Boys to men
Don't be stuck for something for him, says Sarah Caden, with these five favourites
For all the talk about metrosexuals and their love of stuff and conversion to moisturiser and masks, we still remain at something of a loss when it comes to gifts for the men.
Father's Day can be glossed over by bringing him out for dinner, but you actually have to hand something over at Christmas.
If the man in your life is in any way partial to pampering, then don't overthink or second-guess yourself. Really, it's as simple as imagining what you'd like yourself. A scent, a sensational serum, an indulgent item that they'll enjoy but might not splash out on and buy for themselves. And, of course, the basic rules apply across the genders - no bath salts, no itch-inducing bubble bath, no products that suggest they're getting old and grey. Allow the man his vanity.
Best Beckham Beauty
House 99 By David Beckham Smooth Back gift set, €19.36, Harvey Nichols, Dundrum Town Centre, D16; debenhams.ie; asos.com
The brand is named for a key year in the life of its creator, David Beckham. 1999 was the year that he won the treble with Manchester United and married VB. He's a man of hair-dos and beard-dos since, and this gift set covers shampoo, hair pomade and moisturiser. Oh, and a comb. "It's good gym-kit gear," said a panellist. "It hits the essentials, with posh ingredients and an eye to men's now-high standards."
Best Bumper Bag
Clarins Men Hydrating Set, €64, Clarins counters nationwide
A good gift set is a precious thing, and this is a good one. His shower routine at home, at the gym or on holiday is neatly covered - and contained in a smart wash bag. Time to throw out the manky one he's
been using since last Christmas, and replace it with this, replete with a full-size face wash and balm, a shampoo-and-shower gel and a mini-size eye cream. "This is all good-quality stuff I'd actually use," said a panellist. "And the small eye cream is grand, because if I don't use it, I won't feel guilty about it."
Best Heaven Scent
Chanel Bleu de Chanel Parfum, €128, Chanel counters nationwide
If he's well past his Lynx stage of life and already moving out of the sporty-scent stage, you could try this chic introduction to the world of parfum. This is the parfum version of the best-selling Bleu, but this does not simply mean it's stronger. The richness of tonka bean is balanced with characteristic Chanel powdery notes and a citrus hit of grapefruit. It's very sexy. "Love the navy, hefty bottle," a panellist said, "and the fragrance lasts well, without being headachey."
Best Bearded Gent
Kiehl's Grooming Solutions Nourishing Beard Grooming Oil, €28, Kiehl's shops, 35 Wicklow St, D2; Dundrum Town Centre, D16; Arnotts
There are men who treat their beard like a baby; finding endless things to tell you about it and an endless capacity to pamper it. Help him to keep his beard tip-top with this beard oil, containing Pracaxi oil to soften that often rough hair, and salicylic acid to exfoliate the skin beneath. Cedarwood and sandalwood oils blend for a subtly spicy fragrance. "This is effective and smells much more natural than any aftershave," a panellist said.
Best Serum Splash-Out
Sisley Sisleyum for Men Anti-Age Global Revitaliser, €197, Brown Thomas
Despite their adoption of skincare, a lot of men remain averse to face creams. The richness that many women relish seems heavy, and even sweaty, to some men. A serum is another matter, and the fact that you can often see quicker and clearer results with a serum is a bonus. A quick fix on razor burn, tired and dull skin. "This is dear, obviously, but I always come back to it," a panellist said. "Nothing else works like it. It's perfect for a deep-winter reset of your skin."
Sunday Indo Life Magazine