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UNIONDALE, N.Y. — Look up, color brands — there is a new face coming to the cosmetics wall this spring.
Del Laboratories, one of the fastest-growing mass cosmetics firms, is taking its Sally Hansen brand into face and color products, with a 106-stockkeeping-unit collection that emphasizes a healthy approach to beauty.
Sally Hansen Healing Beauty, to debut in three- and four-foot displays this spring, is expected to land in 20,000 doors by yearend. Sources predict the line could generate first-year retail sales of $100 million. Products start shipping in January.
This effort by Del is one of the biggest color brand stories since the simultaneous introduction of Neutrogena and Olay in 1999. The industry was stronger then, posting 9 to 10 percent annual growth, and competitors fought back with beefed-up advertising budgets. Olay did not survive. Neutrogena remains, but has still not developed a strong presence.
William McMenemy, executive vice president, marketing of Del Labs, said that retailers are now looking for something new. “The timing is very fortuitous,” said McMenemy. “If you innovate in a difficult era, you can succeed. We are having one of the best years we’ve ever had.”
In 2001, Del’s wholesale beauty sales rose 14 percent to $262 million, and growth has been continuing in the double digits so far this year. Industrywide, cosmetics sales are inching up in the low single digits.
Del has been seizing openings in the market. When AM Cosmetics was having financial trouble, weakening its Wet ‘n’ Wild brand in 1999, Del was there with the launch of NYC New York Color. And with a flurry of product launches like Chrome Nail Makeup, it has surpassed the struggling Revlon brand in nail color sales. It has also expanded into hand care and foot care.
Healing Beauty has been under development for about a year, but the idea came much earlier. Del acquired Corn Silk, a face brand for oily skin in 1998, as the wedge to enter the face market and a launchpad for future development, said McMenemy. Sally Hansen Healing Beauty, which offers foundations, powders, concealers, eye products and specialty face products, incorporates several improved Corn Silk items into the lineup targeted at oily skin. The other foundations and face powders are geared toward dry-aging skin and normal-combination skin.
A standout item in the collection is the Fast and Flawless Airbrush Makeup for All Skins — a spray-on foundation with a “weightless formula providing complete coverage,” according to Annette DeVita, vice president, marketing, for Sally Hansen. She said Del is first to market such a product at mass.
McMenemy said the company came up with the name — Healing Beauty — a couple of years ago. “It really represents a different way of saying treatment with a beauty benefit.” The term has already been used by Del to describe benefits of Sally Hansen hand care and nail care products.
DeVita describes the brand as a line that, “has high-quality products that do what they say they are going to do.” She said Sally Hansen is known as a brand that “makes things that are good for you.”
Healing Beauty represents “extraordinary price value” for consumers, added DeVita. “We believe this brand will make a difference in mass market cosmetics and redefine what women expect.” Items are priced from $5.29 to $7.99.
All the items in the line, including the liquid eye shadows, multiuse fat pencils and color palettes, feature a patent-pending ingredient called the Bio-Active Complex. The Complex has two components — a living botanical with rosemary, lemongrass and peppermint, and a vitamin cocktail with vitamins A, C and E — and is designed to make skin look and feel healthy.
Rosemary moisturizes and serves as an anti-inflammatory; lemongrass soothes, controls oil and balances skin, and peppermint delivers antiseptic and calming benefits. Vitamin A helps regulate cell turnover, vitamin C improves skin clarity and vitamin E moisturizes and is an antioxidant. “Put these together, you get true efficacious skin care benefits,” DeVita declared.
The face items also will have specialized ingredients, such as retinol, in the antiaging products, to target the needs of different skin types.
“I think it could do well — there are some interesting products. And the price is a good mid-range,” said Kathy Steirly, vice president of beauty merchandising at Eckerd.
Healing Beauty targets women aged 18 to 54. Rather than cannibalize shoppers of other mass brands, Del hopes to lure department store shoppers to the brand.
Its research found that 70 percent of all women who shop in department stores also shop in mass outlets. However, only 18 percent of those women buy mass cosmetics. DeVita said the department store shoppers complained that mass products didn’t contain the ingredients they were looking for, and that there were too many products, which made it difficult for them to discern which was right for them. “They also wanted pretty-looking packaging and compacts.”
Del says Healing Beauty responds to those demands with silver and clear plastic componentry and clearly defined product attributes. On the back of each package, “there is a silent beauty adviser,” which outlines responses to “You Have, You Want, How It Works and You’ll Get,” to precisely assess who the product is for and what it does.
“This is a philosophy, a selling system,” DeVita explained. Even the product names speak for themselves, such as Skin Firming Line Minimizing Powder With Retinol and Eight Hour Eyeshadow, a liquid shadow that comes in a nail polish bottle.
In store tests, Del found women could find the item they wanted in under a minute. “In the mass environment, the more you can do to help the customer, you will win,” DeVita said.
The line is dermatologist-tested and irritant-free, she continued. A few items in Healing Beauty are reminiscent of some already on the market or being launched by competitors, such as a multicolor pressed powder compact and a kohl eyeliner.
The shade palettes have been created in mauve, pink, nude and brown tones, and are “mistake proof,” she said. “Everything can be worn together.” The products are intended to deliver a “healthy, natural radiance — a glow from within,” DeVita said.
The collection also includes a No color powder for use on all skin tones and Thicken-Up Plumper and Mascara. Del will promote Healing Beauty through magazine advertising, freestanding inserts, sampling and a host of in-store events. It is also creating a training school to educate store beauty advisers on the line.
The pegged display uses Sally Hansen’s signature orange with silver lettering across the top. The shelf strips are sky blue with pale orange and white. The left side of the planogram houses the eye shadows, mascara, eyeliner, brow kit and eye and lip glosses. Face products are on the right.
In addition to the wall presentation, there will be seven prepack promotions to build trial and awareness. There are also salable samples.
Sally Hansen has “powerful brand recognition and consumer confidence,” DeVita said. “So to take these brand strengths into color cosmetics is a natural progression. The line is centered on formulas that contain a high-performance skin care treatment ingredient coupled with natural color,” DeVita said. “We were looking to solve unmet beauty problems in a simple way.