Color's All Around Us

November 11, 2005

From runaways to current events, cosmetic trends come from various inspirations.

The verdict is in. This fall, expect to see glossy lips and strong, smoky eyes. That's what executives from leading cosmetic companies recently told Happi. But the inspirations for the color palettes are as diverse as can be, from autumn days to Sept. 11. And marketers continue to churn out new ideas to hopefully get a winning spot in the $2.53 billion mass market, according to Information Resources Inc., Chicago, for the year ended May 19. This figure excludes Wal-Mart sales. Mass market sales increased 3.8% from the previous year and new product introductions grew a modest 1.3% in supermarkets and mass merchandise and drug stores, IRI said.

U.S. department store makeup sales grew slightly to reach $2.3 billion in 2001, according to researchers at NPD Beauty-Trends, Port Washington, NY. New cosmetic products comprised 7% of the total prestige makeup business, NPD said. Notable launches in 2001 included Lancôme's Amplicils mascara and Clinique's Moisture Surge lipstick.

Various Inspirations
Trends can be traced back to many places. Experts from the Color Marketing Group in New York said there has been a move toward community and safety in the world, and products will reflect a fresh and innocent sense of America's heritage, especially in 2004. The hottest sellers today and in 2004 are expected to be blue and blue-green, experts said, and there will be a resurgence of feminine reds and tinted whites.

"The tragic events of last year and the economic uncertainty show their impact in a consumer desire for connecting, enriching and balancing their lives," insisted Beth Ludwig, director, global color marketing, Mary Kay.

Bobbi Brown's fall lipsticks act like gloss.

Other common influences for cosmetic palettes are fashion runways and celebrities. But some industry executives said inspiration can come from just about anywhere.

"A lot of products and raw materials typically used in other industries are making an appearance in cosmetic products," said Janet Pardo, vice president, worldwide product development, Origins. "For example, holographic pearls are now being used in nail polishes and lip products, but they were first introduced by the automotive industry."

Then again, no two cosmetic brands are alike, so inspiration is everywhere.

Shiny and Sheer
Sheer was in this summer. Origins introduced Nude and Improved Bare-Face makeup with SPF 15 in five sheer shades and moisturizing Rain and Shine Liptint with SPF 15 in 10 sheer shades such as Chocolate Cream and Go Blonde. In July, Origins introduced Underwear for Lids Delicate Color for Eyes cream eyeshadow in five cool shades such as Pink Wink, Silvery Stare and Green Glimpse. Executives said the sheer look will extend to the fall, but only on the lips or the eyes with darker counterparts.

For the holidays, Origins will launch Ginger Glimmer Glist-ening body powder, a ginger-scented golden mica and silica powder for silky, sparking skin. A 4-oz. powder will cost $25.

"Multi-faceted products will be very popular this winter as well as products that are easy to use and fun to wear," insisted the company's Ms. Pardo.

Yves Saint Laurent (YSL) is welcoming the fall with smoldering eyes with browns and black-tinged violets for a provocative look. On lips, sheer berry and garnet shades are featured. Two new products are being introduced: Lisse gloss, a high-shine hydrating lip gloss, and limited edition Fads á Paupiéres Quatuor eyeshadow compacts with four shades each.

"The lips are very glossy, but the color is sheer, not heavy," stated Linda Cantello, YSL artistic advisor for makeup. "The nails are intense. And we deliberately made the eyes muted."

Lisse gloss comes in four shades, N°1 (crystal pink), N°2 (nude), N°3 (cinnamon) and N°4 (spice). The two eyeshadow compacts are available in Dusk Mauve and Sensual Brown.

Shimmering Shimmies
Glossy lips are the focus of Bobbi Brown's fall 2002 collection, as well as strong, smoky eyes and translucent cheeks. "This fall, nothing looks fresher than a strong eye in rich, unexpected shades, paired with glistening lips," said Bobbi Brown in a statement. "And to bring it all together, a touch of natural-looking brown blush."

Bobbi Brown's Shimmering Gloss Stick lipsticks feature a new formula to give lots of shine but with the glide of a lipstick. They also contain vitamins C and E. "Shimmer Gloss Sticks' innovative formula combines different textures: glossy, sheer and shimmery," explained Maureen Case, general manager, Bobbi Brown Worldwide. "Ultra-low pigment levels keep the payoff translucent, allowing the pearl shimmers to shine through."

Shimmering Gloss Sticks are available in Copper Red, Mauve, Iced Pink, Cherry Cognac, Heather Plum, Cocoa Malt, Candlelight, Sand Shell, Pink Beige and Burnt Sugar.

Chanel's fall Beauté collection highlights Les Perles de Chanel Pearl Face Effects, a versatile product for the eyes, cheeks or lips featuring 13 pastel iridescent pearls in white, gold, green and pink. The pearls' cream texture illuminates the face. Other products include Extracils super curl lengthening mascara, Ombre Unique Shadowlights (matte, frost or satin), Les Quadra eyeshadow, Hydrabase lip colors, Le Vernis nail color, Double Contraste cheeks and lips compact in pink and plum shades, Vitalumiére Satin Smoothing fluid and Vitalumiére Satin Smoothing creme makeup.

Falling into the Fall Look
Orlane Paris will launch its Syllogismes fall/winter collection next month. Orlane's international color creator Romualdo Priore said the collection of shades are based on the theme of refined elegance intermixed with pop culture and ethnic influences. The basic motif of the collection is getting back to simplicity, especially after the events of 2001. The predominant shades of black, gray and blue are said to be torpid with subtle luminescence and shimmer.

For the face, Orlane launched Velvet blusher in Ombre Brun Soft Brown No. 21, as well as Compact Cake foundation in Porcelaine No. 02 and Sable No. 04. Transparent silver-blue and straw shades are featured in the Fluid eyeshadow, and Etruscan Sable together with Pyrite Brown are new in the Velvet eyeshadow duo. Orlane's Eyeliner pencil comes in Café Brown No. 12 and black.

Yves Saint Laurent is focusing on dark, smoky eyes for the fall, as well as sheer and glossy lips.

The Syllogismes collection also features hues of dark browns and reds on the lips with products such as Lipliner, Rouge Extraordinaire lipstick, Brilliant Lumiére lip gloss and Crayon Multi Beaute (pencil for the cheeks, eyes and lips). Executives said the Nail Lacquer nail polish has excellent hold and long-lasting shine. It is available in Beige Champagne No. 26.

Sothys' fall collection, Humeur Nature, features autumnal shades. Executives said the colors were inspired by the soft golden hues of a fall day and the glimmer of icicles on trees and range from gold to russet. Sothys' Multi-shimmer Art Brut blush is a lightweight, pearlescent powder that gives the skin radiance throughout the day. The palette has five cascading shades from gold to copper.

Pearly Duo, an innovative double pencil with eye shadow and eyeliner, comes in Seconde Peau and Vert Bronze. The Soft Lip pencil, available in Terre Tribale, contains avocado oil to soften lips, and Classique lipstick, available in Terre Tribale and Chair Nue, is enriched with vitamins E and A, as well as allantoin and carnauba. Vitamin B5 is featured in Humeur nail enamel, which also spotlights Sothys' scarabé formula that changes color in the presence of light. The fall Humeur nail enamel shade is Feu Sacré, ranging from red to gold.

Avon is set to launch its Antique Chic fall 2002 collection to create a timeless look. The products include two powder eyeshadow duos inspired by the 1930s in faded gold/tarnished copper and silver sheen/brushed plum. The Nailwear nail enamel collection is reminiscent of the 1940s and features shades such as Honey Blonde and Dusk Cherry. Avon's Ultra Color Rich Renewable lipsticks come in Ruby Red, Golden Oldie, Flambé and Antique Claret, and rekindle the looks of 1919 and the likes of Dorothy Parker. The upcoming winter collection has a bit of a different twist.

"For winter 2002, colors take their inspiration from nature," said Avon's Ellen Slicklen, director of color marketing in the U.S., and Tina Reynolds, senior manager of global color product development. "Crystal inspires the shade palette adding subtle brilliance. Each crystallized shade reacts with light and color for a luminous look."

The Exotic and the Unreal
Mysticism has always captured the imagination, and this is now being captured in several cosmetic lines. Sebastian's Trucco Fairytale collection incorporates romantic imagination with the symbol of a fairy to create a magical balance of spirituality and seduction.

"We defined color as we see it through the imagination and made it magical and fairy-like," explained Eric Allen, associate cosmetic R&D manager, Trucco. Mr. Allen cited movies such as "Harry Potter" and "Lord of the Rings" as influential.

Cover Girl plays on gems and sparkles in its new Twilighting collection.

The Fairytale collection consists of highly-reflective Crushed EyeLights powders in Moonstruck (pearl-white), Firelight (rose-beige), Gemstone (emerald-brown) and Spellbound (amethyst). Also new is Identity lipstick in Charmed (plum) and Translucent Sparkle face/body powder in Twinkle (lavender).

"We are moving away from dewy, shiny skin and gravitating toward a more natural, clean skin," Mr. Allen noted. "Lips are matte and full with deep shades of plum. Shine will be concentrated solely in the eye area, celebrating a wet, metallic look."

Clarins USA is going for a more mysterious take on fashion. The fall 2002 Bohemian Dreams collection features smoky, dusky blue and fiery earth tones as well as dark plums. Product innovations include the Retractable brow definer to shape eyebrows and the Automatic eyeliner using five resins, pearl pigments and an extra-light sugar-derived oil for radiance.

The collection includes three new Eye Colour trios of eyeshadow in Sunlit (golden tones), Mystery (smoky blues) and Passion (autumnal shades). Clarins' Le Rouge lipstick has added three new shades: Illusion n°25, Passion n°365 and Sensation n°660. Also new are Nail Colours in n°225 (creamy beige), n°226 (deep burgundy) and n°229 (fudge brown).

Natural Riches are what Elizabeth Arden is banking on this fall. The two-part Natural Riches collection includes the warm Mystery palette with eyeshadows in Loden, Sherbet and Teak with a coordinating Dual Perfection eyeshadow/eyeliner in Forest/Sage. Mystery cheek color comes in Terrarose and Dual Perfection lipstick/lipliner in Copper and Russet. The second palette, Romance, contains Moonbeam, Pewter and Plumsmoke eyeshadows with a glittering Currant/Heather eyeliner, as well as Dual lipstick/lipliner in Peony and Cassis. Romance color for the cheeks is Sugar Plum.

Mother Earth
Estée Lauder has had a long history of color cosmetic inspiration from fashion, home furnishings and accessories. This year, executives are turning over a new leaf. Earth tones sparked the ideas behind Estée Lauder's fall 2002 Mineralites makeup collection. Even the names of the Pure Color nail shades, such as Amethyst and Mar-casite, are geologically-oriented. The collection mirrors fall fashion trends.

"We saw flat shoes and cozy sweaters on the runway, and on the face, the palette focuses on earth tones," said Aerin Lauder in a statement. "The eyes are strong and confident. Earthy shades grace the lips, and nails are strong. The face is flawless and completely natural-a bit of sheen completes the look."

Estée Lauder's inspiration for the Mineralites collection was earthy tones on fashion runways.

New products include Creme Patina for Eyes in Pearl Jade and Golden Pearl, which can be accented with Pure Color eyeshadow in Mocha Cup. Pure Color lipsticks have super-micronized pigments for a polished look, a blend of long-lasting natural emollients and vitamins. Lipstick shades include TigerEye, Sunstone, Rubellite and Hot Kiss, as well as a Pure Color gloss in Quartz. The nail polishes feature oval-shaped brushes and plasticizers and sealers that are scuff- and water-resistant, according to executives.

Cover Girl also uses gems to describe its fall Twilighting collection with warm shades of brown, gold and soft mauve accented with sparkles inspired by the sunset. Executives said the spotlight of the collection is the brand's limited edition Outlast Shimmers Shade Enhancing topcoats in Amethyst, Quartz, Topaz, Platinum, Crystal and Copper shades.

The Outlast All-Day lipcolor system has also launched four new and four limited edition shades. IRI reported Cover Girl Outlast lipstick was the No. 2 and Cover Girl Continuous Color the No. 4 lipsticks for the year ended May 19. New lipstick shades include It's Your Mauve, Mad for Mocha, Moonlit Mauve, Soft Sienna, Pink Champagne, Autumn Dusk, Winelighting and Midnight Sky.

Cover Girl's limited edition holiday "Shimmer Blizzard" shimmering and sparkling color collection is based on silver and gold accents, according to Monica Collins, manager of external North American communications, Procter & Gamble. It will be available in October.

Change Is Good
The Mary Kay Signature collection is undergoing a series of changes, but the line still reflects the fact that consumers like familiarity, especially as the nation nears its one-year anniversary of September 11. "Comfort, familiarity and tradition along with a healthy dose of optimism will have influence on colors that are brighter, yet softer, to create a happy, enriching surrounding," said Ms. Ludwig.

Mary Kay began the second phase of its MK Signature launch with updated formulas and packaging as well as new products. MK Signature products are now housed in sleek, platinum, bullet-shaped compacts and two-toned hot-pink outer cartons. Available since June, new products include MK Signature Eye colors and Duets, Crème-to-Powder Eye-sicles, eyeliners, liquid eyeliner, mascara, Cheek powders, Highlighters Bronz-ing beads, Retractable Powder blush and Loose powders and concealers.

Mary Kay will also launch End2End eye and lip colors next month under the youthful Velocity line. These small combination products feature metallic or pearlescent shades on one end matched with shimmering or frosty shades on the other end.

"The eyes have it," insisted Ms. Ludwig. "These products will be hot for winter 2002. Dramatic eyes, whether black or bright, and/or colored liners (even metallic) will be worn smudged or smoky."

Eye color hues include Denim Craze and Double Platinum, while the lip colors feature Melon Rush, Cola Freeze and Blue Blazes.

More to Bat Eyelashes for
In the prestige segment, Lancôme is the leader in mascara sales, so Estée Lauder introduced seven new mascaras this past year to bridge the gap. Illusionist Maximum Curling mascara, a breakthrough smudge-free product utilizing an extremely light silica to lift lashes and a flexible elastic polymer, is the company's latest mascara offering. Executives said mascara is the No. 2 best-selling cosmetic item following lipstick. The Illusionist Maximum Curling mascara wand has a no-slip grip and a brush with triple-hollow elastomers to separate lashes. Mascara shades in the Mineralites collection include teal and black.

In an attempt to keep its position, Lancôme is introducing Flextencils mascara this month. This full-extension curving mascara is said to lengthen lashes up to 30% using Lancôme's PowerShape polymer formula.

Clarins' Pure Curl mascara uses moisturizing sugars, vegetal gum, light-reflective hectorite crystals, rice and candelilla waxes. They are available in Pure Black, Pure Violet, Pure Brown and Pure Grey shades. The mascara brushes have hollow fibers that act as mini-reservoirs to even mascara distribution. Lashes are also strengthened by vitamins B5 and E.

MK Signature is being totally revamped to give Mary Kay a new look.

Jane Iredale, Great Barrington, MA, recently introduced the PureLash Lengthening mascara in Jet Black, Brown Black and Navy. Executives said it can be used with PureLash Thickener and Conditioner for extra fullness. Also new are Jane Iredale's PureBrow colors in five shades-Blonde, Auburn, Brunette, Deep Brown and Raven-and the PureBrow Fix & Mascara to comb, brush and set unruly eyebrows into place.

Orlane's Protective Volume-Build-ing mascara combines beeswax, carnauba wax, castor oil and hydrolyzed wheat proteins to protect the eye lashes. It is available in black.

Skin Care Comes First
Custom formulator Colorlab Cosmetics, Rockford, IL, unveiled its fall collection, "Sophisticated understated beauty," to enhance natural beauty. Colorlab goes above and beyond to give consumers what they want. "Cosmetics are starting to cater to everyone with skin care in mind, especially using SPFs," said Ms. Polowy.

For example, the company's liquid and mineral foundations contain botanical extracts and are free of talc, mineral oil and fragrance. Three types are offered: oil-free, en-riched and matte. The mineral foundations use micronized minerals to form a protective skin barrier and titanium dioxide with SPF 17-25.

For the fall, Illumination shimmering mineral eyeshadow is used as a base on the eyes, with On Holiday mineral eyeshadow layered on top. The eyelids are lined with Madison Avenue mineral liner, either dry for a smoky look, or wet for a dramatic look.

"In the fall, there will be crimson cosmetics that will tone down to coral in the spring," said Perri Polowy, head makeup artist, Mario Tricoci salon, Bloomingdale, IL, which sells Colorlab items. "Italian designers with ultra suede and rich textures largely influenced fall collections."

On the lips, Colorlab offers Twig Sketch Stick lipliner for a neutral bottom shade, Sweet Life Shimmer lipstick for a light berry color and Top It Off lip gloss that can be worn over Sweet Life for extra lacquer.

"Glosses will go straight from the summer into the fall, but they will be used with lipstick for high power shine and a sexy, pouty mouth," added Ms. Polowy.

Almay, a Revlon line, recently introduced Almay Lip Vitality Smoothing lipcolor with Kinetin, a lipstick with antioxidant kinetin, vitamins, aloe and SPF 15. Kinetin is a skin-smoothing anti-aging ingredient found in green, leafy plants that is not as irritating to the skin as retinol and alpha hydroxy acids. Executives said the lipcolor is clinically proven to smooth and reduce the appearance of fine lines and increase lip moisture in four weeks. Almay Lip Vitality Smoothing lipcolor with Kinetin is available in 20 shades.

Almay's fall 2002 "Tempt Your Palette" cosmetics collection includes color and care kits for the eyes, lips and cheeks in Tempting Wines, Tempting Berries and Tempting Spices shade ranges. The eye palettes feature three shades of Almay Stay Smooth Beyond Powder eyeshadow with a cream-to-powder primer for $6.25 each. Almay's One Coat Lipcolors come in three palettes with a lightweight conditioning balm, and blush compacts combine a lightweight cream blush with a conditioning pearlized highlighter for cheeks.

Origins is also no stranger to the concept of skin care in cosmetics. Origins offers the Quick Hide Easy-blend concealer to cover wrinkles and redness as well as Nude and Improved Bare-Face makeup with SPF 15, essential oils and vitamin E.

"Consumers want products that allow for multi-tasking," said Origins' Ms. Pardo. "If a product can treat the area where it is applied and at the same time provide a burst of color, this is a plus to consumers."

Spring is in the Air
The sheer look of several of the fall palettes is also going to make an appearance in the spring, but consumers may be fooled in the store.

"This spring there will be a play on pigment-it is all very deceiving," Colorlab's Ms. Polowy. "Palettes will look strong but will lay down sheer. There is also more serendipity this coming spring-different colors in a collection will work together because they are all sheer."

Mary Kay's Ms. Ludwig added that green will be a key color, from mint to neon, and even green with yellow undertones, during the spring and summer. White-washed colors will also be popular, she explained, and the effect will be seen in neon tones such as citric yellow and whitened sorbet.

Also, lips will be increasingly spotlighted, but with different looks for teenagers and adults.

"With the emergence of spring, eyes will still be primary but lips will move a bit more to the forefront than in past seasons," Ms. Ludwig opined. "Luminous lip gels or glosses in fun, candy colors will provide high shine hot for the younger market. Bright red lips with an understated eye bring back a classic 1950s look for the mainstream market," she added.

Bobbi Brown executives said spring cosmetics will move the fall's glimmering mouth to the eyes. "Look for a twist on an existing cream shadow formula, which will be long-wearing, lightweight on the eye, and will use pearls to illuminate the eye in a soft shade collection ranging from neutrals to light shades of pink and peach," said the company's Ms. Case.

Origins' Ms. Pardo insisted 2003 will focus on fairytale-like, soft looks. "For the upcoming year, there will be romantic and sensual beauty looks using 'faded' shades that are soft and feminine," she said. "There will also be exotic and folkloric looks using tawny, brick, plum and violet."

Soft, feminine and sugary pastel colors are foreseen by Avon executives for the spring, as well as shades with a sun-bleached feel. Spring 2003 also takes inspiration from nature, such as classic English gardens. "The color palette is soft and dusty, muted and pearlized," said Avon's Ms. Slicklen and Ms. Reynolds. "The pinks take on a yellowed tone this spring. Pink is the perennial spring shade ranging from lavender to fuchsia."

Orlane is all about simplicity and luminescence in its new Syllogismes palette.

For summer 2003, tropical shades will be key, especially botanical green, according to Avon. Bobbi Brown noted fall 2003 will largely focus on mauve tones. Sebastian executives predict muted green, bronze and violet shades will transition into neutralized yellows, oranges, berries for the fall of 2003.

The Allure
Sure, cosmetics can be fun and sexy, but what benefits really keep consumers coming back for more? Ms. Ludwig of Mary Kay offered a few predictions about the future of the cosmetics market. "Products that have multifunctional benefits, are easy to use and easy to understand will always have strong appeal," she said. "Longer-lasting formulas will continue to have appeal with the mainstream market as will plumping attributes, especially in lip products and mascara."

Multifunctional products can also be seen as two-for-one deals. Skin care benefits too are a major plus with consumers today. Formulation improvements continue to promote a long-lasting, natural look, and add soothing ingredients such as witch hazel. Avon executives noted two-tone pearls will continue to be popular.

Trucco's Mr. Allen suggested consumers have only seen the tip of the iceberg of innovation. "Eye color textures will utilize pulverized colored pearls in lieu of talc-based products," he insisted. "This new texture will reinvent the application and the look of loose eye colors."

Colors will also increasingly focus on Sept. 11. "Patriotism is still strong but with a bit of a twist," said Mary Kay's Ms. Ludwig. "For instance, you might see red, white and turquoise."

But like Broadway veterans know, "anything goes" in cosmetics these days.

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