Oversized chairs in distressed black leather. Plenty of dark wood and steel. Tinted windows, flat-screen TVs with noise-canceling headphones. And last but not least, a fully stocked bar.

These guy-friendly details make for the perfect man cave. And that’s what men experienced at the now-defunct Hammer & Nails Grooming Shop for Guys in Owings Mills.

Before its closing, Jmore beauty expert Ariel Lewis and I were looking for a unique gift for our dads this holiday season. We stumbled upon Hammer & Nails and thought “what better way to treat our dads than with a little pampering?”

Dads’ Choice

Ariel’s father, Scott Cooper, and my dad, Elliot King, received the “Jack Hammer Combo,” a 120-minute premium service including a manicure and pedicure conducted in what Hammer & Nails called “man cave nirvana.”

At first, both men were a bit self-conscious about their feet, but the technicians’ warm personalities eased their embarrassment. Katie Johnson, the nail technician, stressed the importance of good foot hygiene.

“You have to take care of your feet,” said Johnson. “Your feet are the foundation of your body. If you don’t take care of the foundation, you’ll crumble.”

From Skeptics to Believers

My dad, Elliot, was hesitant about a manicure and pedicure at first, but within no time he was a “convert.”

“The atmosphere was awesome and the technicians were personable,” said Elliot, 66. “The idea of a man my age getting a pedicure is cognitive dissonance, but this was an experience directed toward guys as opposed to something women have done for years.”

Ariel’s dad, Scott, who never had a ‘MANIcure’ and pedicure before, said this probably won’t be his last.

“There wasn’t one thing that was better than the next, it was all good,” said Scott. “This was a treat and something I will always remember.”

A Well-Groomed Guy

For those who don’t want to spring for the full mani/pedi experience, there are other alternatives. Here are Ariel’s go-to holiday grooming gift staples for her husband.

Rocky Mountain Soap Co. Men’s Foot Butter: “This stuff is awesome,” says Ariel. “Like the paraffin wax treatment our fathers got at Hammer & Nail, this product helps soften cracked, dry heels. I give this to my husband for the holiday’s every year and he loves it. For best results, make sure to put on a pair of socks after applying the product.”

Codream Men’s Moisturizing Gel Socks: “These socks can be worn overnight and make a huge difference when it comes to having soft feet. Plus, they are really comfortable,” Ariel explains.

Keihl’s Eye Fuel: “Guys like this product because it reduces fine lines but is fragrance free,” Ariel says. “It’s not as creamy as women’s eye cream and dries quickly while producing really good results. — Aliza Friedlander

Ariel Lewis is the owner of Airbrush Makeup by Ariel and the Alist. For information, visit ariellewis.com or alist.team. Follow Ariel on Instagram @arellewisllc or @a.list_travelteam.

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