By Nick Caruso
December: A month of lights, of winter coats, and of clutching your head in terror while you try to reconcile another year passing (What, no? …that’s just me?). Whatever it means to you personally, December is for many of us a month of gift giving, and that means gift shopping. Whether you’re picking up presents for the man/men in your life, or treating yourself to something special, here are a few ideas to add to your list.
Especially in colder climes where wind becomes a weapon of epidermal destruction, it’s beyond necessary for even the burliest of dudes to care for his skin. This winter, consider the all-natural approach. John Masters Organics has introduced a couple products designed just for men, and they work too well and smell too good to pass up. The Eucalyptus and Agave 2-in-1 Face Wash & Shave Foam has a big name because it does big things. First off, its aroma is intoxicating (manly but fragrant with pleasant, organic nuances); moreover, lather a few pumps of the stuff on your face and you won’t believe how gentle it feels. But that’s not to say it isn’t working – its extracts and oils smooth, calm, and clean skin, leaving it ready for a shave. After you step out of the shower, make your first stop the Eucalyptus & Agave 2-in-1 Moisturizer & Aftershave, which doubles down on most of the good deeds the Wash & Foam started. Spread a generous helping on your skin and feel the soothing ingredients – antioxidants, algae, and other organic rockstars – leave it healthy and soft. Pick up the set at http://www.johnmasters.com/men.htm
For a full-frontal assault on stubble and unhealthy skin (that happens to be all wrapped up in a travel kit) check out The Perfect Shave Kit from Anthony Logistics. The chic, NYC-based brand has a pre-packaged set that couldn’t scream “I’m a gift” louder if it had actual vocal chords. Included inside the convenient and handsome ditty bag is Glycolic Facial Cleanser for grime-removal; Pre Shave Oil to lubricate those seriously entrenched chin whiskers (and all the other, more forgiving ones too); Shave Cream (you know what that’s for); and After Shave Balm made of plant extracts to quicken absorption and provide strong relief from razor irritation. One-stop-shop your man gifts at Nordstrom, Sephora or http://www.Anthony.com.
As far as I’m concerned, any person worth their salt knows that the latest and, arguably, greatest James Bond film, Skyfall, just hit theaters last month. It’s the 50th anniversary of the film franchise that made being shot at enviable, and to mark the occasion a special edition cologne is hitting the shelves. James Bond 007 Fragrance comes in a slick bottle that pays homage to 007’s gear and gadgets throughout the years, and is emblazoned with the timeless logo we all associate with the coolest man’s man who ever was (fiction be damned). The fragrance itself belongs to the Aromatic Fougere family and has herbal, spicy, and wood notes; pay close attention and you’ll notice vetyver, apple, and sandalwood round off the scent. Whether the man on your list is a 007 fan or not, this cologne has a License to Fill…his stocking. Set your sights on a bottle at Kohl’s or http://kohls.com
What 2012 men’s wish list would be complete without a nod to our favorite US-made apparel brand American Giant? The latest from San Francisco is a departure from all previous offerings: until now AG has stayed above the belt. Now men’s legs the world over can rejoice and stop being so jealous of all the torsos out there thanks to the newly introduced Coach Pants and Men’s Sweatpants. The Coach Pants are a unique take on sweatpants, far enough of a departure from traditional workout leg wear to blur the lines between sweats and chinos. Complete with a zipper fly, button closure, lined pockets, and a zip-up cuff opening, these are perfect for the man who wants to relax incognito. The Men’s Sweatpants are just what you’d expect from a company rooted in heritage and classic lines – they’re so authentic it wouldn’t be a surprise if they were shipped in a gym locker. Drawstring waist and elastic-banded cuffs bookend roomy, ultra-durable, warm, and premium-weight legs. Being seen in these is reason enough to hit the health club. See for yourself at http://www.american-giant.com
Trendy vs. affordable: it’s a never-ending battle that men stereotypically shrink from. No more need the men on your list live in fear (and definitely not in out of date clothing) – all they need is 20jeans.com. At first it seems almost too good to be true, but it’s the real deal: everything on this site is $20, and it’s not just jeans. Cardigans, ties, t-shirts, corduroy, jackets, shirts – all the basics are here. It’s a perfect place to shop whether you’re on a budget or not, and you can load up on great styles either way. Or consider the gift card route and put the power in his hands. It’s a straightforward site with straightforward mercy for straightforward guys. Your wallet (and mirror) will thank you. http://www.20jeans.com