PARIS — Small is beautiful at Parfums Givenchy.

This story first appeared in the January 23, 2004 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

The LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton-owned company will introduce Givenchy Le Makeup, a 151-unit line of color cosmetics in petite packaging, this spring in Europe. It will replace the Miroir collection that was introduced in 1999.

Le Makeup is key to the revamp of Givenchy’s image.

“We want to redefine what Givenchy is about,” said Parfums Givenchy president and chief executive officer Alain Crevet, adding that the Very Irresistible Givenchy fragrance — which was launched last year — is also emblematic of the brand’s new spirit.

So is Liv Tyler, the brand’s spokesmodel, who will appear in advertising for the makeup line.

“I really love Le Makeup,” Tyler said at the press launch here. “I’m a makeup person.”

The ad campaign, which also features a selection of products, will break as double-page spreads and gatefolds when the line bows in Europe starting in March. The line, which was introduced in Japan in late November 2003, will be prelaunched in five Parisian stores starting Jan. 26. The U.S. rollout date has not yet been confirmed.

In line with Le Makeup’s small-is-beautiful concept, the brand also is reducing its makeup distribution by about one-third.

“We want to be very strong in the doors [where we’re sold],” said Isabelle Gex, vice president of Givenchy’s global marketing.

While Parfums Givenchy executives refused to divulge numbers, industry sources estimate that the new makeup line could generate $28 million in wholesale volume during its first year after launch.

Le Makeup is meant to be at once timeless and contemporary, Gex added. Take the new cosmetics packaging, for instance. Created by Cent Degres under the artistic direction of Pablo Reinoso, the square black packaging features the four-G Givenchy logo. Depending on the category of makeup, the logo color changes — for foundation, the accent is beige, while for eye products, it’s blue. Compacts are rechargeable with magnetized refills to make replacing product more convenient.

“We consider the design completely today and completely Givenchy — timeless and simple,” said Reinoso.

And the makeup takes the same cue. Many products can be layered or combined to vary intensity and finish, explained Nicolas Degennes, Givenchy artistic director for makeup and colors. Shadow Show eye shadows, for instance, include 10 shades of Ombre Regard Couleur shadows that can be worn alone or, for a sparkle effect, topped with one of the two Ombre Regard Reflets shades.

The line also includes Subli’Mine fluid foundation, billed to adjust to ambient light for a complexion that doesn’t change under natural or artificial light. MatMate, a compact foundation, regulates sebum. Both foundations come in 12 shades.

Givenchy’s complexion-enhancing compact face powders are dubbed Prisme Again! Six versions of the compacts will be available, each containing four color harmonies. A limited-edition compact also will be sold at launch.

The lip and nail segment includes lipsticks called Lip Lip Lip! It comprises three families of lip color — Light, with six shades for a natural look or as a top coat; Essential, a collection of 18 shades for everyday use, and Extreme, 12 lip colors in intense shades for a more sophisticated makeup. Twelve shades of Lip Lip Lip! Liner also will be available.

Nail polish, called Vernis Please!, comes in 20 colors. Each small bottle contains just 5.5 ml. of product, since few women use a full-size bottle of nail polish before it dries out, explained Crevet.

There are also three shades of Parad’Eyes mascara and eight shades of Magic Khol eyeliner.

Prices for products range from $18 at current exchange rates, or 14.50 euros, for Magic Khol eye pencil to $48, or 37.50 euros, for a 7.5-g. MatMate compact, in France.

And while Givenchy espouses the pluses of being petite, the brand is still thinking big.

“Small is beautiful,” Crevet said, “but we hope [Le Makeup] will be a big success.”