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Beard Expert Critiques More Celebrity Beards

GQ's favorite grooming expert Matty Conrad is back to critique more beards on some of today's biggest stars, including Ryan Reynolds, André 3000, David Beckham, Tom Hardy and more. Director: Noel Howard Director of Photography: Callum Gunn Editor: Graham Mooney Host: Matty Conrad Producer: Graham Corrigan; Sam Dennis Line Producer: Jen Santos Production Manager: James Pipitone Casting Producer: Cynthia Simpson Camera Operator: Oliver Smith Gaffer: Luke Strahm Sound Mixer: Alex Shamku Production Assistant: Miranda MacDougall Post Production Supervisor: Rachael Knight Post Production Coordinator: Ian Bryant Supervising Editor: Rob Lombardi Assistant Editor: Justin Symonds Graphics Supervisor: Ross Rackin Designer: Lea Kichler Animation: Brady Jackson Filmed on Location at Victory Barber & Brand Gastown in Vancouver, British Columbia

Released on 12/19/2023


Beards are still undeniably cool,

but they're not for everybody.

So today we're gonna look

at some of our favorite celebrities

and decide whether or not a beard

is the right look for them.

My name's Matty Conrad and this

is, The Grooming Guide.

[gentle music]

Ryan Reynolds.

Now first of all, speaking as a Canadian,

I just wanna make it clear to you

that Ryan Reynolds is a goddamn national treasure.

Now we're used to seeing Ryan Reynolds quite often,

either with a beard or without one,

so this is kind of a tough call.

Here's a picture of Ryan Reynolds with a beard

that is nice and short and not outlined

and it gives him a really nice, friendly vibe,

generally handsome,

he's got a bit of a rough and ready look.

But let's have a look at his beard when it is over groomed.

There is an element to over grooming your beard

that can start to make you look like a

mid nineties television show illusionist.

But when it comes to Ryan's facial hair,

I think keeping things short and tidy

but not necessarily outlined,

again, is a great look for him.

I think there's something about

just being able to augment the shape of his face

and his jaw, it gives him a little bit more of a maturity

and I really like the look on him overall,

especially when you contrast it against

no facial hair at all.

In which case he's got a great jaw line,

I mean, there's objectively

nothing wrong with this guy's face,

but it's almost too much.

It's like there's just too much handsome there.

Leave some for the rest of us. Keep the beard.

[gentle music] Andre 3000.

Andre 3000 is a style icon.

This guy has absolutely taken his look

to very, very solid extremes.

And a lot of the time

he likes to change his facial hair inside of that.

Now let's look at him with a full beard here,

you can see that it really fills out

the bottom area of his face

and gives him an overall rounder kind of shape.

But when you transition to something more of a goatee style,

you can see that it stretches the face shape out

and makes him look a little longer and leaner.

Now there's varying degrees

of how well sculpted that beard style is.

You can see with the mustache and anchor style,

it's very, very sculpted and looks a little bit much.

I actually kind of prefer him in the first shape,

which is just a little looser, more casual.

It has a, I care less what you think kind of vibe

and I think that always reads really well

when it comes to style.

So when it comes to Andre 3000,

I like him with a bit of a goatee style,

not necessarily a full beard.

[gentle music] David Beckham.

David Beckham is also a style icon,

but I think he has a very different style

and it's really transitioned throughout the years,

he's tried many different haircuts and many different looks.

But the one that I think he settles on the most

when it comes to his facial hair

is what we call shaped stubble.

And shaped stubble really gives you the outline

or the shadow of a beard

without necessarily creating a lot of texture

or change to the face shape.

Grooming tip number 98:

If you find trimming your beard once a week

to be too high maintenance, try shaving.

My favorite look for David Beckham

is when he wears shaped stubble

that is nice and kept neat and short,

but not necessarily outlined.

He already has very strong growth areas,

so he doesn't necessarily need to to enhance that

using sharper lines.

You can see here in this style

that he's starting to grow his shape out a little bit

and it makes him look a little frumpy

and a little bit more chubby in the cheek area.

And in this next shot

where he is just a little bit leaner looking,

that's because it's kept nice and tight

and he hasn't allowed it to grow out

and create like a wider silhouette for his face.

But now let's look at David Beckham without a beard at all.

I mean, I know this is an older photo,

but he kind of has a baby face

and I think that wearing that stubbled shape

really brings out more of a masculine sex appeal.

So for me, I'm gonna have to say

short stubble is his best look.

[gentle music] Tom Hardy.

Tom Hardy's a great representation

of somebody that uses his beard

to give him a more rough and ready appeal.

It's never over groomed,

it's always just a little rough,

and I think that's perfect for him.

I've seen pictures of him and film roles

where he has gone clean shaven,

and while he's objectively an incredibly handsome man,

he always looks better with a beard to me,

it just seems to suit his personality better.

I mean, Tom Hardy always looks like he should

perpetually have a bit of a, Mad Max, vibe

or like he just climbed off of

a really scary looking motorcycle, you know?

So for me,

this type of shape on him works really, really well.

I mean, here he is got

a little bit more of a grown out beard,

and even though his beard growth is not particularly dense,

it grows in all the right places,

it gives him a very strong looking chin,

which is what's so great about this look for him.

And even when he wears a shaped stubble,

it's not really that shaped, it's just kind of grown in

and there's something about it that really works for him.

This does not work for every guy.

A lot of guys when they try and grow this kind of shape in,

that doesn't necessarily have any outlining

or any kind of cleanup to it,

they just start to look kind of dirty.

But something about that works for Tom Hardy.

Grooming Tip number 900:

When trimming your beard, less is more.

Start small, remove more as needed.

If you start with too much,

you may be back to the drawing board.

Expressing your personality through your beard

is not just about the shape that you choose,

it's about the way that you groom it as well.

Now if I had to pick between clean shaven and bearded,

I'm a hundred percent bearded on this one,

[gentle music] Dev Patel.

Now Dev is a perfect example

of what you should do if you have a patchy growth.

This one is for my patchy kings out there, okay?

Just because you don't grow a full thick beard

doesn't mean you can't have something

that can be complimentary to your face shape.

You can see here in this image

that he's actually grown out

a really nice even dispensation of hair

and it gives him just a little bit of a rougher feel,

and he's paired it really nicely

with a hairstyle that works with that vibe.

So this is a really great way

to grow a little bit of a beard

without necessarily overdoing it.

When you have hair like this that is a little bit patchy,

the longer you grow it,

the more diminishing returns it can have.

So it's actually probably a good idea

to keep it a little on the shorter side.

Which is really good because right now,

shorter beards are starting to come back into fashion

and longer beards we're not seeing as much.

Now it's not that you can't grow this style out,

it's just that when you do,

it's gonna start taking on a very different shape.

Now you can see here

that as he starts to grow the beard out,

he's playing to the strengths of his beard

but the darker areas and the heavy mustache and the shaping

starts to make him look kind of like a villain.

So my favorite look for Dev

is definitely gonna be the shorter, closer,

little bit rough beard without the strong outlines.

[gentle music] Common.

I've always really loved Common's style,

it's always been really understated

and very classic and cool.

He's not somebody that chases a lot of trends

and he's definitely somebody

that has a great understanding of his own style.

But when it comes to his facial hair,

you can see he's tested the waters

in a few different shapes.

But when it comes to Common's face shape,

he's really created a nice kind of square shape

on his beard. I like him with a fuller beard,

I think this looks really good

and he keeps it very well maintained,

which is very complimentary to his face shape.

And instead of letting everything turn very, very round,

as often happens with bald guys,

he's got a really nice strong anchor

to the bottom of his face shape,

which creates this strong jaw shape for him,

keeping things a little more square.

Another really great way to do that

is sometimes by wearing a goatee style,

which he's also done.

Having a goatee style is a great way

to elongate your face shape,

especially if you don't have hair on top,

it can give you just a little more interest to your face

and create a slightly more square shape.

As far as which one I prefer,

I think I'm gonna go full beard on this one.

Now I know I said short beards are in,

but something about that look works for me

and I kind of dig it.

[gentle music] Jack Harlow.

Now Jack Harlow is somebody that

I don't think is particularly well known for his beard.

I mean, he's got those really awesome curls

and I think girls find that really dreamy,

which is great.

But when it comes to his beard, it's not super thick

or super defined and that's okay.

Like don't let yourself be discouraged

just 'cause you can't grow the thickest beard on earth.

But it does mean that when you're wearing

certain things with it, you are going to emphasize

the shape or thinness of the beard,

like turtlenecks.

Turtlenecks is not a good style choice

when you have a really thin patchy beard

that you're trying to grow out

because it really shows how thin and how patchy it is,

especially if you're using solid colors

like very black or very white.

Very black is gonna show almost entirely

the outline of the beard

and it's gonna make the hair appear lighter.

A white background is actually gonna show

how thin and see-through the beard is.

So if you have this type of beard,

make sure you're not pairing it up

with very solid, bright colors

that you're wearing underneath it

and try and keep your neck area somewhat exposed.

[gentle music] Jason Schwartzman.

Jason Schwartzman is,

I think, a very transformative actor.

I love all of the stuff that he does

with his Wes Anderson films,

especially because he uses his facial hair

to capture and embody elements of his characters.

And that's one thing that I think is really interesting,

people that try different facial hair

really does express different things.

Look at this picture of Jason Schwartzman with a full beard.

Like, my God, look at that thing.

He looks like a high fashion model.

Like this is just a very cool look.

And I mean, maybe it's the longer hair, maybe it's the suit,

but I think the beard is doing a lot of heavy lifting.

But what it really demonstrates

is what he's capable of growing.

Now let's look at a couple of the other styles

that he chooses through some of his films,

like this one from, Asteroid City.

This was a very bold choice. He's got very low lines,

it disconnects from most of the rest of his face shape.

His disconnected mustache.

He's got that little soul patch in the middle.

It definitely has a kind of an older timey vibe to it

and it's not what we see in most modern beards.

But it also kind of draws his face shape out

and makes his cheeks look a little droopy.

So sometimes when you take those lines too low,

they really start to expose

a lot more of your face than you wish it had

and it changes the overall shape.

I mean, let's go back to here

where he just has a mustache.

And again, you can see what a dramatic difference

his face shape takes on

when you adjust the size and volume of his facial hair.

I have seen him without facial hair as well,

it makes him look a little bit younger.

And overall, I think the most striking look here for Jason

is the full beard.

[gentle music] John Cho.

Now John Cho's an actor

that we're used to seeing clean shaven,

without a beard at all.

But we came across this picture of him with a goatee

and I'm here for it.

I honestly think this looks a little bit more badass.

This has got kind of a cooler look for his face,

especially when contrasted against

how he looks without a beard at all.

Now when it comes to the density of a goatee

or the shape of a goatee,

sometimes you just have to work with what you got.

So he's just playing with the areas of his face shape

that are probably the fullest and most dense,

which creates a really nice shape around his mouth,

a little bit of articulation

and a stronger point at the bottom of his face.

This is a very flattering look for John.

When it comes to a goatee,

there are a few things you want to think about

when it comes to making it suitable to your face shape.

First of all, when you don't have a strong growth

that connects your soul patch

down to the main part or the anchor part of the goatee,

you really quickly get into a shape

that we refer to as a circle beard.

And a circle beard can look okay,

but it's not always the most flattering thing.

The way to keep it flattering

is to make sure that those sidelines are nice and straight.

Keeping those right angles nice and strong

prevent things from looking a little too circular

around the mouth,

in which case it just kind of makes your face look wider

and a little chubbier.

Honestly, I like John Cho with a goatee.

[gentle music] DJ Khaled.

Now when it comes to beard shapes that look like this,

you'll probably notice something looks a little different.

I mean, it goes from zero to 100% density

within the space of a few millimeters,

and that's not actually realistic.

And that's because beards like this

rely on something called enhancements.

They're usually a paint or a powder product

that are used to make the beard appear more dense.

And there's a lot of artistry

that goes into doing this type of beard,

but there's not a lot of permanence.

They're a spray on hair fibers

and they use different shapes

to try and enhance the look of a beard,

which is really cool look that day.

So if you are looking at a picture of this

and wishing you could have this beard,

you're probably not gonna have it

with your own natural growth.

This is the type of thing

that you're gonna need to go to a professional for.

And those enhancements,

they really only last a couple of days.

So if you're planning on wearing this out for something,

you're gonna have to go get it redone like that day

and pray that it's not raining.

But when it comes to whether or not

this beard shape works for DJ Khaled,

it most certainly does.

The actual shape that has been,

let's just call it painted on his face,

is very flattering to his look.

It works perfectly with his face shape

and also works with his style.

So it's not a judgment call

on whether or not it's okay to wear enhanced beards,

it has everything to do with

whether or not those enhancements are

gonna compliment or detract from the face shape.

And in this case, I think it works pretty good.

[gentle music] Tom Ford.

If I could pick one phrase to describe Tom Ford,

it would be understated cool.

The thing about his style and about his design work

is that it's always been very classic and timeless,

and very seldom is it overtly flashy,

but it is always cool.

And I think he takes that same approach

with his facial hair.

I love the look of Tom Ford with a beard

and I don't want to see him with a full beard,

I like him with just a short clean stubble.

Because it really enhances the look of his face,

it gives the maturity of his years that he has earned.

But overall, he looks great both ways.

The one thing I will say is in this particular picture,

this is a little bit of a weird thing

because normally when you wear a beard style,

it blends into your haircut.

And here you can quite clearly see where Tom's sideburn

has kind of been left a little more solid.

What that tells me is he very likely

didn't get that done in a barbershop or a hair salon,

that was likely something that he decided to grow in

after he got his haircut.

So that's a good tip,

for you guys that want to grow in a beard,

make sure that once it grows to an adequate length,

you blend it into your sideburn

to make it look a little more uniform

and cohesive with the rest of your haircut.

I mean, there's not a lot of bad things

you can say about Tom Ford when it comes to style,

in fact I feel weird talking about Tom Ford's style because

he is style and I'm just a barber in Canada

with a beard and a cowboy hat.

[gentle music] Jeffrey Wright.

Now when it comes to guys like Jeffrey Wright,

this is an actor that's made a fairly significant

transition in front of us.

We've seen him go from

having a little bit of hair and no beard

to having no hair and a lot of beard.

And one of the things I really like about his beard

is its density.

He's got a really nice dense growth on his face shape

and he keeps it in that salt and pepper kind of shape,

but still nice and tightly groomed.

The cool thing about this

is it really enhances the shape of his jaw,

it gives him a really strong, prominent jawline

and makes him look, I think, objectively very handsome.

So Jeffrey Wright with a beard

is an absolutely fantastic look.

Thanks a lot for watching you guys.

Maybe you agreed with me on

some of these assessments and maybe not.

Either way, that's cool.

Style is all about wearing what you have confidently.

And if you like it, then it's cool.

If you think we left somebody off this list,

drop a comment below.

I mean, there is a whole wide world

of beards out there to explore

and maybe we can explore them together.

Until then, good luck and good grooming.

[upbeat music]