Byline: Cara Kagan

NEW YORK — Bobbi Brown Essentials Inc. is moving from paint to plaster.
Since the company was founded four years ago by professional makeup artist Bobbi Brown, it has sold only color cosmetics and makeup brushes. But in early spring, the company will enter the prestige treatment market with a five-item line, called Bobbi Brown Essentials Skincare.
As with the cosmetics line, the new skin care collection will contain what Brown calls the “bare essentials” — five items designed for use on the majority of skin types without risk of irritation or allergic reactions.
The color line, which has less than 100-items, consists of an edited palette of colors designed for women of all ages and skin tones. In this way, Brown hopes to simplify the process of selecting colors and applying makeup.
“I feel that most department store lines offer too much choice and that it is confusing to consumers,” Brown said. “In both the skin and color lines, I have streamlined the number of items to include only the ones that really work for the vast majority of women. Just as you don’t need 100 shades of taupe, you really don’t need five different cleansers.”
The new skin care lineup was created in association with Dr. Ellen Gendler, director of the Center for Skin and Appearance at New York University Medical Center.
The lineup consists of five items: A 6-oz. pump bottle of Face Cleanser for $27; a 4-oz. bottle of Eye Makeup Remover for $16.50; a 2-oz. pump bottle of Face Lotion moisturizer for $38; a 2.2-oz. jar of Face Cream for $38, and a 0.65-oz. jar of Eye Cream for $32.50.
While Bobbi Brown executives declined to break out sales figures, industry sources estimate that the new treatment line could increase this year’s estimated sales volume of more than $13 million by 20 percent, or more than $3 million, the first year.
Bobbi Brown is reportedly seeking sales gains of 50 percent for next year, or a wholesale volume of $20 million, including the skin care business.
The new skin care line will be distributed in the company’s 40 specialty store doors, including 27 Neiman Marcus stores, six Saks Fifth Avenue branches, three Henri Bendel units and the New York-based Bergdorf Goodman.
Entering the skin care market is part of the company’s plan to broaden its reach without widening its distribution.
“We feel that for now we are in the appropriate number of doors,” said Rosalind Landis, president and a partner of the company. “Strategically we would like to grow from a position of strength. So we will be looking to build our customer base through rounding out the line with things like skin care or cosmetics accessories, rather than rapidly expanding into hundreds of doors.”

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