Clinique rejunvenated

Clinique rejunvenated

While other girls her age were banned by their parents from using make-up, the young Ms Jane Lauder was already receiving lipsticks by the dozen from her legendary grandmother, the late American cosmetics grande dame Estee Lauder.

"So many women tell me their mother didn't let them wear make-up until they were 16 or 18. But cosmetics were such a natural part of my life, I didn't know anything else," says the global brand president of Clinique in an exclusive interview with Urban in Hong Kong.

She was there in January to share the brand's line-up for the year with the regional press.

Ms Lauder, now 41, remembers the present she received from her grandmother for her 12th birthday.

"She came to visit and brought along one of those tall lipstick tester holders that you have at the counters. It must have been filled with around 40 of the latest lipsticks.

"I remember I tried every shade that day, until my lips turned purple."

Even before that memorable birthday, however, Ms Lauder had been using Clinique's signature three-step skincare routine to cleanse, exfoliate and moisturise her face.

Her father, Mr Ronald Lauder, who is now the chairman of Clinique, brought the products back home when she hit puberty and her skin started to change.

When Ms Lauder first joined her grandmother's company at age 23 as an account executive for Clinique, she was tasked with staffing and inventory matters at the counters across seven department stores in Long Beach Island, New Jersey.

Today, things have come full circle for Ms Lauder.

The exposure to cosmetics from an early age was the perfect schooling when she was appointed to helm Clinique in April last year.

Ms Lauder - who has an elder sister Aerin, the style and image director of Estee Lauder - has breathed new life into the brand.

Founded in 1968 and touted as the world's first allergy-tested and dermatology-based brand for women of all ages, Clinique is one of the top three brands in the Estee Lauder Companies stable. But it has become rather staid over the years.

In the last couple of months, however, the label has been rejuvenated with a slew of exciting new offerings to make Clinique more appealing to younger consumers.

The launches include the Smart Custom-Repair Serum that was released in September and claims to repair skin only where necessary; as well as the Swiss-engineered Sonic System Purifying Cleansing Brush rolled out in July. Two collectible versions of the automated facial cleansing device - covered in cute pastel green and purple polka dots - were added to the range last month.

"One of our missions is to always recruit a new generation of Clinique customers, and to continue to make the brand modern, relevant, interesting and exciting," says Ms Lauder.

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