Male grooming: once an oxymoron, now a booming, multi billion pound industry. The idea of personal care being somehow unmanly is seeming more and more outdated as we embrace a brighter, cleaner, smoother and better smelling future.
It's good news for men, but also for anyone looking to buy them a present. Because as the male grooming industry expands exponentially, so do the options when it comes to buying the man in your life a useful yet indulgent Christmas gift.
To help you in your festive endeavour, we tested a range of stocking-friendly grooming products and whittled it down to the very best.
We deliberately sought out items that are practical but also a little bit luxurious, because, while a plain old toothbrush is undeniably useful, it's not exactly the most exciting thing to unwrap on Christmas morning.
We spent a month shaving, moisturising, spritzing and trimming to get a feel for all of the products below.
Not only do we now look and smell great, but we're also well equipped to offer you some buying advice. Read on for our top pick of grooming gifts for Christmas 2020.
You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.
Triumph & Disaster road less travelled dopp and haircare travel kit
This handy little kit from premium men’s grooming brand Triumph & Disaster includes everything a hirsute man could possibly need to keep his barnet in check on the go. Styling is taken care of courtesy of a trio of clay, pomade and a fibre paste – all equally fragrant – and there’s also a travel-sized shampoo and conditioner, both made using natural ingredients. The best bit? It all comes neatly packed inside a robust travel case, which even includes an organic cotton face cloth.
Braun series 7 electric shaver
A good electric shaver is a fantastic present as it’s something every man needs but that few are likely to fork out on for themselves. If the man in your life has been scraping by with a subpar shaver for too long, this state of the art device from Braun might just be the upgrade he needs. The cutting head pivots 360 degrees for the closest shave possible and the cleaning dock ensures it works like new every time. You’ll get two attachments included – a foil shaver and a precision trimmer – but more can be purchased separately to turn this from a simple shaver into a does-it-all grooming machine.
Laboratory Perfumes atlas eau de toilette
A great winter fragrance is an absolute must for every well-groomed man and this one from Laboratory Perfumes is one of our favourites. It’s a spicy, woody scent that’s bound to evoke some festive cheer but it’s versatile enough to keep wearing long into the new year. Laboratory Perfumes is a homegrown, independent brand too, so you can support a small business and tick off another gift for your man in one fell swoop. Plus, we found this particular fragrance to be pretty potent (one spray does the trick) which means that at £70 for 100ml, it’s exceptional value for money.
Below the Belt grooming duo gift set
Good grooming doesn’t end south of the waistband, or at least it shouldn’t do. In order to be truly well-groomed, a bit of below-the-belt maintenance is required. Aside from a spot of pruning now and then, the most important thing is to stay fresh – exactly what this set aims to address. Included is Below the Belt’s aptly named fresh and dry balls, which is essentially a deodorant for the nether regions and there’s also a can of anti-perspirant spray to keep armpits fragrant too.
Bolin Webb r1 mach3
When we first saw this eye-catching razor from Bolin Webb, we weren’t sure whether to have a shave or try to sell it to the Tate Modern. In the end, we ended up doing the former and suffice to say we were impressed. The blade is a standard Gillette mach3 and the smooth, streamlined, weighty handle makes for a very pleasing shave and doesn’t look bad on the bathroom shelf either.
Aesop moroccan neroli shaving duet
You can have the best razor in the world but if the accompanying lotions and potions aren’t up to scratch, you’re never going to get a good shave. Enter this premium shaving duo from purveyors of all things nice smelling and aesthetically pleasing, Aesop. The two serums are designed to work together, resulting in the perfect shave and from our experience, they do exactly that. Plus, they smell incredible, but that’s a given where this Aussie brand is concerned.
Oliver J. Woods perilla oil
This multi-purpose oil from Oliver J. Woods is great for taming unruly beards, nourishing skin and making tired-looking tattoos pop again like new. Whatever your recipients grooming routine is, chances are there’ll be room for a bottle of this stuff in it. It also smells fantastic – better than a lot of aftershaves – meaning he can look great and smell great all by just using one clever product.
Bulldog original duo set
Skincare is always important, but especially so in winter. The cold weather can wreak havoc, resulting in dry, flaky skin. That’s why keeping your face clean and moisturised is so crucial, even if you’re a bloke. Master of affordable male-grooming products, Bulldog, has designed a solution to this common seasonal problem and it just so happens to be the perfect size and price for a stocking filler.
The verdict: Men’s grooming gifts
As far as we’re concerned, Triumph & Disaster’s dopp kit ticks all the boxes for a great male grooming gift. It’s not outrageously expensive, it’s super useful and all of the products included are of the absolute highest quality. Plus, once they’re all used up, the canvas bag will still be going strong for years to come.
Looking for a present for the eco-friendly person in your life? Read our review of the best sustainable gifts