Byline: Laura Klepacki

FRISCO, Tex. — Could Halloween become the industry’s best beauty holiday?
As retailers and manufacturers work toward getting Christmas back to health, Halloween is robust and growing stronger, according to attendees of the ECRM bath, fragrance and cosmetics meeting at the Westin Stonebriar here.
Stephanie Hayano, executive vice president of global marketing at AM Cosmetics, said its Wet ‘n’ Wild brand was going all out with its Fantasy Makers program this year. For starters, it’s offering retailers a new three-foot-wide display that can be used as a freestanding unit or placed on end-of-aisle shelving. Along with its numerous orange and green cosmetics items, Wet ‘n’ Wild is introducing a black patent leather lip gloss this season.
“We know lip gloss is really hot. So we have a prepack featuring only the li p gloss,” said Hayano, pointing out that most of its displays contain a mix. Other introductions include MegaTwist Glitter Sticks in gold and purple and face paints that look like lipstick bullets in shades like Space Chick and Princess. And Hayano expects a good response to a new body glitter in tube form with a chiseled end for easy application.
Last October, “was our biggest Halloween ever and we hope to outdo that by leaps and bounds this year,” said Hayano. To keep the promotion simple for retailers and consumers, prices are restricted to $1.99 and $2.99 price points.
American International, whose strength is in nail and eye products, is using its eyelash brands as a springboard into the Halloween business. According to Delight Slotemaker De Bruine, sales manager, West, the company’s brands claim 95 percent of the eyelash market.
While American has offered Halloween items before under a program called “Fright Night,” this year for the first time it has created new graphics for its eyelash packaging for the holiday. And once the holiday is over, the “Fright Night” cards can be removed from unsold packages and the lashes replaced to the core presentation.
American is also introducing neon hair color in shades such as Slimy Limey, Electric Blue and Hot Pink and will market glitter dust this year. “Halloween is getting bigger. It is absolutely bigger. It is the second-largest holiday next to Christmas,” said Slotemaker De Bruine. “Many retailers said they underbought last year.”
Blue Cross Beauty Products is changing its Halloween program to keep it fresh, and also expects sales to increase over last year. It is changing the packaging on its hair paint from jars to tubes for easier application. But what works, works. It intends to bring back the popular pumpkin and skull nail polish bottles of last year.