Byline: Jenny B. Fine

NEW YORK — As the long-lasting lipstick category heats up in the department store market, Clarins is preparing its own entry.
In August, the company will introduce Secret de Rouge Long-Lasting Lipstick, primed to compete with recent long-wearing entries such as Lancome’s Rouge Idole and Estee Lauder’s Indelible Lipstick.
Although Clarins’s color cosmetics, first introduced in the U.S. in 1991, account for less than 20 percent of the company’s U.S. sales, or an estimated $13 million at wholesale, executives are hoping the latest entry will help solidify its presence in the category.
Industry sources estimate that the new entry is expected to boost the firm’s lipstick sales from a current estimated volume of $3 million at wholesale to about $6 million.
Clarins currently has two lipstick formulations — Rouge A Levres, available in 28 shades, and Brillant A Levres Sheer Lipstick in eight colors.
“Color is not our main emphasis, but it is definitely something we’re developing,” said Stacey Bradie, vice president of marketing, who declined to comment on the numbers.
“We’re not looking to do more than 25 percent of our business in color,” she said, but noted that the company still needs to be up-to-date in terms of makeup. “We want to make our skin care customer happy and be able to offer her products that are current.”
Secret de Rouge, which will be available in 12 shades for $16.50 each, will launch in Clarins’s full distribution of about 1,000 department and specialty store doors.
The product contains pigments enveloped in amino acids, which executives claim protects the stability of the color, while water-resistant polymer waxes reportedly promote long-lasting wear without fading.
In addition, a treatment “core” in the center of each lipstick provides lips with treatment benefits, executives said, via ingredients such as shea butter and vitamins A and E, which are said to nourish and protect the lips.
Print ads for Secret de Rouge are scheduled to break in as-yet-undetermined August fashion magazines and run through October.

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