By  on September 23, 2005

NEW YORK — Estée Lauder is giving a lift to its first luxury skin care brand.

In November, Re-Nutriv Ultimate Lift Serum will join the upscale Re-Nutriv line. The original line was established by founder Estée Lauder in 1958 with a cream that then sold for a hefty $110. The brand is keeping its flag firmly planted in luxury territory with the new serum — which carries a price tag of $200 for 1 oz. Distribution also will fit the lofty price point, with just 100 specialty store doors, including Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus, slated to have the brand. It also will be available on the Web site,

"Consumers trust the Re-Nutriv franchise," said Thia Breen, president, North America, for the Lauder brand, adding that it is Lauder's third-largest skin care franchise in North America. But it's not just for a more mature customer anymore, she stressed. "Younger consumers are turning to high-performance skin care products," Breen said. "This serum rounds out our offerings in the Re-Nutriv line."

The serum is intended to deliver lift, strength, clarity and smoothness to the skin, asserted Marjorie Lau, vice president of marketing, North America, for the Lauder brand.

It does that, said Dr. Daniel Maes, vice president of research and development for the Estée Lauder brand, with a proprietary cocktail of ingredients. Key amongst them is OGG1, a patent-pending technology intended to repair oxidative damage to the skin from exposure to the sun, particularly to UVA rays and the ozone.

"This process reactivates the skin's immunity against environmental damage, and by restoring the skin's immunity, we are providing boosted collagen production and reducing the premature degradation of collagen — and this results in lifting, because collagen keeps the skin together," said Maes. "In addition, the product provides clarity by reducing the contrast between age spots and normal skin by reducing the melanin. It's not traditional whitening technology — it's something that reduces the melanin concentrations in those spots. Also, the serum uses glucosamine technology to provide smoothing benefits."

Brightening is aided by a formula that includes micropowdered South Sea pearls, resveratrol, Japanese cypress extract and bio-fermented yeast, Maes added.And Lau believes the technology will be applicable to a wide range of ages. "This product is developed to be used by women of different ages," she explained. "It protects the skin, so it can be used by younger consumers to keep the skin in better condition longer. It also addresses the damaged skin of older women."

Advertising for the serum, which will break in December women's books including Vogue and Town & Country, features Elizabeth Hurley. The black-and-white spread was shot by Mario Testino.

"Elizabeth is the perfect representation of the luxurious Re-Nutriv lifestyle," said Aerin Lauder, senior vice president of global creative directions for Estée Lauder. "For this ad concept, we went back to the Re-Nutriv advertising heritage — black-and-white photography with a woman always in a luxurious beautiful environment. Black-and-white photography is a unique way of advertising today and we wanted to create a point of difference."

While none of the executives would comment on projected sales or advertising spending, industry sources estimated that the serum could do $5 million at retail in the U.S. and $50 million globally, and that about $750,000 would be spent on advertising and promotion in the U.S. About 100,000 samples will be distributed at launch.

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