Interview: Michele Probst of Mënaji Cosmetics

The Introduction

Mënaji Skincare for Men, also known as Mënaji Cosmetics – but definitely not as Mënaji Make-Up. Yes, the stigma around men wearing make-up still exists, but why? As more and more Apes and Gentleman opt for a concealer to cover a spot which emerged the morning of a first date, or a shiny forehead – why are we still covering up (excuse the pun) the fact us men use cosmetics?

I’m not psychologist but at a guess; the application of make-up has always been dominated by the fairer sex – and perhaps a man wearing said products could impact on his manliness? Well no more, enter Menaji Skincare – founded by make-up artist to the stars; Michele Probst, who has developed a brand which finally smashes any remaining taboos out of the water.

Named firmly as Menaji Skincare – products such as concealer, high-definition powder (anti-shine) and eye gel are housed in manly, stylishly designed black packaging. And importantly, now we have bypassed the stigma – the products work, and are in fact – superb, quality and results wise. As the market for male cosmetics continues to amplify, Menaji really are exceeding the standard.

Ape to Gentleman caught up with Menaji founder Michele Probst to find out more about this hot topic.

The Interview

APE: Who created Menaji and when. Where did the name come from?

MP: Menaji Skincare was created by celebrity makeup artist Michele Probst in 2000. She pulled the name from two words in the Scandinavian language, mënesse (man), and formagi (power), thus creating the word Mënaji, meaning manpower.

APE: Has the market for men’s cosmetics grown, and become more acceptable since Menaji started?

MP: The market has grown considerably since we started, and men are now the number one target in the beauty industry.

APE: What is the key to making cosmetics ‘okay’ for men to wear?

MP: The key is making all of our products easy to use, undetectable, and masculine. We never use the “m” word (make-up).

APE: What makes Menaji unique, in terms of ingredients and results?

MP: What makes us unique is that we’re not a private label brand. We develop our own ingredient decks and avoid any additional fragrance or other complicated ingredients.

APE: Which products sell best for Menaji and why?

MP: What sells best is what sets us apart, which is our undetectable, colour corrective products… our Urban Camo and HDPV Anti-Shine. And the hero product of the brand is our 911 eye gel… it’s something that every man should have in his arsenal!

APE: Which skin care concerns does Menaji assist with?

MP: Our goal for our clients is to keep it simple, hydrate, and look healthy, not pretty. We’re all living longer, so we have to really take care of the way we look.

APE: Can you reveal any celebrity users of Menaji?

MP: Our celebrity clientele ranges from politicians, to actors, movie stars, and musicians.

APE: And finally, if you had one piece of advice for anyone, what would it be?

MP: Take care of your face… it’s the first thing people look at!