Online Exclusives

Milani Is Making Moves

By Melissa Meisel, Associate Editor | April 14, 2014

Mass-market cosmetic brand hires key players, plans expansion and adds to its portfolio.

Founded 12 years ago, Los Angeles-based Milani is billed as the destination brand for women who love color, love to experiment with new looks and shop for makeup in better drug stores and mass merchant retailers. These women seek innovative products in richly pigmented colors that are formulated to work together on a range of ethnicities to complement all skin tones and ages.
 
A well-know multi-cultural brand said to deliver specialty store quality at value pricing, the collection is available in all CVS and Kmart stores and select Walmart and Walgreens locations. Products span cosmetics for lips, nails, eyes and cheeks to bronzers, liners and more.  
 
So, what makes these cosmetics different from the others? According to Mona Monaghan-Kelliher, recently appointed chief marketing officer, who took time to chat with Happi.com on a rare rainy day in Southern California, “We have an emphasis on both research and a commitment to innovation. We study shade preferences to create products that consumers love.”
 
To create future innovations, the company recently announced the following key additions to its team:
 
• Rhonda Baron—a seasoned executive with more than 20 years of related industry experience of driving revenue growth for companies including Almay/Revlon and Sally Hansen—as vice president of sales and business development;
 
• Cindy Cirlin as senior vice president of product development, who has created successful products and restaged existing SKUs for brands such as L'Oréal, Estée Lauder and Revlon, Inc. for 25-plus years;
 
• Gina Hagen as chief financial officer, a 20-year beauty industry veteran who has worked at companies including OPI Products Inc.;
 
• Surawati (Lia) Tirta as vice president of regulatory, who previously served as global regulatory compliance manager at OPI; and
 
• Monaghan-Kelliher as chief marketing officer, who brings more than two decades of experience in senior level marketing and business management positions at companies such as Sally Hansen, Estée Lauder and Revlon.
 
This new team is charged with re-energizing brands with new marketing strategies.
 
 “This dynamic and unique group of industry leaders is the key to strengthening our core business and preparing us for growth through strategic initiatives and product innovation,” said CEO Ralph Bijou. “Each member of our senior team brings value to the company through the synergy of multifaceted talents and expertise from marketing to financial growth to product innovation and development.”
 
Milani Cosmetics has just completed two extensive market research studies, which were used in developing its marketing strategies. It kicked off the Spring season with widespread print advertising, digital and social initiatives, promotional activities at retail, a revamped website and a public relations campaign across multiple media channels. 
 
Recent rollouts include “problem solving” lip and brow beauty essentials, which include Lip Intense liquid lipcolor and Power Lip gloss/stain hybrid. 
 
“It’s hard to incorporate both a gloss and stain while making the formulation non-drying,” Monaghan-Kelliher told Happi. “We really tapped into the hybrid trend that consumers are seeking out.”
 
Later this year, Milani will launch two “game changing” products including a technology-based eye formulation and a patented nail formula. The company also has aggressive plans to expand exponentially in both domestic and international markets in 2014.
 
“Consumers are proud to use Milani,” said Monaghan-Kelliher. “Lots of wonderful things are happening.”
 

 
 
 
 

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