Market Booms for Men’s Cosmetics — but Don’t Call It Makeup
Like most guys, Eric Lugo wants to look handsome. But he doesn’t want to be caught applying makeup.
So the 26-year-old uses skin-care products with names like Kiehl’s Facial Fuel and Lab Series’ Power Brightening Serum.
“I want to keep myself up and maintain my looks, but I’d never use anything that looks like it’s made for my girlfriend,” the Los Angeles banker said. “This stuff looks like it’s for guys, not girlie at all, so I feel OK using it.”
Retailers are seeing a booming market in cosmetics and skin care for men. But they face one big challenge — most guys are squeamish about products that seem too feminine.
So skin-care firms have come up with a variety of products with creatively masculine names, packaged in cigar boxes and containers mimicking liquor bottles.
The terminology and instructions are also suitably manly. The colors pink and gold — staples of women’s cosmetics — are out. And the word “makeup” is verboten.
“We don’t say the ‘M’ word. It’s taboo,” said Michele Probst, founder of Menaji, a high-end men’s line carried at Nordstrom.com and department stores.