Bare Escentuals aims to do its customers a solid with the introduction of pressed eye shadows this fall.

This story first appeared in the July 1, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

The shadows — called Bare Minerals Ready Eyeshadow 2.0 (duos) and 4.0 (quads) — add to the mineral makeup brand’s extensive offering of loose shadows and seek to broaden the company’s portfolio well beyond foundation.

“We heard from our customers that they loved our loose shadows, but wanted portability as an option,” said Sarina Godin, vice president of product development.

In keeping with its mineral makeup heritage, Bare Escentuals balks at the term “pressed shadow,” preferring to call its sea-mineral formula “solid eye shadow,” as it’s free of fillers, binders, preservatives and synthetic chemicals.

“Every ingredient in the formula needs to have a purpose,” said Godin, reciting the company’s “less is more” credo. Bare Escentuals had been exploring the concept of a solid shadow for several years and was on the search for a natural binding agent when Leslie Blodgett, executive chairman of Bare Escentuals, had an “aha” moment while watching her husband cook. She asked him about the difference between regular olive oil and cold-pressed olive oil. Learning that the latter retains more nutrients, Blodgett directed her team to find a cold-pressed oil for the solid shadows. The result is a formula containing SeaNutrive Mineral Complex — or minerals from algae and seaweed — along with cold-pressed borage oil, caffeine and cucumber.

Godin said clinical tests show the formula provides skin care benefits, including antioxidant protection and antiaging properties. She noted that one test revealed an 86 percent increase in hydration on the eyelid over an eight-week span, which helps prevent crepiness.

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Shades range from neutrals to bold hues, with matte and pearlized finishes. Some of Godin’s favorites include The Grand Finale (blue and gold) for $20 and Dream Sequence (a palette of four purple tones) for $30. The shadows will debut on QVC on Sept. 29 and roll out to stores in October. Print and TV ads will make their debut in the fall as well.

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