Luxury Hits the Masses
High End European Beauty Lines Come to Walgreens
By Lindsay Elkins
Shopping for luxury beauty products once meant time spent at a department store counter speaking with an advisor and trying to find the best products to address certain skin concerns. Although many women were often intimidated by the high-end beauty product counters, they didn’t want to sacrifice quality ingredients, personal advice, readily available information and deluxe samples for the convenience of running into a drug store and picking up a product on their own that they weren’t sure was the correct choice.
Thanks to Walgreens, a drug store with locations across the country, that is all about to change. In October, select Walgreens locations throughout the U.S. will debut its European Beauty Collection, a project two years in the making, which includes beauty lines from France, Germany, Switzerland, Spain and Greece, many of which are top sellers in European department and specialty stores.
“This is a very exciting venture for us,” said Michelle Hobson, Walgreens manager of strategic business development for beauty. “It is revolutionary in that we have seven companies working together to meet an unmet need in the U.S. and create a beauty destination at mass. Each brand plays a role in completing the puzzle. Our goal here is to address a wide spectrum of needs instead of focusing on just one or two brands. We’ve done that by creating an environment that makes it easy for customers to navigate and differentiate the brands in the collection.”
Department Store Benefits
What exactly makes these lines different from your run of the mill drugstore selections? Each of the lines, which include Institut Arnaud Paris Collection from France, Artdeco from Germany, Skincode from Switzerland, Spa Aquatique from France, Red Water from Greece, La Fleur Organique from France and Oli from Spain, will be housed within its own mini beauty store within Walgreens. It will be reminiscent of a department store counter, so women still feel like they are getting the quality, high-end products they crave, but with most products ranging from $13 to $40, every consumer can indulge in European luxury.
Other benefits that come with department store shopping will also be accessible. The European Beauty Collection section of Walgreens will include informational panels to help women shop by skin type and concern, testers and specially trained beauty advisors to help customers with their skin demands. Signature gift bags and deluxe samples will also be available to help provide that department store feel.
Each of the seven brands was carefully selected for their luxurious ingredients and prestige.
“When it comes to skincare products, American women want more, and they don’t want to have to pay big bucks or fight department store crowds to get it,” Michelle Hobson, Walgreens manager of strategic business development for beauty. “We think customers will appreciate the ability to buy high-end European products from their neighborhood Walgreens."
Institut Arnaud Paris is a face and body care line that has been seen in the spas of France for over 60 years and is made with active molecules and ingredients that come in three skin categories: normal/combination, dry/sensitive and mature/devitalized. Some of the face products include Instant Beauty Lift vials, Extreme Anti-Aging cream, One-Step cleanser and toner and Thermo-active Body Contouring gel. Each product in this line retails for $15 to $40.
Artdeco is the number one selling color cosmetic brand in German department stores and has pioneered skincare concepts for the face, hands and feet. This line features luxurious ingredients such as caviar, white lotus and liquid silk, that are often not found in drugstore brands, and each product type is easily identified in color-coded packaging so women can just scoop up the product they need and go. Some of the products include Caviar Lifting serum, Luxury Pearl Revitalizing cream, Advanced Phyto serum and Regenerating hand mask. Prices of products range from $20 to $60.
Skincode Switzerland is a fragrance, chemical, preservative and color free line of products based on natural ingredients tested with the head dermatologist at the University Hospital in Zurich. The main ingredient in the line is CM-Glucan, an active yeast extract clinically proven to reverse and prevent cell damage, improve skin elasticity and smooth lines and wrinkles. Products include Intensive Moisturizing Emulsion SPF 10, 24 Hour Cell Energizer cream and SOS Oil Control serum. Two travel and gift sets are also available: Swiss Anti-Aging Essentials kit and Swiss Beauty Essentials kit. Prices range from $20 to $40.
Spa Aquatique features professional-grade spa treatments from Ocean Terre Biotechnologie, the French pioneer of marine-based skincare formulas. Three product lines are available which include anti-aging, balancing oily skin and toning and firming the body. There are seven products within each line, four designed for daily use and three for weekly indulging. Products include Enzyme Repair cream, Purifying Seaweed serum and Sea-Sand exfoliating scrub. Prices range from $20 to $35.
Red Water is a collection of bath and body products created in Greece and combines thermal spring water, organic olive oil and herbs from the Greek-Mediterranean. Products are grouped into four categories: daily skincare, anti-aging and treatments, facial cleansing and body care. Some of the products include Hydrating Day cream, Face scrub, Hydra Demakeup Emulsion and Anti-Cellulite gel. Prices range from $14 to $35.
La Fleur Organique is a face and body care line from France containing organic botanicals and is produced in one of France’s national parks. Products are free of parabens, silicones, mineral oil, chemical preservatives, synthetic fragrances and colorings and petroleum derivatives. The products are grouped in four categories of daily skincare, anti-aging, cleansing and treatments and body care. Products include La Fleur Organique Tired Skin Boost, Firming Mask, Moisturizing Milk and Relaxing Massage oil. Prices range from $15 to $35.
Oli is a collection of products from Spain that combines olive oil and olive leaf extract with modern science and technology. Products include Anti-Aging Eye Contour cream, Oli shampoo, Oli deodorant and Anti-Aging Hand lotion. Dietary supplements are also available in three formulas: Balance, Protect and Restore. Prices range from $10 to $28.
With the launch of the European Beauty Collection at Walgreens, it’s clear that luxurious skin care products featuring cutting edge technology and ingredients is no longer reserved for the select few, but is now simply a trip to the drugstore away.