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Revlon’s One Step to Long-Wear Lip Color

Revlon aiming to up the performance ante in the long-wearing lip category with Revlon ColorStay Ultimate Liquid Lipstick.

Revlon is aiming to up the perfor- mance ante in the long-wearing lip category with the launch for spring of Revlon ColorStay Ultimate Liquid Lipstick.

Designed to give women 12 hours of “food-proof” color in only one application, ColorStay Ultimate Liquid Lipstick will hit drug and mass chain store shelves the first week in April. The lipstick uses a new, film-forming soluble technology, Revlon executives said, which combines a Revlon proprietary long-wear resin polymer with a base film, allowing color to move with the lips. Available in 20 colors and frosted shades, such as Brilliant Bordeaux and Stellar Sunrise, Ultimate Liquid Lipstick will retail for $10.99.

“Until now all the innovation in food-proof has had two steps and always required a top coat,” said Annette Falso, Revlon’s vice president of product development. “This is the only one-step product that has it all.”

Industry sources estimate that Revlon ColorStay Ultimate Liquid Lipstick could generate $30 million in first-year retail sales.

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The one-application, 12-hour technology marks a first for the brand’s ColorStay franchise, which introduced the concept of long-wearing to the lipstick category 15 years ago. Revlon’s only other food-proof lip product, Revlon ColorStay Overtime Sheer Lipcolor, launched in 2005, lasts for only eight hours and requires two steps of application. ColorStay Mineral Lip Glaze, which launched last June, only needs one application but necessitates touch-ups after meals.

“It opens up a whole new market for a woman who wants food-proof wear, but who doesn’t want the tightness and discomfort that other products in the category come with,” said Falso. Yet the premium price tag for ColorStay’s newest lipstick makes it one of the most expensive products within the category, and has some industry analysts questioning its selling power.

“The higher priced mass segment isn’t doing terribly well in this economy, and I don’t believe the idea of a longer wearing lipstick is quite as in vogue as it was some years ago,” said beauty industry consultant Allan Mottus. “I just don’t know if long wearing is where the customer is right now.”

Revlon’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing Elizabeth Crystal said the introduction “continues our strategy of bringing innovation and breakthrough technology to the lip category while providing good value for the consumer.”

A top-four drug chain executive said that while ColorStay is a huge franchise and its long-lasting one-step lipstick is a first, “other recent [Revlon] launches over the years have been big deals that didn’t meet planned success such as Vital Radiance and the relaunch of Almay.”

Actress Jennifer Connelly, who signed on as a spokeswoman for the brand last July, will represent the new line in a print and TV ad campaign. The campaign, shot in January by John Renck, is scheduled to air beginning April 13, while the print campaign, shot by Norman Jean Roy, will bow in May weeklies and June national fashion and beauty books.

“This is an especially exciting campaign for Revlon,” said Chris Elshaw, Revlon’s U.S. executive vice president and general manager. “We are introducing Jennifer in her first ad for us and at the same time introducing a product first for the industry.”

During Revlon’s most recent quarter ended Dec. 31, Revlon’s U.S. sales dropped 7.5 percent to $199.6 million from $215.8 million supported by increased sales of Revlon brand color cosmetics, but offset in part by declines in Almay. On the international front, sales in the quarter declined 14.5 percent to $134.6 million from $157.5 million due to unfavorable currency fluctuations. Overall, Revlon sales fell 10.5 percent to $334.2 million from $373.3 million.