PARIS — Biotherm hopes to make waves with makeup.

This story first appeared in the July 12, 2002 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

The skin care brand, which bases its products on thermal spring water, plans to introduce Skin Loving Colors, a 217-unit color cosmetics line, this fall.

The move is meant to add color to the L’Oréal-owned brand’s business, which posted sales of $263.45 million in 2001, up 11 percent over the previous year. Industry sources estimate that the makeup line could ring up $49.5 million in wholesale volume in 2004, when a substantial part of its rollout will be complete.

“Biotherm has developed a lot in skin care, body care and men’s products, so makeup is a natural evolution from a business point of view,” said Jean-Marc Mansvelt, international marketing manager for Biotherm, noting that consumer demand also encouraged the brand to enter the makeup scene. “Secondly, it’s an opportunity to address a new clientele with the line’s very young and modern side, it gives the brand a trendy edge.”

“Our mission is to recruit young people to selective products and to be accessible in the world of selective perfumery,” added Valerie Chapoulaud, international development manager for the brand, adding that Biotherm’s target customer is aged between 20 and 35.

The positioning of the makeup line, in terms of pricing and product organization, is meant to make the line accessible to young people and women who don’t already use makeup, said Mansvelt. The products are meant to be easy to mix in order to give different cosmetic effects and foundations are classed by skin type to avoid confusion.

Mansvelt explained that the concept behind the line is a synthesis between skin care and color. Like the skin care line, makeup products contain pure extract of thermal plankton, trace elements and vitamins. They also feature UV filters.

“It’s a fusion of two different worlds,” said Mansvelt, who added that the sensorial aspect of the products was also an important element in the construction of the line.

“The sensorial aspect was not only important in terms of pleasure of touch and application, but also for ease of use. Even the most amateur user can be in control and create natural or sophisticated looks; it’s 100 percent mistake proof,” he said.

The line comprises three types of foundation — Sense for mixed skin types, Sense Comfort for dry skin and Sense Matte for oily skin.

The 40-shade collection of eye shadows is called Play On and includes a line of three loose sparkling powders, called Play On Free.

Smile, the lipstick range, comprises three subcategories: Smile Shine, a line of 22 high-shine colors; Smile Deep, eight long-lasting shades, and Smile Satin, 20 satin-finish lipsticks. The lineup also includes 10 lip glosses, called Glossy Shine.

The Open collection includes three shades of mascara.

Skin Loving Colors also includes seven shades of blush, a five-shade line of pressed powders, 18 shades of nail polish, three concealers and eye, lip and eyebrow pencils.

Prices range from $14.95 for a 3-gram eye shadow to $26.75 for a 12-gram pressed powder compact.

All prices have been converted from the euro at current exchange rates and are for Europe.

Skin Loving Colors was created in collaboration with makeup artist, Ellis Faas. While seasonal makeup looks are planned, they are unlikely to appear for about a year, Mansvelt said.

The line will be introduced first in Biotherm’s store in Hong Kong’s Festival Walk mall Aug. 28. France, Germany, Scandinavia, Spain and Portugal will get the line in late September, while a U.S. launch is expected in early 2003. Advertising for Skin Loving Colors, created by Publicis advertising agency, will break at launch.

“The advertising is intended to express the two strong dimensions of the brand — design, through the modern, trendy and very feminine packaging and the [sensorial aspect] of the formulae,” Mansvelt said.

While Biotherm executives would not reveal additional details, Mansvelt noted that the ads will not feature a model and text will highlight the skin care aspect of the line. The campaign will include single- and double-page ads, as well as gatefold spreads. A sampling campaign will include 5-ml. tubes of foundation.