Online Exclusives

Shades Above the Rest

By Melissa Meisel, Associate Editor | March 13, 2013

L’Oréal is the world's top beauty company.

Just when Detergent Age (now known as Happi) was hitting the market in 1964, a very key acquisition was taking place at L’Oréal, a popular hair care brand at the time. Big changes came for L’Oréal Group in the mid-1960s when it acquired Lancôme (1964) and then later, Laboratoires Garnier (1965), two businesses that have become major brands in the beauty industry. Although the French brand Lancôme entered the US market in 1974, it set roots for its stronghold today, with standout SKUs such as Juicy Tubes lipgloss, Tresor perfume and Génifique skin care. And, let’s not forget Garnier, who is a leader in mass market skin care and hair care with winning products such as Fructis Sleek & Shine, Nutrisse color and Ultra-Lift anti-aging skin care—amongst L’Oréal’s presence in more than 130 countries.
“Our company was founded by scientist Eugéne Schueller with the first hair dye in 1909 and since then the group has continually strived to challenge the limits of knowledge about hair and skin,” Suzie Davidowitz, senior vice president, corporate communications, L’Oréal USA, New York, told Happi. “At L’Oréal, beauty is science and our researchers enable our brands to invent products of the future while drawing inspiration from beauty rituals around the world. L’Oréal’s mission is to offer all women and men worldwide the best of cosmetics innovation in terms of quality, efficacy and safety. We pursue this goal by meeting the infinite diversity of beauty needs and desires all over the world.”
One of the leading rollouts this season is L'Oreal's Total Repair hair care collection.
The Body Shop dabbles with a mysterious new ingredient, absinthe.
After acquiring Lancôme and Garnier in the 1960s, during the next 14 years, L’Oréal executives would make several other deals to expand the company’s areas of expertise. La Roche-Posay was acquired in 1989, Redken in 1993, Maybelline in the US in 1996 and SoftSheen in 1998. Its most recent high-profile purchase was the $1.8 billion acquisition of YSL Beauté in 2008.

“The quest for innovation is part of L’Oréal’s DNA,” noted Davidowitz. “Over the years, L’Oréal researchers have identified several active ingredients which have forever changed the cosmetics industry.”
According to Davidowitz, these include: Thermal Plankton, a microorganism which is highly effective on the skin; Mexoryl SX, a broad-spectrum UVA and UVB filter; Céramide R, which helps smooth and restore the hair; Aminexil, an anti-hair loss molecule; Pro-Xylane, a molecule that is highly effective for anti-aging; and Ionene G, a polymer with exceptional properties that are able to protect the hair fiber. L'Oréal Research & Innovation has also been working on cell biology and tissue engineering to meet its research needs, added Davidowitz.
Some of the company’s top selling products created in the US include, among others, SkinCeuticals Phloretin CF and Physical Fusion; Kiehl’s Since 1851 Ultra Facial Cream and Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate; Maybelline New York Volum’ Express the Falsies, Superstay 24HR Lipcolor and Superstay 14HR Lipstick; Matrix Total Results; L’Oréal Paris Sublime Sun and EverPure; Redken 5th Avenue NYC Chromatics and Color Extend Shampoo and Conditioner; Pureology Hydrate Shampoo and Conditioner and Biolage Exquisite Oil.
Money Talks

L'Oréal posted sales of $28.8 billion last year, a gain of 10.4%. Net income increased 15.1% to $3.8 billion. The company noted that 2012 was a milestone year as new markets became the No. 1 geographic zone.

Garnier's latest creation is a BB cream just for oily skin.
"The group achieved strong sales growth, and once again demonstrated its ability to outperform the beauty market, and to gain market share, even in the more difficult markets of Western Europe and the US," said Jean-Paul Agon, chairman and CEO in a statement. "(It) was also a very good vintage in terms of innovations—amongst the most remarkable in the industry—in each of our divisions and major business segments."

By division, professional product sales rose 6.7% to $3.8 billion; consumer product sales rose 8.9% to $13.7 billion; Luxury sales surged 16% to $7.1 billion and sales of active cosmetics increased 7.5% to $1.9 billion. The Body Shop reported an 11.4% increase in sales to $1.1 billion and sales of the dermatology business surged 12.9% to just over $1 billion.

During the year, the company acquired Vogue makeup brand in Colombia, opened its largest factory with a new site in Indonesia and created a new subsidiary, L'Oréal KSA in Saudi Arabia.

New for 2013

The company has a multitude of new launches for 2013. Under the umbrella brand, L’Oréal is rolling out innovations in color cosmetics, skin care and hair care.

In color cosmetics, the company debuted the following in early 2013:L’Oréal Paris Colour Caresse Shine Stain by Colour Riche lipstick, L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Eye Shadow Quads, L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Nail Lingerie, L’Oréal Paris True Match Super-Blendable Crayon Concealer, L’Oréal Paris Visible Lift Color Lift Blush, L’Oréal Paris Voluminous Power Volume 24H Black Smoke Mascara, L’Oréal Paris Telescopic Shocking Extensions Mascara, L’Oréal Paris Magic De-Crease Eyelid Primer and L’Oréal Paris Age Perfect BB Cream Instant Radiance.

In skin care, it released L’Oréal Paris Ideal Clean Collective facial cleanser and towelettes, L’Oréal Paris Ideal Moisture Collective oil-free moisturizers with SPF 25, L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Miracle Blur Instant Skin Smoother Finishing Cream, L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Triple Power SPF 30 Day Lotion, and a new L’Oréal Paris Sublime Bronze ProPerfect Salon Airbrush Mist in a deeper hue.
In hair care, the brand is expanding its curl-treating offerings with the new L’Oréal Paris EverCurl Sulfate-Free Curl Care System and L’Oréal Paris EverStyle Texture Series, a three-product collection that delivers all-day performance and includes a sea salt-infused beach spray, a touchable tousle crème and a talc-free dry shampoo. Also new is the L’Oréal Paris EverStrong Sulfate-Free Thickening Hair & Scalp System for thinning tresses. And consumers can take a walk on the wild side with L’Oréal Paris Féria Wild Ombré, billed as the first at-home coloring system designed to create one of the hottest, most sought-after hair color trends so far in 2013—the ombré effect.

L'Oréal Paris Superior Preference Riche Merlot Red.
Originally developed in 1973, L’Oréal Paris Superior Preference was the original inspiration behind the brand’s iconic tagline, “Because I’m Worth It.” Now, the gold standard in hair color is available in 47 different shades, including four new luminous hues developed with L’Oréal Paris Expert Colorist Christophe Robin.

Drawing inspiration from the Parisian runways and creating chic hues for sophisticated women who appreciate the classics, with a bit of a twist, L’Oréal Paris Superior Preference, unveils exclusive high-fashion trends for at-home color with the new Paris Couture Collection. The broad shade range is infused with subtle tonalities that illuminate your hair’s highs and lows and creates layers of shine, according to the company. Translucent blondes and brunettes are gently touched with sparkling hints of gold, while a luminous red is softened with rich mahogany. The result is eight weeks of fade-defying color that’s modern, wearable and glamorous.

At Lancôme, “Love Is in the Air” for its spring collection. Inspired by Lancôme ambassadress Emma Watson’s vision of love, the collection is infused with an eclectic mix of bright pastels and classic colors. Launches span from blush to lipstick to limited edition “Vernis In Love” nail polish in shades such as Sugar Rose, Rose Macaron and Peach Melodie. Meanwhile, sister brand Essie’s spring colors pop in shades of pink, red and baby blue.
New color cosmetic eyeshadow primer from L'Oreal Paris.
At Maybelline, anti-aging cosmetics are on trend with some new releases. It bulked up the Instant Age Rewind collection with the new Eraser Dark Spot Concealer + Treatment (with 2% Vitamin C to fade dark spots), Age Rewind Lifter Perfector Powder and The Lifter glycerin-infused foundation for a smooth, primed canvas. And, as the top-selling mass-market mascara, new launches wouldn’t be complete without a new mascara innovation. Volume Express The Rocket mascara utilizes an exclusive “supersonic” brush with a rigid core and micro-bristles for volume and no clumps, according to the company.
Garnier is thinking big for Spring 2013 with a batch of new hair care and skin care creations. Besides brining Olia hair color to the US, the company is rolling out men’s stylers, Volume Extend and Hydra Recharge hair care collections, an oil-free BB cream, a cleansing gelee for the face and Triple Nutrition Dry Oil, to name a few. The Body Shop is harnessing a unique ingredient, Absinthe, in a hand care collection for the season. And, La Roche Posay is aiming to fight oily skin with its new Effaclar Mat Daily Mattifying + Pore-Refining Moisturizer.
With strongholds in every beauty category, its looking like L’Oréal will be a leading player in the personal care industry for years to come.

“Unlike other companies, we are in every avenue of distribution. These avenues include department and specialty stores, mass market retailers, free standing boutiques, salons, dermatologist offices and medi spas,” explained Davidowitz. “We are the No. 1 beauty brand in the world due to our commitment to excellence and innovation and our employees who make dreams a reality.”