Anttoni Lopez grew up in the Bronx, New York, the oldest of seven children. “I was born to be the leader,” he laughs. Nothing from his childhood hinted at a career in makeup. When he was 27, working at Macys, he was hired by a cosmetic brand to apply make-up to shoppers. He had never done it before but quickly discovered that he was a natural. “I found that I really enjoyed enhancing people’s faces with the wave of a brush,” he says.
Anttoni founded Alpha Male Cosmetics in an effort to help men address damage from harsh soaps, shaving and the sun and other conditions unique to men’s skin. He explains that “Applying a blade to the face leaves many men with razor bumps, ingrown hairs and dark spots. Our collection of foundations, primer, liquid concealers, BB Creams and setting sprays help to correct these conditions while also covering them up. We enhance a guy’s handsome without taking away his masculinity.”
Alpha Male’s full line consists of nine products, all water based so that they seamlessly blend with a man’s complexion, covering up blemishes while giving skin a clear and fresh, bright glow. Additionally, the liquid foundations, concealer pot, and liquid concealers come in 24 shades, more than any other male brand, making it easier for guys to discover their perfect shade so that no one will ever detect he is wearing anything.
At $150, the Alpha Max pack makes the perfect holiday gift. It includes the Alpha Male Cosmetics BB Cream (a tinted moisturizer), Hi-Def Liquid Foundation (to hide blemishes), Liquid Concealer (eliminates dark circles), Duo Powder (keeps your face from getting shiny) and the pocket-sized Concealer Pot. All products are sold separately as well.
Since launching Alpha Male Cosmetics five years ago, the men’s beauty market has changed dramatically. “Five years ago, the morning grooming routine for most men was shampoo, shave and maybe a bit of hair gel.” These days, guys are taking better care of themselves. “They want to feel and look good. It has become a trend that is only getting bigger.”
Anttoni and his partner Michael recently competed on Supermarket Sweep, sharing the story of how they met (on Grindr) with host Leslie Jones. (Watch the episode to see if the pair emerged victorious.) He talks about how Michael has impacted his life and how Alpha Male came to be in our latest Socialite Seven interview. Get to know this up-and-coming makeup maven.
What made you decide to launch Alpha Male?
We will have to travel back in time to answer this one. Over 12 years ago, I first began wearing makeup to cover bruises and unsightly scars from an abusive relationship. I never wanted anyone to know what I was victim to domestic violence let alone using makeup to mask it. During that time Alpha Male Cosmetics was not even a thought in my mind. But I was determined to keep it secret. I was only subjected to products that were currently on the market, which 100% were catered to women. My skin did not take well to most of these products and that is when I had my EUREKA! moment.
I realized the cosmetic industry had been monopolized towards women only. It was time to create a product line that spoke directly to men and men alone. Alpha Male Cosmetics was birthed with full intention to market the everyday man. Offering a series of products that any man could relate to. The name Alpha Male is meant for the consumer to have self-recognition and as a result, become instantly engaged.
What would you say to encourage hesitant men to give cosmetics a try?
I’ve been in your shoes too. As a man, I never thought I would be wearing make-up, let alone founding the first full line on the market for men, today. It is perfectly normal and fine to have hesitation and possible reservations. However, having access to applying a natural concealer to enhance your handsomeness is surprisingly normal as well.
Alpha Male Cosmetics was designed to assist men from all walks of life to be able to leave home dripping in confidence and with the highest levels of self-esteem. So, if you find yourself in a place of second-guessing then I employ you to dive into the Alpha Male experience. We recently released our “Sample Pack” for color confirmation and curious buyers. Listen to your gut and don’t miss out on the self-gratifying effects of being a part of the Alpha Male Pack.
Who has been the biggest influence on you in your career so far?
I can only answer this question in plural sense, as there are a few important people to mention. Starting with a couple celebrity influences, Nicki Minaj who reminds me to never stop fighting for my dreams and my dear friend MJ Rodriguez who has shown me that anything is possible if you just believe in yourself and keep the faith. Next, my parents (Arleen and Antonio Lopez) and my dear partner Michael Hollis. These three are by far my biggest career influences.
My parents have been there from day 1, always pushing me and supporting all my ventures and different career paths. They keep me motivated to never give up and makes every failure feel like a success. I can never say thank you enough. My partner Michael has seen the struggle first hand. The handwork, the tears, the happiest of times and even the moments when I may have wanted to quit. Somehow, he has a way of helping me see the best in the worst of situations. He has been my rock, my biggest cheerleader and only wishes the best of me and my endeavors. I am truly blessed to have these people supporting me throughout my journey.
What talent would you like to wake up with tomorrow?
Being a lover of all genres of music and born with the innate ability to dance the missing talent I would like to wake up with tomorrow would be an amazing singing voice. The same way music and dancing can enchant its viewer; a melodic voice in perfect pitch can also. Having the ability to alter the mood of an audience to help exude love, happiness, joy and sometimes tears can be one of the most life changing experiences. I have been the listener in many of these situations and I am forever grateful for these moments. So, to have the ability to be blessed with the talent would be a dream come true.
What are three things you can’t live without?
This is an easy one..…Family, Food and Make-Up of course!
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
The best piece of advice I’d been given is to never give up and always remain positive. This may sound like a generic response, but it truly resonates in just about every area of our lives. Living in the times of social media makes it is easy to get caught up in other people’s lives resulting in neglect of your own. The depression rate and suicide rates have increased substantially in recent years. It is imperative that we take good care of our mental health, states of happiness and not allowing negativity and/or fear to grab a hold of our dreams and ultimately our lives. I have taken a more conscious approach to staying positive and more optimistic. As a result, I have been reaping the benefits of being more present with my partner, the progression of my career, protecting my happy and being able to easily express and share it with others.
What are you asking Santa for this Christmas?
To wake up on Christmas Day with the world free of C-19, world peace, global unity, economic growth, greener emissions, safer basic ways of life for all and every man in the world to have a personalized Alpha Male Starter Kit in their stockings would be the ultimate Christmas I could ever ask for.
Alpha Male Cosmetics are available at http://alphamalecosmetics.com/. Keep up with the latest product launches and more on Instagram and Facebook. You can also follow Anttoni on Instagram and Twitter.