Jean-François Harpes, IL Cosmetics CEO, in the group's production unit in...

Jean-François Harpes, IL Cosmetics CEO, in the group’s production unit in Poland. A new multi-product filling site of around 10,000 m2 will address the group’s new multi-product developments in all the categories of color cosmetics.

Premium Beauty News - What is the position of the IL Cosmetics Group today in the make-up market?

Jean-François Harpes - We are the European leader for the manufacture of nail polish, serving brands worldwide. For over 34 years, we have been developing premium nail polish formulas, tailored to the needs of each market. Expectations vary from one continent to the other and even countries, so it is essential to have a perfect knowledge of each of them. We are specialised in all types of nail polish formulas from fast-drying to long lasting. Today we are the largest provider of full-service solutions in Europe and we are behind 80% of all major launches planned in Europe for 2018.

While the IL Cosmetics Group is widely recognized for its expertise in nail polish, it has also made use of its know-how in other make-up categories.

Premium Beauty News - You are diversifying your activity?

Jean-François Harpes - The term diversification could mean no longer focusing on our core business, which remains nail polish. But in fact the Group created several "expert poles" for the development of the different types of products. Each of them operates by using the same rigorous testing and development processes that characterize the nail polish pole.

Luxcos, our make-up division, boasts more than 15 years of expertise and is enjoying double-digit growth (+ 20% in 2017). We produce mascaras - which already have a strong positioning in the European market - but also lipgloss and liquid eyeliners. We are also working on other products categories.

Some of our client have won awards with our mascara formulas. To date, we are less known in the lipgloss category, but we have nonetheless already received positive feedbacks from the market with products fitting exactly the needs of consumers.

Our goal is to develop a “one-stop-shop” for all eyes, lips, face and nails cosmetic products. We plan to expand in other cosmetic categories in the coming years, which will certainly contribute to the development of our Group.

Premium Beauty News - On what growth drivers does IL Cosmetics rely?

Jean-François Harpes - Our growth and the development of our expertise relies on two approaches: Cosmetic Intelligence and Leading Innovation. Based on science, the Leading Innovation approach enables to produce formulas that exceed market performances and are proven by consumer perception panel. The Cosmetic Intelligence approach combines our knowledge of the market with our know-how and our ability to offer complete, ready-to-use turnkey solutions adapted to the needs of our clients.

With these drivers, we were able to develop different expert poles, which enable the Group to have a multi-product offer: mascaras, lipgloss, liquid eyeliners mainly.

Premium Beauty News - Are you ready in terms of infrastructure?

Jean-François Harpes - In our preparation we have neglected no aspect. Not only in terms of R&D resources and investments, but also concerning our production capacity, which today offers great flexibility for the production and filling of many different products.

IL Cosmetics had already boosted its industrial development with a 40 million-euro investment plan over the 2013-2018 period. In Poland, the packing unit, which was recently expanded, now enjoys a filling capacity of 240 million units. A second multi-product packing unit of 10,000 m2 will ensure our capability and flexibility to absorb new multi-product developments, whatever the category.