Right. This is always the tricky one, isn’t it? Presents for the man/men in your life. It doesn’t matter whether it’s your Dad, boyfriend or brother, the things that are regularly paraded in front of us as suitable Christmas offerings are just so…drab! I’ve tried to give a mix of the practical and the pleasant, here – a few great gadgets, some hopefully non-obvious grooming stuff and a couple of frivolous bargains…
Let’s start with a few facial-hair-orientated things. For Christmas is the time to shake up his shaving routine! And also to replenish the sock supply in his underwear drawer, but I’m steering clear of socks here. It’s all about the gadgets and the nice, scented oily things.
Johnny’s Chop Shop Beard Oil – looks like something you’d pick up in the cool New York Apothecary C.O. Bigelow, but is actually a mere £6 at Boots here. Get it. Fill stockings with it. And if he’s into his beard maintenance, he’ll also need the next thing on the list…
Mr AMR’s first comment when the Philips Series 7000 Beard Trimmer came through the postbox: “wouldn’t this be an amazing idea for grooming the dog?” Honestly, I can’t take the man anywhere. Although, I see his point – this nifty gadget has an in-built vacuum to hoover up all of the beard debris as it comes flying off. Is that not just a little bit genius? Less mess (it catches up to 90% of the trimmings), a cleaner bathroom and the soles of your feet won’t look like the Gruffalo’s after you’ve stood at the sink to brush your teeth. You can pick up the Hoover-Trimmer (this is the future, people!) at Boots here for £49.99. It should be £74.99, so, quids in. More info on the Philips website.
And then the Philips Shaver Series 7000: not your ordinary shaver, it has to be said. Specially designed to reduce skin irritation, it can be used daily by men with even the most sensitive skin. No more red rashes. The DynamicFlex heads flex in five different directions so that you get a close shave around every angle of the face (please design one of these for the bikini line, Philips!) and the Gentle Precision blade system gently guides the hairs close to the blades for a more comfortable shave. Bravo. For more technical info, head to the Philips website – RRP for the Series 7000 is £250, but it’s currently £106.72 on Amazon! Run don’t walk, etc…
Back to beards and the pricey option for oiling them up: the Neroli Portofino beard oil from Tom Ford. Sexy smell, suave packaging – almost worth growing some facial hair for! It’s £40 here.
If you’re not tackling his face then maybe have a meddle with his sleep routine. Introducing the Bulletproof Sleep Induction Mat: aka Bed of Nails. Mr AMR loves his bed of nails – he’s a bad sleeper, and quite often I’ll wake up in the middle of the night to find that he’s shifted to the floor and is fast asleep on his torture rug. He swears by it, especially when he gets a migraine. Apparently, pain-wise, you need to “ease yourself into it”. Tips from the top, there. The Bulletproof Sleep Induction Mat is £39.99 at Amazon here.
The perfect present to complement a sleep mat? Noise-cancelling headphones! Because I’m such a dedicated gift-guide-researcher (ha!) I went and tried out these Bose QuietComfort 35 headphones at Westfield and I can tell you that they are fantastic. I mean, they cost more than your average set of ear-defenders but putting them on and closing your eyes is like stepping into a sensory deprivation booth. Great for frequent travellers, people who live in a noisy house-share or are – er – parents. They’re £289.99 here.
Now for the bright and cheery with some frivolities thrown in for good measure. Three of these gifts come in at under a fiver, one is a surprisingly affordable luxury item and one is a brilliant gadget that I really, really want for myself…
The Cult of Lego. I like this book simply for the cover – I’d love a print of a lego head, it’s just so brilliantly graphic and iconic! But apparently the pages inside this book are pretty good too. I have it on good authority. One for the lego fans, whether they still play with it or not. Nothing like a bit of nostalgia… It’s £20.78 here.
The Sony QX10 Lens is the ultimate iPhone add-on. It turns your phone into a pretty decent picture-taking machine. Why not just buy a camera, you ask? Because you always have your iPhone on your person! I’m really tempted to buy this lens for myself – it has an 18MP sensor and a 10x zoom. At just over £100 (here) it’s a hell of a lot cheaper than investing in the new iPhone 7….
Personalised Marmite. Let’s do this. Cheap and cheerful and looks as though you’ve put some thought into it, because, y’know, it’s got their name on the front and everything. £4.99 here.
This made me laugh a lot: The Ladybird Book of The Hangover. Just the front cover image got me giggling – man on a ledge, man on the edge! Look, it’s just a little stocking filler morsel, but it will look great perched on top of the loo with all of the other novelty Christmas books. There’s something very retro-cool about it. It’s £3.49 here.
If it’s got to be scarf then make it cashmere: H&M have a lovely one that won’t break the bank but feels suitably luxurious. 100% cashmere, six different colours and a ribbed knit that looks modern and smart. £39.99 here.
Darth Vader bath foam. Just because. There’s also a Yoda, an R2D2, a Chewbacca and – er – Captain America, depending on where his fancies lie. Note, though, that Darth has a cute little plastic cape at the back. Deciding factor right there. The bubble baths are £4.50 each from M&S here.
Hopefully that’s sparked some ideas for you – tune in next week for more Weekly Christmas Shop. You can find the Gorgeous Gifts for Under £10 here.
*this post has been sponsored by Philips.