Men want to look good. OK, maybe that isn't a news flash. But men are now venturing into concealers, bronzers, tinted lip balms and other products to help create that healthy glow, says Peter Lamas, make-up consultant and founder of Beautywalk.com. "The casual, run-down look is no longer in," he says. "Men are highlighting their hair and painting their nails." Although everyone from members of boy band 'NSync to former vice president Al Gore is "freshening up" a bit, Lamas credits younger men in particular with feeding the recent boom in the $6 billion men's cosmetics and skin-care market.
Michele Probst, 38, who counts Gore among her clients, is capitalizing on the trend. This makeup artist founded Menaji, a skin-care and cosmetics line for men, with husband Robert Henderson, 44, in 1997. "We try not to use the M word-makeup. Men are terrified of that word," says Probst. Hoping to sell $750,000 worth of products this year via dermatologists, apothecaries, plastic surgeons and body boutiques, Probst does about 60 percent of her business online at www.menaji.com. Men like privacy, she says: "They're terrified of department store cosmetics counters."
Bolder men venture into Scarlett Messina's two Pennsylvania cosmetic stores. Messina, 35, projects the stores, which are called Scarlett, will bring in total sales to both sexes of nearly $3.5 million in 2001. Says Messina, who is aggressively targeting college-age and professional men, "The category is exploding."