NEW YORK — The frenzy to enter the dollar cosmetics market continues.

This story first appeared in the January 12, 2004 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

The former president of Caboodles Cosmetics has already launched a line called Ten. Several other makers hoping to capitalize on the growth of retail formats like Dollar General and Family Dollar have introduced 99 cent and $1 lines, such as Au79 from Icebox, Wild & Crazy from Mirage Cosmetics, Almar Sales’ Beauty Basic and Hugs & Kisses from Cosmetic 2000, as well as offerings from Colormates and Beauty Innovations.

The latest brand comes via 30-year-old Manhattan fashion company Justin Allen, a producer of private label apparel for Target and others.

Within Justin Allen, a beauty business is now being developed called JA Cosmetics. Its first market entry, coming this spring, is the value-priced cosmetics line E.L.F. (eyes, lips, face). JA will officially introduce the line to dollar, drugstore, discount and supermarket buyers at the upcoming Efficient Promotion Planning Session meeting in Dallas in February.

Joey Shamah, chief executive of JA Cosmetics, said, “We invented the line to bring prestige products to mass at an affordable price.” The line, he says, takes a “problem-solution approach to skin care,” with many items boasting beneficial ingredients such as a tinted moisturizer with SPF 15 and a pressed powder with salicylic acid.

JA Cosmetics execs predict E.L.F. could reap wholesale sales of $5 million to $7 million its first year. In all, the collection contains 67 stockkeeping units in 12 product categories, which are packaged on a rainbow of color-coded cards to make selection simple. Verbiage is also in three languages — English, French and Spanish — to broaden the appeal. Other items in the line include Shimmering Facial Whip, a color item for cheeks, eyes or lips; Hypershine Gloss in a click-up pen; Moisture-Care lip color and tinted lip balms, eye shadows and eyeliners, and concealer and bronzer-blush duos. The suggested retail price is 99 cents or $1 per item.

A Web site — — will launch later this month. The site displays E.L.F.’s philosophy statement, which, at its core, believes “the key to true beauty is found in the right melding of the inner and outer person.” It continues, “E.L.F. also understands that innovative technology, ingredients and superb delivery systems should not be limited to just prestige retailers.”

— Laura Klepacki


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