THE GROOMING GIFTS WE WANT FROM OUR PARTNERS THIS HOLIDAY SEASON
Here's a guide to buying a christmas gift for the man who has it all
Nov 11, 2022
Ashley Ogawa Clarke is an editor and writer, and a consultant for Humanery. Ashley is the former Deputy Editor of MR PORTER, the online menswear destination, and has previously written for US Vogue, GQ Style, the Telegraph, and the Observer among others. He has been writing about men’s skincare for ten years, and is currently based in Tokyo, Japan.
What do you really get for the man who has everything? It’s the time of year that you need to start thinking about it.
From charming fragrances to supercharged moisturisers and Korean skincare sets, there’s a wealth of stuff right here that will make for a brilliant gift. Still, there’s a way to do it right. When someone gifts a grooming product, it needs to be (and this is important) of sufficient quality – i.e. something you didn’t pick it up on your lunch break at your local drugstore – and should be something your partner will actually enjoy using every day. The bad news is that finding a product (or products) that your other half will truly appreciate takes a bit of time, consideration and research, but the good news is that you’re already in the right place.
Men’s grooming has evolved significantly in recent years, which means there’s a lot that your average guy won’t know about what will work best for them. The endless spread of serums, night creams, retinols, and cleansers on the market can get quickly overwhelming, but you can introduce your partner to everything he’s missing out on with one deftly chosen gift. Below, a few nudges in the right direction.
A GROOMING KIT FOR A WEEKEND AWAY
Curated by brands themselves as a gateway into their range, skincare sets make for excellent gifts because they act as a taster for your partner to figure out what actually works for their skin. The British brand Saunders & Long makes a particularly notable set which includes everything you’d expect (a cleanser, moisturiser and eye cream) plus a couple of easy-to-love extras.
Saunders & Long has done a stellar job of upgrading do-it-all products into genuinely great products. Its Long Weekender product is unique to the grooming market, and magic in a bottle. It works as a shaving cream, shampoo, body wash, conditioner, and grooming cream (phew!) to nourish your hair. It smells incredible too, and, as the name suggests, is the perfect accompaniment for a long weekend away.
A TOP SHELF MOISTURISER
Want to show someone you really love them? Get ‘em some Patricks.
The Australia-based brand makes skincare and haircare products that would look as much at home in a contemporary art gallery as they do in the bathroom, and are inspired by car design – hence all that chrome. The brand’s Superleggera moisturiser (or SL1 as it’s more succinctly know) is the Tesla of moisturisers, and is packed full of stuff to lock in hydration while keeping oily skin looking matte and fresh. This stuff is good, so be warned: you may want to keep it for yourself.
A SET TAILORED TO BLACK GUYS’ SKIN & HAIR
Black men are underrepresented in mainstream media and Hollywood, and this unfortunately translates to the men's grooming industry too. If you’re black – despite the wealth and breadth of skin and haircare products out there for men – it’s not always easy to find something that will be exactly right for you.
Enter Aaron Wallace and his eponymous skincare brand. A former barber, Wallace would listen first hand to the frustrations that many black guys who visited his salon had when finding hair, beard and skincare that worked for them. So he founded Aaron Wallace and tailored its formulations specifically for afro skin and hair. The brand offers both a skincare system – 3-step programme comprised of an exfoliating cleanser, a shave gel and a moisturiser – and a haircare system ideal for keeping curly afro hair in great condition.
A POST-WORKOUT MASSAGE OIL
Whether your other half is obsessed with the gym, or could use a little motivation to spend more time there, this little bottle will help.
Created by anatome (the brand also does de-stressing essential oils, supplements and other gift sets that are worth checking out) this massage oil has been especially formulated to soothe muscle aches and pains. Of course, buying this for your partner basically enters you into a contract that you’ll be the one performing said massage, but what better way to show that you care?
A RELIABLE BEARD BOOSTER
Beards – just like our skin and hair – need keeping in good condition. And hey, if you spend any time up close and personal with a beard-owner, you’ll know this all too well. Consider, then, a beard oil, brush, or balm – all of which make for excellent presents.
For a beard brush, seek out one with boar bristles, like this one from Captain Fawcett. Tough-wearing, boar bristles naturally condition facial hair without pulling at it. They also encourage blood flow and spread the skin’s natural oils through the hair, adding shine and making for a healthier-looking beard.
A SOUTH KOREAN SKINCARE SET
South Korea has established itself as a veritable mecca of excellent facial care in recent years, and for good reason – have you seen those K-pop bands’ pores? Invisible to the naked eye! Though perhaps most notable for introducing 10-step skincare routines to the rest of the world, the best K-beauty isn’t all that complicated.
If you want to get into it, Devonine is the name to bookmark. “Many men are still learning how to take care of their skin and some don't even know what to use for their skin,” the brand’s founder, Sean Lee, tells Humanery. He created his Devonine skincare set for a smooth introduction into slightly more advanced skincare, and includes a cleanser, a serum, and an intensive night cream. “It makes a great gift for someone just getting started with their skincare or for someone who wants to branch out and experience the wonders of Korean skincare,” says Lee.
A FRAGRANCE SELECTION
Unless you know what their signature is, buying fragrance for anyone is, generally, inadvisable. It’s too personal, and just because a guy likes bergamot, it doesn’t mean he’ll like that bergamot. There’s a handy workaround to this, though – a fragrance kit.
Usually compiled of a few small bottles of different scents, they’re ideal for travelling, not to mention a clever way to try out multiple fragrances. Chances are that, after a few spritzes, your partner will begin to gravitate to the one they like best. And hey presto – the time next holiday season rolls around, you’ll know exactly what to get them.
If you're looking for something different, we also have an entire edit of the perfect Christmas gifts for him that you can explore here.
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