By and  on October 8, 2009

The Eyes Have It

She may give up her weekly salon trips or her diamond-enriched face cream, but the budgeting beauty consumer won’t leave the house without something on her eyes.

“The mascara category is used by more women than any other beauty category,” said Karen Grant, vice president and global industry analyst at The NPD Group. “Eight in 10 women use mascara and usage is high across every age group.” Grant said because women are conditioned to replace their mascara periodically, it provides an opportunity for brands to reel in a consumer looking for something new. “It’s a high frequency replenishment purchase,” said Grant. “There is so much innovation around mascara because of the high percentage of usage.”

Although first-half 2009 mascara sales were down 6 percent, Grant said sales of new mascaras were up by 4 percent. “Consumers are responding to newness,” said Grant. “Women like to experiment and see if a new mascara does something different.”

True to form, brands are banking on the beauty staple’s continuing appeal with no less that a dozen mascaras, in mass and prestige, launching for fall and winter.

“Mascara is an indulgence that comes at an accessible price point so it’s a safe splurge; it’s less risky than selecting the right shade of lipstick or foundation,” said Eileen Higgins, vice president of global product innovation for Avon.

From Nars’ full, fluffy brush to Avon’s polymer-enriched curling formulation and Dior’s unique undulating bristles, new mascaras are adding innovation to the classic category. “Mascara defines the alluring and mysterious language of the eyes,” said Julie Hewett, who will introduce her gentle Rose-Scented mascara next month. “I wanted to make a great mascara that soothes the eyes, promotes lash growth, is paraben-free and makes lashes look really dark but without clump.” The innovation behind YSL’s new Mascara Singulier is all in the brush, said Melissa Silver, YSL celebrity makeup artist. “It is the combo of the molded spikes and spiral brush that completely coats the lash and maxes out the distribution,” said Silver. “The fine tip also allows you to precisely define the lashes at the inner corners, which the big brushes can’t get to.”

Cover Girl’s newest Lashblast Length Mascara uses an elasta-nylon formula to elongate lashes. “We talk to many women every year and many of them tell us time and time again that mascara is the most important tool in their makeup bag,” said Vince Hudson, marketing director. “Over 75 percent of women use mascara and on average, users wear it five days a week. The most interesting insight that we uncovered when speaking with women about why they feel mascara is so important is they feel it helps them look less tired. They want to look wide awake, even when their body isn’t.”

Another mascara launch will be L’Oréal’s Telescopic Explosion Mascara, available in November, which will feature the first spherical brush to reach mass retail.

Anne Talley, senior vice president, marketing for L’Oréal Paris, said: “The brush is designed so that it can reach every little lash, even the tiny ones in the corners of the eyes for a lengthened, fanned-out effect.”

Laura Mercier’s bamboo and rice-bran enriched lash-plumping formula, and Bobbi Brown’s layerable Extreme Party Mascara, will also be available next month.

“Extreme Party Mascara is the first touch-up mascara, thanks to its breakthrough re-activation technology, which allows the formula to stay flexible between coats — even if they’re hours apart,” said Gabrielle Nevin, executive director of Global Product Development. “Each coat bonds to the last and lashes stay separated, so you can build virtually endless volume.” Bobbi Brown puts the mascara’s appeal simply as, “What woman doesn’t want thicker, fuller lashes?”

Also in November, Indie brand Beauty Society will introduce its lash-growing Enormous Mascara, while Chantecaille’s October offering, Faux Cils Mascara, promises a false-lash effect. “Even a woman who claims to wear no make-up actually carries a tube of mascara in their purse,” said Beauty Society founder Jeannie Lorin. “With budgets tightening, women need to rely on products that have a dual purpose. Enormous Mascara doesn’t dry out, lasts longer than most and creates the appearance of long, beautiful lashes while the conditioners actually turn your own into enormous lashes.”

For holiday makeup collections, mascaras are featuring limited edition shimmering formulas, found in Clarins’ Sparkling Wonder Volume Mascara and Estée Lauder’s golden TurboLash All Effects Motion Mascara.

“During the holiday season, women want to look glamorous and try colors they don’t normally wear,” said Jenny D’Adamo, senior marketing director for Clarins. “The sparkle is subtle enough that even women who tend to use a traditional black mascara can wear it. Makeup trends are constantly changing from season to season. Limited edition mascaras are an easy way for women to experiment with new colors, shades and trends.”

Kits with smaller-size offerings like Sephora’s Lash Stash Favorites Kit, or tested classics, found in Clinique’s Lash Impact set, are also popping up on beauty counters.

“We know mascara is a loyalty product and it is one of the most essential daily makeup items that women use,” said Claudia Lloreda, vice president of Clinique Global Makeup Marketing. “The Lash Impact set gives her the perfect opportunity to expand her current mascara wardrobe and find her new favorites.”

“The Sephora Favorites Lashstash Mascara Deluxe Sampler is a great way to introduce yourself to 10 different mascaras and find which one is right for you,” said Gilbert Soliz, Sephora Pro Beauty Team Lead Artist. “It also makes the perfect present for the holidays because you can gift several luxury brand mascaras, with the best and most innovative formulas and wands, in one box. The sampler kit is also great for travel.”

Roncal Launches Fragrance

Mally Roncal, the celebrity makeup artist whose eponymous brand is expected to ring up $20 million in sales this year, is introducing her first fragrance.

Called Mally’s Signature Fragrance, the scent is based around the sampaguita flower from Roncal’s native Philippines and also features notes of mandarin, jasmine and pink peony. The formula was developed by Givaudan.

“The idea to move into fragrance came from our customers, who are always asking me what I wear” said Roncal, whose primary distribution channel is QVC and who makes frequent appearances doing makeovers on the “Today” show and “Rachael Ray.” “Every time I’m on TV, I get e-mails asking about what I’m wearing, what color nail polish I have on, who made my shoes. We started to entertain the idea of going into a lifestyle brand.”

The scent, priced at $65, will launch next week at Henri Bendel, Mally Beauty’s sole point of brick-and-mortar distribution, to be followed by QVC at the end of October.

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