Ingrid Jackel, Physicians Formula: a passion for creation

Quite a character, Ingrid Jackel, the President of Physicians Formula, the way America knows how to shape them. A French and tonic woman whose career is closely linked to the remarkable development of a make-up brand on the U.S. market, Physicians Formula. Overview of a unique company with unique products.

MakeUp in…™: An original story, that of Physicians Formula?

Ingrid Jackel: Physicians Formula was created in 1937 in California. Dr. Crandall, a renowned allergist, imagined for his wife the first line of hypoallergenic make-up.

MakeUp in…™: What are the brand’s strong points?

Ingrid Jackel: Dr. Crandall already made it a principle at the time. His products do not contain any of the 132 listed irritants. Innovative, glamorous… They combine seriousness and pleasure and offer trendy, fun, innovative make-up products to sensitive skins, both in terms of formulation and use. And also I must say that our packagings are innovative and fun, and on the marketplace, our products are known to have a very good quality/price ratio.

MakeUp in…™: What people are not always aware of is that this brand once belonged to the Laboratoires Pierre Fabre? Your own story, is also closely linked to this adventure?

Ingrid Jackel: That’s right. The acquisition of Physicians Formula by the Laboratoires Pierre Fabre in the early 1990s was in line with the “health/beauty” positioning of the French group and also a good way to serve as a platform for the development of its other brands in the USA.

Then, in 2003, its leaders wanted to refocus their international strategy on their core business, namely dermatology. They therefore decided to sell an 80% stake of Physicians Formula Cosmetics to a U.S. investment fund, Summit Partners. In 2006, Physicians Formula went public and was listed for 6 years at the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol FACE. End of 2012, Markwins International Corporation, a California–based company, specializing in makeup budget, and seasonal collections, acquired 100% of the shares of Physicians Formula, which therefore fell back into the private domain.

As for my professional background, it is indeed very much related to this great company and its team. In fact, I was recruited in 1994 by the French group to develop Elancyl in the United States. Nine months later, I was in charge of Physicians Formula. A big challenge at first, but down the road, a huge opportunity as we had to entirely reposition the brand and its products by making consistent the health approach and the glamour side which is necessary in the make-up segment when you have a decidedly masstige positioning. Success was the one expected, since the company achieved USD 100 million in sales in 2003 and 150 million in 2012.

MakeUp in…™: Your credo, innovation!

Ingrid Jackel: We market forty to fifty new products a year! Hence, over the past few months, we have developed and marketed the first CC cream and the first CC mascara, 100% natural and 70% organic, and a neurocosmetic range of mascaras and eyeliners under our franchise, Sexy Booster, aiming to provide both a sexy look and also a feeling of sensuality thanks to a combination of ingredients based for example, on aromatherapy and pheromones substitutes; many other innovations have emerged at the start of 2014, from a full range of powders, blush and concealers Nude Wear, to a BB bronzing powder, tan stimulator, under our franchise Bronze Booster. Today we can say that we are leaders in the United States in supermarkets in the niche of bronzing powders, mineral make-up, and natural face and eye make-up.

MakeUp in…™: 2014 also marks an acceleration in the brand’s internationalization?

Ingrid Jackel: This is certainly one of the most important means of development of Physicians Formula. We have operations in Canada, Mexico, Latin America, South Africa, Australia, Turkey and, since last April, in France through the Parashop network. Many other markets are under development and opportunities for Physicians Formula seem infinite given its unique position in the world of make-up.