NEW YORK--After concentrating on high tech skin care launches in the last two years, La Prairie is out to give its color cosmetics a boost. As a first step, the company is now shipping two new lipstick formulas to its 250-door department and specialty store distribution. The formulas, Sheer and Moisturizing, will fall under La Prairie Cellular Treatment Lip Colour brand, which previously included Lasting and Matte categories. The company will market 30 shades at $25 apiece. "Most people consider our expertise to be in skin care," said Lynne Florio, La Prairie's U.S. president. The company launched the alpha-hydroxy acid-based Age Management Intensives last October as additions to the original Age Management face products: Serum, Cream and Balancer. "Now we want to make color exciting as well," Florio added. A print campaign for the new lipsticks, to begin in May, will mark the first time La Prairie has advertised its color products. The company will divvy out samples in stores and will roll out a new counter display that will allow customers to sample products on their own. "Color is going to be 15 percent of the business [this year]," Florio said. "Last year it was 10 percent of our total." She would not divulge sales figures. But according to industry estimates, La Prairie could reach the $50 million mark in retail sales this year in the U.S., which would make the company's color cosmetics worth around $7.5 million at retail. "It's easier to start with skin care and get consumer trust that way," Florio noted. "Now we want to transfer that trust to color."
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