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La Bouche Rouge raises funds, launches mascara in glass packaging

Katie Nichol
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La Bouche Rouge raises funds, launches mascara in glass packaging

French lipstick brand La Bouche Rouge, which has just unveiled what it calls the “world’s first glass mascara”, has raised €2.5m from BPI France. The funds will be used to develop the brand internationally and support the launch of its new makeup products rolling out this October.

“We created La Bouche Rouge with a refillable lipstick*, and are now launching our vision on a global scale with a makeup line,” President and Founder Nicolas Gerlier tells Luxe Packaging Insight, adding that the brand is looking to develop its business in Europe, the US and Asia. While covid-19 has been challenging for many in the makeup industry, La Bouche Rouge says it is still seeing double-digit growth.

“Our concept is about taking care of the consumer with clean formulas and taking care of the planet with clean packaging,” Gerlier explains. Its product formulas and packaging are made in France. For its packaging, of which some components are refillable and recyclable, the brand favors materials such as wood, metal and glass; its wooden lip and eye pencils are topped with recyclable metal caps, and for its new, refillable powder compact the brand opted for a metal alloy of zinc, aluminum, magnesium and copper with partially recycled content.

From its inception, La Bouche Rouge has committed to not using plastic, from production up to the point-of-sale. “It’s not uncommon today to see brands launching refillable packaging and using this as a sustainability argument, but when you look at the quantity of plastic at the point-of-sale, the amount of waste is huge,” underlines Gerlier. “I don’t believe in recycling plastic as nobody wants to buy it given its high price point. Since 1950 just 9% of plastic waste has been recycled worldwide so it’s not working.”

Sérum Noir, La Bouche Rouge’s new glass mascara, comes in a tube made of partially recycled glass (the brand aims to achieve 100% recycled glass for the tube in the near future). The mascara brush, with its castor oil-based fibers, is free from micro-plastics, the wiper is plant-based and the cap is made of metal. As with the brand’s lipsticks, upcycled leather is the material of choice for the mascara’s case made of offcuts from the Tannerie du Puy tannery in Auvergne. This season, the leather case is available in red, camel and chocolate brown, as well as a vegan version in black. The case can be personalized with the consumer’s initials. “Simply offering refill products is not enough,” notes Gerlier. “Brands need to create the desire to be refillable”.

In addition to Sérum Noir, La Bouche Rouge is launching a bronzer, highlighter, compact powder, eye-shadow (all of which can be used with its universal powder compact) and eyebrow serum (housed in the same glass pack as the mascara) this month.

And in terms of international development, Gerlier says that as of mid-November, it will be launching in mainland China despite the fact that the brand does not test on animals. Gerlier would not elaborate on this, but said it was “a very long and challenging process”.

*La Bouche Rouge and Albéa won a Formes de Luxe Award in 2018.

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