By Matt Christopherson

(CBS) – Hours of virtual meetings every day have professionals trying to look their best on camera. And now, the makeup industry has a new target customer: men.

Marketing firm Moz says Google searches for “men’s makeup looks” jumped nearly 80% last year compared to 2019. That’s helped new male cosmetics company Stryx, which now has products in thousands of CVS stores. Stryx co-founder and CEO Devir Kahan says, “We are here today where we would have been in like five years, had it not been for the lockdowns, and quarantines, and things like that. So, I definitely think we’ve accelerated this trend.”

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For men who’ve never worn makeup, learning how to apply it may feel a bit daunting. But there are thousands of tutorials available online, and women with years of experience may also be a good resource. “The manliest men on, on, on earth are all wearing makeup for TV appearances, movies, to fix up a blemish before the red carpet, whatever it is. You know, show me a manly man, and I’ll show you a guy that’s worn makeup,” says Kahir.

To get more men comfortable with the idea of buying and using makeup, male cosmetic companies like Stryx use discreet packaging. At drug stores, the male cosmetic lines are typically found near men’s razors and skincare rather than the women’s makeup aisle.

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Between Zoom meetings and virtual home showings, real estate broker Ben Dixon gets much face time these days. He says, “I think being on the Zoom calls is essentially being in front of the mirror for a couple of hours a day. So obviously, we’re going to focus on what we look like a little more than we normally would.”

After seeing ads on Instagram, he decided to try out makeup for men. Ben says, “I don’t wanna look like I’m wearing a lot of makeup.” He uses some concealer. “Just under my eyes here. And maybe if I have a little redness or something at the top of my cheeks,” Ben remarks.

For Ben, it’s a quick addition to his daily routine. He says, “Try it a few times and see how you feel. If it makes you feel better, why not?” And he says, if it’s still not for you, you can wash it off.

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Matt Christopherson