Money

Pamper your pop this Father's Day

These days, mom is not the only one who needs pampering. As a matter of fact, men account for 29 percent of spa-goers in the United States, according to an online study conducted for the International SPA Association in June 2003. And as more men take to the spa, more spas are offering special packages for guys, especially during the week of Father’s Day.

At the New Age Health Spa in Neversink, N.Y., fathers and sons who share a double-occupancy room on June 18 and June 19 will receive a $100 discount per person on the room rate, which normally ranges from $224 to $279 per person per night. The room rate includes three meals a day, use of spa facilities and unlimited participation in classes and activities. Spa treatments are not included.

At the other end of the spa spectrum and the country, the Excalibur, a Renaissance-themed resort on the Las Vegas’ strip, is offering a “Father's Day Fantasy” special from June 16-22. Tacked on to the regular room rate of about $59.95 to $129.95 per night are 2-for-1 spa passes at the Royal Treatment Spa, two free passes for the Magic Motion thrill ride, $10 off tickets the hotel’s medieval pageantry/dinner “Tournament of Kings” and a “fun book” of coupons.

To encourage male participation, several spas now pair spa treatments with sports activities. “The Golfer's Zen” day package at Sundara Inn & Spa in Wisconsin includes a 30-minute massage before and a 50-minute massage after a round of golf at the spa’s 18-hole golf course. The offer runs through Nov. 2004 and price per person is $223 and up.

For Father’s Day specials that might appeal to your dad, check out online national spa directories spaindex.com, spafinder.com, and spawish.com. Spaindex.com makes it easy for spa shoppers to find Father’s Day deals by highlighting these entries in its specials’ section with a white gift box wrapped in a blue ribbon.

If dad is just not the spa kind of guy, Father’s Day may be the right time to introduce him to some of the new men’s grooming products on the market.

Grooming products for the man's man
Queer-Eye-watching metrosexuals are not the only guys willing to try products designed especially for men. In the last 5-6 years, there has been “a dramatic change in the mind set in men, in general,” says Emily Dalton, who founded Jack Black in 2000, a line of men’s grooming products designed for “guy’s guys.” Many aging boomer dads will consider any product that they believe will slow down or stop the signs of aging, adds Dalton.

So what makes these products masculine? The ingredients may not vary much from women’s toiletries but men’s products tend to be fragrance free or scented with what’s considered masculine scents, such as peppermint, cloves or menthol, says Dalton.

Guys also want the products to look masculine. So “nothing is frou frou about the packaging,” says Dalton. Jack Black comes in cobalt blue containers — a popular color for men’s shaving kits in the 1920s and 1930s — and the labels resemble premium-brand cigar and liquor labels.

The best deal at Jack Black is the “On the Road Travel Pack,” $55, which would cost $80 if the products were purchased separately. The kit contains full-sized containers of a face scrub, a heavy duty hand cream and lip balm plus travel-sized tubes of face moisturizer, body wash and a beard lube conditioning shave, a non-foaming alternative to shaving cream. The travel packs also comes in a sturdy, black micro-fiber pouch.

Jack Black is sold at pro-shops nationwide, retail stores Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s and Sephora and online at getjackblack.com, beauty.com (at drugstore.com) and sephora.com.

Super shaving kits and moreNew York-based zirh.com, another popular men’s grooming line, stocks several value-packed kits, which make great dad’s day gifts. The simple Everyday Shave set, $36.50, contains shave gel or cream, a post-shave solution and a face wash. Sold separately the products would retail for $41. Spend more, save more. The Spa Kit, valued at $82.50, sells for $65 and contains face wash, a scrub, moisturizer, a body scrub bar and clay mask. It comes in a cool silver mesh zippered pouch — for many women, the bag just may clinch the sale.

Zirh products can be found at the company’s Web site and at Bloomingdale’s, Barneys New York, Sephora and Marshall Fields. For the month of June, Zirh International Corp. plans to donate five percent of its sales from zirh.com to an Elephant Sanctuary elephants.com in Tennessee

put together a special kit just for Father’s Day. Packaged in a sturdy plastic container, the “Tool Kit” contains shave cream, a mud scrub bar, hair gel and eye cream. The gift pack, a value $84, is a real deal at $40, but not quite sure primetime dads are really ready for eye cream. Better bets for mainstream dads might be the Essentials Kit, a $67 value for $40; Face Facts, a $90 value for $50 or the Sun Set, valued at $85 and sells for $50—dad can always use sun protection.

Anthony Logistics for Men products are sold online at the company’s Web site and at Bath and Body Works, Sephora and Nordstrom stores. A percent of the proceeds is donated to not-for-profit groups whose missions are to increase awareness of and ultimately eliminate prostate cancer.

A new product worth considering is Pacific Shaving Oil from San Francisco-based pacificshaving.com, says Grant Osborne, editor of basenotes.net, a London-based online guide to men's fragrance and grooming. A ½ ounce bottle of the all-natural shaving oil comes in attractive faux-velvet dark red pouch and only costs $6.95 plus $1 shopping. A few drops are all that’s needed for each shave, so the small bottle may last up to 100 shaves.

In the end, though, many men are “creatures of habit when it comes to skin care products, happily using the same products time after time,” says Osborne. “A simple gift would be to buy some more (of dad’s favorites), or more thoughtfully, you could buy some matching products,” he says.

In that case, you now what dad wants best and you even may be able to pick it up at the local drugstore or at an online drugstore, such as drugstore.com. Just make sure to check the special offers.

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