The Color ID ad.

NEW YORK — Lancôme is aiming to build a broader foundation under its makeup category with the addition of a new line aimed at its widest ethnic audience yet. <br><br>With Color ID Precise Match Weightless Makeup SPF 8 launching in March,...

NEW YORK — Lancôme is aiming to build a broader foundation under its makeup category with the addition of a new line aimed at its widest ethnic audience yet.

This story first appeared in the November 14, 2003 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

With Color ID Precise Match Weightless Makeup SPF 8 launching in March, Lancôme will offer 20 liquid foundation shades broken down into four intensities, intended to provide a match for consumers of all ethnic backgrounds, said Elizabeth Park, vice president of makeup and promotional marketing.

While other Lancôme foundation ranges do include shades for ethnic consumers, Color ID provides a considerably wider range than is offered in existing lines, noted Park. “We’ve developed new technology that speaks to a broader audience —which is necessary for us to enlarge our user base,” noted Park. Color ID’s target user is an 18- to 35-year-old.

Dalia Chammas, senior vice president and general manager of Lancôme USA, sees the offering as a service to consumers. “Customers come to department stores for service,” she said. “Foundation, as a category, requires the most service, and we felt that it was important to make that point with Color ID.” She’s also hoping to vault the brand’s share in the category from number three to number two in the overall foundation category — with a number one share for liquid foundation.

Color ID’s key point of difference is the proprietary Color Adjust technology, noted Diane Velkov, manager of cosmetics research and development for Lancôme. “Traditional foundations contain red, black, yellow and white opaque mineral oxide pigments,” she said. “These pigments correct any complexion flaws but don’t replicate how light plays on the skin. While these traditional pigments are essential for foundations, we have combined them with our Color Adjust pigments, which have optical properties that are close to those of the skin. The combination veils imperfections in the skin, but looks natural. And the pigments are superfine, which ensures that they disburse evenly and feel weightless.”

The precise shade range was selected from a study done by Lancôme, which surveyed 500 women worldwide and measured all of the colors included in their complexions. The data collected was used to formulate the 20 shades now in the line, ranging from very fair to very dark shades. “These shades were specifically designed to offer shades for consumers on nearly every ethnicity,” noted Velkov.

As well, Color ID contains two types of powders —?hollow and solids — for a lightweight, spreadable formula, noted Park.

Color ID will retail for $32 for 1 oz. In the U.S., it will be available in Lancôme’s full distribution — about 2,200 department and specialty store doors — in March.

Print advertising breaks in March fashion, beauty and lifestyle magazines —?including several ethnic-focused magazines, noted Park. Advertising features two models — one Caucasian and one African-American — in an effort to make a statement about the line’s range. BeautiSeal sampling will be included with print advertising in many books, along with a bounceback card inviting consumers to come in for a drammed sample of their exact foundation match. Lancôme expects to distribute upward of 1.5 million BeautiSeal samples and more than seven million drammed foundation samples.

While none of the executives would comment on projected first-year sales or advertising spending, industry sources estimated that Color ID would do about $35 million at retail in its first year on counter in the U.S. and that about $6 million would be spent on advertising and promotion.

The brand’s 8,000 beauty consultants will also be armed with a handheld tool called the Shade Illuminator, which mimics natural light and contains an indicator that narrows down the customer’s shade range and intensity.

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