Breakthrough Product of the Year

Hope in a jar gave way to meaningful innovation in 2010, with first-to-market technologies dominating the year’s most outstanding introductions.

Breakthrough Product of the Year

Breakthrough Product of the Year

Photo By Mariko Jesse

Appeared In
Special Issue
Beauty Inc issue 12/10/2010

Hope in a jar gave way to meaningful innovation in 2010, with first-to-market technologies dominating the year’s most outstanding introductions.


Chanel Rouge Coco Hydrating Crème Lip Colour

Bring back lipstick! Such was the rallying cry of Chanel’s global creative director for makeup, Peter Philips, in early 2010. It was an audacious goal to be sure, given that lip gloss sales have steamrolled over lipstick in recent years. But by combining Philips’ unerring sense of creativity with its ace marketing team, Chanel made Philips’ vision a reality with the launch of Rouge Coco Hydrating Crème Lip Colour. The full-coverage formula, available in 30 shades (each named after a part of Coco Chanel’s life, natch) delivered both hydration and long wear. John Galantic, Chanel’s U.S. president, said at the launch that Rouge Coco was one of the house’s key items for the year and was expected to become an “iconic new makeup pillar.” It appears he was right. Noting that Rouge Coco was the number-one lip launch of the year, NPD’s Karen Grant said, “Chanel was able to break through the clutter and come out with a product that everyone is clamoring for.” —Jenny B. Fine

Skin Care
Clinique Repairwear Laser Focus Wrinkle & UV Damage Corrector

Clinique’s Repairwear Laser Focus Wrinkle & UV Damage Corrector, which launched globally in August, had a rather lofty goal: be the next-best thing to dermatologist-performed laser procedures at repairing UV damage and wrinkles. In fact, at launch, Lynne Greene, global president of Clinique, Origins and Ojon, claimed that when used for eight weeks, the product could replicate up to 63 percent of the benefi ts of a dermatologist procedure, with effects especially notable on women in their 20s and 30s. Powered by three patented repair enzymes encapsulated in a liposome-delivery system, Repairwear Laser Focus ties into a growing trend of products providing similar results to dermatologist procedures—an area that Clinique began pursuing last year with its best-selling Even Better Skin Tone Corrector. Retailing for $44.50 for 1 oz., industry sources estimated sales could reach $90 million globally in its first year on counter—a laser focus on sales, if ever there was one. —Julie Naughton

Hair Care
L’Oréal Professionnel Inoa

What better way to celebrate your centennial than with an innovation that you believe will take you into the next 100 years? That’s just what L’Oréal Professionnel did with the launch of Inoa—which stands for Innovation No Ammonia—the first professional ammonia-free hair color that lightens up to three levels, covers gray and has true-to-tone color results. Instead of ammonia, Inoa contains monoethanolamine, which traditionally doesn’t cover gray as well and can’t lighten. But by adding an oil-based gel to it, plus a cream developer, L’Oréal researchers determined it provides optimum results. The company staged a global launch with a 50-strong shade range, starting in Europe and cascading out to the U.S., Canada and South America. Today Inoa is in more than 70,000 salons in 45 countries. Executives were thrilled with its performance: During a third-quarter conference call, L’Oréal chief executive offi cer Jean-Paul Agon noted the professional sector was up 16.1 percent to $882.2 million despite the still-weak traffic in the U.S. “Salon traffi c hasn’t increased yet,” he said, “but we are doing better than the market, especially thanks to Inoa.” —J.B.F.

Womanity by Thierry Mugler

There’s femininity. Then, there’s Womanity. In true Thierry Mugler form, the designer and his licensee Clarins Fragrance Group have taken olfactive innovation one step further—thanks in part to fragrance supplier Mane. With a new molecular-extraction process by Mane, the scent juxtaposes sweet (think fig fruit) and savory (caviar). In a recurring theme, structure is provided by the woodsy elements of the fi g tree. Womanity marks Mugler’s fi rst major brand since Alien five years ago. The linchpin of Womanity, according to Clarins executives, is the evolving quest of women to express themselves and their ideas. The more women connect with each other, the more creativity is released. To that end, a metal frieze encases the bottle that features a face designed to symbolize women of all generations. At the launch, sources estimated Womanity could generate up to $90 million at retail in its first year. Mugler’s iconic Angel fragrance, another olfactive breakthrough, still generates an estimated $275 million in retail sales worldwide, and Alien does about 60 percent of that total. Female empowerment indeed. —Matthew W. Evans



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