By  on April 9, 2010

NEW YORK — Two big trends in beauty have been aerosol technology and mineral formulations. One company, Classified Cosmetics, is merging both and has big plans to ignite a growth spurt in the foundation category with its Aero Minerale makeup mist.

Classified Cosmetics founder and chief executive officer Yolanda Halston originally conceived the idea of an aerosol application in 1996, as she is a working makeup artist, to be used specifically for burned or injured skin. From there, she realized the benefits for everyone, especially to cover tattoos and skin discolorations. She patented her concept in 2001 and rolled out to prestige, boutique, spa and medical locations in 2002. The original product, which retails for $55 for 2.5 oz., is under the Era banner.

Now, Classified wants to expand its coverage with Aero Minerale, which the company believes is a perfect match for the mass market with its price tag of $14.99 for 1.5 oz. The item is already available on Drugstore.com and cvs.com, and at USA Drug, Fruth, Meijer and Duane Reade. Halston hopes Classified’s Aero Minerale, which is in 550 doors now, will achieve distribution of more than 10,000 doors by the end of 2011.

Realizing that minerals have created a buzz in beauty, Halston tapped her aerosol delivery system to reduce the potential for contamination presented by mineral application. “Minerals can be a vicious cycle. You put the brush on your face, and often you are trying to hide a breakout, but then you put the brush back into the minerals,” said Halston, who explained the spray eliminates that problem. In addition to eliminating contamination, Halston said the combination of vitamins in the formula helps produce healthier skin.

The lineup includes a Hydrating Mineral Primer, Hydrating Mineral Foundation, Hydrating Mineral Bronzer and Hydrating Mineral Shimmer. There are 10 shades of foundation, which Halston said accommodate a wide range of skin tones. “The colors match from a Cate Blanchett to Whoopi Goldberg,” said Halston. To help women who won’t find a beauty consultant to consult with them on a shade, the Aero Minerale Web site has a program where consumers simply insert the brand and shade they wear now, and they’ll get a matching color to buy within the Aero Minerale range. There are also tools available at point of sale that women can use to match their skin tones and the result of the spray. A lenticular sign illustrates the difference the spray can make on a woman’s skin — the skin goes from freckled to flawless as the shoppers look at the header graphics.

Halston also has been spreading the word via personal appearance on TV morning shows and local radio during a new retail rollout. When Fruth added the line, for example, Halston performed in-store makeovers where she could demonstrate the advantages of spraying. “What is really great is that this stays on even through swimming,” said Halston, who has experience in the TV and film world where she has frequently used the products. “It comes off with a cleanser.”

While at first blush, the target age might skew younger, she said mature women like the technology because “the foundation doesn’t settle in wrinkles.”

With Aero Minerale as the start, Halston has big plans for other products for the mass market, including items for lips. “We have so many more concepts of products with unique delivery,” she said.

Aerosol foundations were also available from Sally Hansen’s Healing Beauty (last year, Coty, which acquired Sally Hansen owner Del Labs, paid $40,000 in sanctions to Classified for litigation misconduct in a patent infringement lawsuit), and Sephora offers the Temptu appliance system. Aerosols have made a huge impact in sales on everything from sun care to a new pancake mix. Halston hopes women will find the spray foundation to be a quick and easy application method.

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