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YSL Set to Introduce Vinyl Mascara

The product, called Mascara Vinyl Couture, is billed as breakthrough with eye-popping, shiny colors targeting Millennials.

PARIS — Vinyl is having a moment on more than just turntables these days. Yves Saint Laurent Beauté’s new mascara, Mascara Vinyl Couture, has a vinyl texture.

Due out in May, the product is billed as a breakthrough thanks to its shiny colors resulting from a high concentration of lacquer pigments and translucent liquid base.

Mascara Vinyl Couture was created over the past four years by labs at L’Oréal, YSL’s parent company, with Millennials — the 18-to-34 demographic — in mind.

“We listen to them,” Stephan Bezy, Yves Saint Laurent Beauté international general manager, told WWD. “We know about their expectations, their habits — and there is a trend among Millennials, that they love playing with colors. They like to stand out, feel free, experiment, show their personality and go a little bit crazy sometimes. This is the mascara of the Millennials.”

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It comes in nine shades, including two sparkling topcoats. There are also corresponding eyeliners.

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Bezy said the smooth-textured product gives volume, length and curve to lashes.

“But on top of that, it delivers color like no [other] mascara,” he explained, crediting the lacquer pigments — at the highest concentration in a mascara.

The formulation has, as well, four different biomimetic oils, including argan oil, carthame oil, sweet almond oil and castor oil, for lash care.

Transparent, rectangular packaging is billed as a first for a mascara, too.

Fronting the product’s advertising is Cara Delevingne, who was photographed by Craig McDean. She’s pictured standing before a wall plastered with images of her eyes sporting a wide variety of mascara looks.

“We wanted to express the multiplicity, the infinite combinations,” Bezy said.

There will be a big digital push for the mascara, including videos, gifs and flash 10- to 15-second how-to videos available on all of the brand’s touch points.

Mascara Vinyl Couture, which will retail in France for about 33 euros, or about $37 at current exchange, is part of YSL’s strategy to make the brand edgier, appealing to a younger audience, while keeping the luxury quotient high, Bezy said.

He pointed to a number of recent successes for the brand. Black Opium — which has a Millennial vibe, fronted by model Edie Campbell — was launched two years ago and ranked fifth among women’s prestige fragrances in Germany, the U.K., Italy, Spain and France in 2015.

Another is Rouge Pur Couture Vernis à Levres, which in the gloss category placed first in France, second in Italy and fifth in the U.S. during the first nine months of 2015, the latest available data.

Mascara Vinyl Couture is to launch starting May 1 in Spain and U.S. e-commerce. That will be followed by the U.K. and Germany on May 3, France on May 9 and Italy on May 15.

YSL executives would not divulge sales projections, but industry sources estimate the new mascara will generate 13 million euros, or $14.5 million, in first-year wholesale revenues worldwide.

In other YSL news, the brand at the end of 2015 began renovating its retail identity. There are between 30 and 40 of the label’s stores under development.

“We wanted to align our architecture and our shop design with the new image — to be fresher, younger, sleeker and even more [luxurious],” said Bezy, who said certain well-received tried-and-true features — like the color bar and large screens — remain.

The remodeled locations are also getting more interactive tools, such as iPads or touch screens, for additional consumer information.