2008 Editors’ Choice Award Winner: Cosmetics
Eye Accent Pencil
by Pencil Me In Cosmetics
Certain elements have become signatures of Donna Karan’s designs. Modern jewelry and colors of black and gold often accent her runways. The packaging for Donna Karan Gold embraces all of these features, including a hammered-gold sleeve designed by Karan’s collaborator and jeweler Robert Lee Morris.
“The luxury and seduction of Donna Karan Gold is captured in the packaging,” says Veronique Gabai-Pinsky, president of The Estée Lauder Companies’ Aramis and designer fragrance division. “This is the first time that Donna has collaborated with jewelry designer and longtime friend Robert Lee Morris on a fragrance creation. The bottle that was born from this creative union reflects the inner softness and outer strength of a woman. The packaging is pure Donna.”
The Eye Accent Pencil by Pencil Me In Cosmetics is a good example of how the best ideas are often the simplest ones.
What makes this otherwise traditional eyeliner pencil so great? Besides its natural and antioxidant ingredients, a pencil sharpener is built right into the pencil cap. Customers no longer have to search for a sharpener in their makeup case or at the bottom of their cosmetics bag. Instead, the sharpener is always there, at the ready.
“It’s about time someone did something like this,” says CPC Packaging awards panelist Nicole Smith, environmental director for Design & Source Productions Inc. “It’s like putting wheels on a suitcase.”
It often takes someone with experience to spot the best ideas. Thus, it’s no surprise that Pencil Me In founder Linda Eisner has worked for various private-label cosmetic companies for many years. In 2003, Eisner decided to found her own private-label pencil company, Quality Pencils. One of her partner companies in China sent samples of the sharpener cap along with several other items so that Eisner could show them to her private-label customers.
Eisner and her husband, Michael, liked the pencil-with-sharpener design so much that Eisner decided to sell it under her own pencil brand. “My husband was the one who kept saying, ‘The sharpener cap is so cool. You’re going to use it, right?’” says Eisner. Last year, Pencil Me In Cosmetics was born, and the Eye Accent Pencil is its first product to launch.
The pencil and cap are manufactured by Eisner’s partner in China. Because they were existing items and because Eisner had already been working with the manufacturer, she says that production challenges were minimal. In fact, the most challenging aspect was producing the pencil in exactly the 30 shades that Eisner wanted. “I took a lot of time with development because I was doing it on the back burner as my other business was going on,” she says. Eisner credits Ginnie Errichetti, owner of Erric Sorelle Studios, with designing the logo for Pencil Me In.
Eisner says that the built-in sharpener has been so well received that going forward, all Pencil Me In pencils will have this cap. “If I expand into lip liner pencils, they will definitely have the cap,” she says. “If I go into jumbo pencils, they will have a jumbo-sized sharpener cap.”
Eisner says that more marketers in the beauty industry are thinking about package functionality. “I think that as time goes on, people are really thinking about multiuse, multipurpose, and convenience,” she says.