MANGLAZE IS not nail polish—that’s the first thing you should know.
If it were up to Marc Paez, ManGlaze mastermind, people would be calling it “gentlemen’s nail discolorant.”
ManGlaze sets itself apart by being the world’s only nail discolorant for men by men. But that hasn’t stopped women from stocking up on the brand’s products, too.
There’s Matte is Murder, a matte black; Fuggen Ugly, a matte gray; Mayonnaise, a matte white; Matte-Astrophe, a matte crackle top coat; Hot Mess, a bling matte top coat; and ManGlaze’s Franken Juggs, empty nail polish jugs which you can use for mixing your own killer nail polish.
ManGlaze doesn’t follow the rules of your regular nail brands. It’s US-based but it was launched at a punk festival in Japan. It doesn’t release regular collections. It ignores seasons and trends. You cannot walk into big department stores to buy it.
And ManGlaze has been getting more men to paint their nails, including men who never thought they’d ever want to do it.
The men behind ManGlaze
Paez talks about his brand, men who wear nail polish, and how ManGlaze launched the matte revolution.
Who are the people behind ManGlaze?
Marc, Cory, Kyoko, and one un-person, Sparky! But mostly, Marc is to blame.
What made you decide to create a nail polish line for men?
I had the idea a long time ago, but it never went anywhere until my buddy Cory came up with the perfect name. What I wanted to create wasn’t “nail polish” for men, because polish is defined as glossy and shiny. That’s not what most guys are about. We’re a bit more rough around the edges. In my mind, we were creating what guys would have discolored their nails with if the whole female side of the market never had existed.
Ultimately, my goal is for the word “manglaze” to define itself like Kleenex does facial tissue. I know this is a fairly lofty goal, but I’ve already heard of it being used by people who didn’t even know about our product and were just referring to some kid who was wearing nail polish. Score!
My best friend Cory came to Chicago one weekend to see the band GWAR. He kept joking about the words “man glaze” all night, and as we got more drunk, one of us realized it would be the perfect name for this gentlemen’s nail discolorant idea I had. Because “nail polish” has always been a girl thing, we needed to set ourselves apart. What could be more manly than ManGlaze?
How do you feel about men wearing nail polish?
I always thought it looked cool and seemed much less painful, compared to tattoos or piercings, as a form of self-expression. I hardly wore nail polish at all before creating my own matte finish, though. I had colored my nails with a Sharpie a couple times back in high school, but I had no interest in going up to some makeup counter and asking some chick for help or borrowing the sh*t from my girlfriend or mom.
Cory was actually into the stuff before I was. He took a summer off to devote to kite-surfing several years back. Since he had moved to where it was warm and he could wear flip-flops or go barefoot all day, he decided to paint his toenails. It was a way for him to celebrate his absence from his factory job up north, and not live in work boots all day. I thought it was pretty cool, and thought there should be a product that’s really made for guys.
Did you think women would go crazy about your stuff, too?
I thought some cool chicks would get into it, and that other uptight chicks would hate it.
What kind of feedback has the brand gotten from people?
In the beginning people thought it was a pretty stupid idea. Who would want matte nail polish? Once people actually saw or tried it, though, we won them over. A lot of our emails come from fans that had spent years looking for a real matte nail polish. We hear back from customers every day about how much they love the stuff.
Tell us about the artist designs.
It’s so much fun! I try to give as little direction as possible and let the artists do their thing. We started off with Joe Simko. We’re actually gonna be reissuing his original Fuggen Ugly and Death Tar labels soon.
I found out about UK artist Jason Atomic when I saw some videos of him doing these high-speed portraits of other artists and notorious worldly characters—inlcuding the face of ManGlaze, the enchanting model Manko.
Thanks to blogger Dr. Frankenpolish, I got the idea to create our little Franken Juggs, a female Frankenstein monster, but didn’t want the normal Bride of Frankenstein look. I stumbled upon Australian artist Tegan Coddington who had just the evil, sexy, whimsicality we wanted for this one.
Our latest is another great rock poster artist, Mike Saputo.
Which of your products are the bestsellers?
Matte is Murder matte black has been our biggest hit so far.
Which are your personal favorites?
Hot Mess. It looks obnoxious and lasts way too long.
How would you describe ManGlaze fans?
Rabid. Loyal. The guys we’ve talked to are cool. The girls that are into our stuff are certainly a handful. Love ’em!
How often do you wear ManGlaze polish?
I rarely take it off. I like to keep the stuff on for weeks. I like to see how long it takes to really wear off.
Any crazy nail polish stories?
I’d say the craziest thing was the very first time I ever wore my ManGlaze out to a bar. It was down at this awesome dive in Fort Wayne, Indiana—O’Sullivan’s. Within minutes of walking into the place, four super fine girls came over to talk to me about it. That kind of thing just doesn’t happen to me normally.
Who comes up with those awesome names?
Sometimes I do, as in the case with Mayonnaise and Matte-Astrophe. Usually, we ask for help from our fans or they’re just kind enough to offer it. We had a contest that resulted in the name Fuggen Ugly.
Which men would you love to see wearing your polish?
Aside from the polish, what else are you passionate about?
Snowboarding, wakeboarding, motorcycles and my 14-year-old Irish wolfhound/terrier mutt Sparky.
Find ManGlaze on Facebook, Twitter, or their website www.manglaze.com.