Jan/Feb2013, Expression Cosmétique page 94:

The pencil: reinventing a classic favorite

A decade after the "lipstick index", we could almost speak about the "cosmetic pencil index". In times of crisis, female consumers are turning towards this practical and affordable make-up accessory, which smartly reinvents itself. Let's take a look at the trends and innovations in this sector, from both manufacturers and suppliers.

The cosmetic pencil is a classic favorite. Initially made of wood, it now comes with a smudger or brush-tip, in plastic, retractable or sharpenable, in the felt-tip version with an ultrafine brush, as a "click-pen" or "twist-pen" (that have invaded the make-up market, especially for concealers)... Far from being a gadget, each of these innovations allows the brands to offer to their consumers textures and gestures adapted to each make-up style.

The classic cosmetic pencil, a safe bet
In Florence Lefeuvre's opinion, Sales, Marketing and Communication manager at Alkos Group, "numerous brands invest in pencils, revamping their ranges or multiplying their references (kohl for instance). During times of crisis, this product sells well because it is cheaper than an eye shadow box or a lipstick." The spring collections by Lancôme also offers the Crayon Miracle, a new item, in the range of the famous skin foundation, to brighten eye contour. Besides, the trend is to fit the pencil with various accessories. For Sabine Stadlbauer, Marketing Manager at Faber-Castell, "it is a differentiating element for selective brands (Clarins, Yves Saint Laurent, Dior...). Adding a smudger, a brush or an eyebrow brush justifies the higher price pencils have in this channel."

Eyeliner, the big winner in fashion
"In the past two years, explains Florence Lefeuvre, eyeliners have become the pillars of the cosmetic pencil segment, due to the return of the 60's fashion. A black line is drawn on the eyelids to enhance the look." And Sabine Stadlbauer adds: "a wide variety of tips are currently available on the market, for all types of make-up." Jumbo or slim pencils, with a brush applicator or a felt tip, beveled, ultrafine, triangular, thick... eyeliners adapted to all needs are currently available on the market. Sophie Gaspin, Marketing Head within Topline Primapack, even adds that "beveled tips allow brands to offer to consumers different line thickness in a single product."

The "Chubby" wave
"A true 'Chubby Stick' effect (from Clinique, Editor's Note) could be noticed starting 2011, explains Sophie Gaspin. All brands want one. The very high demand level registered until September is just starting to fade..." Florence Lefeuvre adds that, "in order to cope with this massive success of the jumbo twist," the Inter Cosmétiques branch of Alkos Group has purchased a third filling line. "In fact, we are working on converting our Intense & Stay lipstick formula currently available in a jumbo plastic format, into a jumbo twist format. But these jumbo twist packs pose sealing issues. This would explain the delayed release of the much expected version of Clinique's Chubby Stick Shadow Tint For Eyes" (the launch, expected for autumn 2012, is announced for February 2013, Editor's Note).

Pencils down to the nails
In 2012, the market showed a particular enthusiasm for manicure felt-tip pencils, which had previously been confined to a "niche". However, Flroence Lefeuvre states that "once their range completed with one or two references, brands will most likely not take this development further." Sabine Stadlbauer als states: "the market for nail art pencils is quite stable almost every-where. Apart from Asia, which is a high potential market, the frenzy is not there. In the USA, for instance, these pencils cannot compete with the low prices practiced by nail salons."
Despite the continuity registered by classic pencils, there is also a high demand for mechanical pencils. Especially since they started to come from makeup to facial care - just like Noxidoxi's recent launch (see Expression Cosmétique issue No. 17, page 8).

© 2013 - Expression Cosmétique

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