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Inspired by Nature

By: Karen A. Newman
Posted: February 27, 2009, from the March 2009 issue of GCI Magazine.

There is snow on the ground—plenty of it—outside my office in the Chicago suburbs, and I have to say that I am quite inspired by nature at this moment. Inspired to relocate to a place where it never snows ... yet, at the same time, deeply moved by the beauty of the frosted landscape. What color there is on this sunless day stands out in sharp contrast to the white of the snow—red berries clinging fiercely to icy branches, rich browns of leafless trees and a flash of yellow from a goldfinch flitting by.

Writers, painters, poets and even politicians draw inspiration from nature these days, and I, in my wintry world, am reminded of the coming spring, flowers in full bloom and the impact of nature on the beauty business—thanks to a package I received from Yves Rocher.

France-based Yves Rocher has a 50-year history of producing beauty and personal care products from botanical ingredients, and is launching its first organic skin care line this year. But the reason for my waxing wondrous on the colors of nature comes from a brochure that was in the package, the arrival of which coincided with work on this issue of GCI magazine that looks at both color cosmetics and natural and organic products. The brochure features a line of Yves Rocher color cosmetics available in many regions of the world and launching in the U.S. in April. Couleurs Nature comprises 29 products in more than 200 shades based on the company’s Botanical Color Chart.

The products practically vibrate with intense colors, but that’s only part of the story. Nature’s influence is also felt in the product formulations; each contains a natural botanical active ingredient, included for originality and effectiveness. Powder eye shadows include bamboo silica extract to absorb oily film on the skin; cream eye shadows gain color enhancement from soy grain extract; and moisturizing cream lipsticks include organic sesame oil. Yves Rocher built a global business on botanical ingredients, many of which the company grows in fields in La Gacilly, France. Its story will be told at greater length in an upcoming issue of GCI magazine.

In this issue, Euromonitor International presents data on the global color cosmetics market; plus, I confirm with several brand owners the continuing importance of packaging in conveying brand identity. Read “Packaging is Critical to Brand Identity.”