Why didn’t you just call it Selfie Powder, since it would be an easier sell? we asked Sue Lewis, Sisley Paris’ Asia Pacific travel retail director, as she presented Blur Expert, Sisley’s high-definition, light-diffusing compact powder, at Rustan’s.
Lewis laughed at the suggestion. Since it launched this year, Blur Expert has earned that moniker—“selfie powder”—since it gets one quickly HD-camera-ready with just a swipe of the brush.
The high-tech powder has an ultralight, melting gel formulation that diffuses light for a radiant, matte finish. It can be used on its own, over foundation, or for retouching. It comes in only one shade that’s compatible with most complexions.
The blurring effect technology consists of spherical polymers that reflect light and smoothen skin’s texture for that desired flawless finish.
While Sisley, a French prestige cosmetics company founded in 1976, is big in Asia on its signature plant-derived skincare, its new makeup launches have been a hit in the region, Lewis said. Sisley, she pointed out, is not a trend-led brand, but a company that responds to needs.
“We bring products that we know address certain needs. And very often they might dovetail with the trend but sometimes they don’t,” she said.
Take, for instance, the highly popular BB and CC cream trends that started in South Korea and were picked up by most big European beauty brands. Sisley didn’t, however, jump on the bandwagon “simply because we didn’t feel that we could, at that time, bring the added benefits,” Lewis said.
Since Sisley is family-owned, it gets to do its own thing, and is not obligated to churn out trendy products just to drive up sales. “If testing isn’t satisfactory, we don’t launch it … We bring out products that we believe in. We don’t have sheet masks, for instance, but we do have fantastic masks.”
This year, it rolled out the Phyto-Teint Ultra Eclat, a reformulation of one of its bestselling foundations. Typical of Sisley, this oil-free, medium-coverage makeup has skin care benefits—moisturizing and softening from mauve and gardenia extracts, radiance-boosting from a combination of minerals, antioxidant and antipollution properties.
Unlike other Sisley foundations that address specific skin-type needs—say, antiaging—Phyto-Teint Ultra Eclat is a straightforward, comfortable daily foundation. It now comes in 14 shades.
It has also launched Stylo Lumiere, a light-and-lift stick that’s not a concealer, but can well be used under the eyes. Lewis uses it as a midday skin brightener and pick-me-upper, on the outer part of her eye area.
Of course, good skin should always be the starting point, Lewis said. “You wouldn’t paint a wall that’s bumpy and uneven and not clean.” The great thing about the internet, she said, is that it has made consumers more knowledgeable.
With celebrity makeup brands having sprouted in the market, Lewis said, “Good luck to them! It’s a very, very competitive market. For a brand to have lasted as long as Sisley has, you have to be good at something. I think a lot of customers appreciate expertise and credibility, and it takes time to get that.”
Lewis, who’s based in Hong Kong, reported a slight dip in sales there owing to the civil protests that have already lasted months. Hong Kong is a key market—it often gets first delivery of new products, while China launches take a year or so later, owing to regulatory requirements.
Outside of Hong Kong, however, the outlook is looking good, Lewis said. “Sisley is famous for skin care in Asia, but as people discover the quality of our makeup, they see that we don’t over-promise but we do over-deliver.”
Sisley Paris is exclusively available at Rustan’s.