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Talika’s ‘Expert’ Take on Lipocils

Brand Talika delving deeper into eyelash enhancer fray.

Paris-based face, body and hand care marketer Talika is delving deeper into the eyelash-enhancer fray with the introduction of Lipocils Expert, a product that’s designed to lengthen, curl and darken eyelashes. The item is due to launch exclusively at Sephora this month.

Talika was founded in 1948 after Danielle Roches, a doctor at Hôpitaux de Paris, blended during World War II an antibacterial cream with plant extracts to heal burns of the eyes and face. “But it grew the lashes as a side effect,” said Alexis de Brosses, president of Talika, whose mother bought the cream from Roches, then sold the formula to his uncle. The original eyelash cream, a version of which is still on the market, is priced at $30 for 3.6 g.

The cream spawned Lipocils — Talika’s lash-growth products — and today the range includes Lipocils Eyelash Conditioning Gel, which is designed to stimulate lash growth, and a gel called Eyebrow Lipocils, which is designed to stimulate eyebrow growth. Each is priced at $40 for 10 ml. Since 2000, 4 million Lipocils units have been sold, according to de Brosses.

The new addition, Lipocils Expert, is priced at $55 for 10 ml.

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“Women want not only longer lashes but lashes with more color and curl,” said de Brosses. “The key rule of Talika is we bring all this naturally.”

Lipocils Expert uses a proprietary blend of 12 plant extracts, including nettle, hamamelis and apple, which is designed to extend and revitalize weakened lashes.

The product is meant to be applied to the roots of makeup-free lashes, as well as the lashes themselves, twice a day for a month, and then once a day thereafter. Talika claims that clinical testing has shown lashes treated with Lipocils Expert for 28 days have grown by 2.4 millimeters on average, a 36 percent increase in length, and in some cases have grown by as much as 4.1 millimeters.

The formula uses UV-phytofilters to protect lash color and extract of coleus forskohlii to increase melanocyte production in lash roots, purportedly darkening “very light lashes” by 50 percent, according to Talika. Polymers and silk proteins are employed for shining and lengthening effects — and to curl lashes by 50 percent.

Lipocils Expert also employs antiaging peptides to rejuvenate the epidermis around the lashes and improve eyelash strength. The formula’s baobab leaf and sour-orange extracts are meant to combat free radicals.

“The roots of the lashes are stimulated, and Lipocils Expert has antiaging benefits for the eyelids,” said de Brosses.

The Lipocils Expert applicator features a dual tip: a sponge for applying the gel to lash roots and a mascaralike brush to apply it to the lashes.

Industry sources estimate Lipocils Expert could generate $1 million in first-year retail sales.

The Talika assortment comprises about 24 face, body and hand care products, and the firm does about $80 million in retail sales worldwide. In the U.S., its products are carried in less than 1,000 doors, including Space NK and CVS Pharmacy’s upscale boutique concept, Beauty 360. Asia is a key market for the firm; Talika has 40 counters there. Overall, Lipocils products are carried at 15,000 points of sale in 53 countries.

“We want to build a stronger collaboration with Sephora,” said de Brosses, discussing the exclusive, chainwide launch of Lipocils Expert with the LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton-owned perfumery chain. Plans call for the product to be carried exclusively at Sephora for six months to a year.

The eyelash-enhancement market has heated up in the last two years. For instance, in 2008, Peter Thomas Roth introduced a product called Lashes to Die For ($125 for 5.9 ml.). Early last year, drugmaker Allergan Inc. launched Latisse ($120 for 3 ml.) for eyelash growth, a product whose active ingredient, Bimatoprost, had long been used for glaucoma treatment and also showed to grow lashes. And, in April 2009, FusionBeauty launched StimuLashFusion ($89 for 4.5 ml.).