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Editor’s Letter: Power Steering

Maybelline has solidified its leadership in the eye category, all while building its face, lip and, now, nail businesses.

Estée Lauder’s Night Repair was the first beauty ad to feature a sleeping model.
Appeared In
Special Issue
Beauty Inc issue 03/09/2012

Mascara has always been the magic wand for Maybelline New York, but recently, the brand has proven itself extraordinarily adept at achieving success in a host of key categories. The number-one makeup brand in the world, with global retail sales of $3.8 billion according to Euromonitor, Maybelline has solidified its leadership in the eye category, all while building its face, lip and, now, nail businesses. Big? Yes. Safe? Most decidedly not—making the brand the ideal choice to feature in this, our second Power issue of WWD Beauty Inc. Led by two dynamic executives—Damien Bertrand, the global brand president, and David Greenberg, the U.S. president who also oversees the Garnier and Essie businesses—the L’Oréal-owned behemoth is positioning itself as a trendsetting leader intent on bringing the latest in makeup from the catwalk to the sidewalk. As Pete Born writes in “Master Minds,” “All of that energy has electrified the brand.”

The six innovators in “The Aha Moment” understand how to generate power, as well. Each is the brains behind an iconic beauty creation, something that not only became a perennial bestseller, but which spawned an entirely new category of products, to boot. I wanted to discover the genesis of such items as Frizz-Ease, Night Repair and Touche Éclat, among others, so I went straight to the creators to find out. I think you’ll agree that their stories are as amazing as they are inspirational, and their insights especially relevant today.

No doubt that the mass skin care market could use an inspiring hit of innovation to jolt it out of the doldrums. While sales in prestige treatment soared last year, up 14 percent, the mass market lagged behind with only 3 percent growth. WWD’s beauty financial editor Molly Prior spoke to marketers, retailers and some industry analysts to get their prescription for fixing the ails of this essential category.

Gina Boswell, the executive vice president of personal care at Unilever, is certainly doing her part to reenergize the mass skin care business with one of the biggest launches of the year: Simple, the number-one skin care line in the U.K. based on unit sales, launched in the U.S. in January, and looks to do for sensitive skin what Clinique’s Even Better Clinical Skin Tone Corrector has done for dark spots. In “Master Class,” Boswell describes the strategy behind the launch as part of an in-depth look at her professional assessment of the beauty industry and her personal management style. An experienced executive who has worked at Estée Lauder, Avon and Alberto Culver since graduating from Yale, Boswell has a fascinating perspective on what will drive the industry’s growth going forward. As we prepare for the upcoming WWD Beauty CEO Summit in May, I’d love to hear what you think the industry most needs to pay attention to in the year ahead. E-mail me at jenny_fine@fairchildfashion.com and let me know.