Maybelline New York-Garnier is looking to keep it natural next year — natural being the defining characteristic from its closest skin and hair care competitors, such as Olay, Pantene and even sister brand L’Oréal Paris. Also, a touch of glamour and sophistication is evident in Eye Studio, a new color cosmetics pillar, one that looks to keep things edgy for the fashion-forward set.

This story first appeared in the December 4, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

The theme seen throughout the division’s first half launches is “technology infused with natural ingredients,” as seen in everything from its new hair color line, Garnier HerbaShine Color Creme with Bamboo Extract, its first ammonia-free hair color, all the way to Maybelline New York Instant Age Rewind Radiant Firming Makeup SPF 18, which uses goji berry to help fight the signs of aging.

“The fact that all of our products are based in this natural technology place help us deliver the performance of the products. We have seen the trend go up in terms of people who seek out natural in their products,” said Serena Giovi, vice president of marketing for Maybelline New York.

Tapping into this trend was important for the division of L’Oréal USA. HerbaShine, for example, blasts out the use of bamboo by emblazening stalks of bamboo onto deep green boxes, images that also appear on inside containers.

“We know that consumers’ biggest concerns as it relates to hair color is damage. This technology delivers beautiful color results and allows us to bring our equity of green and natural, which is so core to us, to address those wants and concerns that a permanent color user, a tone-on-tone color user and noncolor user would have,” said Kat Peeler, senior vice president, Garnier Shampoos, Conditioners and Haircolor.

The formula, which the brand said delivers gray coverage but eliminates any signs of damage with an ammonia-free juice, falls between a Level 2 and Level 3 and delivers results in 10 minutes. HerbaShine, she said, offers an option to consumers who “do not want a big color commitment, who do not want that big line of demarcation, and who don’t want to go too far away from their natural color. It will also appeal to the new user and younger women and also to women who have exited the hair color category because they wanted something easier.”

HerbaShine, which will sell for $7.99, does not replace any existing Garnier color ranges, which include 100 Percent Color, now at a 2 percent dollar market share, and Nutrisse, which claims a 9 percent dollar market share, according to Peeler. Expectations are that HerbaShine will exit 2010 with a 4 percent dollar share. Peeler added Garnier will support the launch with $30 million in advertising.

Garnier Fructis will also get several new hair care items, such as a Triple Nutrition Creamy shampoo — meant to complement the clear version that launched in July — as well as a Triple Nutrition Nutrient Spray, formulated to add nourishment and shine. Garnier Fructis Bamboo Flexihold Hairsprays will extend into nonaerosol versions, under both the Sleek & Shine and Full Control collections.

Addressing Garnier Fructis’ rough year — several shampoo and conditioner items saw single and double digit decreases, according to data from Information Resources Inc., — Peeler described the hair care category as one that faced “a challenging year in regard to the promotional environment and also overall sales. In shampoo and conditioner, we have held our own in an environment of extremely deep discounting.”

Going forward, Peeler is focusing on hair care’s big segments in the way of product development.

“We are trying to have these large launches that can really drive the growth, and we are working to leverage the natural technology in our formulas….Triple Nutrition, for example, is a very strong launch, and we will continue to support it.”

Continuing on the natural trend, in 2010 Maybelline is reformulating its Instant Age Rewind Radiant Firming Makeup SPF 18 line with goji berry, an ingredient the brand said contains 19 amino acids, more than 500 times more vitamin C than oranges, and a complete spectrum of antioxidants. The addition of SPF 18 protects skin from future damage.

The newest addition to the collection is The Eraser, a foundation with a micro-corrector applicator “that glides over the wrinkles, practically making them disappear,” said Giovi.

Along with The Eraser, which will be available in 12 shades and sell for $12.99, is the new Primer Skin Transformer, to be used prior to foundation application. It will sell for $9.99.

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