New Mally Beauty items

Barely one year after launching her eponymous cosmetics collection on QVC, makeup artist Mally Roncal is helming a multimillion-dollar business.

NEW YORK — Barely one year after launching her eponymous cosmetics collection on QVC, makeup artist Mally Roncal is helming a multimillion-dollar business — and celebrating her first anniversary by adding her first counter in a brick-and-mortar store, Bendel’s.

The high-energy makeup artist — whose clients have included Beyoncé Knowles and Jennifer Lopez — developed her Mally Beauty brand with industry veteran Don Pettit, who cracks that he is “the voice of reason.” She made her first appearance on QVC in March 2005. “The great thing about QVC is that they always want something new, so I am constantly in product development — and that’s my passion,” she said.

To celebrate her QVC anniversary, Roncal did a 24-hour stint on the shopping channel on March 24. The day kicked off with a one-hour show at midnight, followed by round-the-clock Mally shopping opportunities. “I was up for 40 hours straight,” she remembered. “Right after the show, I was sitting in a random pizza parlor in West Chester, Pa. [QVC’s home] with my husband and cousin, and just had one of those moments. I would never have believed in my wildest dreams that we’d come this far in a year.” Her next QVC appearance is in May, and the line is also sold on qvc.com. Prices range from $15 for a lipstick to $95 for a brush kit.

The brand is now opening its first brick-and-mortar door, Bendel’s, and Roncal will appear in the store April 6, 7 and 8 touting the products.

The store sales consultants’ uniforms were whipped up by two friends of Roncal, and they evoke “Agent Provocateur-meets-Rizzo from ‘Grease,'” Roncal said with a laugh. They include a black satin baseball jacket worn with a pink snakeskin scarf and Mally Beauty sweatbands. “We really wanted to make our consultants feel like a part of a family, and we wanted them to stand out,” said Roncal. “We’ve connected with a great group of consumers through QVC, and we’re in their living rooms with QVC. I’m also looking forward to being able to touch — literally — our consumers in Bendel’s. And wherever we go next, it has to have that same feeling, of being able to connect with people. We don’t want to get too big too fast — I want this to become a lifestyle brand.”

This story first appeared in the March 31, 2006 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Roncal and Pettit declined to specify first-year sales, although industry sources estimated that the company did about $5 million at retail in its first year.

“We’re at something north of 100 stockkeeping units now, and our target is to be in the mid-100s by yearend,” said Pettit. “But we don’t want to get over-sku’d. The whole point is to make this easy for women. If they walk in and see too much, they won’t choose anything.”

The latest additions to the line, out in April, include a cheek gloss, an eyelash enhancer and an eye pencil.

Get Cheeky, a $25 cheek gloss-blush available in three colors (“one was inspired by my stepmonster after she drinks a lot of wine,” Roncal cracked) offers a hint of color. Lash Illusion, $19.50, is a pigmented pencil intended to enhance lashes without having to apply multiple coats of mascara. And Shaping Secret Eyelift Wand, $25, is a double-sided eyelining pencil available in three colors, which Roncal calls “surgery in a pen.”

“It’s a very exciting time for Mally Beauty,” Roncal said with a laugh. “I don’t sleep much, I don’t eat much and I’m running around like the Energizer bunny. But it’s great; we’ve been very blessed.”

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