Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Loreal's Secret Distribution Mess

I didn't plan to talk about Aishwarya Beige or the nonsense that is Star Secrets again, but 1.) I got a few blank calls from someone with the caller ID "Loreal" at my home and 2.) I've been getting a lot of hits on my blog lately coming from the following Google queries, "Aishwarya Beige", "where can I buy Aishwarya Beige?", "where to buy Star Secrets?", "Star Secrets Aishwarya Beige", "Aishwarya Rai's Makeup How to Get the Look". You get the picture. I can understand the queries for the Aishwarya Beige lipstick, but for someone from Loreal to actually do the extra sleuthing and call me at my home, that's creeping me out a little. Hey, I'm just a blogger with an opinion, that's all.

To be fair, I don't hate all Loreal products. I believe their Le Grand Kohl eyeliners are the best beauty bargain out there, and their ReNoviste Glycolic Peel Kit is the only product that lives up to its promise of evening out your skin tone after only one application. I love ReNoviste and have noticed better results from this product alone than using months of prescription strength Differin gel.

However, if there was ever an award for the "Worst Marketing and Distribution Campaign Ever" it would go to Loreal, for completely screwing up what could have been the most lucrative, international launch of a lipstick line ever. Because of their slow response and indecisive plan of how to launch and distribute this lipstick worldwide, they have lost a considerable amount in potential profits and caused mass hysteria amongst women on the internet, especially those seeking the ever elusive Aishwarya Beige lipstick.

I have yet to find an actual Star Confessions (or is it Star Secrets again? whatever they can't make up their mind) display at a local Walgreens or Target. Neither has Loreal offered the line for sale on its website. Why has Loreal made it so difficult to make the Star Secret lipsticks available to consumers, especially U.S. consumers? I'm seeing the commercials for the Star Secrets flashed during every episode of Desperate Housewives, with Aishwarya, Eva, and Andie walking around with their lipsticks like they're hot stuff, so I see they are continuing to hype it. But what's the use if no one can readily buy it? I think the people who live in the bigger cities have found it at a local retailer at some point, but those of us who live in West Bumblefuck, U.S.A. haven't seen a glimpse of it.

Meanwhile, savvy entreprenuers on eBay have zeroed in on Loreal's distribution problem (or lack thereof) and have taken it upon themselves to fill the void in demand for the most popular of the shades, Aishwarya Beige. In true economic fashion, it's priced at a huge profit margin for the seller. An $8 dollar tube of Aishwarya Beige lipstick is selling on Ebay for almost $30 dollars. That's almost four times the retail price! But you know what, it serves Loreal right. I think the "wizards" behind the entire Star Secrets/Confessions M&D campaign deserve the loss in sale, and furthermore, need to go back to business school to take a lesson in how the internet affects supply and demand in today's economy. What's the point of getting famous international faces to promote your product if you can't even create a market to sell it in?


Anonymous said...

Hello! Piya here Re: L'Oreal Star Confessions.

WALGREENS! In the most non-descript display possible...cleverly hidden from potential consumers. In fact, NOBODY had noticed Star Confessions b/c all the lipsticks were still there when I happened upon it. The corresponding lipliners have nothing to do with the lipsticks at all.

I'm also astounded by how poorly this product has been marketed. The display was tiny, not more than 2ft wide and placed on the top shelf of a free-standing case next to all the low-budget makeup (WetnWild, anyone?). Anyway, the shades they were marketing at this Walgreens were Penelope Cruz, Kerry Washington, Aishwarya Rai, Milla Jovovich, and Laetitia Casta (I know I spelled those last two incorrectly). NO Eva Longoria, Gong Li, Andie MacDowell or Michelle Yeoh shades.

So naturally I hoofed it back to Walgreens a day later and picked up two more tubes of Penelope's Red. It's just amazing with my skintone. It is hard to find reds that work with my skin. It is nice and bright, great coverage but still sheer enough not to look cakey.

I'm tempted to try Milla's Plum...not too far off from an amazing Lancome shade I have in my handbag.

One more thing. In my Walgreens the Star Confessions display only had four (4) lipsticks of each color and the display is the only place you will find them in the store. I took three out of four of the Penelope shade. Slim pickins!

VRK said...

Found your blog as I searched for Ash's lipstick. What kept me reading was that you're a mom to twins. I am also...boy/girl and I also have a newborn. Three's definitely a challenge. Only diff. is that my twins came first. Totally unprepared to be a first time Mom to twins...Brooke Sheilds' got nothin' on me! Only, I should have taken the drugs!

Chic Mommy said...

Piya, now you've got me wanting to try this Penelope shade. My husband found the Aishwarya Beige and the Eva Longoria lipticks I have from France, but where I live in U.S., I doubt I'll get to see the rest of the shades in this line. And there is no way I'm going to pay more than the price of a Chanel lipstick to buy a Loreal lipstick off eBay. I've never seen a company screw up distribution of a product so badly.

If you're looking for a nice plum by the way, try Bobbi Brown Rum Raisin or Clinique Black Violet. Those are my favorite picks for desi skin.

desimom, I like your screenname! And I can totally relate. I'm lucky I had the experience of managing one first before I had to take care of twin newborns and a two year old. Coffee is my drug of choice, second only to a fine brewed chai.

Lindsey said...

i saw a huge display in my CVS near D.C. The display was so large, but only held about 4 of each lipstick. Eva's color was gone, and half of Aishwarya's were too.
I was thinking about getting the Beige, and I still might ( i am not lucky enough to have your olive skin! ).
They really need to make testers available at the drugstores, even if you test it on your hand you can get a better idea of the finish.

Mommy2Alexei said...

I haven't been able to find these in any stores near me BUT I did happen to stumble upon them while doing a little eBay shopping. This seller has all of the shades! And it's not nearly as much as the $30 one you found. He has a ton of other discontinued and hard to find makeup as well. It's definitely worth checking out :)