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Clarins Recasts Its Color Business

Clarins is retooling its color cosmetics line this spring in a plan aimed at capturing a greater share of the lucrative makeup market.

Clarins is retooling its color cosmetics line this spring in a plan aimed at capturing a greater share of the lucrative makeup market.

“This is an important moment in time for us,” said Caroline Pieper-Vogt, senior vice president of marketing for the Clarins brand in the U.S. “The new makeup collection is the most strategic of all time for us — to be a beauty authority, we need to be successful in makeup. We are changing the formulas, the colors and the packaging. We want to bring the strength we currently enjoy in skin care to the makeup market, and with this [new collection], we have found our voice.” That voice is intended to be fresh and fun, she emphasized.

On the formula front, particles have been micronized to lengthen their wear. The new color compacts are elliptical, a switch from the square compacts Clarins currently uses. At the base of the compacts, Clarins’ signature red has been made more translucent, while the formerly yellow-gold lids have been changed to white gold. For an extra touch of luxury, noted Pieper-Vogt, each of the compacts is also placed into a red suede sleeve.

In addition, Clarins will launch 20 stockkeeping units in color cosmetics, called Instant Light, and repackage and reformulate the present line, for a total of about 220 sku’s ranging in price from $19 to $37.50. The new products officially launch in March, although they will begin rolling into stores in January, said Pieper-Vogt.

Clarins does not break out sales projections and executives declined to speculate, but industry sources calculate that the 20 new sku’s could generate $4 million at retail in the first year on counter.

To promote the new line, Clarins has hired celebrity makeup artist Nick Barose, who will be the brand’s spokesperson beginning in January.

Barose’s first gig will be hosting a pre-Golden Globes event in Los Angeles for his celebrity clients. He also will promote the brand through TV appearances, editorial photo shoots and the Internet and will be a part of makeup artist education.

“I’ve been a huge fan of Clarins for years,” said Barose. “We have the same mentality — that makeup should be accessible to every woman and it should be fun. Also, Clarins is very strong in skin care, and that philosophy and technology is carried over into the makeup, which is rare. And the new makeup line is made up of beautiful, very blendable colors. You don’t need to be a makeup artist to know how to use them. They are very user-friendly.”

That’s also true of the shade range. “It’s targeted,” he said. “There aren’t a lot of weird colors that won’t be practical. I don’t need to see 30 blush colors when half of them aren’t flattering.”

As well, Clarins also plans a major promotional push behind the cosmetics collection. “This will be a major investment,” said Pieper-Vogt, adding that the campaign will include a new tester unit, new makeup information pieces and intensive education for sales consultants. In addition, more than 300,000 informational booklets will be distributed, as will sample cards with color seals. The new tester units will bow in January.

In the U.S., Clarins is available in about 1,250 department and specialty store doors. The brand, which has been selling online at Gloss.com for several years, plans to launch its own Web site, clarins.com, in February.