Don't call it "makeup" and cosmetic companies have a fighting chance to cross the gender gap and sell skincare products to U.S. males, industry experts said.
"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 Times quoted banker Eric Lugo as saying.
Cosmetic companies are finding out men are more willing to buy skincare products if they are packaged to appeal to the male ego: skin cream sold in bottles that resemble liquor bottles, for example, the Times reported.
Even more critical: "We don't say the 'M' word. It's taboo," said Michele Probst, founder of Menaji, a company that claims it "pioneered the first undetectable cosmetics for men."
Menaji sells testosterone-friendly aftershave, a "deep cleansing Masque," HDPV "anti-shine" powder and Camo, an "undetectable concealer" to hide blemishes and razor nicks.
"Men are just more comfortable in their own environment, away from makeup and pink," said Jennifer Kovacs, Nordstrom's national merchandise manager for fragrances.
But once you pass the gender gap, cosmetics for men are "a really strong and growing category for us," she said.