I got my holiday shopping done early(ish) this year, but usually this is about the time I’m casting about frantically for last-minute presents… particularly for the men I know, some of whom can be difficult to shop for.
Last year, I posted about the holiday “beauty” gifts I bought for my husband (then my fiancé). I felt completely safe posting spoilers because ha ha, back then he didn’t know I had a beauty blog. This year he knows about the blog, though, and he checks in from time to time (I’m pretty sure it’s just to see how much money I’m spending on nail polish), so I can’t spill the beans on what he’ll find under our Christmas tree (or Hanukkah bush. We’re a multicultural family). I can share some favorites, suggestions and possibilities for manly holiday beauty gifts, though. So without getting too specific… if I were to be thinking about possibly picking up some personal care products for the men in my life, I might consider these selections.
Last summer (on our way home from our honeymoon, as a matter of fact), I
dragged took my husband on his first trip to Ulta, where we picked up one or two things for me… and ended up spending a long time in the men’s fragrance section picking out something we both liked for him. (We settled on Pure Nautica Discovery, in case you were wondering.) If you’d like to get a fragrance for your man without wearing out your noses testing scent after scent in the store, Sephora has a men’s version of their fragrance sampler. For $50, you get 14 samples of men’s fragrances from lines like Prada, Gucci and Versace, along with a coupon good for a full-size version of his favorite, plus a couple of 1 oz. Jack Black products. (Jack Black Beard Lube is a favorite at our house.) The downside: The voucher can only be redeemed at a Sephora store — not online and not at Sephora inside JC Penney. So if you don’t live near a real live stand-alone Sephora (like, say, you live in Alaska…), he’ll have to hold on to the coupon until he can visit the store in person. (Why they can’t make the coupons redeemable online is beyond me. If Lush can manage to get unique discount codes into every single cost-inflated holiday gift set, why can’t Sephora manage to get unique fragrance vouchers into every fragrance sampler?)
Dry winter air is hard on everyone’s skin — men too. And my husband wasn’t thrilled the other night when he asked me if I had any lotion and I handed him a tub of Pink Grapefruit Body Butter. Apparently he’s not into smelling sweet and fruity. I ran the Brazil Nut version past him the next day, though, and he conceded that it smelled sufficiently manly for his comfort. $18 at The Body Shop. (Bonus: If it’s as effective as the Candied Ginger body butter, it will also protect against dry skin under actual Arctic conditions.)
Three- or four-way nail buffer
Yes, one of these nail buffers. (You may have to teach him how to use it.) In observing the men in my life over the years, I’ve noticed that they may turn up their noses at proper nail care at first, but once they’re exposed to a life with nice nails, they can become converts. No one can accuse my brother of being anything but masculine, but he was one of the first guys I knew to embrace the three-way buffer. Manicures can be manly, too; consider a gift certificate if you think he needs a professional to convince him. When my parents came to visit me while I was living in New York in my 20s, even my macho firefighter dad came out with us to the nail salon and had his nails trimmed and buffed.
For more last-minute manly gift ideas, check out last year’s Holiday gifts for him post. And if you’re worried about time, you can breathe easy, at least for another day or two — Sephora is offering a free upgrade to 2-day shipping with the code UPS2DAY.