Popular opinion might have it that it’s a feat to buy for the fairer sex, but we men aren’t always easily impressed either. Barbecue utensils set? Nah, more of a Deliveroo man, myself. Bottle of vintage Veuve? Sorry, mine’s an IPA, mate.
Thankfully, there’s grooming – a realm in which it’s pretty difficult to put a step wrong (unless, of course, you buy us a couple’s mani-pedi session. Never buy us a couple’s mani-pedi session). The great thing about giving a grooming product is that you’re essentially giving a guy the gift of looking good – and what man doesn’t want that?
Question is, with so many choices on offer, which gifts come out on top? To save you time and your sanity, we’ve selected some of our favourites to give this festive season.
For Demanding Dads
If you’re after a great-looking grooming gift for a demanding dad, Givenchy’s Gentlemen Only Intense Grooming Box (featuring a 100ml eau de toilette and an aftershave balm) is a pretty safe bet, as is Aesop’s covetable London Travel Kit – an eight-piece set of travel-sized skincare products presented in a handy black carry case.
And few fathers would turn their nose up at Mr Porter’s Winter 2016 Grooming Kit: hand-selected by the Mr P team, this 12-piece set includes high-quality products from acclaimed brands such as Malin + Goetz, Dr Sebagh, REN Skincare and Baxter of California.
Not only do all three of these sets look the biz but – better still – because they’re all boxed, they’re a cinch to wrap too.
For Younger Brothers
For younger guys still nicking their necks trying to get to grips with grooming, there’s no better starter kit than the BaByliss 10-in-1 Grooming System For Men, which features a range of attachments to keep hair in check, whether it be on the head, chin or situated somewhere further south.
Also good for teenagers looking to transition away from Lynx Africa ubiquity is Chanel’s Pour Monsieur: a fresh, woody and spicy scent, it’s masculine without being polarising or too challenging.
Finally, ensure the force is with them this festive season with Marks & Spencer’s Chewbacca Bath Foam.
For Your Best Mate’s Beard
No, not his hired girlfriend, but his facial fuzz, which despite many claims to the contrary from shaving brands, is still very much a thing.
If you’re looking for a gift for a bearded bloke, how about Wahl’s Blitz 3-in-1 Lithium Beard Trimmer, with its 12 guide combs, foil shaver head and detail trimmer, or Kent’s Beard Brush, ideal for taming even the most unruly beards?
Are they obsessive about angles? Go cuckoo for some beautifully clean lines? Then a meticulously designed grooming gift is the way to go.
Bolin Webb’s sleek and sexy X1 Razor & Stand Gift Set is sure to please even the most discerning of aesthetes, while Dunhill’s ICON fragrance is bound to impress with its beautiful engine-turned, cylindrical bottle featuring a design that’s been a hallmark of Dunhill accessories since 1924. And few electric shavers come close to the sleek simplicity of the Philips SensoTouch Series 7000 shaver.
For Gadget Enthusiasts
Technology has revolutionised male grooming, making looking good simpler than ever. And any man who appreciates his grooming tools (that’ll be pretty much all of us, then) will rate the special cooling technology in Braun’s CoolTec shaver, which – literally – takes the heat out of shaving, making it a smart choice for guys with sensitive skin.
Philips’ Sonicare Airfloss Pro is the perfect gift for men who hate flossing (again, all of us) while Clinique For Men’s Sonic System Cleansing Brush takes washing your face to a whole new level thanks to its antimicrobial bristles, which are both great at cleaning pores and removing razor-clogging dead skin cells.
For The Bachelor
He’s single, keeps his pad as neat as his nether regions, and isn’t altogether unlike Don Jon’s Jon Martello. The bachelor is a master when it comes to orchestrating a seduction – so what better way to help the hunt than equip him with the right tools?
Yankee Candle’s Barbershop Hair Tonic is just one of a number of new scented candles aimed specifically at men, and ideal for setting the mood with its mix of fresh eucalyptus, soothing lavender and the sweet intensity of amber.
A bachelor will also appreciate a spicy scent like Comme Des Garçons’ new BLACKPEPPER fragrance, and what better gift for the modern manscaper than the Philips Bodygroom Series 3000, which has been designed to deliver smooth results even on the most sensitive of man bits? Coming in under £25 it’s a figurative snip, too.
For Luxury Lovers
Money no object? Buying for someone more Roman Abramovich than Martin Lewis? Few grooming brands do luxury quite as well as Czech & Speake, whose 24-carat gold-plated Gold Manicure Set is the last word in bathroom cabinet extravagance. Or how about Tom Ford’s Private Blend Oud Wood Gift Set? Featuring an Eau de Parfum, All Over Body Spray and Body Moisturiser, the recipient will be able to take their fragrance-layering game to a whole new level.
If you’re feeling especially generous, why not consider a two-hour, £450 Floris Fragrance Customisation session so they can design their very own scent? The result is a one-of-a-kind gift that will remind them of you every time they wear it.
For The ‘Nose’
Fragrance might be one of the most popular Christmas grooming gifts, but it’s no cakewalk buying for someone whose scent collection is bigger than Selfridges’.
If that’s the case, look at lesser-known boutique fragrances that offer individuality and exclusivity that you won’t find on the high street, like Beaufort London’s Fathom V, Byredo’s unnamed Eau De parfum and S&X, perfume designer Azzi Glasser’s unisex collaboration with photographer Rankin – all of which will set the recipient apart from the crowd and, as a bonus, keep them bang on trend too.