PARIS — When Make Up For Ever founder Dany Sanz launched her first eye shadows 30 years ago, they were a game-changer for professional makeup artists, offering an unprecedented palette of colors and effects.
For its 30th anniversary, the LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton-owned brand is relaunching its eye shadow offer with innovative new formulas developed after three years of research.
Artist Shadow, a collection using gel formulas in a palette of 210 shades and five textures, offers more intense colors that are easier to apply than previous products, especially for nonprofessionals, and to blend and superpose, the brand claims.
“The classic eye-shadow formula was limited in terms of development possibilities,” explained Make Up For Ever’s research and development director Richard Girousse.
The formula for the satiny, metallic, iridescent and diamond textures uses water-blend technology in which powders, pigments and new 3-D gel polymers are encapsulated before evaporation to create a homogenous gel powder, according to Girousse.
For the matte versions, with up to 88 percent pigments, nylon powder makes the formula easy to apply and layer, while zinc oxide and talc ensure optimal staying power, according to the brand.
Sanz, who still plays an integral role in product development, reminisced about the brand’s beginnings at an event here earlier in April to introduce the new line as well as a revamped visual identity focusing on body art, another of Make Up For Ever’s specialties.
Sanz was working as a set designer in the theater in the early Eighties when asked to create makeup looks by the artists, and followed by setting up a school.
“At the time, there were very few products available for professionals,” she explained. “The products available were very staid. I needed to create different effects, and my students did, too. I started creating products in my kitchen.”
Sanz approached a handful of laboratories and was helped out financially by her students, who believed there was a market for her products.
Make Up For Ever’s first eye shadows — launched a month after she opened her first Paris boutique in 1984 — were hand-pressed by her father.
“The eye shadows were a major game-changer,” Sanz said. “I created a tray of 100 colors, from black to white; nothing like them existed on the market.”
The new line will hit global markets starting in September, each priced in Europe at 22 euros, or $30.36 at current exchange, and will replace the label’s existing eye shadow offer.
Eye shadow currently represents 4 percent of Make Up For Ever’s revenues, a figure the company hopes to increase to 8 percent during the launch period and stabilize at around 6 percent in the long term, explained Maia Darricarrere, the brand’s operational marketing manager for Europe.
Company executives declined to discuss sales figures, but industry sources estimate the label generated 2013 retail sales of between 290 million euros and 310 million euros, or $397.4 million and $427.8 million at average exchange.
The brand’s sales are expected to increase 11 percent this year.
Make Up For Ever executives confirmed it is the best-selling makeup brand in Sephora’s stores in Europe, the label’s second geographic market after the U.S.
The brand will also celebrate its birthday with a party during Paris Fashion Week in September.