It's gonna get sappy up in here.
So I know Hannah did an awesome guys gift guide a week or two back, but I’m about to butt in and do one of my own. The holiday season is like, one of the two times I can for sure run an article of insufferably boring men’s products, so I feel like I should strike while the iron is on. That’s how the saying goes, right?
I know we’re all trying to abolish the patriarchy and all, but chances are there is at least one dude you have to buy something for.
Hopefully, this Guy Gift Guide will make that a tiny bit easier. If all else fails, just do what I do whenever I have to buy something that I don’t want to: drink four beers and do it online. It’ll be like it never happened, I swear. Moving on....
You’re probably dating a guy with a beard because everyone has a beard right now. Beards are good on some, but not all, and I wish some guys would realize that. For some, they just don’t do them any favors. Plus, how can I trust someone if I can only see two-thirds of his face? Tweet me a picture of your bearded boyfriend and I’ll tell you if he should shave it or not. He’ll love that, I’m sure.
If he has a beard, chances are he’s not taking care of it, which is high key disrespectful if he’s putting it all over you. Put him on to a good beard oil.
Beard oil works to soften both the beard and the skin below it. A question I get a lot is if beards effect the way moisturizer is absorbed into the skin, and the answer is that the beard obviously creates a barrier that gets in the way of the moisturizer reaching the skin, so it’s better to give him something that works to soften the skin and the beard at the same time.
When he asks, tell him to put about four drops in his hand and run it through his beard right when he’s just out of the shower. This way, both the hair follicles and the pores beneath will be open ready to absorb the product, softening everything all at once.
There are a ton of good beard oils, but Four Vices is my favzie because it smells like coffee, hops, tobacco, and weed. Chances are, your guy likes at least one of those things.
And let’s be serious, this is just as much a gift for you as it is for him. You don’t want to be pressed up against a scraggly beard, do you? Thank me later.
If you’re dating a guy with a mustache, dump him.
If you’re not going to dump him, at least buy him this mustache wax.
It will help him keep that nasty beast in place and give it some shape. If he’s gonna insist on looking like a weird 70s porn star or maybe your father, he should at least keep that thing in check.
The wax is made from beeswax, lanolin, and vanilla-infused jojoba oil. It provides medium hold and is nicely fragranced with vanilla and cedar, but it’s not overpowering, which is good, since the scent is right under his nose.
I was going to do a larger feature on this since it’s a great product for both men and women, but I think it fits in nicely here, too.
I was introduced to Baxter of California when I heard about this pomade mixer kit. It’s a great idea, and it’s even better in practice.
I love my hair and I hate my hair. It’s fun to do all this stupid pastel shit to it, but I have to keep it at a certain length to make it worthwhile, and so I’m not re-bleaching new growth every three weeks. My hair is short, but it’s not short, so it’s hard to find the right product to give it texture without weighing it down.
This kit lets me mix my own product every morning, making it perfect for whatever length my hair is at and whatever style I’m going for that day.
It comes with small jars of:
- Clay Pomade – firm hold, matte
- Hard Water Pomade – firm hold, high shine
- Cream Pomade – light hold, soft shine
- Hard Cream Pomade – firm hold, demi-matte WHICH IS PINK
If you think that mixing your own pomade every morning sounds time consuming, then you’re being judgmental and I will not stand for it. Lately, I’ve been using the Hard Water Pomade and mixing it with a little of the Hard Cream Pomade. I find that the Hard Water Pomade is a very wet pomade, very malleable, so when I mix a bit of Hard Cream Pomade in with it, it firms it up and makes a more stiff mixture that’s easy to distribute throughout my hair but holds everything in place all day.
I'm getting a lot of use out of this kit and he'll love it as much as I do if he knows what's good for him.
Dior Sauvage, $89
So I’m dating this guy, right? When we met this summer, I was like “You smell good, what are you wearing?” And he goes “I don’t usually wear anything, that’s just my deodorant,” which is like, my least favorite response.
So of course my bitch ass is all, “How do you not have a fragrance? That’s like not having a reflection. We’ve got to find you a scent.”
He laughed, “I knew you were going to find me one.”
Luckily, I had just called in a bunch of new launches from pretty much everyone, so I had some scents to spare and oddly enough, some of them were men’s. I brought them all over and left them in his medicine cabinet so he could pick out the one he liked the most, which I was hoping would be this one. And he did. And that’s how I knew he was a keeper. That, and he bought me the Kim Kardashian Selfie book.
Dior has always put out gorgeous scents for men that are complex and unmistakable, but Sauvage stands alone from anything they’ve done before, both in its composition and its minimalism. Whereas most of Dior’s scents have been warm, spicy, and floral, this one is clean and woody with a complete absence of florals (bless.) All they give us to work with is pepper, bergamot, and amber, which is like nothing for a luxury fragrance. It doesn’t sound like the most groundbreaking men’s fragrance, and maybe it isn’t, but it’s versatile in the fact that it’s a great every day scent, it isn’t too cold for winter, and the wear is consistent without being overpowering.
As I’m writing this, I’m beginning to wonder: Have we smelled this scent before? Eh, scents like it, sure. Sauvage does do a great job of taking just a few common notes and pairing them up in a way that isn’t too obvious. The bergamot isn’t out in front like it usually is, it takes a back seat and works to soften out the pepper’s edges. The pepper isn’t too abrasive, as it can sometimes hit you like an actual pepper spray. The amber adds a roundness to the scent without adding any warm sweetness. This is a chilly scent. It’s sort of like being alone in the woods in November, after the sun has sunk below the horizon, when the sky is dark blue before the full cover of night.
At least I'm guessing. I live in a city, but you get what I mean.
My real question is: Do I only like it because he wears it? Of course. In fact, every time I smell it on his neck, I feel a little pang of guilt because he wouldn’t be wearing this scent, or maybe any scent, if it wasn’t for me. To me, fragrances are a very personal thing, and to force a scent onto someone, as I so clearly did, seems like such a pointless power play when he was already perfect to begin with. I just hate the thought of it becoming the scent that reminds him of that guy with lavender hair that he used to date, because if that’s the case, he’ll probably never wear it again. On the other hand, it’s always nice to have a scent that brings you back to that moment you fell in love.
ANYWAY — what are you getting your boyfriend for Christmas? Or your dad? Or your brother? I still have no idea what I’m getting my father. He doesn’t have any vices I can cash in on. He doesn’t smoke. He barely drinks. He’s a two beer queer. Can I even say that on the internet? Tell me everything in the comments.
Tynan is abolishing the patriarchy through gift giving on Twitter @TynanBuck.