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Sheerly Clinique

<CS:BOLD>NEW YORK -- What the world needs now, according to Clinique, is sheer lipstick. And with its latest collection -- the first simultaneous global lip launch since parent Estee Lauder Cos.' corporate restructuring -- it plans to deliver....

NEW YORK — What the world needs now, according to Clinique, is sheer lipstick. And with its latest collection — the first simultaneous global lip launch since parent Estee Lauder Cos.’ corporate restructuring — it plans to deliver.

Moisture Sheer Lipstick, the new lip lineup, bows globally in April. The formula is a mix of heavy emollients and intense pigments, for a moisturizing lipstick with a sheer to moderate shiny finish, noted Arlette Palo, vice president of global makeup product development for Clinique. The lipstick is formulated with grapeseed oil, shea butter, antioxidants and SPF 15, said Palo, who added that the aim was to create a shiny finish with longevity.

This combination taps an unfilled niche in the Clinique lipstick lineup, said Julie Howard, vice president of marketing for makeup and hair care for Clinique, who expects Moisture Sheer to rocket to a third-place position in Clinique’s global lipstick sales. In the U.S., Clinique’s top two lipstick lines are Long Last Soft Shine Lipstick and Different Lipstick, while globally, the top two are Long Last Soft Shine and Moisture Surge Lipstick.

Moisture Sheer’s color palette was developed in a different way than previous Clinique lipstick collections, added Palo. “In the past, we’d aim for about 12 shades, ranging from light to dark, in specific color families,” she said. “This time, we developed about 50 shades and did intensive testing with women in the U.S., Europe and Asia, all with a wide range of skin tones and hair colors. We still have 12 lipstick shades, but they aren’t just the standard light red, medium red, dark red shades you might get with the other method.” The shade range includes violets, pinks, nudes and tawny hues. Two shades were added for the Asian market that won’t be available elsewhere: a true coral and a pale lavender-mauve.

The collection will be available in about 2,200 department and specialty store doors in the U.S., as well as in Clinique’s more than 80 global markets. Each shade, packaged in a silver slimline case with a pink color band, will retail for $13.50. While neither Howard nor Palo would comment on projected first-year sales or advertising spending, industry sources estimated that the lineup will do about $33 million at retail globally in its first year, and that about $6 million will be spent to promote it.

The marketing campaign will include print ads in a variety of fashion and beauty magazines, including Marie Claire, Elle, Cosmopolitan and Seventeen. The print advertising, which features a visual of the lipstick with sheer Jell-O cubes, will break in April. About three million samples will be distributed, as will about 750,000 handout cards and 1.4 million mailers. Customized tester units, counter cards and shopping bags will also be included, said Jane Mauksch, senior vice president and creative director for Clinique worldwide.