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Lauder’s Lipstick Library is Betting on Old Favorites

LONDON -- Estee Lauder is hoping some old lipsticks can generate new business.<BR><BR>The company's makeup counter in Selfridges has the largest collection of Lauder lipsticks in the world -- 150 shades -- but there's a twist. In addition to 75 new...

LONDON — Estee Lauder is hoping some old lipsticks can generate new business.

The company’s makeup counter in Selfridges has the largest collection of Lauder lipsticks in the world — 150 shades — but there’s a twist. In addition to 75 new colors, Lauder last fall added a “lipstick library” of 75 discontinued shades.

“It’s our largest collection of lipsticks anywhere,” said a Lauder spokeswoman.

Lauder introduced the concept at Selfridges because the store has the biggest beauty department in Europe and the widest variety of brands and products. The lipsticks are displayed in a curved counter that gives easy access to all 150 shades, the spokeswoman said. The counter is Lauder’s third in the store.

Hilary Dart, the perfumery buyer, said the the Lauder counter has been a hit since its installation in late September. The store sold 600 lipsticks from the library in the first two weeks.

“They’ve hit the nail on the head with it,” she stated. “Women are always searching for the perfect lipstick; it is our biggest single unit sale in the department. Estee Lauder understands the frustration of women finding a nice shade and then seeing it discontinued. Now they are recreating favorite lipsticks from 30 years ago.”

The store and Lauder chose the library lipsticks by researching which ones were bestsellers in their day and which shades have been most requested.

The aim now is to update and perhaps expand the library to include more historical shades, Dart said. The lipstick library isn’t the only unique aspect of Lauder’s new color story, which is promoted in Selfridges as the Colour Playground.