By  on October 16, 2007

Richard Anderson is confident his Per-fékt Beauty products are in a class by themselves.

He insists they're not quite liquid foundations, even though Sephora lists them as such, and not really primers, the group Nordstrom lumps them into. He calls them perfectors and describes them as five-in-one cosmetics that erase the need for interminable mirror time.

"My mission is to simplify and perfect the way women wear makeup," said Anderson, a nearly 15-year veteran of the beauty industry who's had stints at Bobbi Brown, Yves Saint Laurent and NeoStrata. "With this product, you don't even have to use a brush. You pat, smooth and go."

Even if it's not easily labeled, Per-fékt's multitasking approach seems to be working. The brand's first product, Skin Perfection Gel, which contains Alpha Lipoic Acid and vitamins A and E, has been holding one of two top liquid foundation seller spots at sephora.com, where it costs $57.50 for 1 oz., in recent weeks, according to Anderson. He added the Hyaluronic spheres-filled Body Perfection Gel at $48 for 3 oz. climbed to number two in August in sephora.com's body makeup category after initially being introduced over the summer.

Karen Meena, buyer for Apothia at Fred Segal Melrose, has found that Per-fékt Beauty has broad appeal. "It is a good unisex product [and] really all types of people seem to like it," she said. "It is good for going to the gym or for someone who doesn't need to put a lot of makeup on. It has a lot of applications."

Despite the relatively wide-open market, Anderson cautiously launches products. Sticking to Per-fékt's low-maintenance beauty philosophy, he doesn't want to confuse consumers by crowding their bathroom cabinets. Still, he is leaping to eyes with a 0.2-oz. Eye Perfection Gel due out in spring and to lips with a 0.25-oz. Lip Perfection Gel scheduled to drop next fall. The eye item's target price is $45 and the lip item's is $22.50.

Anderson minimizes the number of Per-fékt stockkeeping units by limiting shades. The Skin Perfection Gel has five shades, while the eye gel will have three and the lip gel five. "Usually, when [retailers] bring in a brand, they have to bring in a huge amount of inventory," said Anderson "[Per-fékt] is not a huge liability."Because the Skin Perfection Gel is an alternative to foundation, Anderson asserted that another advantage for retailers is that they can replace sales of heavier cosmetics as their popularity ebbs. He said consumers are searching for products that leave the skin looking natural and give a "no makeup" appearance.

"When I met with Bendel's, they loved this concept because the foundation category is still good, but it wasn't what it was," he said. "[Per-fékt] is picking up some of that lost business. The trend is all about beautiful, glowing skin, and that is what my brand is all about."

Per-fékt Beauty is currently available in some 150 doors, including Henri Bendel, Sephora, Apothia, Nordstrom and QVC. Industry sources estimate the three-year-old Los Angeles-based company will generate $3 million in revenues this year, but Anderson is not in a hurry to rack up sales. "I have seen where companies expand too quickly and lose exclusiveness," he said. "In terms of distribution, right now I am where I want to be."

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