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Beauty: Christmas gifts for men

Men’s grooming gifts have improved vastly in recent years. Those novelty beard-care kits, naff Victoriana shaving stands and moisturisers got up to look like engine parts still linger, but there’s a great deal more wheat than chaff. Less desperate-seeming gifts abound, and he needn’t be a dedicated groomer to appreciate them. Hugely practical is the Bearded Colonel razor subscription service: just sign him up (from £3.33-£10 a month), and thereafter he’ll receive a razor and regular postal top-ups of barbershop-quality German blades.

There’s no more practical and indispensable a grooming tool than Muji’s brilliant nail clippers (£3.95 and £5.50, for fingers and toes, respectively). I’m never without two sets of these ultra-sharp, strong and gentle clippers, which work so neatly and precisely that files, emery boards and scissors are instantly redundant. While you’re there, the plain black Muji hanging washbag (£6.95) is endlessly useful for the well-travelled man in your life.

Men are statistically unlikely to take baths, but there’s no reason showering can’t be a little more luxurious with some posh body washes. Korres has a dedicated men’s line, but in my experience, everyone – male and female – loves their unisex shower gels (£8), currently in a superb pre-Christmas BOGOF deal on lookfantastic.com.

If your loved one has refined tastes, he might love Kiehl’s huge, special-edition pot of its popular Ultra Facial Cream (£43.50), designed by Tinie Tempah (I have no idea how this man is not the face of a major skincare brand: his complexion makes me weep) in support of the MTV Aids charity, which will receive £2 from each sale. If that’s over budget, Liz Earle’s Men’s Shave Duo (£16) has a full-size tube of Earle’s excellent shave cream and a travel-size moisturiser.

Sonic cleansing brushes have been big news in beauty for some time, but it’s Clinique who have made them a big male grooming story. I’ve handed out three of their men’s Sonic System Deep Cleansing Brushes (£79) for testing, and each recipient has soon made it clear that I’m not to expect it back. Used in conjunction with a face wash, it vibrates similarly to a sonic toothbrush to more thoroughly remove dirt and spot-causing bacteria. If you’re pushing the boat out, and your loved one is gadgety by nature, it’s a reliable hit.

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