By  on July 24, 2009

Nars is looking to build a strong foundation business with its new Sheer Glow and Sheer Matte foundations.

“One of Francois’ [Nars] — and the brand’s — core beliefs is that beautiful makeup begins with beautiful skin,” said Louis Desazars, chief executive officer of Nars. “With this launch, we’re looking to increase market share and authority in the complexion category and round out our foundation offerings. We’ve also expanded our shade range to suit all skin tones, which was something we didn’t have before.”

The foundations are also designed to enhance skin’s radiance and texture, noted Barbara Calcagni, vice president of global marketing for Nars. “With repeated use, after four weeks, women will see a noticeable improvement in skin’s radiance and texture and will see skin tone appear more clarified and soft,” said Calcagni.

Sheer Glow, which imparts a satin finish, and Sheer Matte, which offers a matte finish, both contain a proprietary blend of vitamin C, amino acids, turmeric root extract and peptides.

Each of the formulas will be available in 20 shades, ranging from Siberia, a pale shade with pink and yellow undertones, to Khartoum, a dark brown with espresso undertones. Each will retail for $42.

The two foundations will be launched in August at Nordstrom, to be followed in September by a global rollout to all of the brand’s specialty doors, including Saks Fifth Avenue, Barneys New York and Neiman Marcus. The brand is currently in about 517 department and specialty store doors.

While Nars executives declined to discuss sales projections, industry sources estimated that Sheer Glow and Sheer Matte combined could do $6 million at retail in their first year on counter.

Also in August, Nars will introduce Larger Than Life Volumizing Mascara and Larger Than Life Lengthening Mascara, each $25. Both are exclusive to Sephora and Both feature vitamin E and macadamia nut oil, as well as deep pigments, said Calcagni. Each formula features a different brush, she explained: the volumizing formula has a square brush of honeycomb fibers, intended to facilitate maximum product pickup and apply a thick layer to lashes. The lengthening formula features a conical wand of high-tech fiber bristles, said to encourage lash separation and definition. Both formulas are water-resistant.

Sources estimate the two new mascaras could do $4 million at retail in their first year on counter. Sephora will have a two-month exclusive on the mascaras, with the brand’s remaining distribution to get the mascaras in October.

Also in October, Nars will launch Eyeliner Stylo, a liquid liner, on its Web site, The liner features a marker-type tip and dense pigmentation, and will be available in three shades, each $27. “This is a waterproof, quick-drying formula that doesn’t move,” said Calcagni. Industry sources estimated they would do $1.5 million at retail worldwide during their first year on counter.

Packaging for all of the new introductions was designed by Fabien Baron.

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