A Gift Guide For the Man Who's Impossible To Buy For, By A Man Who's Impossible To Buy For

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Meet Byrdie Boy Tynan Sinks—beauty writer, makeup experimenter, fragrance aficionado. Ahead, he shares the best gifts for the men in your life, through the lens of someone who's impossible to buy for.

Isn’t it odd that even though men are so simple and boring, they are still pretty hard to buy for? How?! I can’t buy for any of the men in my life, my dad, my friends, my b*yfriend. I never know what to get them and it doesn’t ever get any easier.

Personally, I think that gifting the male-identifying people in my life luxe versions of the stuff they already use (or should be using) is the best bet. If he’s already moisturizing every day (which, let’s be honest, even that’s a toss up) then getting him a nice moisturizer is clutch because he’ll appreciate it, he’ll use it, and he’ll think of you every time.

I’ve pulled together a few things that I love, that would a great gift for the men in your life to receive. Consider this your guide to the best gifts for men and the male-identifying folks in your life. I hope this makes your holiday shopping a little easier!

Hawthorne Fragrances

hawthorne fragrances
hawthorne fragrances.

Buying anyone a fragrance is a dangerous game. Fragrance is so subjective. Even if you know the person, you may not know what kind of scents they like, even if you think you do! I always warn against it.

But, giving them the opportunity to customize their own scent is a great idea, because it puts them in the driver’s seat and lets them tailor the experience to their personal tastes, but they still have you to thank for the end result. It’s a win for everyone!

With Hawthorne, you take a small survey about your lifestyle and tastes, and they pair you with not one, but two fragrances, one for work, and one for your social life, aptly named Work and Play. This survey isn’t about what sort of fragrances you like, but whether you order a beer or a whiskey at a bar, lifestyle questions, and from there, the match is made.

I love Hawthorne scents. They’re very high quality and made by the same perfumers that made some of the best-selling scents on the market right now, I’m talking household names. It’s also pretty foolproof—I mean, I’ve never been unhappy with the scents that were picked for me, and you get TWO different options. Plus, they’re expanding from fragrance to body and grooming, so you’ll introduce them to a whole new brand that will soon become their one-stop shop for their entire routine. This is truly the gift that keeps on giving.

Nécessaire The Body Serum

4.6
The Body Serum
The Body Serum.

Let me tell you something: I will never spell this brand’s name right. But you should get to know it because their body serum is amazing.

The Nécessaire collection is full of quality essentials, but to me, the Body Serum is their standout product. I hate body lotion. I hate how it applies, I hate how it makes me feel, I hate how it sticks to my clothes and sheets. But I also hate dry skin! I can’t win.

The Body Serum formula feels more like a gel moisturizer than a typical liquid serum, but it almost liquifies as it hits the skin and rubs in. It doesn’t leave skin feeling tacky or greasy, so you can just get dressed and keep going about your day. And, I swear to god, skin feels noticeably softer throughout the day. And not like, “I put lotion on so yeah my skin is soft.” The serum dries down so it doesn’t feel like you’re wearing anything, but you’ll notice a difference in how your skin feels. It’s full of hyaluronic acid, vitamins, and ceramides, so it nourishes while it softens.

I hate lotion, but I have to admit that I love this serum and look forward to putting it on every day. They also have a mean water-based lube if that’s your thing. Throw it in the cart! Who cares! It’s the holidays.

What Our Testers Say

"The Body Serum sinks in immediately with minimal effort. It leaves a light shine, sort of like an essence would on your face, without feeling oily. The effects are also long-lasting." — Erika Veurink, Product Tester

Fenty Beauty Brow MVP Ultra Fine Brow Pencil and Styler

Fenty Beauty Brow MVP Ultra Fine Brow Pencil and Styler

 Courtesy of Sephora

Being a beauty writer, if there’s one thing I’ve learned about men, it’s that they want products that make them feel like they’re taking care of themselves, but they don’t want anyone to know they’re doing it. They always tell me the same thing: I need a primer, I need a translucent powder. No sweetie, you need to get a clue.

This brow product will shape and hold his brows without using any pigment. The pencil applies emollient wax to the brows so they can be sculpted to his liking, with a handy little brush on the opposite end to style. It’s really an all-in-one product that you can’t mess up.

If he has thicker brows, this wax pencil is more ideal than a clear brow gel because it’s going to provide more hold throughout the day and keep brow hairs right where he wanted them, while still looking natural.

Harry’s Bathtub Essentials Kit, $35

Harry's Bath Care Set
Harry's Bath Care Set.

I was on a little weekend trip (last year, back when we could still travel) and I stole my friend’s body wash from Harry’s in the Fig scent, and I have not stopped thinking about it since, honestly. The body wash is a very nice, thick gel consistency, and the scent is gorgeous. It just makes for a really enjoyable shower experience all around.

The body wash alone is just $7, which you just can’t beat, but this holiday, Harry’s is giving us the Bathtub Essentials Kit where you can choose from all four scents of their body wash and pair them with a matching candle. I’m serious when I say that I like the fig scent so much that having it in candle form is gonna be a must for me.

Fenty Skin Instant Reset Overnight Recovery Gel-Cream

Fenty Night Cream
Fenty Night Cream.

Fenty Skin made a big splash this fall with the launch of their first three skincare products, and was quick to follow up with a fourth, their night cream. I love a night cream, so my hopes for this were high. I was impressed with the whole Fenty Skin collection, but honestly, this is the standout.

The gel-cream formula leans more cream than it does gel. It’s thick but not heavy, rich but lightweight and a little goes a long way. It feels very moisturizing and is packed with hyaluronic acid to plump the appearance of skin. It feels like it grips the skin after you apply, enveloping it in moisture as you sleep. This is perfect if cold weather has started to take a toll on his skin, and still versatile enough to be used all year round.

Philips Norelco OneBlade Face + Body

4.7
Philips Norelco OneBlade Face + Body

Courtesy of Amazon

I picked this up last holiday and have been loving it for an entire calendar year. I have a full face of short scruff year-round. I trim my face to a level 3 and trim my neck clean twice a week. I never use a straight razor anymore because I like the look of a little stubble, and my skin is very prone to razor burn, especially my neck. I thought that using a beard trimmer was never going to give me as close of a shave as a straight razor, and then I discovered this.

I LOVE it. The adjustable guard has many settings to let get your facial hair to exactly where you like it, and when you take the guard off, it trims you as close to the neck as a straight razor would, but it's never cut me. I’m serious, it’s crazy. Also, I use it dry! No shaving cream, no water, it does it all on its own. It’s also very sleek and lightweight, so it’s great to throw in a carry-on bag or a weekender.

This really is, I would say, the best grooming tool I have ever used.

Maxwell Cleanser

Maxwell Cleanser
Maxwell Cleanser.

The past year has given us a ton of new cleansers, but I’ve been going back to this one quite frequently. It’s got a cool, musky scent, like mountain fog or whatever, and it feels softly invigorating on the skin without ever feeling too tingly.

It’s made with oat kernel, ginseng root, and green tea to nourish skin as it cleanses. Plus, at $15, the value is hard to beat. Maxwell is a new men’s brand that your man probably hasn’t heard of yet, and since we both know he doesn’t wash his face, give him something he’ll love and keep going back to.

Kosas Kosasport Chemistry Deodorant

4.8
Kosas

Okay yes I’ve written about this before but it’s that good that I’m dropping it in here again. This is the best deodorant on the market, period. It just works. On me, it fights odor for 24 hours, goes on clear and doesn’t leave any residue, doesn’t irritate, doesn’t stain clothes. Deodorant is the last product I want to talk about, ever, but this one is so good that I can’t shut up about it. One tube lasts me three to four months, and I buy them in multiples.

What Our Testers Say

"Not only does this deodorant work after hour-long sweaty workouts, but it also does its job throughout the day without having to reapply several times." — Melony Forcier, Product Tester

Vans Super No-Show Socks