Pascal Houdayer has a plan for each of the three beauty brands he now oversees—bareMinerals, Laura Mercier, and Buxom. The brands, sold off by Shiseido in August 2021, are estimated to generate about $700 million in sales. Earlier this year, Pascal was named CEO of Orveon, the newly-formed organization created by Advent International following its purchase of the color cosmetics brands. (Advent also owns Olaplex, which had a successful IPO last September.) Pascal, who has more than 30 years of beauty experience earned at roles at companies including Procter & Gamble, Henkel, and NAOS, sees plenty of upside potential in the brand trio. The deal also reunites Janet Gurwitch, an operating partner at Advent, with Laura Mercier—the brand she founded in 1996. CEW Beauty News chatted with Pascal about his different strategies for each brand, including a bigger focus on wellness overall.

Beauty News: Let’s start with the bareMinerals, considered by many the first “clean” makeup. What’s the game plan?

Pascal Houdayer: BareMinerals [which is overseen by Brand President Sidi Drissi]

invented the concept of clean beauty in 1997 including traceability of ingredients, recyclability of packaging, vegan[ formulations] and no parabens. We want to bring bareMinerals back to its original equity, while modernizing the strategic target market, a younger user base. This group is health conscious—I call them healthy purists. They want to use a brand that is good for your health. We want to basically take the brand that Leslie [Blodgett] invented—I’ve spent a lot of time with Leslie—and bring back the sense of community. We love this brand; we want to invest in it and bring it back to her vision.

We have a plan to move it to more adjacencies and take it from a U.S.-centric brand to an international brand. This is a brand well positioned globally to move from beauty to wellness and wellness to health. When you think about the strategic user of bareMinerals, most of the time she comes to the brand because she has a skin problem. People become loyal to a brand that enables them to feel good in their skin—not only to look good. A wellness company wants a woman to feel great, too.

BN: And what is planned for Laura Mercier?

PH: Laura Mercier [which is overseen by Brand President Diane Kim] is an entirely different story. It is a French premium makeup brand. That makes it different from a fashion designer brand or an environmental brand. It is a brand that can rely on the philosophy on which it was invented: Laura Mercier felt skin could be seen as a canvas. And like a canvas you should not superimpose too much on it. We are communicating how to get a flawless face in a more modern way.

Laura Mercier is having huge success internationally with double-digit growth even during COVID. We will continue to innovate and modernize the brand while growing its digital presence and e-commerce capabilities. We have some innovations that will be very unique. Laura will continue to be very involved in the brand, mainly on product innovation and education.

BN: Let’s shift gears to Buxom.

PH: Buxom [overseen by Sidi] is my personal love. If you know the brand Sexy Hair, a brand I was managing at Henkel, I see Buxom as similar—it pushes boundaries. It is a brand about self-expression; you can say who you are without saying it with your makeup. We are going to launch it in markets where women need to be liberated. The future of the brand is international expansion.