Lakmé launches premium make-up in India in hope of Absolute success


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Lakmé launches premium make-up in India in hope of Absolute success

Related tags Cosmetics

Colour cosmetics brand Lakmé is up scaling its make-up range in India to appeal to the premium market and become more competitive in a move that could be copied to Hindustan Unilever’s other segments should it be successful.

India is a very competitive arena in the colour cosmetics field with foreign brands such as L’Oréal Paris and Estée Lauder dominating the market; however, Lakmé wants a piece of the action.

The company has introduced its Lakmé Absolute range of products at premium prices, targeting urban women who prefer premium cosmetics.

If these premium products are a success, Unilever may put the same strategy in place in other areas of its portfolio revitalising the slow volume growth of its other brands such as Fair & Lovely and Clinic Plus.


The Lakme Absolute Illusion make-up range of eye shadows, nail polish and lip gloss was promoted during fashion week, as is usual for the company.

Senior research analyst at Euromonitor, Ina Dawer comments: “By introducing upscale brand extensions the company is trying to premiumize its colour cosmetics portfolio in India.”

“In addition to premiumisation, the new launches are also helping the company to create a brand image and also position itself in the masstige segment, where brands like L’Oreal Paris enjoy a good presence already.”

According to the researcher’s expert, this launch of products helped to cater to women who use upscale brands, and as women increase their purchasing power, also to women who are willing to experiment.

Upscale need

The Lakmé Absolute range, launched three years ago, fulfilled the company’s need for an upscale masstige range, and Dawer believes this launch of upscale colour cosmetics is necessary to remain competitive.

“When Hidustan Unilever launched this range did of upscale products, it helped the company to compensate for the slow volume and value growth in other beauty markets such as skin care and hair care,”​ she says.

The company is targeting urban women who are looking for better quality make-up, hence the decision to only make the products available in a few specialist retailers and selected cities in India.

“These products are apt for women who do not want to go premium, but at the same time want something more than what mass brands like Lakme has to offer,”​ adds Dawer.

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