NEW YORK — Given the raft of products it’s unveiling in January, innovation must be at the top of Maybelline New York’s New Year’s resolutions list.
While a total of nine items will hit the market at once, it is expected that the new liquid foundation — a firming, tightening formula dubbed Instant Age Rewind — will grab the biggest chunk of the spotlight, for two reasons. Yes there’s new technology, in the form of a youth-restoring blend of silk proteins, caffeine and light diffusing particles. But perhaps more importantly in this celeb-obsessed moment, Instant Age Rewind marks the official print debut of new spokesmodel Kristin Davis, who signed-on with the L’Oréal division last summer.
Although the Instant Age Rewind ad, which was shot by Walter Chin, is still under wraps, Davis herself was on hand to mingle with the beauty press at a luncheon last week. Clad in a tastefully tight Prada frock, she dazzled the group with her girly charm. After describing herself as a “true makeup lover,” the former “Sex and the City” star couldn’t have seemed more enthusiastic about her new duties. “I honestly feel like some kind of miracle has happened,” she gushed. “Maybelline has been so successful for so long that I only hope I can live up to it.”
Debuting alongside the foundation, which is available in 12 shades and will retail for $7.50, is the companion Instant Age Rewind Concealer, priced at $5.65. Together, they represent a bid for the “mature” customer looking to slice a decade off her appearance.
“For us, ‘mature’ isn’t a number. It’s more of a mind-set,” said Cheryl Vitali, senior vice president of marketing for Maybelline New York-Garnier. “The name is Instant Age Rewind, but it isn’t age-specific. The concept of looking 10 years younger is appealing to many women, and they’re not all over 35.
“We’re referential on the age point,” added Vitali, “not literal.”
Also on deck in the face category is Expert Wear Blush. Retailing for $5.51, the new cheek enhancer is available in a total of 16 shades, including 10 singles, four shimmer-matte duos and two bronzers.
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For lips, two products are waiting in the wings. Wet Shine Fusion Lipcolor, priced at $6.75 and available in 14 shades, marries vibrant pigment with high shine in a chic fuchsia slim-line case. Shiny-Licious Lipgloss, in nine shades for $5.99 each, boasts a special “flock-tip” applicator for a more precise laydown of product.
Capitalizing on the successful fall launch of its XXL Volume + Length Microfiber Mascara, the company is adding a Waterproof version. But the true news in eyes for the brand is Unstoppable Mascara, available in three shades for $6.95. According to Vitali, Unstoppable’s special “smudge-guard” formula was designed to alleviate mascara wearers’ ultimate pet peeve: “raccoon” eyes. The companion Unstoppable Liner, priced at $6.93, is available in six shades. Rounding out the fleet of launches is Express Finish Advanced Wear Fast-Dry Nail Enamel. Available in 35 shades for $4.12, the antichip, long-wearing lacquer is meant to look manicure-perfect for days.
The company does not break out figures, but industry sources estimate Maybelline is looking to do $100 million in retail volume for all nine products in the first year.
According to the company, the brand will continue to rotate advertising among its current roster of Maybelline spokesmodels, including Josie Maran, Adriana Lima and Erin Wasson. Although she might be attached to other products — including more of these first-half launches — Davis is, for the moment, solely the face of Instant Age Rewind.
“The technology in Instant Age Rewind is quite unique and different from what we’ve done in the past,” said Karen Fondu, president and general manager of Maybelline New York-Garnier. “That’s why we felt very compelled to bring in a spokesperson like Kristin. Not only did we feel she could really punctuate the Maybelline equity, we also felt she was a great reinforcer of this particular product proposition.”