Reboul turns 100 in 2021. Part of Aptar group since 2018, the French lipstick packaging specialist is currently focusing development on refillable packs and mono-material solutions. Luxe Packaging Insight caught up with Sandrine Brechon, Aptar Reboul’s Innovation and Development Manager, at the MakeUp in Paris show last week.
What is currently driving lipstick development at Aptar Reboul?
We have been working in two main areas: recyclable mono-material lipsticks and refillable lipsticks. In the latter area, Private Refill, our new standard lipstick mechanism, has just launched.
What differentiates Private Refill from other premium refillable lipsticks on the market?
Private Refill is a lipstick mechanism with an innovative security key. This security key solution allows a brand to have a specific and custom base shape which the refill snaps onto. Therefore, each security key is brand-specific. Only once the two parts are snapped together can the lipstick be applied.
For brands looking for a full pack solution, Aptar Reboul is developing a stock casing to complement the Private Refill mechanism. It is designed and conceived by Aptar Reboul in France, and will be manufactured by our partner in Asia.
What materials are you using for Private Refill?
This isn’t a mono-material mechanism, but we are using this new product to phase out Pom and styrenics and have replaced them with other plastic grades. We are also launching another mono-material lipstick made in either full PET or full PP.
Refillable, mono-material guided mechanisms are another area of development.
Indeed: we are currently developing two innovations in this field. The first is a full PP lipstick: base, cap and mechanism. The only constraint in this case is that 100% PP doesn’t comply with all types of formulas. Some solvents, such as isododecanes, aren’t compatible with PP or PE and other raw ingredients that are even more restrictive in terms of computability are coming onto the market. In response to this, we are looking to develop refillable and easily recyclable PET solutions. We are also working on another mono-material mechanism; several prototypes including a three-piece 100% PET solution are being tested. This can also integrate RPET as we are working to use more and more recycled material in our packs.
You’re developing more full-metal solutions as well?
Yes, especially for more premium brands. At Aptar Reboul we work with different metals (not only aluminum but also brass and nickel silver) and are able to offer various treatments (polishing...) and decoration options (lacquering, anodizing) in-house or with partnerships within Aptar. But like full plastic, full metal imposes its own set of technical constraints, as there are certain technical components inside the mechanism that can’t be made in metal, so the design has to be adapted to the material.
Metal also has its limits when it comes into contact with the product formula. Aluminum, however, has excellent chemical resistance once it's anodized so it's not an issue for make-up formulas. For the moment there is no solution that works with either full plastic or full metal, there are compromises to be made.
Do you have requests for lightweighted metal?
In luxury, weight still equates with quality, but we are seeing more requests to integrate recycled grades of aluminum or other metals. These grades have technical limits, however: either they can’t be formed in a single piece or the brand’s aesthetic demands can’t be met. But this is just the beginning and we’re testing different solutions.
How do you see the lipstick market performing and how will sales develop in the short term?
We foresee a boom in lipstick sales. Mask-wearing has somewhat crippled the sector this year, but this is changing as things open up. We've been doing a lot of development work and project costing for the last 18 months and I believe we’ll see a boom in launches between March and October 2022. Industry surveys show that 65% of shoppers are excited to wear make-up again, so our forecast is quite rosy on the lipstick front!