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NEW YORK — Like any auto painter knows, a good paint job requires a color base followed with a clear coat.

This story first appeared in the October 4, 2002 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Revlon has taken the same approach to nail polish. In its latest news from ColorStay, Revlon said it has created a two-step nail enamel that provides a 10-day wear. ColorStay Always On comes with a bottle of color and a bottle of sealant. Packaged together in a clear plastic box, a set is $5.99. Launching in January, Always On will be available in 15 shades. It is the first nail enamel for the ColorStay franchise.

“Always On locks color on nails and then seals it,” said Debra Leipman-Yale, executive vice president, Revlon Global. “It gives the fresh look of a manicure for up to 10 days, and it is unique because it protects from breakage and keeps nails strong.”

Dawn Alexander, senior product manager, product development at Revlon, explained that the formula is made from a liquid acrylic, which is more flexible and less sensitive to water. “Traditionally, top coats are prone to cracking. Ours is more flexible.” She added that Always On, “doesn’t damage the nail or discolor the nail.” The two components are designed to work together to maximize results. Revlon discourages their separate use.

Leipman-Yale said Always On adds another nail color option for women.

Revlon’s new management team, led by former Coca-Cola executive Jack Stahl, earlier this year announced that the company would refocus attention on and work to strengthen the ColorStay franchise. The move was an about-face from the previous management team.

Also new from ColorStay is Stay Natural foundation. The lightweight formula provides light-to-medium coverage with a natural finish and 16-hour wear. “No one has put those two things together,” Leipman-Yale remarked.

Stay Natural comes in 12 shades covering a range of skin tones. The formula is a porous polymer that allows air to flow in and out. Soft silicone spheres enable the makeup to blend easily, “for a fresh, natural finish,” Alexander said. Additionally, it contains a micronized form of titanium that prevents an ashy look in darker shades. Stay Natural also provides UVA and UVB protection. A bottle is $11.

While it continues to rank among the top three makeup brands, ColorStay foundation sales have been slipping. According to Information Resources Inc., retail sales of ColorStay makeup fell 21.9 percent to $30 million last year. IRI data excludes sales at Wal-Mart, which represents between 20 and 25 percent of Revlon’s business.

Leipman-Yale said she believes the new ColorStay Stay Natural foundation could rank among the top 10 foundation brands. To do that, it would have to achieve annual retail sales of about $20 million.In other ColorStay news, Overtime lip color will be extended in January with the addition of 12 shades.

Leipman-Yale said Revlon is focusing on regaining market share and reasserting its position as an industry leader. She said, in addition to the ColorStay news, the company plans to introduce new brands in the near future.