NEW YORK — Lancôme is out to add more volume to its considerable mascara business with a new formula it hopes will become the market’s second-place finisher within a year.
Hypnôse, launching in May, is being positioned as a custom-volume mascara — and one that is said to build lash volume sixfold.
“We are positioning Hypnôse as a key part of our core mascara portfolio,” said Dalia Chammas, senior vice president and general manager for Lancôme, adding that it is expected to join Lancôme’s existing Définicils — currently number one in the prestige market, according to NPD Beauty Trends — and Flextencils in the top three mascaras sold in the U.S. prestige market.
Flextencils currently ranks in the second-place slot, although Lancôme executives are aiming for Hypnôse to take over the number-two position in both the mascara market at large and within Lancôme’s mascara portfolio within a year, with Flextencils taking the third-place slot.
Lancôme is said to control 40 percent of the U.S prestige mascara category. The new formula adds new technology to the volume segment, which is used by women of all ages and represents a considerable percentage of the market, added Elizabeth Park, vice president of makeup marketing for Lancôme.
Hypnôse’s point of difference is its formula and brush combination, noted Odile Roujol, deputy general manager and senior vice president of marketing for Lancôme. The new formula contains the proprietary SoftSculpt technology, which includes a mix of soft waxes — including beeswax, palm oil and jojoba — and both positively and negatively charged polymers. The two types of polymers facilitate application of multiple coats of the mascara to the lashes without flaking and clumping, Roujol explained. Pro-Vitamin B5 is also included for conditioning.
The brand’s patented Powerfull brush has four sides to deposit mascara on lashes, four combs to coat and separate lashes and 1,000 sensors to smooth the formula evenly onto lashes, said Park.
Although executives expect customers from a wide variety of age groups, the mascara’s target consumer is a 25- to 45-year-old who wants a volume mascara that is easy to use, added Leonardo Chavez, director of makeup marketing, eyes, for Lancôme.
Hypnôse, which will be available in Lancôme’s 2,200 U.S. department and specialty store doors, will be produced in two shades, black and brown, each retailing for $21 for a 0.22-oz. tube. While none of the executives would comment on projected first-year sales or advertising spending, industry sources estimated that Hypnôse would do upwards of $20 million at retail in its first year on counter and that about $2 million would be spent on advertising and promotion.
National advertising breaks in May fashion, beauty and lifestyle magazines, including Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue, W and Lucky. More than three million mailers are also planned, as is outdoor advertising and in-store collateral.
— Julie Naughton