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L’Oréal Outlines First Half, Enters Cleansing

L’Oréal Paris has a polished, wrinkle-free hand in every category in mass beauty, ranging from hair color to antiaging skin care to color cosmetics.

Inarguably, L’Oréal Paris has a polished, wrinkle-free hand in every category in mass beauty, ranging from hair color to antiaging skin care to color cosmetics. And for 2010, the beauty division under L’Oréal USA aims to bring innovation to each of these categories and, in the process, maintain and build on its share where it competes.

Karen Fondu, president of L’Oréal Paris for just over a year, said overall, the brand performed well during the year, outperforming growth in mascara and also seeing double-digit growth in Excellence, despite the hair color category’s overall flat performance.

Anne Talley, senior vice president of marketing at L’Oréal Paris, said the time is ripe to grab the department store shopper.

“We consider our brand the closest to a department store brand in the mass channel…so we think that, within the mass market, we [offer] the most premium, the most luxury, the highest-quality products.”

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To put her thumbprint on the skin care portfolio, Fondu repackaged all four pillars within L’Oréal Paris skin care, a change that now “shows the luxury of the product packaging” within Skin Genesis, Age Perfect, Collagen and Revitalift. “It really helps to distinguish the pillars and makes it easier to shop. It simplifies the packaging and the end benefits and makes more of an impact on-shelf.”

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Dermo Expertise also has changed to Skin Expertise, a change Fondu said was “more straightforward.” Fondu assessed L’Oréal’s skin care performance during 2009, saying each antiaging pillar realized “robust growth…achieving upward of 11 percent share,” boosted by the launch of the Revitalift Deep Set Wrinkle franchise, the addition of Collagen Filler Lip and Collagen Moisture Filler, and “outstanding” performance with Skin Genesis’ Pore Minimizer. Fondu also pointed to the firm’s sunless portfolio, which she said has a 50 percent dollar “and is the only brand growing in this category.”

In skin care for next year, additions to Skin Genesis and Age Perfect are on tap, with Skin Genesis receiving Ideal Skin Genesis Complexion Equalizer, made specifically to even out skin tone, and Age Perfect receiving Hydra Nutrition Anti-Sagging + Ultra Nourishing Moisturizer.

In lipstick, L’Oréal owns the leading brand, Colour Riche, and in foundation ranks second with True Match, Fondu said. In mascara, sources said L’Oréal Paris is “significantly outpacing growth in the category by two times with 18 percent growth versus 9 percent.” Sources also estimate L’Oréal’s share in mascara is at about 20 percent, driven by Telescopic Explosion and Extra Volume Collagen.

In cosmetics for 2010, L’Oréal is launching a new application system for True Match, called True Match Roller Perfecting Roll On Makeup, the market’s first roller foundation. Talley said the roll on allows her to apply her makeup in about 20 seconds and her hands are left clean of foundation.

“It is superquick and gives perfect lay down,” she said. It will sell for $14.95.

In mascara, L’Oréal is launching a Concentrated Lash Boosting Serum, one that contains centella asiatica, a plant extract, to condition and protect lashes. Results after four weeks of use, L’Oréal said, reveal 71 percent of users saw more lashes, as well as thicker lashes, and also experienced less lash loss.

The plant extract also has been put into a Double Extend Lash Boosting Mascara, and together, the two items will sell for $24.95. Separately, the serum will sell for $14.95 and the mascara, for $12.95.

In hair color, L’Oréal Paris continues to dominate the market with a 43 percent dollar market share, driven by Preference, Excellence and Féria.

During the year, L’Oréal launched Excellence to Go, which Fondu said was a success, while the Excellence franchise is up 17 percent, according to sources.

For 2010, L’Oréal is introducing two new hair color items. There’s a new brand, Healthy Look, which will occupy the space formerly taken by Natural Match, a range to be discontinued next year. Healthy Look addresses women’s concern about damage when coloring their hair as it is ammonia free, works in 10 minutes and lasts through 28 shampoos. The range also will reveal packaging new to the hair color category — specifically, a pack that tapers in at the top, dubbed “The Belgian House.”

“It creates some interest and a rupture in the category, which has been very consistent in package development and design across all the brands. It’s a first. It signals newness,” said Fondu.

Also new for hair color is Touch-On Highlights, a product born out of studying home hair color barriers. The study revealed women feel they get the most control from using their fingertips while highlighting. In turn, L’Oréal created a tool, Control-Touch FingerTip, that slips onto the index finger and allows her to use it during the coloring process. “You realize that women start with the applicators, but ultimately they use the same two fingers and pull it through. It is a natural gesture,” Fondu added.

For 2010, L’Oréal Paris has created a new brand in the facial cleansing category, called Go 360 Clean, which will target 18- to 30-year-olds and be fronted by spokeswoman Freida Pinto in TV and print ads. The four-item line includes a Deep Facial Cleanser, a cleanser for sensitive skin, a Deep Cream Cleanser and a Deep Exfoliating Scrub, and each includes an industry first: a scrublet. The wiggly plastic scrubber is designed to gently exfoliate the face for smaller pores and smoother skin. After use, the scrublet adheres to a mirror.

“The cleansing market really needed an innovation,” said Talley.

In hair care, L’Oréal is expanding on its success with EverPure and next year is launching EverStrong, which includes a shampoo and conditioner targeting three issues: volume, moisture and reconstruction. There’s also an Overnight Repair Treatment and a Deep Replenishing Masque. The shampoo and conditioners will sell for $6.99 and the treatment items will sell for $8.99.