By  on August 21, 2009

Fusion Beauty aspires to enlarge its lip-plumping presence and bolster its sexy science positioning with the September release of Infatuation Liquid Shine Multi-Action Lip Fattener, the Toronto-based brand’s first launch under the stewardship of its new chief executive officer.

“It is a big step,” said Caroline Pieper-Vogt, who assumed the ceo post in June after former ceo and founder Randi Shinder sold her minority stake to majority shareholder Eugene Melnyk. “The ability to come back again with a completely fresh technology and reinvigorate the entire lip-plumping category is important. It is very strategic for us to continue to really show our leadership there.”

Fusion Beauty planted its flag in the lip-plumping category four years ago with LipFusion and followed up with LipFusion XL, which senior vice president Roslyn Griner said is the number-one lip-plumping treatment at Sephora. Infatuation advances Fusion Beauty’s lip plumping by combining the marine filling spheres of previous products for instant plumping with so-called Amplifat technology derived from sea foam for lasting lip fullness and firmness.

“What we really wanted to do with Infatuation is bring a lip product that, unlike LipFusion, plumps lips for the long haul,” said Tammy Yaiser, director of product development for Fusion Beauty. “We found the technology and what it does is that it helps your body increase fatty acid promotion and storage. It takes about 28 days.”

Due to the tough economy, Fusion Beauty opted to price Infatuation at $29 for 5 grams, compared with LipFusion’s price of $36 for 8 grams. There are 17 shades of LipFusion, but Infatuation will start with six shades in lacquer with more intense color than LipFusion’s sheers.

Infatuation will be sold at 1,000-plus doors, including Sephora, Ulta, Dillard’s and Beauty 360. Fusion Beauty is planning to build upon the Infatuation franchise with lipstick and skin care items possibly rolling out in the spring.

Fusion Beauty wouldn’t discuss sales projections for Infatuation, but industry sources estimate it could generate $3 million in first-year sales.

To support the product, advertising will break in October magazines that Griner described as “pushing the envelope” to highlight Fusion Beauty’s cutting-edge technological approach.

Currently, the lip category constitutes 50 percent of Fusion Beauty’s sales, but Griner ultimately is aiming for lip to account for 30 percent, eye for 30 percent, skin care for 30 percent and the remainder in other segments. “I hope that it will be more diversified,” said Griner. “It is a long-range goal. I am very happy to have such a dominant role in the lip category. It is not something that I want to go away.”

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