By  on April 17, 2009

Makeup artist Laura Geller, best known for products called Spackle makeup primer and Caulk concealer, is banking on bricks-and-mortar to fuel a planned growth spurt this year.

Geller, a fixture on QVC’s airwaves, continues to expand the retail presence of her eponymous cosmetics range, Laura Geller Ingenuity — identifiable by its signature red lips logo — by setting up shop in CVS Pharmacy’s upscale Beauty 360 concept and in additional Macy’s and Sephora doors.

The brand’s expanded retail footprint, upcoming product introductions and spring debut on QVC Germany (it already airs in the U.S. and U.K.) is expected to drive sales of the $60 million brand up by 20 percent this year, said the makeup artist.

Geller also is priming her own retail concept for expansion. Last summer, she renovated the Laura Geller Makeup Studios, a store on the Upper East Side that she first opened in 1993. The refreshed space retains it former layout of a center display island and three private makeup alcoves, but the white, red and black interior now showcases a more airy design — with open counters, shelves and windows. A 52-inch flat-screen TV hangs over the checkout counter, telecasting Geller’s live appearances on QVC.

“It could be a vision,” for future outposts, Geller acknowledged. “We had a branded look at Macy’s, at Beauty 360 and at Sephora, but not here,” said Geller standing in her 1,100-square-foot studio, located at 1044 Lexington Ave.

In addition to her studio, the brand is carried at CVS’ two Beauty 360 outposts (Geller said she anticipates CVS may open at least 30 more units this year), in 18 Macy’s doors and is expected to expand to 170 Sephora stores by year’s end. Laura Geller Ingenuity will end the year in 220 retail doors, up from 170 last year.

When Geller is not on air, she splits her time between her store and her midtown office, where product development takes place.

“After standing behind a makeup chair for 25 years, I understand women’s frustrations with makeup. That is why product development is so easy for me,” said Geller.

Her proximity to her clientele has informed her most recent product introductions, as well, including the $21 Angle Eyes Waterproof Precision Liner with a bendable fiber tip, designed for easier, smudge-free application; the $25 Baked To Go, a portable version of Geller’s number-one selling foundation Balance-n-Brighten housed in a spring-fed cylindrical case with a built-in sponge; and the $29 Spackle Tint & Glow, a twist of another best seller, the oil-free primer called Spackle.

In its lid, the portable version contains two skin highlighters in Icy (white) and Rosy (pink). Other new additions include Baked Lip Color & Gloss Palette for $29.50, Wrinkle Paver Pen for $24, Baby Cakes Baked Complexion Palette for $39 and Full Figured Mascara for $23.50.

“I’m an affordable luxury,” said Geller, referring to the line’s price points. As for what her Upper East Side clientele cannot live without, even in a downturn, Geller says, “Red lipstick.” Lipstick sales, her sales associates report, are up dramatically.

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