Noted makeup artist Ellis Faas has brought her new color cosmetics line to the U.S.
This story first appeared in the January 15, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The line, which the editorial and runway makeup artist has already launched in Europe and Australia, is rolling into Bergdorf Goodman now. It will also enter Liberty in London next month.
Faas’ inspiration for the Ellis Faas Human Colours collection was simple: the colors which exist in everyone’s bodies — the red of blood, the tawny shade of freckles and the inside of the lip — to name just a few.
“The colors that exist in our bodies are complex and rich, but they’re also universal,” said Faas during an interview at her new counter on Bergdorf’s Beauty Level. “I thought if I based the colors on elements we all share, they would work for everyone. What better way to highlight a great feature or conceal a not-so-great one than by using colors and tones that already exist in your body?”
Faas also chose to do multiple finishes for her cosmetics. For instance, lip colors are available in three variations: Creamy Lips, intended to offer classic lipstick definition and long-wearing coverage; Milky Lips, meant to deliver a fluid, translucent appearance, and Glazed Lips, designed to create an ultrawet yet long-lasting effect. Eye shadows and eyeliners, like all of the line except powder, are packaged in a pen form. Both formulas are crease-resistant creams which dry to powders upon application.
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Faas’s makeup holder — born out of her desire to solve what she calls “the handbag jumble” of makeup — was inspired by the barrel of a pistol. The products slip into slots and pop up when needed, and each of the pens has a clear top, making the color inside immediately evident.
In the U.S., products range in price from $34 for mascara to $65 for foundation. The makeup holder, empty, sells for $35.
“The fact that Ellis was very forward-thinking in offering multiple textures and finishes was an immediate selling point for us,” said Pat Saxby, vice president and divisional merchandise manager of cosmetics and fragrances for Bergdorf Goodman. “For instance, take my favorite lip shade in the range, Ellis Red. I love that there’s a bold cream version, a sheerer version and a glossy version for different times of day and events.”
Saxby said she was also attracted by the makeup holder. “The machinery works in a very efficient and compact way,” said Saxby. “The streamlined, modern packaging also is very upscale.”
Saxby said Faas will be making appearances on behalf of the line, and the line will also be promoted in the store’s catalogue. Tester units are also expected to garner attention: each color appears to be spilling onto the clear Lucite, giving potential customers a quick look at all the colors available.
While Saxby declined to discuss sales figures, industry sources estimated the line could do upward of $1 million at retail in its first year on counter in the U.S.