By  on October 2, 2007

LOS ANGELES — Too Faced co-founder Jerrod Blandino believes women are beginning to opt for a bolder lip — whether shiny or matte.

And he's putting his money where the tinted mouth is: Too Faced is reintroducing lipsticks into its spring cosmetics lineup after a six-year hiatus. The Irvine, Calif.-based brand's eight-unit lipstick collection is dubbed Lip of Luxury and it features champagne- and shea butter-infused formulas with pink-brushed metal cases that are topped with a stone mimicking a 17-carat diamond.

"For a long time, makeup went into a shimmery phase. Gloss started to dominate the planet and lipsticks faded back," said Blandino. "But there is a resurgence of retro glam. We are going back into that more seriously made-up look."

Too Faced dug into its archives of lip stains to create the color palette. A deep blue-red called Drop Dead Red is derived from a shade Too Faced crafted for Madonna in 1999. A fire engine red labeled Runway Red is a take on a hue made for Gwen Stefani, and a certain newsworthy pop icon whom Blandino declined to name inspired Celebrity Meltdown, a gold-tinged rose.

"I definitely think that darker lipsticks are significant, but I don't think we should discount the basics like nude or pink," he said. "It is going to be about color-drenched lipsticks. Even if they are nude, they are going to make a statement."

The price of lipstick — $18 at retail — remains unchanged since the product was in the early repertoire of Too Faced, which will turn 10 years old next year. "I am hoping to gain on volume," said Jeremy Johnson, Blandino's founding partner. "It is really important for us not to overprice because we feel it should be affordable to everybody."

Too Faced projects the lipsticks will generate $1.5 million to $2 million in their first year and plans to add about four shades (two are likely to be seasonal) for the fall. In total, the company generated $52 million in sales last year and estimates that sales will increase by 30 percent this year.

By resurrecting lipsticks, Too Faced is gambling that lip gloss' momentum is ebbing — and there's some evidence in the brand's favor. Katherine Heigl, Heidi Klum and Kate Walsh all sported bright red puckers at the recent Emmy Awards. And although Kline & Co. reported that lipsticks' total sales in the U.S. declined by 3.8 percent during 2006, the market research firm forecasts that they will experience a 2.8 percent bounce through 2011.

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