In the beauty business, prestige packaging for products with limited, high-end distribution, is a diverse category that must reflect the personality of each brand. Encompassing fragrance, color cosmetics, skin care and personal care categories, Cosmetic Packaging & Design looked at the 2005 IPDA competition winners and finalists as a sampling of recent prestige packages to see how each was developed. The winner in each category leads off each section. The other products were finalists.

Fine Fragrance

La Prairie’s Silver Rain

The winner of the overall IPDA competition, as well as the category leader in the prestige fragrance category, the packaging for La Prairie’s Silver Rain speaks to the luxury of the brand, according to a La Prairie spokesperson. “The perfectly sculpted raindrop in gleaming silver captures the rarity and uniqueness of the scent it holds inside,” she said.

Top shelf (left to right): Angel Rising Star, Prada Fragrance, Silver Rain, Curious by Britney Spears, Hummer Fragrance for Men.
Silversmith Christofle created the sterling silver Cachette for Silver Rain, a limited edition that is signed and numbered. It contains three eau de parfum vials —Silver Rain, Silver Sensuality and Silver Spice — “that celebrate the global persona of the La Prairie woman.”

Molded in glass, La Prairie’s in-house design team created the Silver Rain eau de parfum spray and purse spray to mimic the sterling silver Cachette.

“We created a fragrance that is a mixture of fantasy and reality,” said Lynne Florio, president of La Prairie. “We designed both a rare and provocative scent that global women could relate to and enjoy.”

Angel Rising Star by Thierry Mugler

Shaped like a star, Thierry Mugler launched Angel, his first fragrance in 1992. That bottle has been the inspiration for the other Angel Star fragrances.

“The design concept for Angel Rising Star came from the verticality of the new Angel institutional visual, which launched in 2003,” stated Lea Gandon, Angel product manager. “The design has a strong link with the existing stars, being inspired by the design of both the 75 mL Star Collection and the 25 and 50 mL ‘shooting stars.’

Thierry Mugler designed Rising Star and Jean Jacques Urcun created the bottle, which is slender, stately and star-shaped from the bottom to the top. “The base is narrower than its body, but large enough to ensure total equilibrium for display. The bottle is topped by a star-shaped facetted silver cap,” Gandon noted.  

Designed to be dramatic, the package is also “perfectly ergonomic: its design fits perfectly into a woman’s hand,” added Gandon.

Rising Star was designed to fit the Thierry Mugler image of Angel fragrances yet be distinctive. “It is a brand new expression,” said Daphne Leopold, director of international public relations, Thierry Mugler Parfums.

Prada Fragrance

Prada Fragrance, launched by Puig Prestige Beauty in September 2004, was created by Miuccia Prada using the same principles that sustain the Prada brand. The brand stands for “fusing tradition and innovation, blending traditional and natural ingredients whilst pushing the boundaries of innovative and modern design,” according to the company.

“Symbolizing the future, the fragrance comes in a sleek, strong, glass bottle with an industrial metal cap,” said Rose Pilato, Prada spokeswoman. “Recalling the past, an artisan metal plaque on the top of the bottle is engraved with the hallmark ingredients that create the fragrance’s unique allure.”

According to Pilato, Miuccia Prada carefully chose the package colors: powder pink for femininity; prune for strength; champagne for luxury and sophistication. “She added a textile label on the outer box — the same as that used on the Prada ready-to-wear line — to emphasize the link of the fragrance to fashion,” Pilato added.

Curious by Britney Spears

Elizabeth Arden worked directly with Britney Spears to develop the bottle and packaging for Curious by Britney Spears, according to Tamara Steele, vice president of fragrance at Elizabeth Arden.  Spears wanted a look that was “young and fresh,” Steele said.

“The bottle and graphics of the carton both have a retro design. Britney’s two favorite colors, pink and azure blue, are used for the floral design of the carton, accented by black for sophistication,” noted Steele, adding, “Britney had seen beautiful antique perfume bottles with atomizers and asked us to base the design of the Curious bottle on those.”

The values of the brand are bold, adventurous and fun. Jean Antretter, senior design director at Elizabeth Arden, created the packaging to be mysterious. Steele said, “The origami base is engineered to bloom open when the lid is removed, revealing the fragrance bottle inside.”

Hummer Fragrance for Men

Creating a fragrance package that communicates the image of a high-end sport utility vehicle was accomplished by the design team at Riveria Concepts with approvals from General Motors. Jerome Dinand at Arketip designed the bottle.

Attributes of the Hummer brand were identified, including masculinity, ruggedness and brawn. Those characteristics were then used throughout the collection as well as certain elements of vehicle design to underscore the brand such as size, shape, color and durablilty, according to Jennifer Hughes, public relations manager, Riveria Concepts.

Color Cosmetics

Goldie CD Makeup Compact

Goldie is the latest cosmetics brand from Hard Candy creator, Dineh Mohajer. For Goldie, Mohajer has collaborated with Jeanne Chavez, co-founder. Goldie is a line of trendy, highly portable products aimed at a young, fashion-conscious audience.

Left to Right: Color Surge Eyeshadow Compact, Lip Jewels, CD Compact, Eyeshadow Primer Potion and Creamy Concealer Kit.
The Goldie CD compact, which holds three lip gloss shades, two eyeshadows, one powder blush and mini makeup applicators, was inspired by an artist’s palette, according to Mohajer and Chavez. Designed to reflect the brand’s image, the packaging is clever and fun, as well as practical with everything for lips, eyes and cheeks. “It is clean and sleek with minimal artwork, as well as extremely functional with touches of punk whimsy,” they said.

Estée Lauder Lip Jewels

Estée Lauder continues to meet the challenge to be modern and yet true to its tradition of sophisticated luxury. Launched as a limited edition gift item, Lip Jewels was designed and patented by Gary Korba, former Estée Lauder vice president of Creative Global Packaging. George Kress, vice president Global Packaging Innovation, explained that Lip Jewels was inspired by an antique package and incorporates a spring-loaded mirror in a gold-toned package. The lipstick features the brand’s logo as a gold medallion. The attractive gift box also includes three lipstick shades.

Bobbi Brown’s Creamy Concealer Kit

Bobbi Brown is actively engaged in developing products and packaging that are true to her original goals of providing flattering makeup that is quick and easy. The Creamy Concealer Kit was designed to deliver concealer and powder in one convenient package, topped off with a flip-top cap that holds a mirror, according to Ralph Vestbom, design director, Bobbi Brown. It’s a stacked kit that features a top compartment filled with concealer and a bottom compartment filled with loose powder.

“Bobbi Brown’s mission is to answer women’s needs,” stated Vestbom. “Women like products that are beautiful and practical, and our packaging reflects this. Bobbi has a classic, signature style and I think women today appreciate that our products are in keeping with this aesthetic.”

Clinique Colour Surge Eyeshadow

Clinique’s Colour Surge Eyeshadow, launched in packaging that is part of an overall brand redesign, has a see-through bottom so the shade is visible and a mirror for application. The applicator is designed to work in tandem with the shadow formula for smooth and precise application.

“Eyeshadows are all about color,” commented Ted Owen, executive director for Clinique Global Packaging. “When we saw the full range of colors, it was obvious that the new design needed to showcase the shades, as well as make it easy for our customer to select her shade without having to open the compact.”

Because the original packaging has such strong equity with the Clinique customer, it was important to create new packaging that maintained a close link to the existing look. “The Clinique ‘aesthetic’ is clean simple forms rendered in chrome and clear plastic that showcase the beauty of the product itself,” said Owen.

Eyeshadow Primer Potion by Urban Decay

Established in January of 1996 as a line of alternative makeup colors, Urban Decay continues to offer “different” products that are hip and cutting edge.  

The formula for Eyeshadow Primer Potion is “magical in its ability to keep shadow from creasing and fading,” according to Wende Zomnir, a founding partner of Urban Decay and creative director for both Urban Decay and Hard Candy. “We wanted a package that reflected this,” Zomnir explained. “We saw the cap in World Wide Packaging’s catalog and worked with them on a base to reflect our concept.”

To communicate the brand and the product, the packaging was developed to incorporate elements that are “feminine, dangerous and fun,” Zomnir said.

Skin Care

Re-Nutriv Revitalizing Comfort Créme by Estée Lauder

Left to Right: Sensai Premier, Korner skin care (top), Dead Sea Moisture Complex, and Re-Nutriv Comfort Créme.
The concept behind the package design for Re-Nutriv Revitalizing Comfort Créme was to convey Estée Lauder’s authority in skin care, elegance and luxury, according to Kimberly McCoy, design director, global skin care for the venerable brand.

“The design of the jar is a juxtaposition of architecture and sculpture embodying both feminine strength and allure. The shape communicates the simplicity we desire in life, while the mix of materials animates the complexities we balance daily. Together they capture the essence of Estée Lauder women,” McCoy explained.

Dead Sea Premier Moisture Complex

Dead Sea Premier Cosmetics Laboratories was established in Israel in 1990. The line now includes over 100 products including skin care, personal care and color cosmetics. In the U.S., Premier USA holds the exclusive rights to distribute and market the brand.

Moisture is one of a group of Dead Sea Premier skin care products that have similar packaging, according to Joe Sneh, general manager, Premier USA. The jars are a high quality glass, topped with a silver-look cap that maintains the integrity of the ingredients, Sneh said. A special compartment inside the cap holds a mineral stone, gel or serum that completes the beauty routine.

The jars were designed by Dead Sea Premier’s product designer and are made in Japan. The line is available in spas, salons and boutiques, as well as online at

Kanebo International’s Sensai Premier

The package design for Sensai Premier was inspired by images and legends of the moon, according to Kanebo’s Hirohisa Yamazaki, product development group manager, and Masaya Kojima, product manager.

They explained that in both Eastern and Western traditions, moon deities are invariably goddesses of great beauty and power, like Artemis and Diana in ancient Greece and Rome, and Kaguya Hime (Princess Moonlight) in Japan. “To this day, the moon is associated with femininity, magic and renewal. Although its shape changes constantly, its allure and mystique are eternal,” Yamazaki said.  

Sensai Premier’s packaging is consistent with Kanebo International’s brand personality — sophistication, dignity, simplicity and thoughtfulness with a Japanese sensitivity. The packaging was created by Shuji Takatori and Yuko Kato of Module Inc., Tokyo, Japan, along with Kanebo’s product development team. Kojima added, “The overall goal was to create a package and image that is timeless and that incorporates the image of modern Japan.”

Korner skin care

Setting out to create a line that would be distinct from the original namesake brand established by the Korner family in 1904, Rebecca Korner, founder and chief executive officer, enlisted Liston & Platon, Surrey Hills, Australia, to design a modern interpretation of the family’s ideals.

The family’s Eastern European roots were an inspiration, according to Brenan Liston, director of Liston & Platon. “Elements that are surprising as well as familiar are expressed in the corporate identity and packaging components,” Liston said. “The packaging has clinical overtones without being sterile. The design relates to the brand image by expressing these ideals.”

The Liston & Platon team of Jonnie Vigar, director, Liston and Mark Evans, designer, created the packaging, using simple geometry intersected by a unique key element to links the individual packages within the brand.

Personal Care

4mula Barbox

Based in New York, 4mula is an independent, niche brand. Launched in 2004 as its first product, 4mula’s Barbox consists of two Ergobars and one Minibar of 4mula’s plant-derived bar soap packaged as a three-dimensional puzzle — the ErgoBars enclose the Minibar. The Ergobars are molded with leg extensions that serve, not only to hold the soap above water in the soap dish, but also to provide an ergonomic shape for wet hands to hold.

Left to Right: Warren Tricomi Three-C Hair Care System, The 4mula Barbox, Doctor Bobby Skincaring for Kids, GoSmile Daily Vanity.
“I wanted a design that respected the function of the product as well as the product itself,” said Timothy Bahash, founder and president of 4mula.

GoSmile Daily Vanity

Founded by aesthetic dentist Jonathan Levine, and his wife, Stacey, the tooth maintenance system features 30 ampoules in a luxury lucite container that is meant to be displayed.

Doctor Bobby Skin Caring for Kids

Doctor Bobby Skin Caring for Kids, New York, is a new, independent brand of skin care products. Founded by Dr. Robert L. Buka, a pediatric dermatologist, the initial collection is presented in a reusable, white canvas “doctor’s” bag.

The packaging was designed to make Dr. Bobby an approachable character, according to Glyn Eppy, vice president and principal, TheDesignSpot, New York, which created the designs and concepts. The package was also developed to be fun and interactive. TheDesignSpot chose foaming dispensers as a way to deliver the washing products.

The Warren Tricome 3-C Hair Care System

The Warren Tricome 3-C Hair Care System packaging was inspired by billboard advertising, according to Philip J. Zellner, creative director on the project at PureStrength LLC, Farmingdale, NY.

“The square shaped bottle lends itself to graphic images typically not displayed on bottled products due to their shape,” explained Zellner. The square bottles also allow the three-piece set to stand side-by-side on shelf.

Zellner added that the high-end fashion imagery is in keeping with the products’ creators, Edward Tricomi and Joel Warren, and their salons. The packaging was designed by Design Development Resources and Zcosmetica (PureStrength’s in-house agency), based in Farmingdale, NY, and was directed by Warren, Tricomi and Zellner.