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BareMinerals to Launch Solid Foundation

Set to debut in September, the product is a sea mineral-enriched formula designed to provide natural coverage and antiaging benefits.

BareMinerals Ready SPF 20 Foundation line and the Precision Face Brush.

Armed with a new tag line, “We Don’t Like Using the F-Word,” Bare Escentuals is looking to get consumers on solid ground with the introduction of its first pressed foundation.

This story first appeared in the August 3, 2012 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Launching in September, BareMinerals Ready SPF 20 Foundation is a solid sea mineral-enriched formula designed to provide natural coverage and antiaging benefits.

“Leslie [Blodgett, Bare Escentuals founder and executive chairman] has always been frustrated by using the word ‘foundation,’” said Elizabeth Lamont, vice president of marketing. “It can be cakey and clog pores. This doesn’t look or act like foundation. It’s makeup that acts like skin care.”

At play in the formula is a cold-pressed oil technology, which binds the powder without the aid of talc or fillers. The brand’s proprietary SeaNutrive Mineral Complex, a concentrated blend of algae and seaweed, as well as vitamins A, C and E, are included to enhance cell turnover and provide a healthy looking complexion. “Solid mineral [powders] are different than what [our consumer] is seeing in the marketplace,” said Lamont. “It looks like a powder but feels like a cream.”

In addition, a time-released moisturizing technology delivers mineral-encapsulated glycerin and humic acid throughout the day to hydrate skin. The product is “clinically proven to firm skin,” noted Lamont.

BareMinerals’ full breadth of 20 classic loose shades — from fair to warm deep — in original and matte variations, will be offered in the new Ready format, which has a “natural” finish. (Original imparts a “naturally luminous” effect, while Matte’s is “naturally matte.”)

“We listen to our customer first and foremost and she is very vocal,” said Lamont. “She asked for products that are convenient. She wants her product wherever she goes and solid form is preferred for portability.”

Although the company declined to share sales figures, industry sources believe the collection could generate $50 to $100 million at retail in its first year.

Coinciding with the launch will be the introduction of the Precision Face Brush, which will be offered in classic and retractable iterations ($28 and $22, respectively).

“The formula gives as much coverage as you like depending on which brush as you use,” said Lamont.

With a history of loose powder formulas, BareMinerals entered pressed-powder territory with the launch of Ready Eyeshadow in September 2011. The company followed up with solid-form bronzers and blushes in March.

In order to market Ready Foundation, BareMinerals will launch a new ad campaign featuring its most recent catchphrase in October and November magazines. The brand has also partnered with Ulta to promote Ready, which will be featured in the retailer’s monthly “prestige magazine,” marking the first color cosmetics sample offered in its pages. Ready will also be highlighted in a Macy’s direct mailer (with a sample) as well as during Sephora’s October Hot Now promotion. “We plan to distribute four million samples throughout September to November,” said Lamont.

Also in October, Bare Escentuals boutiques will provide 50,000 customers “foundation fittings,” where they can be shade-matched and given a makeup application.

The product’s official debut will be on QVC on Aug. 15, with a follow-up show on Aug. 25, featuring Blodgett and a QVC-exclusive silver compact with matching brush.

“There is a certain energy and buzz that travels through the airwaves when Leslie comes on to explain her products,” said Lamont.

Come Sept. 1, Ready SPF 20 Foundation, $29, will be available at retailers like Sephora, Ulta, Macy’s, Dillard’s and Nordstrom, Bare Escentuals boutiques and bareminerals.com.

“This is our biggest launch ever and our partners are as [pleased] as we are,” said Lamont.