Yves Saint Laurent Launches Baby Doll Mascara

Due out starting later this month, the new product is prized for producing a false-lash effect.

PARIS — Hedi Slimane paraded baby-doll dresses on the Saint Laurent runway earlier this month. And now comes a mascara called Baby Doll, the latest addition to Yves Saint Laurent Beauté’s strong Mascara Volume Effet Faux Cils franchise.

This story first appeared in the March 15, 2013 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Due out starting later this month, the new product is prized for producing a false-lash effect.

Its formula — which has two patents — was inspired by graphene, a carbon crystal with a honeycomb structure, explained Stephan Bezy, international general manager of Yves Saint Laurent Beauté at L’Oréal, adding: “The way it’s disbursed is ultrathin, ultraresistant and ultrabendable, as well.”

Bezy said for the formulation the L’Oréal laboratories combined a new generation of exclusive polymers, a texturizing agent and soft waxes, allowing for lengthening and curling effects.

“It mimics this graphene structure, so the way the molecules are layered and combined with each other creates a super-extra-thin film,” he continued. “What’s interesting is that the polymers are transparent, so they allow a perfect dispersion of the pigment. It creates a very even, homogenous color film.”

The mascara “is very buildable, but in a very clean way,” said Bezy.

Baby Doll’s elastomer brush also boasts two patents. The wand alternates thick and wide-spaced bristles with finer, more closely spaced bristles to deposit color and define lashes.

Cara Delevingne (wearing Saint Laurent by Hedi Slimane) appears in the single- and double-page advertising for Baby Doll photographed by Terry Richardson.

At launch, the mascara will come in black, blue, brown and violet.

“We decided we wanted to create a Baby Doll attitude,” said Bezy. So the whole look involves a YSL Vernis à Lèvres and La Laque Couture in pink, plus six eyeliners, including two limited-edition versions, in pink and in gold.

While YSL executives would not discuss numbers, industry sources estimate the Baby Doll mascara will generate 15 million euros to 20 million euros, or $19.5 million to $26 million at current exchange, in first-year wholesale revenues worldwide.

The new mascara will be introduced in the U.S. on March 17 through yslbeautyus.com. On April 15, the entire line is to be available on that site and in Sephora in the U.S. On May 15, the collection will be available in other retailers countrywide.

The international rollout includes: France on April 29, the U.K. on May 22 and Germany on June 1 — when there will also be a general launch in Spain after an exclusive in Sephora there starting on May 27. Russia is due to get the line on June 1 and Italy in early June.

In the U.S., Baby Doll will be priced at $30, and in Europe it is to be 33 euros, or $42.90.

The Baby Doll name was first used by YSL for a fragrance in 1999.

The Mascara Volume Effet Faux Cils was introduced one year later. Among prestige mascaras, it ranks first in France, second in the U.K. and third in Italy, according to YSL executives. The line has subsequently been developed to include products such as Mascara Volume Effet Faux Cils Shocking.