Byline: Rusty Williamson

Balance equals beauty at Franche, a Houston-based makeup and skin care collection.
Franche is formulated with exacting ratios of vitamins, minerals and therapeutic creams and oils and is designed to harmonize with an individual’s unique skin chemistry, according to Francie Willis, creator of Franche.
Willis — also president and chief executive officer of Urban Retreat, a tony day spa in Houston — started Franche when she was unable to find a nature-based and toxin-free skin care line to offer her spa clients. She was looking for a product suitable for use after they’ve had a facial, when skin is especially sensitive.
“I also found it a contradiction that women try to take such good care of themselves by eating right and exercising, but then continue to put harmful chemicals on their faces,” Willis explained.
In light of its calming organic chemistry, Franche is also being marketed to women who’ve had plastic surgery, especially laser reconstruction or resurfacing.
As Franche products are aimed at specific skin types and individual needs, some of the formulations are housed in double-chamber bottles that share a common pump. This allows two purified treatment formulations to be encased in one bottle, but dispensed and mixed on contact in a controlled ratio.
Franche includes eight skin care items that retail from $20 for skin mousse to $70 for exotic sea-mineral creams.
There are also more than 100 color stockkeeping units that retail from $12 for lipstick to $50 for a whipped cream foundation.
The line is angling for first-year sales of $700,000 and is on plan to make its goal. It is sold at the Urban Retreat day spa and Henri Bendel in New York, among other venues.
Willis plans to market Franche to other upscale spas and retailers in select markets over the next year or so.

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