What do you buy men who say they don’t need anything for Christmas?

There are plenty of beauty-related gifts for men who say they don’t need anything

When I called my brother this week to sound out what he might like for Christmas, he gave me the same answer he gives every year – “Ah, I don’t need anything”. I pressed the mute button on my phone and wailed plaintively at the sky (internally). Every year. Really, it’s my fault for even asking. If you are plagued (or blessed) with a taciturn man who you think deserves a nice Christmas gift despite his annual unhelpfulness and potential disinterest, don’t despair.

The morning shave, which can be hard on the skin even when expertly executed, should always be followed by moisturising to protect and nourish the skin. I have yet to meet a man who doesn't like Bulldog's grooming products. Bulldog Original Moisturiser Cracker (€8 from Boots) is a nice small gift or stocking filler to introduce a reluctant man to moisturising, or give an existing devotee a practical addition to his skincare routine.

For an alternative but equally practical stocking filler, try Marram Co Ho Ho Ho Shave Cream (€8 for 20mls from Brown Thomas Marvel Room), which features the brands sumptuously rich shaving cream formula in a spicy, cinnamon-rich limited edition Christmas scent.

If your budget can stretch further, but you don't want to waste money by buying something he might not like, opt for the Kiehl's His Facial Fuel Favourites (€38 from Arnotts) gift set. The practical clear zip-up pouch contains the skincare equivalent of a tasting menu, so this set is an ideal way to dip into Kiehl's most enduringly popular skincare range for men. When I don't know what to buy a man for Christmas, I buy him something from this line, and it is always very gratefully received. The textures and packaging appeal even to men who are reluctant to bother with skincare. In short, it's high quality, fuss-free and masculine in appearance. As well as being a fool-proof introduction to men's skincare in general and this range in particular, the products are small enough to travel with.


Of course, a nice wash bag would accommodate them handsomely, and is always a welcome gift for anyone who travels regularly or limits their grooming products to a handful of favourites. So that he gets longevity out of the bag, opt for one that can be wiped clean and is firm enough to keep its shape even if it gets a touch squashed or abused with use. Leather or some other water-resistant material is preferable, in case of leaks or spills. When gifting for someone whose taste you're unsure of, choose a classic colour and fuss-free design. I like the J By Jasper Conran Brown Leather Wash Bag (€60 from debenhams.ie).

If your budget is on the higher end, and you're buying for a discerning fragrance fan, then it must be TOM FORD Noir Anthracite (€99 for 50mls). This is classically masculine enough to work on a man of any age, but subversive enough to delight. Think bergamot and spice against a woody background. It is as delectable as it is unusual.