By Rhony Laigo

IT TOOK them a decade to formulate a unique blend of makeup colors to complement the skin tones of Asian-Americans, Latinas and the African-Americans.

In what could a revolutionary approach to skin care and beauty products, JAFRA Cosmetics International developed with two famous celebrity make-up artists as well as scientists a “deluxe color line” that addresses the diverse needs of Asian, Latina and African-American women.

A JAFRA model before and after applying makeup photos administered by celebrity makeup artist Sunny An during Thursday’s presentation of JAFRA’s new line of makeup and beauty products that were developed for the Asian-American, Latina and African-American skin tones. PHOTO: RHONY LAIGO/BALITA MEDIA

In a news conference held in downtown Los Angeles, JAFRA USA President Connie Tang led a two-hour presentation and demonstration of the “next generation of beauty” products, which Tang said, is the first update for the company in 10 years.

According to Tang, the new line was a collaboration with celebrity makeup artist Sergio Lopez-Rivera and Aliesh Pierce, who is regular fixture on entertainment TV shows. Sergio’s clients include Alicia Silverstone, Keri Russell, Patricia Arquette, Kate Walsh, Christina Ricci, while Aliesh has the Obamas as well as Vanessa Williams as among her customers.

To highlight its modernity, JAFRA also came up with a “contemporary and sleek” design in packaging the products characterized by white and silver colors to reflect today’s technology and the colors of choice in the auto industry.

The “elegant and luxurious” containers reflect today’s “modernity, newness and freshness,” said Leah Cadavona, the director of marketing for JAFRA-USA, who also said that aside from the new sleek packaging, the new products are “scientifically-proven formulations and fabulous shades.”

The new product line includes seven new triple-milled eyeshadow trios, three new blush shades, and 10 new nail lacquer shades. According to JAFRA, the “Automatic Eyeliner, Brow Pencil and Eye Pencil have been newly reformulated to ensure ease of application and wear.”

JAFRA also said to highlight darker skin tones, “the color line features a new Cream Concealer in Deep and Always Color Stay-On Makeup SPF 10 in three new shades for darker complexions” and featuring the “Dark Imperfection Corrector, which is a moisturizing concealer that corrects discoloration and hyper-pigmentation.”

Infused with botanicals and Vitamins C and E, the “Full Coverage Lipstick combines brilliant color, a velvety finish, and long-wear for eight hours” while the new Lash Maximizing Mascara dramatically “volumizes, lengthens and curls with a patented cotton extract, Vitamins B5 and E.” JAFRA says it uses “natural ingredients whenever possible” and “embraces ecologically-friendly product formulations while striving to work with environmentally responsible companies.” JAFRA also assures that it never uses animals or animal-derived ingredients in the creation or the testing of its products in a cruelty-free environment.

In spite of JAFRA’s popularity, however, it remains as a direct sales marketing product that can only be purchased from JAFRA consultants. With over 550,000 consultants selling directly to consumers in 17 countries throughout Latin America, North America, Europe, and most recently Asia, JAFRA is a half billion dollar company that helps women and some men become successful business persons.

But while JAFRA is a worldwide beauty product, its roots are local. Founded by Jan and Frank Day (JA+FRA), the product line was launched in 1956 out of their home in Malibu, California to realize their dream of “giving women the chance to experience and try cosmetics in a home ‘pamper party’ setting,” according to Tang. She said JAFRA will be celebrating its 55th year on August 6.

Now, JAFRA has a portfolio of more than 700 products, with lines ranging from skin and body care, color cosmetics, spa products, men’s skin care and grooming, baby care and fragrances.

In the U.S., Tang said there are 15 million who are involved in the JAFRA business who sell JAFRA products in the staggering amount of $30 annually. “These are independent business owners who work for themselves. No malls, no middle men, no brick and mortar operators.