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Clarins USA is touting what it describes as a natural alternative to cosmetic procedures with the launch of Extra-Firming Tightening Lift Botanical Serum.

This story first appeared in the August 29, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

The product, which is rolling out now, also is aimed at bolstering Clarins’ key Extra-Firming franchise, while consolidating its hold on the serum category.

Although Clarins does not break out sales figures or budgets, industry sources calculate that the Extra-Firming stable of products generates an annual total of about $16 million at wholesale.

The new product is positioned as the star of the company’s fall launch lineup, and sources estimate that it could do $5 million in retail sales from September through December. In addition to the serum, Clarins also is launching two other products in the series, Extra-Firming Lip & Contour Gentle Exfoliator and Extra-Firming Lip & Contour Balm. Industry sources estimate that those two products combined could generate another $1 million in retail sales through December.

The lead product, the Extra-Firming Tightening Lift Botanical Serum, is designed with oat sugars to provide a lifting and tightening effect on the skin with long-term firming benefits. Caroline Pieper-Vogt, senior vice president of marketing at Clarins brand, noted that the oat sugar formula is designed to create a biological film that binds with the cutaneous lipids of the skin in order to provide support without constricting the skin. Inca peanut proteins were added to smooth and refine the skin’s texture. Pieper-Vogt pointed out that the product was designed to avoid producing a “frozen effect” on the face. “There’s a suppleness because [the product] is meshed with the lipids, not laying on top,” she said.

Hibiscus Seed Proteins were added to the formula to provide moisturization and strengthen the smoothing effect, according to the company. Stimulen, a combination of amino acids and vitamin E, was added to promote cell renewal, and silicium, a derivative of brown algae, is used to accelerate synthesis of elastin and collagen.

The Extra-Firming trio of products are being distributed in about 1,400 doors in the U.S., counting Sephora. The serum, priced $75 for 30 ml., will be promoted with 10 to 12 pages of national magazine advertising, with a budget of over $1 million, according to industry sources. The Extra-Firming Lip & Contour Balm is priced $36 for a 15-ml. jar and the Extra-Firming Lip & Contour Gentle Exfoliator sports a $22.50 price tag on a 20-ml. container.

The second flight of product launches are due to break in October. The group is led by Instant Smooth Foundation, a follow-up to a star launch of two years ago of a primer that sparked sales last year of over 200,000 units at $27 each. The new product, priced $37 for 30 ml., is designed to take the next step beyond the primer by providing coverage and color in seven shades. A key component in the formula is what the company describes as Soft Focus “wrinkle concealing” pigments that are designed to minimize shadowy areas and make lines, wrinkles and pores seem to disappear. The product is also designed to provide a matte and velvety finish.

Industry sources estimate that the new foundation could generate $700,000 in sales through December.

In April, Clarins launched a new lipstick, Joli Rouge, with 14 shades. Containing three amino acids and palmitic acid in what the company calls a Maxi Lip Complex, the lipstick is designed to optically reduce fine lines on the lips and on lip contour areas by stimulating collagen production. The tripeptide is also meant to boost hyaluronic acid production for a plumping effect.

Now Clarins is launching a color story to complete the lipstick shade selection. Called Jazzy Colour, it is keyed on the Twenties, with smoldering violets, deep plums and graphite grays. Clarins also is launching a liquid eyeliner and a pencil eyeliner that will be marketed as limited edition items, as will a Wonder Plum mascara. Two eye shadow quads, called So sublime and So chic, will be permanent additions. Industry sources estimate that the new color products could add $600,000 in retail volume this fall.

In an effort to build its market share in the body lotion market, Clarins is launching Satin-Smooth Body Lotion. The company’s antiaging body product, Renew-Plus Body Serum, is being updated with a new formula.

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