By  on January 30, 2009

Bulgari, which entered the skin care arena with the October 2007 introduction in Italy of an innovative treatment collection, is bringing the high-end assortment to the U.S. this spring.

The jeweler is poised to launch at 12 Neiman Marcus doors in March — then in April at Bergdorf Goodman — the collection of 15 precious gem-infused skin care items, which are divided into three ranges: Precieuse, Lumiere and Cleansing.

The entire collection contains what Bulgari calls Gem Essence. This means sapphires, tourmaline, malachite and citrine have either been liquefied or rendered into a micronized powder and imparted into the products — without chemical solvents remaining in the formulations.


The gemstones were researched for safety (i.e. no heavy metals) and efficacy by Swiss dermatologists, pharmacists and other skin experts. The stones are used in different concentrations to yield intended benefits, like skin protection and increased radiance, according to Laurence Laubreaux Roberty, who has a Ph.D. in pharmacy and is senior director of skin care for Bulgari.

“Every product was developed by dermatologists with the latest ingredients,” she said, “and innovation, safety and quality.” The gems purportedly increase circulation in the skin, she added; supply copper, zinc, silicone and magnesium for an antioxidant effect, and block out external agents that can result in free-radical damage.

Since the initial fall 2007 introduction, the Bulgari skin care business has been “on plan,” noted Laubreaux Roberty. She said that worldwide the collection is carried in about 250 doors in Italy, Spain, France, Switzerland and Asia and that the strategy is to “be very selective [in terms of distribution] in each country.”

Industry sources had projected that within the first year of the initial launch, the line could generate sales of $4 million.

In its first year in the U.S., the line could generate close to $3 million, according to sources’ estimates.

The Precieuse line, said Laubreaux Roberty, is an antiaging range whose seven formulas use a Polypeptide 3 complex intended to “directly activate” within three days the skin’s fibroblasts, which produce collagen and elastin.

“The Precieuse line is the most expensive of the three Bulgari Skincare lines,” said Laubreaux Roberty, “and includes the highest concentration of Polypeptide 3 and Gem Essence.”

Precieuse features the Intensive Regenerating Concentrate serum; two Regenerating Day Creams; a night cream; Regenerating Mask, Eye Contour Cream, and a wrinkle-filler. The 50-ml. creams are priced at $280 each, while the serum, 30 ml., will cost $320.

Purportedly, Precieuse trials showed the appearance of wrinkles was reduced by 58 percent within a month, according to a survey of 1,500 test subjects, and that firmness of the neck and face was reportedly increased by 63 percent.

Lumiere includes a serum, called Revitalizing Concentrate, an emulsion and a cream; the latter is priced at $120 for 50 ml. Studies on the serum indicated brightness of the skin increased by 72.5 percent within 29 days and redness decreased by 65 percent.

The Cleansing line features a cleansing milk, cream and foam, as well as an eye makeup remover and a toning lotion. Prices range from $50 to $75 and all cleansers are 125 ml.

Details of a sampling campaign to support the introduction have yet to be finalized.

A fourth Bulgari Skincare range, as well as products to fill out the existing ranges, is slated for as early as this fall, noted Laubreaux Roberty. She added that while there are no immediate plans for color cosmetics — and that skin care will be a slow build with beauty advisers in specialty stores — “color would be logical.”

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