By  on May 1, 2009

Revlon Inc. is looking to plump up its product portfolio in the second half with the launch of a new mascara franchise, Revlon DoubleTwist, and the introduction of two makeup items to its ColorStay Minerals collection. The company will also layer on fresh products to its Almay Pure Blends and Smart Shade assortments.

Launching this month at food, drug and mass chains, Revlon’s DoubleTwist mascara features a 2-in-1 brush that combines traditional bristles with a molded brush. Designed to thicken and volumize lashes with spherical “swelling” polymers, DoubleTwist will sell for $8.99.

“We felt there was a need in the market for the DoubleTwist technology,” said Annette Falso, Revlon’s vice president of product development. “Until now the trend has been the molded brush — but that doesn’t give volume.”

Jessica Alba, whom Revlon signed as a spokesperson in April 2007, will be the face of the new line in a print and TV campaign running later this month.

“There’s always room for a new mascara,” said beauty industry consultant Allan Mottus. “[This] is not like the vibrating ones from Lancôme and some of the other brands, but the pricing is right and Revlon is pretty product savvy — they wouldn’t be introducing something that was the same old, same old.”

Mascara has provided a recent bright spot in the beauty segment for some mass retail chains. At an April Cosmetic Executive Women panel in New York, CVS Pharmacy’s vice president of beauty, Cheryl Mahoney, noted, “We have been selling lots of mascara.”

Within the Almay portfolio, Revlon is introducing a mascara to its eco-friendly Pure Blends collection, a volumizing mascara made from 97.5 percent natural ingredients shipping in July for $6.99.

Also for the second half of the year is ColorStay Mineral Mousse Makeup. An extension of Revlon’s ColorStay Minerals collection, the new foundation is designed to deliver the benefits of mineral makeup in a lightweight, long-wearing mousse form, while offering a matte finish, for $13.99. Halle Berry will represent the new line in print advertising.

Mottus had mixed emotions about the Mousse launch.

“Revlon has the marketing muscle. If they get their message to consumer, and the consumer is interested in minerals, it’s certainly under a good brand name,” said Mottus. “But the mousse product has already been done in a few variations and $13.99 in this economy, for a drugstore brand, is still a lot of money.”

For the 52-week period ended March 22, Revlon facial cosmetics sales were up 10.64 percent to $217.7 million, according to Information Resources Inc. Sales of eye products were up 3.56 percent to $181 million and lip color sales were down 6.57 percent to $126.7 million. Sales data excludes sales at Wal-Mart.

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