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Dexter Phillip, a fashion and beauty entrepreneur, has been quietly targeting color.
This story first appeared in the August 7, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Last year, Dex New York, Phillip’s company, launched Dex Modern Minerals, a high-pigment cosmetic color line formulated with antiaging powder peptides and natural minerals.
“We want natural, not neutral,” said Phillip in explaining the bright makeup palette.
All powder items in the line use the Dex Peptide Complex, one that contains palmitoyl hexapeptide-14, which Dexter said is a “bioactive peptide” that stimulates collagen. Along with the complex, the cosmetics also contain ginkgo biloba for blood flow, ginseng for softness, SPF 8 and various vitamins and minerals.
Phillip, who lives in New York and was a fan of Manhattan’s Club Kid nightclub scene in the late Eighties and early Nineties, named all of the items in his line after places in the city, from the bright blue High Line eye shadow to the nude Bedford Avenue lipstick. The line consists of pressed and loose eye shadows, pressed and loose foundation, a pressed bronzer, blush and finishing powder, as well as cream eyeliners and lip glosses, among other items. Prices range from $16 for the lip gloss to $38 for the tinted moisturizer. Sold separately is a Beauty Portfolio, a foldable leather-bound notebook designed to hold a small makeup collection for the consumer.
“Every consumer wants to be an artist,” said Phillip. Beauty Portfolio will feature premade cosmetic palettes using Dex Modern Minerals that will help a consumer achieve a certain seasonal look designed by Phillip. For fall, he created Smokey and Silvery Eye, Bold 80s Look and Boldy Midnight Blue, which are priced at $121, $175 and $135, respectively. Dex Modern Minerals is available in select Maria Martin stores in the U.S. and at Pir in Canada, as well as online at dexnewyork.com and at Phillip’s salon, Dex New York, located at 224 West 30th Street. This spring, Dex entered six additional retailers and is expecting to have 35 retail partners by the end of the year.
The salon, which opened in December 2007, operates as a hair salon, makeup studio and photography space for freelance makeup artists and hairstylists. The space employs in-house photographers and has hosted shoots for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week and “The Tyra Banks Show,” Phillip said. Classes are also offered, including a basic makeup application course. Courses start at $425.
According to the firm’s chief financial officer, Daniel Padnos, cosmetic sales account for a larger share of Dex’s income this year and are expected to reach $500,000 with anticipated growth in 2010 to $1.3 million.