Nails

Will nail polish for men catch on? An investigative report

Nov. 14, 2011 at 9:23 AM ET

EvolutionMan /
What, no pink? EvolutionMan thinks men are ready to embrace the nail color trend, albeit with specific colors.

By Matthew Moll

The question “How do my nails look?” will soon be gender neutral. Shocked? No need. It's just evolution, man.

It has become commonplace to see historically female products make the crossover to the male market. Guyness has graduated into body girdles (GUY-dles anyone?) in the form of Manx, the male version of Spanx, and moved down the body to padded butt lifts. Body repositioning undergarments aren't just pH balanced for women.

The line between masculine and feminine continues to blur, so naturally guys have started to cover those lines with concealer. Full grooming sets for men will be rolled out by historically lady-centric Birchbox, just in time for gift-giving season.

Birchbox /
Know a man in need of a grooming update? The Men's Birchbox, valued at $240 worth of items, costs $45.

Next on the manscaping landscape: The once-blank canvas of the fingernail. Later this month EvolutionMan, which specializes in “modern skincare and grooming” for men, will debut a line of nail polishes exclusively for the boys.

"These are not repackaged female products," Valerie Patton of EvolutionMan told TODAY.com. "We are introducing a line of colors that are made just for men."

The launch hues will include "Pure Bling" (clear), "Pavement" (the manliest of beige), "Stand out" (charcoal), and my choice "Alter Ego" (a purple and granite fusion). "Alter Ego" seemed appropriate as color on my nails isn't part of my everyday persona.

The act of polishing felt unnatural. Despite the larger man-grip on the EvolutionMan nail polish cap, I wasn’t nearly dexterous enough to negotiate the hand-on-hand angles. The rest of the duties were outsourced to my artsy girlfriend.

Two of the world’s leading metrosexuals, Johnny Depp and David Beckham,  have already taken to nail paint, but how would it go over in an all-American office?

At my place of employment, wearing Banana instead of J. Crew is considered a statement. Nail polish on man-hands will be noticed.

Matthew Moll /
Our fearless reporter Matthew Moll tested out the nail trend, in public. Modern bravery, folks.

On my morning New York City subway commute, I got no response. I furiously scrolled on my smartphone, begging to be noticed, but clearly nothing surprises in NYC.

Work was different. I did nothing out of the ordinary and just waited for reactions. Conversations went like this:

 “What are you doing with your nails?”

“Trying something new! What do you think?”

“You look like Marlyn Manson. I am interested in overhearing what other people have to say.”

I was also asked if this was leftover from Halloween, if my girlfriend was aware of my actions, and if I enjoyed being employed. Most of the comments were measured, and curious (some were whispered), but no one discouraged my desire to express myself.

EvolutionMan’s intro to the professional world ended up mostly neutral. For me, the act of doing something different can be empowering, but probably more suited for the weekend. One thing is certain; I looked hot.

Matthew Moll is a multimedia journalist living in New York. For more of his adventurous work, visit Taste of Local.

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