Holiday Gift Guide: For the Man in Your Life

Let’s face it: shopping for your girlfriends is way more fun than shopping for your husband or dad. After a while, all those v-neck sweaters just start to blur together. This year I’ve curated a selection of gift ideas broad enough to satisfy almost every guy. Most are more substantial gifts, as I’m one for quality over quantity. However, if you’re in need of a stocking stuffer or two, my recommendation is to buy a couple gift cards for his favorite coffee shop or bar down the street. Something useful but also an excuse to treat himself. For more ideas, also check out last year’s gift guide for men.
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1. He’ll stay warm and stylish all winter long with these sherling lined leather sneakers from Frye.
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2. This flask/flashlight combo from VSSL is perfect for camping or game day drinks.
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3. If your significant other is anything like mine, you’re forever finding beer caps strewn about the house. Give him someplace to put them with a fun beer cap map.
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4. Tie Bar’s style boxes make it easy to help him up his workwear game.
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5. I’m obsessed with the Livescribe Notebook by Moleskin. The notebook allows you to take old school notes that sync to your device(s) in real time. Buy it for him and steal it for yourself.
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6. He’ll love repping his alma mater on the golf course with Stitch’s leather golf club covers.
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7. While Nick and I both love our FitBit watches, they don’t add much flair to an outfit. Vector’s Luna smartwatch is classically stylish, in addition to being “smart.”
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Do you know what you’re getting your boyfriend or husband yet? I have a couple ideas in mind for Nick, but have yet to pull the trigger on anything.
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XOXO,
Jules
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For more gift giving ideas, please peruse our other holiday gift guides:

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For the Man in Your Life: Shaving Essentials

shaving essentials

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I used to complain about the unfair division of labor when it came to body hair maintenance. Women have to shave their legs, armpits, pluck their eyebrows – all of which are activities socially appropriate for men to forgo.

This is of course until I married a “professional” guy who actually needed to look sharp and pulled together on a daily basis. Nick has opened my eyes to the often extensive world of male grooming. Unlike my college boyfriend who maybe shaved once a week, my husband shaves his face every day. When you work at the opera, scruffy is frowned upon. Unbeknownst to me, shaving one’s face is actually quite the undertaking. Unlike shaving your legs, where a botched job can be hidden beneath a pair of pants, a poorly shaved face is on view for all the world to see until those unsightly nicks heal. Messing up his shave job means your guy is heading into that job interview or big meeting looking these than fully pulled together.

The key to a good shave lies in taking it slow and using good quality products. Here are the basic shaving tools and tricks your man, or any man, should have in his bathroom cabinet:

Essential #1: Really sharp razor(s)
This is the keystone of any shaving kit. These days you can find every type of razor: moisturizing, exfoliating, quadruple blades, etc. But when it comes down to it, what matters the most is having a super sharp blade. Everything else is gravy. The Dollar Shave Club is an awesome service we recently discovered. It’s a subscription service that sends new razor blades every month. Right now they’re running a pretty sweet promotion. Get your guy his first month free with the promo code: FMFR41738K9L.
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Essential #2: High quality shaving cream 
Shaving cream helps lubricate the face to reduce that “rug burn” look. If you Google “men’s shaving cream,” you’ll find a whole slew of high end shaving creams, gels, and lotions. I’m sure these are all good, but do you know what my husband loves the best after trying all sorts of fancy-schmancy products? Plain old Barbasol, the kind your dad probably used to use. The packaging may not be as sexy, but the product has been around for decades for a reason.
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Essential #3: Warmth
Warmth opens the pores and prepares the skin to be worked on – hello, facials. Warming up the skin definitely helps decrease post shave irritation. Some guys steam their faces with a warm washcloth prior to a shave, but this definitely requires additional planning and time. Alternatively, this heated shaving cream dispenser will warm his shaving cream up for him, creating a similar effect on the skin with limited additional effort. Plus, it turns the typical shave into more of an indulgent experience.
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Essential #4: Gentle moisturizer
The hallmark of a good shave is walking away with smooth and clear skin. No one looks good with irritated red bumps or a “rug burn” rash. Finishing a shave off with a smoothing moisturizer or balm is key to helping the skin heal. Look for anything with natural and high quality ingredients. Word to the wise, that alcohol burn from some of the aftershaves out there on the market is not a good thing. We’re big fans of the aftershave lotions from Aveeno and Burt’s Bees.

So there you have it! I’d love to hear from you how often your man shaves. Does anyone have a boyfriend or husband who uses a straight razor? I had a roommate in college who used one and I loved watching him sharpen it on his leather strop.

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XOXO,
Jules (and Nick)

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