Interview with Founder and Owner, Marco Berardini
by Justin Smith
U. R. Flair got the chance to review the new Evolution Man skin care line, and speak with Owner and Founder Marco Berardini about the evolution of men’s skincare.
Just 5 years ago Marco Berardini innovated the men’s skincare industry with his creation of EvolutionMan. Made for quick and easy grooming and care for the average guy, EvolutionMan’s line includes a shave regimen, moisturizer, concealer, under eye gel, and most recently, rocker nail polish.
UNRATED FLAIR: What was your goal creating this product line?
MARCO BERARDINI: Evolution Man came out of selfishness. Being a man I was looking to buy products one day and I ended up going to Sephora and I was looking at the wall of men’s products and nothing really spoke to me. Everything was either really gimmicky, blue and silver, or really clinical looking. And I felt like nothing really attracted me at least visually right away. Then I went more in depth and I saw that a lot of the ingredients were not up to par with what the women’s side was doing. I wanted something to sit in my bathroom that was a men’s product. So the first little thing that kinda rang in my head was, “no one’s done anything really cool on the men’s genre yet?”
UNRATED FLAIR: That’s exactly what I thought when I saw it. I thought, “This is a really great idea” and I love how you packaged it where you’ve got the black with white letters –sort of minimalist so it looks more masculine. It’s not flowery or pink.
UNRATED FLAIR con’t: You are a very popular make-up and hair artist, in your opinion how do male celebrities treat skin care? Are they more conscious of skin care because they are in front of the camera?
MARCO BERARDINI: I think that celebrities in general are more conscious especially now with HD cameras shoved in their face all the time. It doesn’t take a lot for one of the trashy magazines to say “oh my god” look at his pimple or look how bad his skin is. They’re constantly being torn down so they wanna look their best. I think that’s bleeding into everyday life because who hasn’t been tagged in a horrible Facebook picture.
UNRATED FLAIR: What are specific problems associated with men’s skin does your product help with?
MARCO BERARDINI: When I was doing product research surprisingly I found that every man has the same concerns. The number one concern really is that men just need to exfoliate more than women. We should be doing it in a light way but on a daily basis. Because we shave, and even if we don’t shave and just trim, it’s really important that we don’t have any dead skin in our pores because it’ll create razor rash. Also most men are oilier, you can see how throughout the day men will get shinier and that has a lot to do with the fact that they are not exfoliating, they’re not cleansing properly, or they’re using a face wash that over strips their skin. So you’re basically teaching it [your skin] that “I’m really dry I need to over produce oil. I wanted a regimen that was really easy because most guys won’t spend a lot of time. So the goal was to get the fundamental basics into someone’s a daily routine.
UNRATED FLAIR: How long has Evolution Man been on the market?
MARCO BERARDINI: A year and four months.
UNRATED FLAIR: How has business been so far?
MARCO BERARDINI: It’s been good. The U.S. is a difficult market because of the economy. Some of our stores in Canada are doing much better than our stores in the U.S. I think that we’ve been welcomed because we are a little bit different and we have products that no one else has. I think men are responding really well to it. But of course business could always be better. But I think we’re doing really well for a new company. I’m happy because people are repurchasing. It’s not like a one time thing where they buy it for the look. The products actually work. And our customers really like it and re-buy it.
UNRATED FLAIR: What are your plans for the next 5-10 years with Evolution Man?
MARCO BERARDINI: We’re already expanding in Europe and in Hong Kong in the next couple months. My goals are to grow with my customers and grow with the guys who often times are forgotten. The nail polish line came to fruition because I have a lot of friends who are in rock bands. They like nail polish and they wanna rock it. And I have clients that wear it as well. Whenever I see something that no one else is doing, that’s how I would like to grow. To give options to men who can’t find what they need anywhere else.
UNRATED FLAIR: A few weeks ago I shot a review of your shaving products as part of the feature we’re doing with Evolution Man. I was very excited to get the opinion of my correspondent, Maasai. Maasai was game to test the shaving products, but I couldn’t convince him to try the Eye Cream, or the Lip Balm. Why do you think he was reluctant?
MARCO BERARDINI: There’s so much stigma in people’s heads about what is manly and what is not manly. That’s why I called my company Evolution Man cause I think we’re all in different stages of evolution. Some people have embraced skin care and others haven’t. What I’ve noticed, and that’s okay with me, is that if we can sell them on some products and they can see a visible difference after a while, eventually they’ll be like “lemme give it a try.”
UNRATED FLAIR: A friend of mine’s husband has dark circles under his eyes and I told him that the eye cream would help. But I quickly realized that guys are sensitive about discussing the aesthetic of their face. Do you have suggestions for how I can pitch this eye cream to a man?
MARCO BERARDINI: I tell men “it’s the thinnest skin on your face, it’s the one area you should be taking care of the most.” A lot of guys think I look younger than I really am. One of the major reasons is that I’ve always taken care of my under eye. Men are more prone to wrinkling around the eyes because most men protect themselves from the sun much less than women do. I joke around and say, “use it when you have a hangover so you don’t look like you were drunk the night before.” It’s important that when they use it the first time they notice that it’s undetectable.
UNRATED FLAIR: What suggestions do you have for how a manly man could pitch your products to his friends?
MARCO BERARDINI: To someone who only uses soap and water, I always tell them to use the Wash and Buff right away. I call it the replacement to the bar of soap. It’s a one-step thing. You’re getting a great wash, you’re getting exfoliation, and there’s vitamin E in it. So even if I can’t get a guy to moisturize right away, at least he’s getting hidden benefits from the Wash and Buff and most of the guys that have used Wash and Buff move on to buy other products as well. They notice that even with their cheap shaving cream, their shave has already improved. Even with just that one product they feel like their skin is less oily during the day.
UNRATED FLAIR: What is the best result you notice after continued use of the shaving products?
I use them on a daily basis. I get a lot of compliments. After a few days of usage of the Eye Cream you’ll notice that your eyes look brighter and you look more alive. If I stop using the Wash and Buff I notice right away that I get black heads and my pores look larger.
UNRATED FLAIR: Could you tell me the best compliment you’ve gotten from a customer or reviewer about any of the products so far?
MARCO BERARDINI: I’ve gotten a lot of great feedback. One my favorite was someone who said that they had been getting bad razor rash, and that it doesn’t hurt them to shave anymore. Women don’t realize it’s a pain in the ass when it hurts to shave and you have to do it for a job interview or whatever. It really sucks.
UNRATED FLAIR: That’s why Maasai said. He said he has do things to soften his skin [before he shaves] and that’s why he really liked the Wash and Buff because it made his skin hair follicles really soft so shaving wasn’t painful anymore.
MARCO BERARDINI: I’ve gotten emails from people that said that the Wash and Buff cleared their skin, and that they can finally use moisturizer cause it doesn’t feel oily on their skin. And it has the built in SPF. So they don’t have to wear sunscreen on top of the moisturizer.
UNRATED FLAIR: Some guys don’t like the idea of taking as much time on their skin as their woman. How are you eradicating that stereotype that skin care is feminine?
MARCO BERARDINI: No one with our line is gonna spend 15 minutes. Even if you did the most high maintenance routine we have it’s gonna take 5 minutes. Unless I’m shaving I never spend more than maybe 3 minutes. All our products are multifunctional. You don’t have to use something different day and night. It takes care of the 3 majors concerns. Our moisturizer is an anti-irritant so it’s a great aftershave balm. It’s also a SPF and it has antioxidants. So it’s like a 3-in-one product. Wash and Buff is a cleanser and a daily exfoliate.
UNRATED FLAIR: What hard-to-reach demographic are the Evolution Man products aiming for in the future? Why do you think it has been difficult to reach this demographic?
MARCO BERARDINI: The bar of soap guy is always really difficult because he’s really hard to reach but once you reach him he’s sold quickly. So I always feel really proud when I can get a guy like that to use one of our products. They’re so used to that horrible bar of soap that once they get something good, they wash their face and say “I didn’t realize I could look this good with one product.
UNRATED FLAIR: I saw the difference immediately.