NEW YORK — Beverly Sassoon is no stranger to the beauty industry. After many years learning the ins and outs of hair care with former husband Vidal Sassoon, she is now preparing for her own entry into the beauty arena with the launch of a natural skin care line called VitaOrganics this fall.

"It was a personal thing," said Beverly Sassoon. "I was looking for something that would not irritate my skin and leave it itchy or blotchy. I had to create something that met my own needs."

Irritation, said Sassoon, plays a huge role in the aging process. "It weathers the skin," she said. "And while I can’t control the pollution my skin comes in contact with, I can control what products I put on."

The result of her efforts? A seven-item collection, with an emphasis on anti-aging, that features ingredients such as red clover, ginseng, horsetail extract, licorice, lemongrass, chamomile and echinacea — all culled from African, Asian and European plants.

"Its about letting your skin work naturally," she said.

VitaOrganics, which Sassoon developed alongside her son Elan, launched this month on and will be featured live on the ShopNBC network starting Sept. 18. "I like [direct sell] because it allows me to connect with the consumer," she said. "It allows you to be an educator."

The VitaOrganics line was originally sold in Target doors. According to Sassoon, it was pulled after a brief test run. "It was the wrong fit," she explained. "This is a line that needs to be explained."

And explain she will. On ShopNBC, Sassoon is scheduled for five hours of airtime within the first three days.According to Sassoon, ShopNBC has grown from $80 million in sales to $600 million to $700 million in sales within the last three years. "They reach 52 million homes, why wouldn’t you want that?" she said. Also, she said, "our demographics fit. And women who [buy from] ShopNBC are more willing to pay for branded products."

VitaOrganics will be featured in the ShopNBC program guide, in mailings to past and present ShopNBC consumers as well as on credit statement inserts to the entire ShopNBC customer base.In addition, the line will be featured in 30-second commercial spots that will air three to four weeks prior to the launch and in newspaper advertisements that will run in eight top U.S. markets.

The VitaOrganics line, geared toward women aged 35 to 55 years old, will launch with VitaOrganic Ultra-Gentle Cleanser, retailing for $29.50; VitaOrganic Detoxifying Toner for $29; VitaOrganic Ultra-Lite Moisturizer for $39.50; VitaDefense Age-Defying Moisturizer with SPF 15 for $39.50; VitaOrganic Eye Cream for $45; VitaOrganic Night Cream for $47, and VitaOrganic Skin Support Serum for $51. Additional products, such as a Botox cream, will follow.

Due to an agreement with former husband Vidal, Sassoon will refrain from making any product in the human hair category. But this won’t stop her from expanding into other areas of beauty. "This would be a nice launching pad for body [products]," she said. "I just want to establish credibility for the brand first."

While she declined to make an annual forecast, Sassoon did note that the company is prepared to sell $1.7 million worth of product within the first four days following the Sept. 18 debut. "Skin care lines [sold in a direct sell venue] can do in excess of $100 million per year," she said. "So the potential is there."

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