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April 3, 2011 by pam

ManGlaze is not nail polish – that’s the first thing you should know.


Fuggen Ugly with original art by Joe Simko

If it were up to Marc Paez, ManGlaze mastermind, people would be calling it “gentlemen’s nail discolorant.” But I like to call it pretty effing awesome.

Yes, ManGlaze is awesome. It’s macho, it’s sexy, it’s crazy, it’s cool. It’s so cool I keep my bottle of Matte Is Murder safely hidden because I know people will want to swipe it.


ManGlaze sets itself apart by being the world’s only nail discolorant for men by men. And I don’t care that I don’t have balls (although sometimes it seems like I do) because I feel that ManGlaze was made for me too. And apparently, I’m not the only woman who feels this way.


A dumb ad by ManGlaze

We like that ManGlaze doesn’t follow the rules of your regular nail brands. It’s US-based but it launched at a punk festival in Japan. It’s stubborn and it ignores what everyone else is doing. And the bottles are serious artworks. You’d want them all. But you cannot walk into big department stores to buy it. And you cannot borrow it from your mother. And it doesn’t release regular collections. It ignores seasons and trends – no, it flashes seasons and trends its middle finger. ManGlaze does what it does when it wants to do it.


Models Veronica Lane and Ryan Olde wear ManGlaze (Hotmerenzi Photos)

And it’s getting more men to paint their nails – men who never thought they’d ever want to do that.

And we like that. I like that.


Irving gets his nails done while getting a tattoo. With Thailand Mike from Scratch Tattoo and Margie from ManGlaze

How do you end what has been a great Men Who Wear Polish Week on Polish Police? You do it with a bang – with an interview with Marc, the man behind the glaze, about the brand that 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 for 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!


Dan Swinimer and Flip Freig of the band Jet Black Stare

Why ManGlaze?

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 in a much more manly way. What could be more manly than ManGlaze? Also, we thought calling it ManGlaze would help to turn off uptight people that we really didn’t wanna deal with. Once we had such a stupid name, I just had to do it. It was too funny.

How do you feel about men wearing nail polish?

I always thought it looked bad ass 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 perfumey smelling makeup counter and asking some chick for help or borrowing the shit from my girlfriend or mom. Cory was actually into the stuff before I was. He took a summer off to devote to kitesurfing 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 up his toenails. It was a way for him to celebrate his absence from his factory job up north and not living in work boots all day. I thought it was pretty cool and thought there should be a product that’s really made for guys. 


Jonathan Montoya of the band Saliva

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.


Guitarist Gary Hoey and Backstage Artist Lounge creator Christina Martin

What kind of feedback has the brand gotten from people?

In the beginning people thought it was a pretty stupid idea. Who the fuck wanted matte nail polish? Nail polish is supposed to be glossy, that’s why it’s called 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. It’s been pretty cool. 


Jonathan Montoya of the band Saliva

Did you expect all the love the brand has gotten?

I hoped for it but never thought people would be so into it. The biggest surprise was being asked to provide a mix of our Fuggen Ugly matte grey and our Matte is Murder matte black for designer Gareth Pugh’s runway — resulting in our limited edition Haute Mess matte dark grey.

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 Fuggin Ugly and Death Tar labels soon. I had a poster Joe did for the Misfits off-shoot band, Dr. Chud. It’s got this monster doctor and huge breasted evil nurse tearing into the brains of a jack-o-latern. There’s so much shit going on, I loved it and stalked Joe til he did some work for us. 

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. His style is so loose and his line incredibly efficient at capturing its subject. Often his paintings are of his muse, and now the face of ManGlaze, the enchanting model Manko.  

Thanks to blogger Dr. Frankenpolish, I got the idea to create our little Franken Juggs – Frankening Steins. I wanted 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, whimsicalness we wanted for this one. I love how our Franken Juggs character came out!

Our latest is another great rock poster artist, Mike Saputo. I have a poster he did for the band High on Fire that has this wicked charging skeleton Viking. After years of stalking, I finally got Mike to fuck up our Fuggen Ugly label. They’ll be available very soon and possibly he’ll work on another surprise if we’re lucky.


Poster art by Simko, featuring Metal Sanaz

Which of your products are the best-sellers?

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 fucking cool. The girls that are into our stuff usually have dirty minds and 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 til it gets all shitty looking. I like to see how long it takes to really wear off. These days I’m working on a bunch of new colors that aren’t officially ManGlaze yet. So they’re usually a mix of stuff I’m testing.


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 kinda thing just doesn’t happen to me normally. I had just taken the leap of faith to get into the business. Seeing that one could actually use the stuff to pick up girls at a bar made me think I was on to something big. 

Who comes up with those awesome names?

Sometimes I do, as in the case with Mayonnaise & MatteAstrophe. Usually, we ask for help from our fans or they’re just kind enough to offer it. One of our tweeps gave us the name Haute Mess. We had a contest that resulted in the name Fuggen Ugly. Otherwise, they just sort of happen.

Can we come work for you?

Haha! We’d love to but we’re not quite gigantic yet. Since we’re mostly a web exclusive brand, we’re usually able to handle our customers individually. Keeping small has helped us refine the product and get more in touch with what our fans want.

What good things do you have in store for fans in the future?

A shit ton of new colors.

Any ManGlaze secrets you can share with us?

I have a really stupid idea but I think we’re still gonna do it. That’s all I can say.

Which men would you love to see wearing your polish?


If the ship was sinking and you could only save one bottle of ManGlaze, which one would it be?

An empty Franken Jugg cuz it might be usable as a floatation device and I could also use it to capture fresh rain water for drinking.

Aside from craptastic polish, what else are you passionate about?

Snowboarding, wakeboarding, motorcycles and my 14-year-old Irish Wolfhound/Terrier mutt Sparky.

Get a dose of Manglaze on their website. And Facebook. And Twitter.


  1. Jake says:

    Yeah, Marc’s pretty dang cool alright. But what he didn’t tell you is that the ‘polish’ is packed with little specs of shiny stuff that give it a very cool ‘glow’, even though it’s got a purely matte finish.

    Don’t tell him I told you this, but when you put a glossy topcoat over it, those little specs litterally light up like a meteorite!!!

    • pam says:

      I haven’t tried a glossy topcoat over my ManGlaze but I will soon!

      I just saw a photo of Mayonnaise that made me want it really really bad!!

  2. HG says:

    i just asked my cousin in n.y. to buy me some manglaze! i can’t wait to wear matte is murder!

  3. kelliegonzo says:

    i love this stuff! i’ve got a bottle of every polish they’ve made but still need to get my hands on some franken jugs :) can’t wait for new stuff from these guys!! and uhhh marc rules :)

    • pam says:

      Hey Kellie! Totally agree! Marc is awesome! And I love ManGlaze too! I need Mayonnaise in my life!

      P.S. I love your nails! :)

  4. yvonne says:

    hi , is there anyone here who knows where thailand mike the tattoo guy is now????? or how can i contact him??? he is the only one i let tatt me and i want to do some more work, but his shop is closed.

  5. pam says:

    Hi Yvonne! Sorry but I have no idea. You might want to get in touch with the guys from ManGlaze – they might know.

  6. Daphnea says:

    Thank you for this post! I am “testing” Nawsome Sauce and posting about it on my blog (in French). I wanted to know more about the story behind Manglaze and you were very helpful with this! I am now a fan of the brand. I mean, this is awesome stuff! Thanks again Pam!

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