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With access to supermarket standbys, shave subscriptions and their unsuspecting girlfriend’s Tatcha moisturiser, most guys tend not to splurge on grooming items—a blessing during the holiday season. It means that an elevated skincare set from Malin + Goetz, or a sophisticated scent from Frederic Malle, rank as highly desirable if unexpected gifting options. Our edit of the best presents for partners, brothers, sons, dads and friends and more spans refined fragrances, skincare treats and shaving essentials. These indulgent gifts, which manage to be both thoughtful and practical, make ties, socks and coffee cups appear woefully inadequate. And they’re just as suitable for style-conscious guys as aesthetically challenged ones. Operation dapper starts now.
If he still thinks soap on a rope is a thing, he’ll be mighty impressed with an advanced skin set. Anything by Malin + Goetz is the perfect gateway product for a grooming rookie. Its Saving Face Kit combines a bracing cleanser, soothing moisturiser and a five-minute mask for peak purification. Clinique’s Better Basics For Men is a four-piece regime covering cleansing, hydrating, shaving and exfoliation, while Origins’ mushroom-powered Ready, Set, Relief is a godsend for men with reactive or sensitive skin. Ideal for gentlemen concerned about crow’s feet, even if they would prefer not to admit it, is this trio of age-defying, black-clad products from Kiehl’s. For an individual item that packs a punch, we recommend Buly’s Double Pommade Concrète. The name recalls something you picked up at a hardware store, but this nourishing balm will help remedy the parched hands of any tradesman.
READ MORE: A moisturiser sold every six seconds, and a toner every 12: discover the original it-brand
Shaving can be a chore for many men, not to mention annoyingly time-consuming, but a few next-level treatments will help ease the pain. Anything by fragrance mavericks Le Labo fits the bill. The brand has a dedicated grooming capsule inspired by old-school American barbershops and updated with plant-based formulas. We’re partial to the nourishing Shaving Cream, calming After Shave Balm, and airy Face Lotion. You could even complete the retro theme with this quirky fragrance from D.S. & Durga, inspired by a burning barbershop. Other brands with male-leaning ranges include Perricone MD. This pre-shave cleanse softens stubble, while the Soothing Post-Shave Treatment is a salve against razor burn. And this Buly shaving cream, infused with a woody green aroma, looks as dashing as it smells.
READ MORE: Why this French apothecary brand is our new obsession
Men are far less vigilant than women when it comes to sun protection, and the risk of being diagnosed with melanoma is higher among men than women in Australia. Damaging ultraviolet rays do not discriminate—they can even penetrate Ned Kelly beards. Getting guys into the habit of regularly using SPF-powered products is a small step yet a potentially giant leap for mankind. If you can’t appeal to his sanity, try tweaking his vanity: sun exposure accelerates wrinkles, sun spots and the visible signs of ageing. Enter, Mecca Cosmetica’s limited-edition Sun Essentials, a trio of skin-shielding wonders for face, body and lips. It even comes in a dope dopp kit that is stylish enough to travel with. Similarly, The Great Protectors pairs two SPF 50 products in a holiday-themed box. It’s a stellar stocking stuffer, and one that could help prevent a dire diagnosis.
The holidays are the optimal moment to dive into fragrance. It’s now when brands issue collectible discovery sets that encourage olfactory experimentation and stylistic exploration. The Essential Collection For Men by Frederic Malle is an aromatic standout. It contains five of Malle’s jazziest fragrances, from zinging citrus compositions to woody oriental arrangements. The recipient is sure to find one he likes, and the small bottles are perfectly scaled for getaways. Another tempting edit is Maison Margiela’s Connoisseur Discovery Set, launching December 7, with three of the house’s timeless scents, evoking beaches, libraries and clubs. Or introduce your favourite guy to the mood-altering effects of scented candles. This set from Boy Smells, the urbane LA brand, features three of its intriguing candles that marry feminine and masculine notes in a genderless new form.
READ MORE: These citrus scents are like sunshine in a bottle
If quality sleep is elusive, this dreamy duo from This Works will get the thumbs up. It includes full-size versions of its Deep Sleep Pillow Spray, proven to reduce sleep anxiety, and Deep Sleep Breathe In, a tension-relieving roll-on. The brand also offers a mini version of its best sellers. Another strategy for promoting slumber is an eye mask; this black one from Slip will block out light, especially for inveterate travellers. And, given that nighttime is the moment for skin repair, he might be open to a targeted treatment. This one from Dermalogica rescues dry skin and encourages sleep, while this retinol-fuelled cream from Verso will kickstart collagen production. It’s the gift that keeps on kicking.
READ MORE: Retinol: a user’s guide to the powerhouse ingredient recommended by every dermatologist
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