Many years ago I was a buyer in training at a large department store and I worked in the men’s department. When the holidays arrived, women would come in and buy shirts and ties, underwear, socks, and umbrellas. I remember thinking: how boring! True, ties and shirts and needed, but what man is going to go crazy over another shirt (unless it has something really special on it, e,g, the logo of his favorite football team).
So what are you going to get your special men for Holiday 2015? Here are five suggestions of things they don’t have …yet…but will want more of in the future.
Remember when you went to the drugstore and got those special men gift sets with Old Spice or Aqua Velva (just to name two popular scents). Sure, they smiled and thanked you (and some might have even used the stuff), but even on a tight budget, you’ve got to get creative. A very nice boutique-y line from London (they have actual locations offering treatments, too) is Gentleman’s Tonic, a range of sophisticated skin and hair care products focused specifically on men. The products are nicely packaged in matte grey tubes (flip tops would have been nice instead of screw caps) that men will feel comfortable using and displaying in the bathroom. There are quite a few products and some gift sets, but we really like the Moisturizing Hand Balm ($18.00 1.7 fl. oz). Note that it is called a balm, not a cream or a lotion, which might turn men off. Men’s hands get so dry, and they need comfort and protection as much as a woman’s hands. On the other hand, they want something lightweight and that smells masculine (this one smells like a manly citrus) . It’s neither sticky nor greasy (that would turn off a lot of men as well). Although the ingredients aren’t listed on the Gentleman’s Tonic Web Site I recognized sunflower seed oil. The prices are in the department store + range, but isn’t that the point of a gift — to give something you might not buy for yourself? Check out all the products on the Gentleman’s Tonic Web Site and pick the ones that appeal to you the most, or get one of the gift packages–it’s a great way to get the men in your life to understand what great products can do for them.
I received one of these super slim Lenovo PB410 5000mAh Power Bank, Silver (888016288) for Tablets or Smartphones (srp. $30.00) at an event called “get Geeked” in Brooklyn. I’ve reviewed a lot of power packs/chargers but this one caught my eye because it is so compact, lightweight, and has not one but two USB ports so you can charge two things at the same time. It is not only nicely designed, it kept my smart devices going when I was traveling and there was just one plug in the room that worked. Four LED’s lights tell you exactly how much charge is still left inside. The casing containss lithium polymer cells and advanced charging technology. The high-quality full-metal shell protects battery pack from sudden shock. The charger comes with a USB to Micro USB plug, but you can use your own USB to proprietary charger cords. I have other portable chargers, but the Lenovo PB410 is the one I now rely on — not larger than a pack of gum and it’ll pack a huge punch. Obviously it’s not just for men, but since they carry things in their pockets, this one keeps the bulk and weight, way down. For more information visit http://www.lenovo.com/us/en/
Men won’t always admit it, but they like easy to understand, skin and bodycare that smells good and adds a bit of fun to their routine. The new Zest Fruitboost Revitalizing Shower Gels ($2.99 each) aren’t just any old “soap.” The colorful and novel tubes of body wash are a “wow” gift for any age, but really make a fun stocking stuffer for men. Giving a gift in multiples is impressive, and you can splurge on the entire Zest Fruitboost set for less than $12.00 (SRP) . Whether it’s a stocking stuffer you’re seeking, or a lighthearted gift for a host or hostess, these shower gels with flip top tubes are designed to smell like berry, pomegranate acai, mango, or citrus (in our sniff test, the guys went wild for the citrus). The cleansers are so concentrated a quarter-sized dollop is all you need (one tube can last for up to 40 showers). If you use a scrubby or a washcloth you’ll instantly see lots of foam, enjoy the scent, and of course, the gel cleans gently without drying out your skin. Zest Fruitboost also includes antioxidant Vitamin C. This is a family-friendly products that everyone can share. Zest Fruitboost is now available at Walmart stores, with additional retailers offering the product beginning January 2016. For more information on Zest, please visit www.zest.com.
The U|R powered Conan Surge Knit Audio Beanie for Men ($36.00) is more than one gift, it’s actually two — a classic, warm hat and a way to listen to music or answer your phone/make a call through your hat! This is a the gift you give him that you’ll want to borrow back. The knit audio hat with contrasting stitch design has more than style and warmth, it also has built-in U|R Powered audio speakers with removable cords. A fleece lined ear band adds even more warmth and comfort. The hat is available in Black, Taupe and Grey — one size fits all. U|R powered audio hats don’t provide concert hall sound, but the sound is pleasing, clear, and with a lively bass (quite impressive, actually). Imagine being warm while you listen to your favorite tunes, get directions from your smart phone, check your voicemail, or answer or make calls. You can opt to include a Nexus Bluetooth Adapter ($38.00) and connect completely wire-lessly. Guys don’t always have the same amount (or any) hair to keep their heads warm in cold weather, and a large portion of your heat filters out through your head. This is more than just a fashion accessory, it’s a must have for the busy outdoorsman, jogger, audiophile. There are so many other hat and glove options for both men and women from U|R powered and all are reasonably priced. Visit http://www.urpowered.com/
On December 3rd The Advice Sisters published a feature on The Macallan Scotch, which comes in a wide variety of styles and prices. That feature included The Macallan 12, 15 and Rare Cask. However, we’re including this The Macallan Edition 1 (srp. $90.00) in our men’s gift guide, because it’s the start of something new, collectible, and delicious for the man who knows his whiskey and likes something different. The Macallan Edition 1 is, obviously, the first in a new, limited edition series from Macallan that will be released anually. Each year, a special selection of oak casks will be handpicked to create a new Edition, inspired by Macallan lovers from around the world and co-created with different partners. We didn’t try this particular scotch (read our Macallan feature to see the three we tried). However, we’re told that Edition No.1 is matured in 8 unique European and American oak cask styles and sizes, each contributing their own distinct character. It has light and soft oak notes, vibrancy, as well as rich and darker spice flavors, the proportions of various cask types were hand-selected by master whisky maker, Bob Dalgarno. You will also note that the Macallan Edition 1 has a higher alcohol content, bottled at 48% abv for a fuller, richer flavor. For more information please visit the Macallan Web Site
On December 6th we featured gifts from QVC. One of those gifts was The QVC Beauty Man of the Hour Eight Piece Men’s Collection $34.50 + $3.00 shipping) the perfect gift for the man who travels, who wants to try something new, who wants to take better care of his image, or even for a man who doesn’t have a clue about what works for him (that just about covers everyone). A nice, silvery presentation box slides out to reveal the products, all from very popular brands . It includes: 0.1-fl oz Givenchy Gentlemen Only Intense EDT; 0.11-oz Smileactives Tooth Whitening Pen in Spearmint; 0.35-oz L’Occitane Cade Shaving Cream; 1-oz First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream; 1-fl oz Molton Brown London Black Peppercorn Body Wash; 1.5-fl oz Jack Black Double-Duty Face Moisturizer; 2-fl oz philosophy the microdelivery exfoliating wash; and a 2.7-oz Peter Thomas Roth Modern Classic Shaving Cream *if you want to know the ingredients, they are all listed on the QVC website for this product . The products in this set are simple and easy to use. He will use everything, trust me. And it’s a deal that looks more expensive than the actual cost. Get a few for all the men in your life — without breaking your budget. Get this set before it sells out. To order, go to the QVC Web Site