After gaining market leadership in skin care, Clinique is turning its attention to its color cosmetics business with the appointment of Jenna Menard as the brand’s Global Colour Artist.

This story first appeared in the May 13, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

“We are seeing the second pillar of the strategy come to life,” said Lynne Greene, global brand president of Clinique, Origins and Ojon.

When Greene took the helm of the Estée Lauder Cos. Inc.-owned brand in 2006, the priority was on building a strong skin care pillar and reconnecting with Clinique’s dermatological roots. That led to a series of launches of problem-solving products, culminating in last year’s top-selling Even Better Dark Spot Corrector.

“Now that we’ve got that moving,” Greene observed, “we are on to the makeup pillar.” According to industry sources, color cosmetics now generates about 45 percent of Clinique’s volume, and the hope is that makeup will grow as fast as the overall brand, roughly 8 percent.

Menard will give advice on the creation of new products, but more importantly she will take the lead creating digital content for the brand’s marketing campaigns, primarily how-to videos for broadcast on YouTube. Also, she will be working with the brand on other cyber projects that Clinique declined to describe.

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Greene said Menard’s approach will be straightforward and down to earth for women who simply want to look their best every day. The approach, she said, is “to show women how to bring out who they are by themselves. Here’s how to use color and want to show you how to do it yourself.”

Greene said that how-to videos have always been a tricky sell in the industry because there is a lot of psychology involved in putting on makeup. “It’s not just pretty colors,” she noted.

If that’s true, Clinique found the right artist in Menard, who graduated from Lafayette College in Easton, Pa., with the original intention of working as a social worker, specifically with adolescents. She changed her mind and refocused on beauty after years of watching her hairdresser mother work on clients in her Pennsylvania salon. Menard was struck by the transformation power of the process. She noticed that “those women walked out [of the salon] as different people. They held their heads higher and their backs straighter.” It dawned on her that a career in beauty was another path to helping people feel better. During college, Menard met Academy Award-winning costume designer Ann Roth, who helped her with her first job as an assistant on the set of the film “The Stepford Wives.” From there, she learned her craft.

Menard describes her approach of talking to clients as an ordinary person, rather than another makeup artist, and breaking down the process in the most understandable terms, like how to hold the brush to draw it across the eyelid. Her goal: “Help them realize what they can do and to bring it home.”

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