By  on March 4, 2005

NEW YORK — Clinique’s new Colour Surge Impossibly Glossy may be its highest-shine lip gloss formula to date — but it is decidedly not tacky, the company insists.

“In fact, it’s almost impossibly nontacky for such a shiny gloss,” said Julie Howard, vice president of global makeup marketing for Clinique. Howard added that high-shine lip glosses are typically very viscous — resulting in hair-in-the-lip-gloss syndrome if there’s any wind in the vicinity of the wearer.

But because the brand has developed a very light formula with a proprietary blend of high-shine polymers and pearls, teamed with emollients and skin-conditioning ingredients, that’s not an issue with Impossibly Glossy, said Howard. “This is by far the sheerest, shiniest lip gloss that we have, and it’s in a tube with a slender, angled tip, which makes application very easy to control,” she said. “You can practically put this on with your eyes closed.”

Howard thinks that Impossibly Glossy is likely to appeal to a “slightly younger” consumer, although the age target is not radically different from the 18- to 35-year-olds who are the core group of Clinique’s users. She also said it could have a “halo effect” on Clinique’s largest lip gloss franchise, Glosswear. “I don’t think this will be cannibalistic,” she said, noting that the two will share a counter display unit. “They’re complementary, rather than impinging on each other’s territory.” Glosswear is sheer and shiny, but not quite as high-shine as Impossibly Glossy. 

Impossibly Glossy will be available in 12 shades ranging from very pale to darker — with names like Crushed Opal, Sugarplum and Cherry Apple — each retailing for $14.50. It launches in April in the brand’s 2,200 U.S. department and specialty store doors and at

While Howard wouldn’t comment on projected sales, industry sources estimated that the line could do $9 million to $10 million in its first year on counter, and that about $1.5 million would be spent on advertising and promotion.

Impossibly Glossy will be backed by a national print advertising campaign. The ads, which will be placed in both single- and double-page configurations, will begin appearing in April fashion, beauty and lifestyle magazines, including In Style, Marie Claire, Shape and People en Español. In-magazine color sampling is also in discussion, said Howard, although a final decision on its use has not yet been made. As well, significant in-store support — to include significant counter displays — is planned.

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