The oldest brush in France gets a facelift

“The market has changed considerably in recent years,” explains Pascal Goossens, Commercial Director of the Raphaël company. “To meet an ever more complex demand, we modified our standard range.”Indeed, brushes are becoming increasingly popular and just like professional make-up artists, women want to take advantage of the same technicality, with different brushes for each step in the beauty routine. Brands must therefore respond to this growing demand and enrich their range of brushes.

While leading international brands have the means to invest in the development of specific products, mid size brands need to have access to “stock” products to complete their range. This is why Raphaël renewed its standard offering to serve a wider customer base.

The use of brushes is much more widespread today, and although women claim they have become true ‘professionals’, make-up accessories must have a specific use but also be easy to use. Raphaël has in particular shortened by 20 to 25% the size of the brush handle to enable them to fit easily in travel make-up cases. The looks of brushes are more modern. The shape of the tufts, and also the colours are more varied to offer brushes in tune with fashion trends. The brush also comes in a synthetic version to meet the requirements of certain countries (ban on certain animal sources for the products), and enable brands to export more easily.

The standard range now consists of 58 references to meet most of the needs, especially with the intoduction of a Kabuki Brush – a short handle brush with a dense tuft –, and of a Smudge Brush – to make a subtle shading off of the eyeshadow –. This catalogue range can be produced in small quantities – as of 500 pieces – for brands with fewer references and an also less important distribution.

The complexity of creamier make-up formulas and more varied uses have always driven the manufacturer to develop his products. In spite of a simple look, each brush must be efficient and guarantee an optimal quality/price ratio. “Design is important, but functionality is paramount,” says Goossens. Raphaë, who has always been a contract manufacturer, can fully customize his brushes, from a simple logo marking to a custom designed handle and/or tuft.

The Raphaël company, specialised in “Made in France” brushes since 1793 is the oldest and leading manufacturer of fine brushes in France (and maybe even in the whole of Europe), with more than 15 million pieces per year. The company started manufacturing brushes for fine arts and then opened its expertise to cosmetics, which today represents 40% of its activity.

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