A 15-year beauty industry veteran is giving cosmetics a go — for herself.

This story first appeared in the May 28, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Sarah McNamara, who has held senior-level beauty posts at Elizabeth Arden, L’Oréal, Unilever, Valentino and Fendi, has developed a four-shade, SPF 20 range of makeup called Miracle Skin Transformer, which is due to launch this summer.

“I wanted to create my own beauty brand,” said McNamara, who is founder and chief executive officer of MST Beauty New York LLC, “but finding a unique idea is challenging.”

Her point of difference? Silicones derived from sand.

“There’s a trend in mineral makeup,” noted McNamara, “but I believe the next strategy at the forefront is naturally derived silicones.”

The Miracle Skin Transformer facial treatment products, which come in colorless, light, medium and tan hues ($48 for each 50-ml. tube), are designed to illuminate multiple skin tones with what’s billed as a three-in-one formula intended to hydrate, enhance and protect.

“Women are sick of using four to six products — moisturizer, primer, SPF — in the morning,” McNamara said, discussing the line’s multipurpose bent.

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The items use a proprietary formulation called MST Complex, which includes extracts of saw palmetto and passion fruit, co-enzyme Q10 and vitamins K and A to hydrate. By covering fine lines and pores, the sand-derived silicones are meant to enhance the skin, as are mica, color minerals and light-deflecting pigments. And, Ecocert-certified ecophysalis, sourced from the Brazilian rainforest, and vitamin E are employed to protect.

While the line — which was in development for 18 months — is slated to hit the market mid-August, sample sizes of the products became available this month at miracleskintransformer.com.

The brand’s distribution strategy has yet to be finalized, but McNamara is in talks with specialty stores and TV shopping outlets to launch the line. “We want to have tight, niche distribution,” she noted, adding she’s aiming for “TV with good retail [store] traction.”

McNamara said the brand’s introduction will be accompanied by an “aggressive” social media campaign including outlets such as Facebook, which will allow for more sampling; Twitter, and YouTube. And she is looking at celebrities and doctors to front the line.

Industry sources estimate the brand could reach first-year retail sales volume of $5 million.

McNamara’s future expansion plans call for night products, a concealer for the eye and international distribution. She added that she anticipates Miracle Skin Transformer could grow from four initial products to 15 by 2012.

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