CHANEL READIES LONG MAKEUP LIST
Byline: Alev Aktar
NEW YORK — Chanel’s makeup business is growing faster than those of its rivals, and now the house aims to grab more share with a new lineup of unusual products, two of which are industry firsts.
According to NPD BeautyTrends, Chanel’s color business vaulted 16 percent in the first half of the year, outpacing Clinique, Lancome, Estee Lauder and Prescriptives, none of which grew more than 12 percent.
Chanel’s ranking didn’t change, however. The color collection remains fifth among prestige makeup brands.
To fuel its growth spurt, next year Chanel will launch two pencils that its suppliers will produce exclusively for the company for at least two years. Both are positioned to pull in a new and younger consumer.
In addition, Chanel will increase its overall media spending by about 15 percent, according to Jean Hoehn Zimmerman, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Chanel Beaute. She declined to talk numbers, but sources estimate the company could invest close to $10 million in media next year for all product categories.
According to Hoehn Zimmerman, the plan will include six print ads for color cosmetics, three for treatment and two for the Allure and Chanel No. 5 fragrances. The company is also organizing a number of direct-mail initiatives, starting in January, and will invite customers in for samples.
In February, the first eye pencil that can be applied wet, for a liquid eyeliner effect, or dry, for a smoky contour, will hit counters. The pencil, called Double Effect, is part of the spring makeup look and will be available in four shades — jet black, brandy, navy and electric blue.
Then in May, the company will introduce a chubby pencil — the widest on the market — and the only one that can be used on lips, eyes and cheeks and is waterproof, according to the company. Triple Color Crayon will be available in seven neutral pink or peach-toned shades and is part of the summer color statement.
Both are priced lower than equivalent Chanel products. The eye pencil goes for $22.50, 12 percent below Chanel’s other eye pencils, and the chubbies are $30. The entry price for a Chanel powder blush is $36.
“We’re trying to find ways to have more acceptable prices for younger consumers,” noted Hoehn Zimmerman.
Chanel executives declined to discuss sales volume, but industry sources estimated that the two pencils together could generate $7.5 million at retail the first year in the U.S.
Hoehn Zimmerman said she is targeting a 50 percent increase in the blush category, thanks to Triple Color.
Two other products designed to pull in a young customer were actually created by young people. They are the winners of the annual Chanel and Seventeen Magazine Color of the Year Contest: blue-gray and lemon yellow shimmery nail polish shades called Rain and Shine.
To coordinate with the nail varnish, Chanel developed a limited-edition two-pan lip gloss that holds the two shades.
The Rain and Shine items will make their debut in December.
The spring color story, Chanel Jubilee also features two limited-edition items. The first, Cyber Glow, a compact with glossy ivory and gold creams, imparts allover shine and can be used on the eyes, lips and cheeks. It is $38.50.
The second product, Double Perfection Lip Care, is a limited-edition lip exfoliator and hydrating cream packaged in a mirrored compact. The menthol lip scrub is applied with a pink eraser-like applicator, then followed by a hydrating cream formulated with alpha-hydroxy acids and vitamins C and E. The kit retails for $40.
Finally, the summer shade statement, Les Aquarelles, includes an extra-shiny lip gloss called High Gloss. The SPF 8 gloss is available in six vivid shades and goes for $24.