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YSL Beaute Gives Lips the Treatment

NEW YORK -- Yves Saint Laurent Beaute's new lipstick is paying more than lip service to the practice of combining color cosmetics with treatment properties.<BR><BR>The new item, called Rouge Pur, is the division's first lip product to combine color...

NEW YORK — Yves Saint Laurent Beaute’s new lipstick is paying more than lip service to the practice of combining color cosmetics with treatment properties.

The new item, called Rouge Pur, is the division’s first lip product to combine color with lip protection. It will be launched April 15.

While she declined to discuss specific figures, Jane O’Connor, vice president of European Brands for Sanofi Beaute, projected that Rouge Pur will eventually comprise about 50 percent of YSL’s lipstick business.

“We definitely think Rouge Pur will do the lion’s share of our lipstick business, especially in its first year when we will be promoting it on our fall and winter color stories,” O’Connor said.

Industry sources estimated that the company’s existing lipstick lines — Classic, Intense and Sheer — represent about 32 percent of the company’s estimated $12.5 million color and makeup business, or around $4 million in wholesale volume. The company is expecting Rouge Pur to increase its lipstick business to at least 35 to 37 percent of the business, sources said.

The company will spend slightly less than $1 million to back the brand, sources said.

A print campaign will break in April magazines. The ad will continue to run throughout 1994 and beyond.

In addition to print advertising, YSL is planning to distribute 1,000 samples in each of its 125 beauty doors, for a total of 125,000, throughout 1994.

Rouge Pur will be available in 16 shades in four color families — red, pink, brown and orange — at $24.50 per tube.

Rouge Pur is said to moisturize and treat the lips, while giving them vibrant color. The lipsticks also contain an SPF 8 for added protection.

According to the company, lipsticks with treatment properties are usually less vibrant in color because the moisturizing ingredients are often coated onto the pigment. Sanofi executives claim, however, that in Rouge Pur the key ingredients are infused into the pigment, so the clarity of color is not diminished.

“Traditionally, our consumers like vibrant color,” O’Connor noted, “so it was important for us to offer a conditioning lipstick that didn’t compromise that.”