By  on August 3, 2007

Although mineral makeup already has a strong foothold in the mass beauty market, many cosmetics companies believe there's room for more entries. Retailers, however, will be the key to the category's growth, by committing to taking on additional lines and by merchandising minerals prominently.

The mineral trend was on full display at the Efficient Collaborative Retail Marketing's Cosmetics & Fragrance Efficient Program Planning Session, held at the Marco Island Marriott Beach Resort in Florida earlier this week, where E.L.F. Cosmetics, Mirage Cosmetics Inc., Prestige Cosmetics, Markwins International and NYC New York Color launched their mineral makeup collections. These brands are hopping on the mineral makeup bandwagon this fall and early next year, joining mass market mineral pioneer Physicians Formula, along with Neutrogena, Milani, Jane Cosmetics, L'Oréal, Cover Girl and IsaDora, who have since entered the movement.

According to Lisa Yarnell, president and chief executive officer of Jane Cosmetics, retailers are still interested in buying minerals. The company saw a niche market in value-priced mineral products, with items retailing at no more than $7. Since the company launched its mineral line Be Pure in January, its mineral business has expanded to include eye shadows, pencils, lip balms, loose and pressed foundations and blush. With the success, select stores have given Be Pure a third more space.

"We've been growing at an incremental speed," said Yarnell, who attributes sales to nonusers and nonmass shoppers.

Del Laboratories Inc.'s NYC brand also saw a need for value-priced mineral products.

In January, the company will introduce about 20 items for eyes and face. The NYC's Smooth Mineral collection will include pressed foundation, loose eye powder, pressed face powder with SPF 15 and loose finishing powder.

Also launching in January is Prestige Cosmetics' Skin Loving Minerals, an assortment of baked minerals that are talc-free, oil-free and fragrance-free. The new products are infused with vitamins A, E and C, designed to increase elasticity and improve the skin's overall texture. The line includes a loose powder, concealer powder, eye shadows, eye pencils, bronzing powder, cheek color and eye shadow shades in a baked formula. Items range from $4.95 for pressed eye shadow to $11.95 for bronzing powder. Prestige Cosmetics is currently sold in 46 countries and available in about 16,000 U.S. doors.Next spring, Markwins International will launch Beauty Benefits by Wet 'n' Wild, a mineral collection consisting of 95 items for eyes and face that contain treatment benefits.

"Although the cosmetics category is flat, the fastest-growing category is treatment products, and they're up 13 percent," said Christine Jacus LaPierre, Markwins' sales director, citing a recent ACNielsen report.

Made from lotus marine minerals, each Beauty Benefits product is designed to brighten the complexion, boost hydration by 25 percent and offer preventative and corrective benefits. The company wants to offer treatment cosmetics after research showing women want more mineral benefits. A two-foot planogram will display all the items in the collection, which retail from $4.99 to $9.99.

Known for its $1 beauty items, E.L.F. Cosmetics is also getting into the mineral makeup game this fall with the launch of Natural Mineral Makeup, a line of foundations, blush and bronzers. Now available in about 4,000 doors nationwide as well as in India, the Philippines, the U.K., Australia and South America, the line has experienced more than 300 percent growth over the last eight months, according to Joey Shamah, E.L.F.'s co-founder and ceo.

Mirage Cosmetics, known for its Sinful Colors line, also moved into the mineral market earlier this year with the launch of FreshMinerals. The ingredients in the collection are micronized and contain inorganic pigments. The talc-free, paraben-free and preservative-free line is noncomedogenic, offering anti-inflammatory benefits and UVB and UVA protection with SPF 20. With select items available in both pressed and loose powder form, the line includes powder, foundation, concealer, blush, eye shadow, lip gloss, lipstick, eyeliner and mascara. At $5 for eye shadow and $18 for a starter kit, FreshMinerals is sold in Duane Reade, Wegmans, Fred Meyer, Bed Bath & Beyond and Harmon stores.

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