Grooming the Groom at Bridal Fashion Week

Bridal Fashion Week kicked off in New York on April 18. Designers, boutique owners, celebrities, editors, bloggers, stylists, make-up artists, photographers and tastemakers attend a whirlwind of shows to see wedding dresses from designers like Carolina Herrera, Monique Lhuillier and Vera Wang.  Mënaji exhibited at a booth with Perma Brands and offered samples plus free consultations. Mënaji skincare and cosmetics will have the groom and groomsmen camera ready for the big day!

A Beard Tax – Go Figure!

Beard Token Coin

As Tax Day (April 15) approaches, and we’re all still scrambling to file, many of us are letting our daily tasks go – including grooming. It’s good to know that razor stubble won’t be taxed in 2015 — but there was a time when it did.

In 1535, King Henry VIII of England began to tax beards. His main concern was to allow the richest men in the kingdom to use this tax to set them apart from the merely rich. The tax was based on the wearer’s social status and style of beard. The higher the tax, the richer you were. Of course no one’s beard commanded more tax than the king’s himself — except that he didn’t pay taxes…

In an effort to raise money for her army, his daughter Queen Elizabeth I, reintroduced the Beard Tax on any beard with more than two week’s growth, regardless of status. This tax lasted throughout her 45-year reign. Her Beard Tax collectors were vast and swift and left no facial hair unmeasured to return sovereigns to the throne.

But things change. And the western world was beckoning.

In order to keep up with fashionable and modern European style, Russian Tsar Peter the Great imposed a tax on any beard and mustache in order to keep his countrymen clean-shaven. He began the movement by cutting off the beards of all his noblemen himself — at a dinner he held (unbeknownst to them) for this very purpose. In fact, in order to ensure compliance, you had to pay the tax before you even grew the stubble. After you applied for and paid the tax, you received a beard token and then, only then, with beard token in hand, were you legal to have a facial hair. The beard token “coin” had an ample beard and mustache prominently displayed on the front and the beard wearer had to have it on him at all times or face a fine. The beard token was inscribed with two phrases: “the beard tax has been taken” (lit: “Money taken”) and “the beard is a superfluous burden.”

Now many of us grow facial hair because we don’t have time to shave while preparing our own taxes.

Good to know there’s ClearShave 3-in-1 for us all to clean-up after tax season is over.

Women Love Mënaji for Their Men and for Themselves

Mënaji featured in “Looking for Cheaper Skin-Care Products? Borrow From the Men” from the New York Times Fashion & Style section:

NYT BorrowFromtheMenA couple of decades ago, when the notion of men’s eye cream or facial scrub seemed far-fetched, many men were reduced to borrowing products from their wives or girlfriends or, worse, approaching a pink-smocked salesclerk at a cosmetic counter.

But now the shoe increasingly is on the other well-pumiced foot: Women are stealing from men. The way products are formulated for men (with moisturizers, for example, forgoing floral or fruity fragrances and being less greasy) appeals to many women, too. And men’s products often cost considerably less….

About four years ago, Jean Kelly, a freelance television commercial producer in Fairfield, Conn., bought two products from the men’s brand Mënaji for her husband, Will, to combat undereye puffiness and dark circles. Soon after she bought the 911 Eye Gel and the Urban Camo concealer stick, she began using them herself.

“It’s thinner and not quite as heavy, and must make men feel like it’s less like makeup and more like putting on lotion,” Ms. Kelly said. “I’ve never been a heavy makeup user, and this is light, easy to use and it works.”

Michele Probst, who introduced Mënaji 15 years ago, said the eye gel is the most popular product among women, who constitute about half its users.

“If it works, women are going to buy it, whether it’s made for men or made for animals, like the horse mane shampoo,” said Ms. Probst, referring to equine shampoos like Mane ‘n Tail that grew popular among women in the 1990s.

Read the Article

MENAJI Men’s Skincare Responds to Fortune Article About Botox, Image and Men

gI_69996_photo-4Today’s male need only look online to see things are changing as far as men’s hygiene. The “new natural” look for men (which includes concealers, anti-shine, lip balm, anti-aging creams, Botox, fillers and more) is not only in beauty blogs, but actually in mainstream news.

In a recent article published March 2, 2015 in Fortune, New York-based executive coach Roy Cohen was quoted in an article saying that because of the 2008 economic crash and subsequent career crisis, job losses and shrinking incomes, many men have had to pay more attention to image and age.

In NYC, plastic surgeons and dermatologists have begun to coin the term “Wall Street Wrinkle,” which refers to the look men ask for when they come to get Botox and fillers to help them look credible and seasoned, yet well-rested and youthful.

While women want to be wrinkle-free, men do not, said Dr. Norman Rowe, a New York City board certified plastic surgeon. These “left-behind” lines, Rowe said, are because men want to avoid looking overdone.

Similarly, men have begun investing in anti-aging skincare and cosmetics at an enormous rate, choosing to incorporate a few key products to achieve what is now called the “new natural.”

So what’s the “new natural”? Menaji Founder Michele Probst, a pioneer in men’s skincare and color within men’s grooming tell us it’s what has always been in her Men’s Tool Kit.

“Men need five basic products to help them look fresh, but still like themselves: a good hydrator, a good eye rescue, a good camouflage and sunless tanner, and a good lip balm. Namely, Our Power Hydrator which plumps up a man’s skin and boosts collagen production with hyaluronic acid; Menaji 911 Eye Gel which acts like an ice pack and removes the puffiness under eyes with chamomile aloe; our undetectable professional-grade Camo concealer which covers dark circles, age spots, bruises, scars, pimples and tiny pricks left by filler and Botox needles; our Sunless Tanner to give men a color boost; and Menaji Lip Agent with vitamins, jojoba oil and SPF 15 which protects and moisturizes.”

The editors at BOAT International magazine seem to agree. The March issue features Menaji CAMO Concealer: “On the big night this nifty little stick will help disguise the effects of blemishes, dark eyes and high living – and it was originally developed for actors.”

In the January/February 2015 issue of Playboy, Joel Stein writes: “In the not too distant future, men will start to wear makeup all the time… Menaji – which names its man makeup manly things such as CAMO Concealer, packages it in manly ChapStick-like containers and mailes it in manly cigar boxes – has been worn by regular dudes including Tom Hanks, Tim McGraw and Neil Young… So you can either wait to be the last puffy, wrinkly, spotted dude in America, or take advantage of this transitional moment, put on some moisturizer with tint and out-handsome the competition.”

Probst said that knowing the simple application of these products is key. Probst suggests applying Power Hydrator and 911 Eye Gel first, then CAMO and Sunless Tanner, and the Lip Agent last. After years as a celebrity make-up artist, Probst never takes for granted that men are still learning what women have been doing for years and probably learned to do as children. And because guys don’t like to spend a lot of time on their hygiene, she made Menaji easy to use. The Menaji CAMO is the size and shape of a lip balm and glides on very lightly so guys don’t “feel” it on their faces.

“Girls have watched their moms take care of their faces. Now we are raising a generation of boys who will understand how men replenish the moisture in their skin, protect it from aging and skin cancer, improve its appearance with cosmetics and feel more confident without feeling self-conscious,” Probst said. “It’s about time!”