Friday, 30 January 2009

Lancôme launch - new skincare revolution Génifique

Today Lancôme revealed their latest innovation under the gaze of many, many cameras at their store in Paris. Génifique is based on the science of genes (genomics) and the science of skin proteins (proteomics - collagen, keratin etc), allowing these two sciences to come together in a translucent white liquid that turns invisible on the skin. It scentlessly penetrates your skin cells to allow them, over time, to maintain and regain a maximal level of cellular jeunesse, using research into the protein structures of different ages of skin and research into how cells deteriorate over time in order to help. This not only emphasises repair of older skins, but also damage limitation of younger skins.

The whole promotional operation was very slick and lavish, with a Powerpoint presentation and short film presented to us by Lancôme's scientific director, Véronique Delvigne. The science seemed relatively well explained, although I could see one or two around me looking a little lost. As far as I can tell without actually being a scientist, it seemed like real science too, not all that pseudoscience so often associated with companies who put out a new anti-ageing product every minute. However, I will be checking up with my sister, who's a medical student, to get the real lowdown.

There were plenty of opportunities to try the new cream on our hands, ask questions, and take pictures of the bottles, even if my lack of update wire for my camera prevents me from uploading them, before we were given a full professional facial with the stuff and given a free bottle to take home. Other freebies included gloss, lipstick, and Lancôme's equally innovative Ôscillation mascara, a vibrating electric mascara rivalled only at present by an Estée Lauder equivalent. We were also met by the lovely German Moyano, Lancôme's chief makeup artist, and given full makeup treatment by him and his team. Add to this copious amounts of wine and macaroons, a professional photoshoot with photoblogger Benjamin Boccas, and a fully laid-on lunch at L'Eclaireur, and you have several happy bloggers. It was fun to finally meet some of my European colleagues, obsess over makeup with them, and not be looked at strangely for geeky conversations about HTML, choice of blogging platform, and even daft throwaway remarks about how much time we spend blogging and how we would all be straight onto our computers when we got home.

The icing on the cake, however, was the hospitality and charm that was oozed by Lancôme's personnel and the PR agency Balistikart. All were friendly, warm, and informative, and the interview I was granted with the scientific director was another bonus. While I lack a verbatim transcript owing to my lack of dictaphone, I can give a gist below of the interview questions and answers.

Interview with Lancôme's Scientific Director, Véronique Delvigne
What was your specialism during your doctoral studies, and how do you apply this to your work at Lancôme?

"I am a doctor of pharmacy, and have always specialised in the biology of the skin. I have always found the skin structures fascinating, including how the cellular structures work together with the body's circulation and defence systems. Skin is so simple and vital and yet so extraordinary."

Speaking of skin, I understand Lancôme uses the 'fake skin' technology in its labs. How does Lancôme plan to go beyond this already impressive level of technology?
"Génifique is us going beyond it. In its ten years of development, we researched even further into the skin's structure, going right down to cell nuclei, and these techniques will inform our later work in the laboratories."

Given the large amount of scientific evidence that UVA has a significant impact on the incidence of skin cancer, and the recent EC directives in the EU, is Lancôme planning to roll out a UVA rating protection system globally on its suncare and related products?
"Lancôme is already doing everything it can to conform to these regulations. Our skincare and suncare both protects the skin and fights against any potentially damaging external factors, and we already have a three-point system in place that not only indicates the level of UVB protection but is also intended for everyday use."

Moving to makeup, the growing popularity of mineral makeup is something that Lancôme surely cannot ignore. Is this something that Lancôme will also be expanding on in future?
"Yes - we have been developing a mineral makeup collection, which will also come with a gloss and will be launched in March."

The Spring 09 Pink Irreverence collection is an unusual departure from Lancôme's usual audience, spectrum of colours, and general makeup image. Will we be seeing more of this in the future?
"We have just appointed a new designer, Aaron de Mey, who designed this collection. He has great modernity and contemporary vision for the company and this is something that will inevitably influence future collections."

And finally, Lancôme has held onto its success for nearly 75 years. Who would you say the company's biggest competitor is?
"It depends on the market, the culture, the people, and people's needs; the market is a very faceted place. However, I would say that Lancôme is still the world leader in the provision of makeup and skincare."

Lancôme's expertise grew very obvious throughout the day, and allowed us all to form a more rounded impression of the company. Lancôme's reputation is primarily formed through its anti-ageing products, but on closer inspection, it also provides innovative and modern mascaras, lip colour, and eyeshadows across the whole spectrum, allowing you to buy for anyone from your sister to your gran. And with my truckload of free products, including Génifique itself, I'm sure I'll soon be back here to give you the 411.

Génifique is out in Europe and the USA in March, and in Asia in September, retailing at roughly $70/€87.


Anonymous said...

C'est Alexandra de Graine2Beaute! Pour ma part, il y a eu un problème dans la réservation du train... du coup, je suis restée plantée comme un gland de noisette sur le quai de la gare et je suis repartie chez moi pour me recoucher :( Bref, la journée semble avoir été fantastique, je suis heureuse pour toi! J'aurais aimé faire ta connaissance... lors d'une autre occasion j'espère :)
A bientôt!

BiancaP said...

C'est un dommage d'entendre tes nouvelles de ton voyage :( J'espère que tout va bien aujourd'hui, bises :)

britishbeautyblogger said...

Hello Bianca; it was great to meet you on such a beautiful sunny day in Paris...loving your blog. I've added you to my blogroll..and see you again on another beauty blog adventure!