a welcoming thought given I’d like to travel with this product and really test it’s SPF on holidays etc…

Making up some this wonder products ingredients we have, Willow Herb Extract, Ginger Root and Vitamin F. A full list of ingredients on each product can be found on their website.

The product is also Parben-Free, Synthetic Dye Free and only contains Natural fragrances. Like all on the Mantl product range, it is also not tested on animals.

Priced around $27 for a 98ml bottle it is expensive but I don’t say this about many expensive products, it is most definitely worth it and I will be adding this to my Top 10. Would I buy this on a regular basis given the price – yes I would.

Conclusion

I have never given any product I have tested a review a WOW until now. Mantl I salute you for creating such a HERO of a product for us bald guys, it is simply brilliant and a joy to apply. Not only does it give me that desired matte look it also hydrates, moisturises and protects my skin on a daily basis. I recommend all our readers to try this NOW!

Age Defence Moisturiser

Buy it from Mantl | $25.00

Again let’s start with Mantl’s description of this product: “This lightweight moisturizer hydrates and helps fight the appearance of wrinkles for a revitalized Face + Scalp. Specially formulated with Willow Herb extract to balance & fortify your skin”.

After the success of opening and testing the Invisible Daily SPF my expectations for this product were high, luckily I was not disappointed. This is more like your traditional face moisturiser you get from cosmetic brands but I would say it feels more premium than most. The first thing you’ll notice is the difference from the transparent Daily SPF to a more thick and creamy like texture of the white coloured moisturiser.

The product is lightweight and easily absorbed into my skin. Again Mantl recommends 1-2 pumps and as always I worked on 2 as the dispenser does give you probably enough on 1 pump.

Totally different feel applying this compared to the amazing Daily SPF, it moves around your skin in the same way as a traditional moisturiser but I did notice how quickly it blends into the skin without leaving obvious streaks or shine!

So how have I found using it on a daily basis? Well having both this and the Daily SPF I found myself using the moisturiser mainly in the evening, before bed after cleansing my face. I love the rich but lightweight texture and the feeling as it absorbs into your skin. It feels more of a luxury product and for some reason, I preferred using it towards the end of the end/evening. I’m not sure if this was due the fact I’d adopted the Daily SPF as my morning routine or if my skin preferred the hydrating formula just before bed, either way, this is definitely a product you should try day or night.

I will be continuing to try the product for the next few months as I really think it’s a fantastic moisturiser and it deserves the praise I’m giving it.

With Willow Herb Extract, Aloe and Squalane the guys at Mantl have not held back in making sure this is an award-winning product that really helps balance the oils on my skin whilst protecting, hydrating with the added bonus of age protection.

Again I love the fact this is the same size as the Daily SPF, 98ml so when travelling it will not be an issue, it will be part of my travel pack.

The product is Parben Free, Silicone Free, Synthetic Dye Free and contains Natural Fragrances. Again like all the Mantl products, it’s not tested on animals

Conclusion

At around $25 it sits alongside some of the more expensive well-known brands, but by no means does it fall in their shadows. The moisturiser really does what it says, not only do you get the hydration, protection and management of excess oils, you get the age defence due to the addition of Squalane in the ingredients. The moisturiser is one the better ones I have tried, time and effort have gone into its creation and you can really see/feel that. I would highly recommend this to any of our readers as either your daily moisturiser or part of your evening/night routine – you won’t be disappointed.

No-Shine Sheets

Buy it from Mantl | $10.00

Last but not least – this little gem.

Here’s what Mantl has to say about the product. “Made with Bamboo Charcoal & wood fibers, our No-Shine Sheets instantly neutralize excess oil & dirt — absorbing shine for a refreshed, clean look. Comes with a refillable dispenser that allows you to customize your perfect sheet size every time”.

If you’ve read some of the blog posts then you’ll know I’ve been waiting a long time for a company to come up with a product like this! Well again, hats off to Mantl for coming up with such a fantastic product.

Those of you bald guys like me will know the frustration of the shine, it’s something I’m always trying to combat. No matter how clean you keep your skin or the product you use to give you the ‘matte’ effect, at some point later in the day you’ll notice that shine creeping back in, esp on warm days. Mantl’s Invisible Daily SPF really helps prevent the shine but it does need reapplications throughout the day. So this is where this handy little product comes into its own.
With Bamboo Charcoal being a key ingredient this helps remove and absorb impurities from the skin, esp the build-up of excess oils. Normally I’d reach for a paper towel but these just feel rough and cheap!

I was extremely surprised but not only the quality feel of the product but how effective it was at removing the build-up on my skin.

With a beautifully designed dispenser that is easy to use there are no issues tearing off a sheet to use over your face and scalp. The paper is smooth and lightweight and tears really neatly against the serrated teeth on the side of the dispenser.

Mantl has really put some effort into not only the quality of the sheets but also the product design. The dispenser is compact and light and can easily fit onto your pocket/bag/glove box so that you can take it anywhere.

So does it work – well yes, see below. This is the evidence, you can clearly see the amount of excess oil it has pulled from my skin! Mantl advise a ‘gentle blot’ and not to ‘wipe’. I am a bit of wiper I must admit, either way, I found that it did remove plenty of oil without much effort. I understand why they recommend a blot instead of a wipe – this stops you spreading the oils you pulled off your skin back onto other areas of your face/scalp.

As you can see, it really does work, make sure you don’t overuse the same piece thou as you’ll be working the oils back onto your skin.

The paper is Talc-Free, Preservative-Free, Oil-Free and has no Synthetic Dyes. As again with all there products, it’s not tested on animals.

Conclusion

Priced at $10 for a dispenser with one roll it’s definitely worth every penny and is compact enough to travel with you everywhere. What’s even better, once you run out of a roll you can buy refills without buying another dispenser – brilliant move.

I love that this product as it’s not just a ‘gimmick’, rarely do you get products doing what they promise so this is a great little addition to your grooming/skin care routine that really works. I love the fact this has been designed with guys who know what it’s like to have a bald head, who know what bald guys want from skincare products – this goes for all the products in the Mantl range. All in all, they really have delivered on all the products and I will be using them for many months to come.

Environmental Credentials

I asked Mantl just to clarify their environment credentials as we are starting to ask this from all brands we review, here’s what they had to say.

“Regarding packaging, we’re always balancing customer convenience and functionality with sustainable options. We chose pumps on our product because it allows for easy dosing and dispensing with more readily recyclable plastics, like PET, PP or PE. And we avoid non-recyclable plastic options, such as SAN.

We are also looking into using PCR (post-consumer resin) for our current bottles. PCR are plastics that have been used, thrown away, then reprocessed to make something new. This not only takes plastics out of landfills but reduces the need for new plastic production.

Refills and sugar cane plastics are potential sustainable options too. We’re constantly in discussion with our suppliers to understand how we can best balance functionality with new sustainable technologies. Continuous improvement is important to us, especially with packaging given the environmental impact”.

Paul Inman

Paul Inman is the founder of The Bald Gent. As the main contributor to TBG, Paul has years of knowledge, experience and stories to share with our users. His insights, advice and blogs form the backbone to everything we do and what makes being a true gent so important to the ethos of TBG.

3 Comments
  1. I have been using the Complete Routine Kit and I am similarly impressed with the products. The cleanser is terrific but the No Shine Sheets are genius. Very handy and quite useful. And yes, the packaging and branding really make a great first impression .

  2. I am interested in these products but have found them expensive to purchase for delivery to the UK. I can only find two distributors, Mantl themselves who only deliver to North America and Huckleberry who deliver to the rest of the world.

    When I purchased the cleanser and daily defence spf 30 products it came to about £30, however when UK taxes and admin were applied by the courier (UPS) the additional charges came to £20. £50 is too much.

    Is there any way to get these products cheaper in the UK?

    1. Hi Lewis – thanks for your comment.
      I have spoken with the founders at Mantl, good news. They are working on distribution in the UK so stay tuned to MANTL’s social media for further information.
      Thanks
      Paul

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