Male order: The best men's gift sets to slip into your loved one's Christmas stocking
It may seem that women are easier to buy for at Christmas, with an endless array of female beauty goodies available - make-up, skincare sets, perfume and haircare products prove the most popular ladies' gift options.
It appears, however, that men are gradually getting in on this grooming act - the male grooming industry is predicted to reach $55.5bn a year by 2020.
According to high-end menswear retailer Mr Porter, its male grooming section grew by 300pc last year, with men's skincare lines showing the most increase in sales. Men of all ages are becoming more concerned and proactive with their skin health, a very positive and pragmatic development.
If your loved one is a bit shy about using grooming products, rest easy - studies have shown that women initially introduce their men to skincare products and men find it so beneficial to their skin health, that they then continue to use and buy the products themselves. Sometimes just a little gentle encouragement is all it takes. So, with that in mind, I've researched some fantastic male grooming gift sets that should suit most men (see below) with a focus on meeting skincare needs specific to men.
Celeb Inspiration — Tom Ford
The uber stylish 55-year-old, pictured, is a walking advertisement for his male skincare line, never appearing less than pure, polished sophistication. Famous for his huge selection of aftershaves and scents, his male grooming line also includes moisturisers, eye gels, eyebrow and beard tints, concealers, and my favourite, the divine-smelling Oud Wood Conditioning Beard Oil, €47, Brown Thomas
Treat vs cheat
The iconic Clarisonic skin polisher, much loved by millions of women, gets a masculine makeover here with a stronger vibration and more compact casing, ideal for men prone to ingrown beard hairs. Clarisonic Alpha Fit Device.
This version from Clinique for Men is a great alternative if your Christmas budget is busted. Clinique for Men Sonic System Deep Cleansing Brush.
Tips for choosing skincare for him this Christmas
Skincare is the fastest growing sector in male grooming, with double-digit growth last year alone, while research has shown that men of all ages are becoming more invested in their skin health.
● Studies have shown that simplicity is key in male grooming needs. If a skincare regime is too fussy or complicated, or even the packaging too ornate, most men won't bother with it.
● Research indicates that it is women who will first purchase male grooming and skincare products for their male loved ones, and that men later prefer to buy these items for themselves online.
● Men's skincare needs include products suitable for more oily skin, as they have more sebaceous glands.
● As men can suffer from ingrown beard hairs and facial razor burn, look for products that will specifically address these issues.
Aftershaves are always a popular Christmas present option, but sometimes difficult to get exactly right, so I've listed some unisex options that wont go to waste if the man in your life doesn't fancy the scent.
Kilian Cruel Intentions Tempt Me Travel Spray, €105
With bergamot, orange oil, vetiver and vanilla oils, this scent starts off gently masculine but fades from the skin with a much softer smell. Exclusive to Brown Thomas
Jo Malone London Addictive Cologne Collection, €139
Jo Malone is a scent option much loved by men and women, and comes here in small versions of some of their classics such as Pomegranate Noir and Lime and Basil. Fresh, clean and gorgeous on both sexes. Brown Thomas, BT2, nationwide and The Loop.
The best gift sets for him
If you're looking for a gift for a man that appreciates the finer things in life, these luxe gift set options should satisfy. Think Tom Ford or George Clooney as manspiration.
The No-Frills Jock
If your male loved one is a no-nonsense, sporty type - think Irish rugby captain Rory Best or musician Bressie - check out these gift set options.
If the man in your life is a stylish, hipster-type who loves individuality and fine workmanship in his grooming products, these should fit the bill. Think rugby player Gordon D'Arcy or designer Paul Galvin.