You may have given up on your man’s grooming habits. But what if you could throw out your honey’s heavy cologne and old disposable razor, give his not-so-bulging toiletries bag a makeover and get him to perform those very rituals that are second nature to us?
The trick is to encourage him to polish up his grooming routine without making him feel weird about it. (Hint: Under no circumstances mention the word “metrosexual.” A recent Allure survey indicated most men find the word offensive!)
“For guys, it’s the most basic stuff, the ground zero stuff, that we get wrong,” says TV personality and style expert Robert Verdi. “It’s the manscaping, moisturizing and nail maintenance — things women do that men don’t give a thought to, but really should.”
Take advantage of the season and fill his gifts with must-have items like moisturizer, a quality razor and a shaving brush. Then, as he opens it, repeat the mantra: “I saw Don Draper do this.” Focus on these four key gifts to help your man become Mad Men-dapper in no time:
No, fellas, it’s not just a “girl thing” — men need to keep their faces hydrated daily to avoid looking like a Marlboro Man at age 30. “Moisturizing is the most basic thing that guys take for granted,” says Verdi. “Our skin takes a lot of abuse from the normal exposure to toxins in the air, from the sun, from shaving regularly.” He recommends guys use a UV moisturizer after showering; you can also buy your man a small container to keep at his desk for a little post-lunch touch-up.
He may think his hands and feet look “manly,” but bitten fingernails and ragged toenails are anything but a turn-on. If your other half isn’t so keen on stepping into a nail salon, he can use a good clipper and nail buffer to do the job himself. Encourage him to follow up with rich hand and foot creams, says Verdi: “Moisturizing your hands can make all the difference, certainly when you’re touching a woman or shaking a man’s hand.”
Verdi suggests that men deal with an unattractive uni-brow by thinning the area between the brows with a pair of tweezers. (Slanted or fine-point styles work well.) For nose and ear hair, an electric trimmer is safer than scissors. Verdi also urges men not to ignore the facial redness and irritation caused by improper shaving. “Skin irritation is one of the things men don’t take note of because skin is toughened up from years of shaving,” he says. Make sure your man has a clean, sharp razor, uses a top-notch shaving product and applies a cream afterward.
Cologne (With Instructions!)
Most men use cologne — they just don’t know how to apply it, explains Verdi. “Just before they leave the house, a lot of guys take five big squirts of some cheap fragrance and spray it all over their suit.” Verdi says a lighter scent is a better choice, and he suggests opting for a more exotic and experimental blend instead of an over-the-counter brand. You can even find a high-end perfumer who can create a distinctive custom fragrance — a one-of-a-kind holiday gift that will make your guy stand out from the rest of the crowd.