As far as relaxation techniques go, we all have our own but a personal favorite is list-making. It's simple and satisfying, and rarely comes in as handy as holiday shopping season. So technically this is kind of a confession that these holiday shopping lists are created for purely selfish reasons--but hopefully you get something out of them, too.
There is an awful lot to like among the early-release gift sets this year, and that includes those designed for men. Skincare and fragrance-focused, these make nice stand-alone gifts or stocking stuffers, depending on how good a friend/girlfriend/wife/daughter/sister you are.
Clarisonic Mia2 High Performance Holiday Gift Set, $149
This seven-piece kit from Sephora not only includes a Mia2 (in a very manly grey), but two pieces from the incredible Jack Black line of men's skincare--a one-ounce Daily Facial Cleanser and Double-Duty Moisturizer with SPF 20. It's a $193 value, and includes a travel case, so your man will glow on the go, too.
Kikkerland Design 'Hand & Foot' Copper Nail Clippers, $6 set
The combination of utility and weirdness made the Kikkerland copper nail clippers at Nordstrom a natural for this list. There is a simple brilliance in making the toenail clipper foot-shaped, and the fingernail clipper hand-shaped, and the shiny copper just looks cool. There is a key ring for each, but frankly the idea of keeping one's toenail clippers on one's keychain is slightly gross, so maybe keep that one in the bathroom? (No angry emails from foot fetishists, please.)
Kiehl's 'Ultimate Man' Scrub Soap Trio, $30
Thirty dollars for three bars of soap? It sounds like a lot until you realize that Kiehl's regular price on this particular soap is $15 per bar--a seemingly exorbitant price, until you try it. The exfoliators are heavy-duty--none of those little round spheres that you can't even feel, like some national brands--and they are made in the USA, which is always a nice touch. This kit offers a $15 dollar savings to the gift buyer, but be forewarned--you're about to foist a very expensive soap habit on your unsuspecting man-friend.
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The Art of Shaving ProGlide Power Shave Set, $175
There are actually quite a few options from Art of Shaving (via Neiman Marcus) this holiday season, but this Power Shave Set includes the razor--"the latest shaving technology from Gillette"--along with pre-shave oil, shaving cream, a shaving brush, and after-shave balm plus good-looking packaging. Other great options from the Art of Shaving include travel kits and essential oil-infused starter kits in lemon and lavender, or unscented for the delicate skinned.
Aesop London Travel Kit, $75
The folks at Luckyscent always have the best kits for men, and this London Travel Kit from Aesop is no exception. The microfiber case translates to easy cleaning, and the kit itself contains a lot of yummy treats--shampoo and conditioner, as well as facial cleanser and toner, and even a mouthwash. The bottles come in a cool, apothecary-style that looks great even when strewn across a hotel vanity. A sharp, thoughtful gift for a frequent flier.