By  on September 17, 2009

Clinique is reaching out to its traditional base of young consumers, and it is not waiting for teens to come knocking on the company’s door.

The division of the Estée Lauder Cos. Inc. has teamed up with Teen Vogue, which, like WWD, is part of Condé Nast Publications, to take a 10-city road tour in search of young fans. On Tuesday, Clinique president Lynne Greene and Teen Vogue editor in chief Amy Astley will gather in New York’s Union Square to kick off Clinique’s six-week Fresh Faces Tour. With them will be Taylor Momsen of “Gossip Girl.” What the company calls its “Mobile Beauty Studio” will be outfitted with makeup and hair stations, and a mini fashion studio complete with a photographer. A DJ will spin out music and products will be sold from an onboard boutique.

The mobile unit will be stopping at mostly college campuses — like Ohio State, Florida State and Texas A&M — where young women will get makeovers and have their pictures taken in the style of a fashion shoot. Customers can pick one of eight looks to use as a guide. They will be given their photos to take home or upload on their Facebook page. Their picture also will be uploaded to cliniquefreshfaces.com as part of a talent search. The tour is due to end on Nov. 6 in Los Angeles, and three of the young women will be picked to appear in a Teen Vogue onsert by Clinique. The winners will be brought to New York for three days, during which they will take part in a professional photo session, tour the Teen Vogue and Clinique offices and get an “externship” with the magazine.

The Clinique president, reached by phone in London where she was inspecting the brand’s new 880-square-foot counter at Selfridges, said the idea behind the tour was to appeal to the aspirations of teens and young women, many of whom dream of becoming a fashion model. For those ages 16 to 24, Greene added, there is “a confidence issue.” But to style their hair and give them a new makeup look, then photograph them like a fashion model — and put it all on Facebook — “is to get a small bit of the dream fulfilled.”

As an indication of what kind of reception Clinique will receive, 500 young women already uploaded their pictures to freshfaces.com after Clinique and Teen Vogue ran an announcement.

Greene acknowledged that the objective is for the brand to reaffirm its relationship with teens, who historically have made their first adult beauty purchases at the Clinique counter. Over time, competitors such as sister Lauder brand MAC Cosmetics and other indie players have vied for teen dollars.

“It is vitally important that Clinique continues to position itself and be relevant to the young consumer,” Greene said, adding that it was important for Clinique to make the effort and go to the consumer. “It was not a question of putting up a poster and they will come,” she noted.

Clinique also will use the tour as a springboard to launch its Twitter account.

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