Byline: Julie Naughton

NEW YORK — Never one to aim low, Estee Lauder is coming out with a product called “So Ingenious.”
And you could call it an ingenious move, because Estee Lauder, a brand long popular among baby boomers and their mothers, is continuing its campaign to court younger customers by offering one of this age group’s favorite formulations, powder foundation. The new product, So Ingenious Multi-Dimension Powder Makeup, launches in March.
“So Ingenious takes us into a category we’ve never competed in,” said Janet Cook, senior vice president and general manager of Estee Lauder North America. And it’s a significant one: “Powder foundation is a $300 million segment in the U.S.,” said Daniel Annese, vice president of marketing, North America, for Estee Lauder. “It represents incremental sales for the Lauder brand — it won’t take sales away from existing products.”
In fact, executives expect So Ingenious to rocket to a number-two ranking among Lauder’s foundations, behind Lucidity Light-Diffusing Makeup, said Peter Lichtenthal, senior vice president of global marketing for Estee Lauder. “We are global leaders in foundation,” he said, “and we’re aiming to grow that number even further. With So Ingenious, we think we have an excellent shot at doing so.”
The keystone of So Ingenious is Lauder’s proprietary QuadraColor technology, which addresses finish, touch, color and response issues, noted Carlota Macieira-Coelho, vice president of global makeup marketing for Estee Lauder. She added that micronized color particles in the foundation are wrapped in lubricant, which allows the foundation to move with the face, preventing cracking or obvious wear. A chameleon pigment in the foundation allows it to adjust to all lighting conditions, ensuring a natural look in all situations. And due to a double-sided sponge, consumers can opt for sheer or full coverage — all without having to introduce water to the product. “For all these reasons, we believe this product will redefine the way that customers use powder foundation,” said Macieira-Coelho.
So Ingenious will be available in 16 shades, a wider shade range than is available in Lauder’s other foundations, said Annese. It will be available in Estee Lauder’s 2,092 domestic doors and on and will retail for $32.50. National print advertising will break in fashion, beauty and lifestyle magazines in April, and more than 300,000 deluxe miniature samples will be distributed.
While none of the executives would comment on the product’s projected sales or advertising budget, industry sources estimated that So Ingenious would do about $20 million at retail domestically in its first year on-counter, and that about $6 million would be spent to advertise and promote it.

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