Avon Mark At-A-Glance
Strengths: Mostly good foundations; incredible powders; great inexpensive eyeshadow; good shimmer products; good cleansers; outstanding daytime moisturizer with SPF 30; some worthwhile moisturizers.
Weaknesses: Some of the makeup brushes fail to impress even a little bit; the products for oily and acne-prone skin are mostly unimpressive and needlessly irritating.
Avon had every reason to be excited about launching its first comprehensive line marketed toward women aged 16 to 24. That's because, according to research conducted by the company, there are over 300 million teens in Avon's top 30 markets worldwide. These teens and young adults spend over $200 billion each year on consumer goods, a powerful incentive for companies to create niche cosmetics, fragrances, and accessory lines from scratch, and then couple them with aggressive, ongoing ad campaigns. Avon's Mark line comes from the company's Avon Future division. Debuting in September 2003, the line is sold through Avon's network of 500,000 representatives as well as a wave of new younger recruits—high school and college students—looking to earn some extra money by selling the products as well as enlisting others to sell the products. (Sales representatives get commissions ranging between 25% and 40% plus additional money for each new salesperson they enlist.)
From a youth-appeal standpoint, Mark combines cutesy-clever names like those seen in the Origins and BeneFit department-store lines, coupling them with modern packaging and prices that fit teens' budgets (Mark is priced competitively with drugstore-brand skin-care and makeup lines). Avon's distribution of some 13 to 16 million "magalogs" (catalogs) to their target market every four to six weeks (Source: The Rose Sheet, May 12, 2003, page 3) has kept this line in the forefront, as have monthly ads in teen-oriented magazines.
Beyond its target markets, fun packaging, and an eager audience with money to burn, does Mark make the grade when it comes to the products themselves? Mark's makeup (and its customization options) has proven to be the major draw and expanding force of this line. Although the skin care offerings are better than they used to be, Mark's act improves considerably because of their makeup, though we wish most of it weren’t so highly fragranced. The operative word for every Mark makeup product and shade is "sheer." From foundations to eyeshadow and lip products, these are soft, low-commitment colors, ideal for experimentation. Since this is a youth-oriented line, there is shine aplenty, and more lip gloss options than anyone could possibly need. Still, if you shop carefully, there's no reason you can't put together a workable makeup wardrobe of Mark products. The prices on many high-quality items make them bona fide steals, though if you're an adult shopping this line do keep in mind that what appeals to young women and teens (namely, lots of glittery shine, gloss, and novel packaging) may not appeal to you or meet your needs.
For more information about Avon Mark, call (866) MEETMARK or visit www.meetmark.com.