By  on May 3, 2012

PARIS — Call it le French touch.

Twenty years after introducing its blockbuster Touche Eclat Radiant Touch, Yves Saint Laurent is introducing a related foundation, called Le Teint Touche Eclat, starting in June.

The challenge was to “find the light of Touche Eclat in a foundation,” explained Stephan Bezy, international general manager of Yves Saint Laurent Beauté at L’Oréal. “It’s really linked to a technological innovation.”

Unlike traditional foundation formulas, which contain opaque powders that can make skin look dull, and mother-of-pearl pigments that may reflect light like mirrors, Le Teint contains neither, explained YSL executives. Rather, it has a “soft-focus gel” with a translucent texture said to smooth imperfections while ensuring skin’s color purity. There is also a “fluid light concentrate” with gold-colored pigments and supple lamella lying side-by-side to form a film that reflects — yet doesn’t modify — light.

The combination of the two creates a foundation with a texture that’s fluid, fine, fresh and comfortable (thanks to moisturizing agents), according to Bezy. Le Teint is also billed to give a natural-looking yet sophisticated, dewy and luminous complexion.

It took 10 years of research to conceive the product’s formula, which has three patents.

Terry Richardson photographed models Jourdan Dunn and Ginta Lapina for Le Teint’s print advertising, which will come in single and double pages. The duo stars in Touche Eclat’s campaign, as well.

The foundation line comes in 22 wide-ranging shades — from rosy to golden to natural beiges — developed by Lloyd Simmonds, YSL’s creative director for makeup.

Le Teint’s bottle design is meant to give a nod to Touche Eclat packaging.

Simmonds created a makeup brush for the foundation, which can also be applied with fingers.

Prices for the 30-ml. bottle of Le Teint is to be $55 in the U.S. and 42.60 euros, or $56 at current exchange, in France.

The foundation’s prelaunch will start on June 28 exclusively in Selfridges in London and Brown Thomas in Dublin. Then, from July 9, the U.K. rollout is to take place. The U.S. will begin selling the product at approximately the end of July, followed in August by France, Australia, Spain, Japan and Germany’s prelaunch. Slated for September are Benelux, Portugal, Italy and Hong Kong, while Russia is set for October.

“Our objective is to be in the top three worldwide with this product,” said Bezy, who would not discuss sales projections.

However, according to industry-source estimates, the new foundation will generate 15 million euros, or $19.7 million, in first-year wholesale revenues.

No doubt, the foundation’s name recognition will help spur sales. Two decades after its introduction, Touche Eclat — which is said to be sold every 10 seconds somewhere in the world — remains a bestseller.

“It is totally the leader in its category,” said Bezy. “It is a unique product, absolutely extraordinary.”

In the U.K., for instance, Touche Eclat ranks number one in the selective beauty market, all segments included. And the product places second in the foundation category in its home market of France.

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