Byline: Cara Kagan

NEW YORK — When its comes to makeup, Coty is playing to its strengths.
The mass market fragrance giant is looking to expand its color franchise by concentrating on an area where the company has already proven itself.
“Since cosmetics is somewhat of a smaller business for us, our overall strategy is to focus on a segment that has been the most successful,” said Elizabeth Marrone, group director of product development for Coty. “This area is makeup for the face, which includes powders and foundations and lipsticks.”
Throughout August, Coty will launch three face powder products under a new brand name, Naturally Smooth, in the hope of increasing its dominant share of the mass market powder business.
According to industry estimates, this year Coty’s powder sales should increase by 10 percent to about $20 million, largely due to the launch of Naturally Smooth. The figure represents about one-third of the $60 million market.
“We have a tremendous strength in the powder category, with a very loyal following of women who have been using ours forever,” Marrone said, referring to Coty’s Airspun loose powder brand, which was introduced in the Twenties.
Airspun, which was launched with 14 shades, was one of the first powder brands to provide a broad range of colors. According to industry sources, it is the leading loose powder brand in the mass market.
The Naturally Smooth face powders will be sold in three varieties: liquid, loose and pressed. Each will be available in two shades — translucent ivory and translucent neutral — and will have a suggested retail price of $5.95.
The company claims that the new liquid item offers the benefits of a face powder in a liquid form, which many women find more convenient.
The pressed powder will come in a mirrored compact with a puff, while the loose powder will be in a shaker, not the traditional round box.
“There is a consumer who feels that loose powder is difficult to use and to travel with,” Marrone said. “Our goal with cosmetics is to offer consumers interesting products that they can’t get from someone else.”
The Naturally Smooth entries will be formulated with mica instead of talc, said Marrone, who maintained that powder with mica gives the skin a clearer, less obviously powdered look.
The products will also contain a botanical complex of meadowsweet, garden angelica and everlasting, ingredients Marrone said make the powders feel “more luxurious.”
“There are a growing number of women who are looking for products with naturally based ingredients,” she added. “For the most part, these items are found in department stores. We are giving them a more affordable alternative.”

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