Premium Beauty News - Éric Wimmer, you have been heading for the past few months IL Cosmetics, a company specialized in the production and filling of nail polishes, mascara, eyeliners and lipgloss. Industrial investments currently under way at the Luxembourg historic site are substantial! How are they going to impact the layout and organization of the site?
Éric Wimmer - Indeed, investments under way are substantial! In a previous article published in your newsletter, we had announced 11 million Euros in five years, including six million by 2011.
As for the industrial site, may I remind you that it is divided into three distinct facilities: two autonomous buildings, the first one for the production of nail polishes, the second one for the production of make-up and a packaging facility, dedicated to all our products. The total filling capacity for nail polishes ranges from 30 to 35 million units per year. For the other make-up products it was about 20 million units in 2009, with a 30% growth scheduled in 2010.
This obviously has an incidence on the site’s organization. Some ofthe investment planned by 2011 is dedicated to the construction of a specialized building for the production of all our make-up products (Luxcos). This will allow us to increase our filling capacity for nail polishes in the existing and consequently exclusively dedicated building (Interpack). This specialization will help us reach our goal which is to double our sales within 4 years.
Premium Beauty News - Until the decision for diversification occurred in the early 2000s, the history of IL Cosmetics was intimately linked to that of nail polish.
Éric Wimmer - Absolutely! As you know, there aren’t that many players in the nail polish segment. Because it’s a very technical and demanding industrial sector.
A bit of history is necessary here... Before the 1915/1920 period, women used to apply on their nails different kinds of products, one of them made of a plant, henna, displaying a brown / orange color. For years, they settled for polishing their nails to make them shiny. Hence the still currently used expression in English, of nail polish.
The end of Second World War brings the use of varnish as we know it today. A Charles Revson (who later on founded “Revlon”) teams up with a painting company, Mass. & Wallenstein and markets the first dye and nitrocellulose-based nail polish.
The making of premium nail polish is much more complex than you might imagine. Because the enamel must actually meet a number of criteria: correct application, brightness, drying time ... At the time, quite a challenge for the engineers. the dye must be “fixed”, the colored pigments must remain in suspension. Nowadays, as you know, you can even add PET sheets based glitters and the choice in colors can extend infinitely.
Premium Beauty News - Advances in terms of drying times reveal a lot about progress achieved in this industry!
Éric Wimmer - It is a very good example! Lifestyles have changed, women today are active. They can no longer afford to spend too much time for the application of their polish which must then dry in 1 to 3 minutes. Durability on the nail is also an important criterion which may reach 5 days.
Premium Beauty News - I.L. Cosmetics is one of the few, if not the only manufacturer of nail polishes, to have diversified itself in make-up.
Éric Wimmer - That’s true. We master techniques inherent in the development of a complex product such as nail polish: mixtures, dispersions, colors. So we can put this technical expertise to good use for other products such as lipgloss the complexity of which stands in color setting and mastering its application and mascara, with in addition mastering emulsions.