Sunday, August 19, 2012

grooming gifts for your guy

It was my boyfriend's birthday this week and I had to go through the whole process of figuring out what to get him.  Unless you have an unlimited budget to buy expensive electronics, men can be difficult to shop for.  I mean, what do they really like?  I ended up buying my guy a cool vintage T shirt and a set of shaving products - after all it would be remiss of me to not buy him something beauty-oriented.  Plus it's much more fun to shop for beauty/grooming products than, let's say, an autographed baseball.  Anyway, I thought I'd share with you some of the great grooming product ideas that I came up with, and you can file this information away until the time is right.

Men love stuff from Malin + Goetz New York Apothecary and Lab.  The modern, spare, no-frills packaging appeals to them as well as the clean scents and natural ingredients.  It's a fairly high-end line (they supply the Soho Grand Hotel in NYC) which makes for a special gift, and around the Holidays they offer some pretty phenomenal gift sets.  For the rest of the year you could get your honey a peppermint shampoo and cilantro conditioner set or their famous Grapefruit Face Cleanser which is suitable for even the most sensitive skin.  You could even pair these up with one of their very masculine-scented candles like the best-selling Cannabis, or Dark Rum.  I actually find that men are using candles more and more these days.

Another option is is to pick one of the many terrific shave sets available at Sephora and pair it with the Bump Fighter Razor (available at most drug stores).  The Bump Fighter was originally designed for African American men who have easily irritated skin, but it has become a cult favorite with men and women of all races.  It's something about the angle of their blade that helps give a smoother shave and prevents ingrown hairs.  So slip that in the giftbox along with something cool like the Jack Black Core Collection which includes a face wash, a moisturizer with spf, and the ever-popular Beard Lube shave cream.  The Art of Shaving kits also make a great gift because they contain those nifty natural bristle shaving brushes.

For some men, like my brother-in-law Phil, fragrance is the best option.  Here I would go one of two routes:  the more conventional fragrances like Chanel paired with their matching deodorant, or a non-traditional, even unisex line, such as CREED.  If your baby already has a signature scent, then just stock up on that but this time include the matching deodorant - it is something they will never expect.  If your guy doesn't have a favorite scent yet, you could try one of the more easily-likable brands like Issey Miyake or YSL.  But for something unique and truly special go to Saks and smell all the Bond No. 9 fragrances.

Bond No. 9 was created right after 9/11 to help celebrate and support the city of New York.  They have over 40 scents: men's, women's and unisex, each named after a specific neighborhood of New York.  I'll tell you right now, it is expensive, but totally worth the price to wear something innovative, sophisticated, and urbane - something not every guy in the office will be wearing.  Plus the artstic bottles will look stylish sitting on his dresser.  There is such an abundance of sexy scents I would maybe start off checking out 'Fire Island' which won the Fragrance of the year FIFI award.  Or test 'West Broadway' which is a unisex scent with notes of lime, lily of the valley, and musk.  And if your other half is a NY aficionado, 'I Love New York For Him' is a great choice with its notes of ginger, grapefruit, geranium, patchouli, amber, and musk.

So you see, even if you can't afford to buy your guy the latest ipad, there are still some pretty exciting grooming gifts out there that he'd be sure to love.

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