Matt Mud ($25 at Barneys) by VitaMan, a decade-old Australian brand focused on natural ingredients, is a water-soluble grooming cream that offers a strong but reworkable hold with a matte finish.
As an editor, you're constantly surrounded by new products. So when I ran out of my usual hair product before a trip, I simply reached into the pile and grabbed this—unaware of the brand, where it was from or what it purported to do. What I do know is that when I tried it the first time, I used way too much. The stuff covered by hands and was sticky and opaque. The next few times, I used only a finger tip's worth. I softened it between my hands and worked it into my fine, yet slightly curly hair and was pleasantly surprised.
Unlike other products boasting a matte finish which can leave hair looking dry and dull, this gives hair a softness and texture with a natural sheen without looking too shiny (or full of pomade). Hair stays soft enough to be touched while still maintaining its shape, yet pliable enough to get moved around. In short, it's the best stuff I've found in a while and is my new regular product.