NEW YORK — Chanel is adding a little shine to its lip color business this spring.

Aqualumière, the brand’s newest lipstick franchise, is intended to give lips shine, hydration and protection, noted Jean Hoehn Zimmerman, executive vice president of marketing and sales for fragrance and beauté for Chanel Inc.

“We see this formula as a bridge between gloss and lipstick,” she said, noting that the new lip lineup will be Chanel’s sheerest lipstick line. “It offers the high shine of a gloss, but the staying power of lipstick.”

Hoehn Zimmerman noted that Chanel’s lip category business is up 15 percent and its Glossimer lip gloss business is up 35 percent. “We feel like we’re building on several strengths with this new line,” she said.

The lipstick formula includes SPF 15, intended to protect against sun damage; shea butter, intended to moisturize, and a proprietary “volume booster,” which is intended to thicken the dermis and give lips a plumped-up look. The product contains vitamins B and E as well.

The Aqualumière assortment will comprise 15 shades, each named for an exotic locale — for instance, Portofino is a rich burgundy, Acapulco is a bright pink and Ipanema is a refined beige. Each shade will retail for $23.

The full lineup will be available in May in about 800 U.S. department and specialty stores, as well as online at gloss.com and sephora.com. It will launch internationally at the same time.

In the U.S., advertising breaks in May fashion, beauty and lifestyle magazines, including Allure, Elle, In Style, Jane and W. Advertising for the lipstick will include spreads at launch; single-page ads supporting the product will also be placed in national magazines during the second half of 2004, said Hoehn Zimmerman.

While Hoehn Zimmerman declined to comment on projected sales or advertising spending for Aqualumière, industry sources estimated that the collection would do upward of $5 million at retail in the U.S. in its first year at counter and that about $2 million would be spent on advertising and promotion this year.

— Julie Naughton

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