BOLOGNA, Italy — From a Kim Kardashian vending machine that dispenses cosmetics products to two budget makeup lines — whose average price points range from 2 euros to 2.50 euros, or $2.55 to $3.19 at current exchange — this is the new face of Cosmoprof, which was once dominated by global brands.
One of the new merchandising wrinkles of the fair was the return in 2012 of the Extraordinary Gallery section, which offers niche brands, including some that are only a year old.
Among the cosmetics colors and tubes stood an imposing vending machine bearing the likenesses of the three Kardashian sisters with a touch screen that allows consumers to display different shades of makeup.
Nicole Ostoya, Boldface chief executive officer and co-founder, said this was the first time the machine had been shown. It was designed to hold 25 percent of the Khroma Kardashian color line, which is already distributed in 5,000 doors in the U.S.
“We are looking for distributors in Asian countries, to put the machine in strip malls, highly dense shopping areas and luxury hotels,” she said.
In cooperation with the Kardashian’s other licensees, Boldface plans to put a franchise fragrance on sale in the machine. Ostoya said they’re also thinking of including some other articles of branded clothing, such as ballet shoes.
She noted the Kardashian sisters have 30 million Twitter and Facebook followers and that Boldface is interested in exploring new ways for people to shop.
Not to be left out of the red-hot nail category, the Boldface product developers were marketing kits of decorative nail enamel, including textures and decals.
Ostoya said the kits, priced from $16 to $22, are designed to make nail decoration easier because she believes consumers are intimidated when they see the complex nail designs that are now driving the market.
“If you have to pick a fair, Cosmoprof is the one for us,” said Christina Oster-Daum, general manager of Cosnova Beauty, which produces the Essence and Catrice makeup brands targeting the teenage and 25-to-45-year-old demographic, respectively.
Cosnova was, in part, looking to widen its geographic reach to Scandinavia and the U.K. It currently sells its products in more than 60 countries, through over 20,000 sales points.
Essence is the top-ranked mass-market color line in volume units in 11 markets, including Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Croatia and Bosnia.
Among the Extraordinary Gallery’s first-timers was BeautyLab, a skin care brand for both the professional and retail channels.
“It’s beyond our expectations,” said Angela Wilken, U.K. senior sales director, of the show. BeautyLab has just been introduced to Poland, and its next product launch will be a cellular serum to reactivate and rejuvenate stem cells.
“There’s no other fair in Europe where you have so many international customers,” said Didier Arthaud, founder and ceo of 66-Degree 30 men’s organic skin care line, whose name refers to the angle of the tilt of the earth’s axis that produces the seasons.
The label, which was introduced in 2009, has a short line of multifunction products that range in price from 22 euros to 57 euros, or $28.10 to $72.80 at current exchange. It is sold in France at Galeries Lafayette and through Web sites. Arthaud said he was looking for further distribution in India, Russia and Scandinavia.
Meanwhile, Amhnesia Parfum and Acqua Classica di Napoli — two niche fragrance brands from Naples — were hoping to expand abroad.
Another homegrown Italian brand at Cosmoprof for the first time was Arangara, whose product ingredients are culled from an organic farm in Calabria. Its collection includes shower gel, body scrub and lotion plus fragrances. The company is also working on an amenities line for hotels and face products made with olive oil.
From the U.K. was Nanogen, a specialist in hair regrowth with both retail and professional lines. Its bestseller is a camouflage product using keratin hair fibers. A 15-gram container sells domestically for 18.95 pounds, or $24.20, while a 30-gram bottle goes for 29.95 pounds, or $38.25.
Nanogen was at Cosmoprof to burnish its cosmetics image and try to attract salon buyers, according to Jaime Ayres, the company’s account manager.
Tokyomilk, a four-year-old brand by Denver-based Margot Elena, was displaying its toiletries line with prices ranging from 12 pounds, or $18.15, for a lip balm to 45 pounds, or $68, for a body butter. In Europe, it’s retailed in Italy’s La Rinascente department store and through some Web sites.
“We’re creating more awareness for the brand,” said Jane Wild, managing director of The Renovation Store, Tokyomilk’s distributor in European countries such as the U.K., France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Austria.
For its part, Cazcarra got started by teaching before getting into the business of selling color cosmetics. Incubated in a Barcelona-based makeup school, the 15-year-old brand issues some two collections per year and is distributed in Spain, Italy, Germany, London, Cyprus and Moscow.
Father and daughter Victor and Bárbara Alfaro said they were looking for distributors in North and Latin America and in India. Mari Carmen Cazcarra, Victor Alfaro’s wife, was the original founder of the Cazcarra beauty school.
“We have a distributor in Iran, and we are going to Beauty World in Dubai in May because we want to start in Arabia,” said Bárbara Alfaro.