By  on May 6, 1994

NEW YORK -- Prescriptives has always taken pride in the shades of its lipsticks. Now it also wants to be known for what they do.

"We are planning to move from a quiet player in the lipstick category to a real force," said James Bunn, vice president and general manager of Prescriptives. "We have always touted our authority in color but never before in lip color formula."

To achieve this aim, the company is launching a new lipstick, called Extraordinary, with treatment properties. It contains sunscreens, free radical protection and moisturizers. In addition, the company claims that the brand's staying power clocks in at around nine hours, which is longer than usual.

Extraordinary, now rolling out now through June, will be available in 34 shades at $14.50 per tube.

Industry sources estimated that the introduction of Extraordinary and a new tester for all three of its lipstick brands would boost Prescriptives' business in the category by as much as 50 percent to a wholesale volume of around $15 million.

Extraordinary will join Prescriptives' two existing lipstick brands -- Classic and Matte. Prescriptives has reformulated the bulk of its lipstick shades, placing the emphasis on the Extraordinary line. Matte has been cut back from 14 shades to 12, while Classic has been reduced from 26 to 15. Some of the eliminated shades have been reformulated in the Extraordinary line.

"Consumers love the shades and the feel of Classic, but felt it didn't stay on long enough," said Sylvie Chantecaille, senior executive of creative marketing. "Matte lasted forever and had great shades but a lot of people found it to be drying."

"We know that Matte and Classic will always have their consumer," Bunn said. "But we are planning on Extraordinary being Prescriptives' basic lipstick. We think it will account for around two-thirds of our total lipstick sales."

If industry estimates are correct, that would come to some $10 million.

To differentiate it from the company's existing brands, Extraordinary will be packaged in a new case of brushed aluminum with an improved swivel mechanism for greater ease of application.

Matte and Classic are in pewterized gray tubes.The new vertical tester will organize all 61 lipstick shades, according to Prescriptives' four color families. Within each family, the shades will be arranged from lightest to darkest in three groupings: neutrals, brights and deeps. A key at the bottom will help consumers select the appropriate formula. There is also a drawer to house the company's 17 lip pencils and five of its eight lip glosses.

Previously, there was not one major lipstick presence on the counter. Instead there were two horizontal displays that held 14 Matte lipsticks each. The Classic shades were grouped together in a separate tester with eye and cheek colors.

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