We may spend most of our time talking about designer garms and fresh kicks, but we know there’s a whole lot more to looking good than what you’re packing in your closet. Groom Service is your no-BS guide in how to look, smell, and feel better. This week, we’re talking how to buy good grooming gifts.
Forget stocking stuffers. OK, don’t forget them, but let’s just politely set them aside. Yes, it’s nice to get a candy bar next to some deluxe toothpaste or a suave moisturizer, but why are grooming products so often relegated to the stocking? They should be centerpiece gifts, especially for the guy who wants to up his efforts in the New Year, or who already appreciates things like a signature fragrance and a safety-razor shave.
If you want to get (or request!) something a little more worthy of gift wrap and a grand reveal — even if it fits in a stocking— then consider the eight items below. They encompass most facets of a grooming regimen and are guaranteed to impress. Or, if you’re the giftee, just send this link out as your entire wish list. We’re doing the same.
Hawthorne has a good thing going: you fill out a survey that asks about your diet, favorite drinks, work, social habits, style, and even your typical body temp (are you constantly hot, or cold, or comfortable?). It’s all collected to determine which of the brand’s two colognes are best suited to your persona. One is WORK, the other is PLAY, and they align to those two parts of your day. (Your WORK might be citrus and woody, and the play more leathery.)
They’re also launching matching deodorant, bar soap, and body wash before the holidays to complement each scent. If you want to enroll someone else for the experience, you can give him a gift card to complete the survey himself — so that he really gets the scent that’s made for his personality. Unless you know him so perfectly that you tailor a package for him.
For the frequent shaver and the irritation-prone guys, Bevel offers a safety-razor and brush kit that cuts close and prevents bumps. You can start off with the blades, razor, brush, priming oil, shave cream, and restoring balm, then quarterly receive replacements on the blades, cream, oil, and balm. Cancel or pause anytime, should you shave less frequently, but this is a reliable set for any interval and any face.
The worst part about trimming a beard is the cleanup: little whiskers all over the damn sink and floor… unless your trimmer comes with a built-in vacuum. That’s just one of the selling points behind Philips Norelco’s Series 7000 trimmers: The 7300 holds a 75-minute charge, has 18 different trimming lengths, and that tiny vacuum as the end sucks up 90 percent or more of the trimmings, making for a quick cleanup on the sink and a precise tidying-up on the chin.
Whether you have dry, oily, or combination skin, Aesop has a skincare kit tailored to you: “Quench” helps hydrate and restore dry skin, “Balance” protects combination skin from its poles of parched and oily, and “Parsley Seed Anti-Oxidant” is suited for anyone (oily or otherwise) if you don’t know which skin type you or your giftee have. Each kit comes with a cleanser, toner, and hydrator that honors the skin’s chemistry, to keep it looking clear, firm, matte, and bright.
The Blue Lagoon is known for its restorative, soothing powers, attributed to the algae, silica, and minerals that populate the waters. The brand harvests and bottles each of these ingredients (as the Lagoon itself is a man-made phenomenon), so that you can bring the Lagoon’s benefits home (individually or in this four-pack). There’s the Lava Scrub that exfoliates and renews the skin, the Silica Mud Mask to deep clean any gunk from your pores, the Algae Mask that restores collagen production and minimizes fine lines and dark circles, as well as the overnight Mineral Mask that rehydrates dry skin. Since you shouldn’t do this more than once a week, you can also get the travel size mask kit for half the cost, and it’ll still last most of the year.
Hair paste is one of the most universal stylers on the market, since it can be applied to dry or damp hair, and in every hair texture or length. This isn’t to say that it will appease every single person’s styling needs, but it is going to give you something that looks great. MAST asks you to list how often you shampoo and style in a week, and then prescribes you a 3-month shampoo-and-paste duo to cover for each quarter. (For example, if you shampoo 1-2 times a week and style daily, you’ll get one shampoo and two pastes for the duration, and it’ll cost $65 every three months.) On top of MAST’s paste being a terrific day-to-night styler, it also ships in puncture-proof, durable squeeze packs, so that they pack flat or upright.
If you aren’t acquainted with hair dryers, then get acquainted. And even if you are, you ought get acquainted with this one. Elchim’s ionic dryer works fast to give you a smooth, salon-like finish with over 2,000 watts of power. It locks in any style, whether it’s high hold or free falling. The device comes with a lifetime warranty too, so it’s a life-long gift for anyone who cares about his appearance.
Shower + Bath
You know how the term “lived in” is used to describe instantly comfortable clothing? That’s what this robe feels like… like a broken-in mitt that swaddles your body and threatens with a post-shower nap since it’s far better than the alternative of wearing actual clothes. Cleverly’s towel set is of equal splendor, and both come in four patterned color options. The robe is exactly what you want to wear while unwrapping presents, or while picking out your Netflix movie after dinner.
Next up, check out the best winter fragrances.