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05-22-09 | Posted by


Guy Tested, Girl Approved.

If you’re sitting at your desk scratching your head in confusion trying to come up with beauty-related gift ideas for the special man in your life, I assure you, you’re not the only one. Fear not: I’ve hit the shelves and done some exploratory research for you – with the help of my high-tech loving partner in crime of the male persuasion.


After offering up one too many fruity, floral body washes and skin scrubs in various shades of pinks and reds, and subjecting my sweet and patient man to smelling like a fruit salad, I vowed to introduce him to more masculine alternatives. In the process, I learned quite a bit about what men want in their grooming routine, and what just makes them go, “Huh?” I was amazed by the array of product features and innovative packaging designs available to men, but not entirely surprised, as the men’s market for aesthetics has been growing quite respectably in recent years.


May our research inspire you to get a jump-start on your Father’s Day shopping, or just to bring a smile to your man’s face (and some quality grooming to his travel bag).

She Said: How many products does the average man include in his daily routine? Whereas women tend to amass a great many products in various colors, scents and brands, for men it seems simplicity is the most important criteria.

He Said: The products I use every day are: deodorant, shaving cream, cologne/after shave, and leave-in conditioner.

She Said: I know you spent a good hour with the Remington 7 in 1 Grooming System. You also tried a few razors: the more modern, battery-operated Gillette Fusion Power and Orbix Rev-360, as well as a classic style, the Retrorazor. Talk to me…

He Said: I really like the Remington. I have been using it for touch-ups between haircuts. The Gillette has a much more intrictate design than the Orbix. Gillette gives  a close shave, but the head is wide so it’s hard to reach smaller places, like the moustache area. The extra blade on top to trim sideburns should come with a warning sign. I always use that (blunt) part of a shaver to take off excess shaving cream – instead it took off my sideburns! It also seemed like hair built up in the razor because the blades are close to each other. The Retrorazor looks like a cool concept, but it could be intimidating after you’ve used other razors that you’re comfortable with. The big question is, can I cut myself? Someone who has never used this type of razor has to overcome that fear. For me, it would need to be better than my usual razor, otherwise why would I switch?

She Said: What intrigued me is that they all look like practical toys for adults. I think the idea of the Retrorazor is that it’s supposed to have an old-world charm to it, like your father’s or grandfather’s razor. I agree with you that it would take some getting used to, like driving a stick shift when you’re used to automatic. Speaking of shaving, you tried a handful of shaving cream brands including: Crèmo Cream and Dermalogica. Were either particularly noteworthy?

He Said: I didn’t realize there were so many shaving creams to choose from. Both have a nice smell and consistency. I like the Dermalogica shaving cream and post-shave cream; they both feel good on my skin and smell fresh.  The range has a lot of products, including pre-shave, shaving cream, post-shave and another handful I haven’t even opened. Generally, it is too much to expect for men to use all of these items daily.

She Said: You’re hitting on a good point. Dermalogica was kind enough to send over an entire range of products, from face scrub to sunscreen. How likely are you to stick to one brand for your entire grooming regimen?

He Said: One of the products has to be special for me to buy the range. I don’t care about the brand for the basics, so I don’t mind which soap I use. It is nice to have a higher end sunscreen than a drugstore brand, though.

She Said: Let’s talk about some innovative fashion-meets-beauty gifts. You tried Sculptees, which is a male version of shapewear, and the Who Is Your Man? Briefcase, a gift box that contains beauty products and high fashion underwear tailor-made to match a man’s personality. What was your take?

He Said: I liked the Sculptees tank top. It’s comfortable, although it doesn’t look it, and comes in basic colors that can be worn alone or under dress shirts.  The Briefcase makes a great gift for a birthday, Valentine’s Day or other special occasion. The “Sexy Man” box came with a good shave cream. It was thick and dense, and smells fresh and clean.  My main advice to a woman is, know your man well before you answer the quiz questions to find out his appropriate gift box – or he can end up with yellow underwear.

Honorable Mentions:

We found budget-friendly gift ideas and little trinkets you can give or get on a whim. Here are some of our favorites:

Scandle Body Massage Candle

He Said: This is a brilliant idea. The fig & brown sugar smell is amazing, and the warm wax is great for massage. Just watch out for spills…

Fit Deck

He Said: Great idea – exercise cards to keep your workouts interesting and new, and work different areas of your body.