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Prescriptives’ Double Play

NEW YORK -- When Prescriptives launched its All Skins program in 1991, it doubled its foundation business. Now the company is hoping for a repeat performance when it begins a second revamping.<BR><BR>In April, Prescriptives' three Exact Makeup...

NEW YORK — When Prescriptives launched its All Skins program in 1991, it doubled its foundation business. Now the company is hoping for a repeat performance when it begins a second revamping.

In April, Prescriptives’ three Exact Makeup foundation lines, called Makeups 1, 2 and 3, will be replaced with new formulas.

The strategy is expected to double foundation volume within the next two years, according to James Bunn, vice president and general manager. Sources estimate this would mean reaching $50 million at wholesale.

Before All Skins, when the company vastly expanded its shade range to match most people’s skin tones, foundations comprised only 12 percent of company sales, according to sources. But after the launch, sales grew quickly, generating roughly 25 percent of the company’s estimated $100 million wholesale volume last year, sources said.

“Since our foundation sales are already strong, it would seem like we had already fully developed our business,” said Bunn, who declined to comment on the figures. “But we feel that in order to maintain our number four position in department stores, we have to constantly strive to not only outperform our competitors, but to outperform ourselves.”

In April, the company will introduce its new version of Makeup 2, called Makeup +. The new Makeup 1, which has not yet been named, and Makeup 3, called 100% Oil Free, will follow in June.

Makeup + will be aimed at women over 35 who want medium-to-complete coverage. The item’s new formula contains silicon encapsulated novaspheres, which the company maintains provide all-day moisturizing benefits. It also has a low-level sunscreen, free radical protection and light diffusing properties.

A 1-oz.jar will sell for $28.50, the price of all Prescriptives’s foundations for the last several years.

“We thought we’d start with this age group since the median age of the American woman is 37,” said Sylvie Chantecaille, senior executive of creative marketing. “We also don’t have anything in the line with all of these qualities. We think that foundations with treatment properties are the real news of the category.”

The new Makeup 1 will be an extremely light coverage, water-based formula for women who want a “no-makeup” look. The 100% Oil Free product will be a matte, long-wearing and oil-free formulation with SPF 15.

All three foundations will be available in 38 shades, with a full range of cool and warm intensities and pale and deep skin tones.

According to sources, Prescriptives will spend between $2 million and $5 million to advertise the new items. Radio advertising will begin in April, followed by an extensive sampling campaign.

“We will be distributing far in excess of a million samples,” Bunn said, noting this will be the company’s biggest sampling effort to date.