Brad Pitt attracted a barrage of criticism when he announced the launch of his new skincare range – Le Domaine – last September. Dermatologists and skincare experts from around the world accused the superstar of being just another celebrity trying to break into the lucrative skincare sector.

A furor that was almost a replay of the actor’s controversial ad for Chanel No 5 in 2012 as the iconic fragrance’s first male face.

But Pitt is serious and claims that Le Domaine is not just another celebrity brand and the genderless, anti-ageing skincare has strong scientific backing. The actor part-owns the Chateau Miraval winery in Provence and he teamed with the Perrin family and Professor Pierre-Louis Teissedre, an expert in wine, health and technology, to develop the brand.

Resveratrol from grapes and other sources has become a key antioxidant in skincare.  The French brand Caudalie was one of the early pioneers of vinotherapie skincare and spa treatments, igniting a global buzz from its winery in Bordeaux over 25 years ago. Today, the brand is sold in more than 30 countries, including Australia, and operates its own network of spas and boutiques. Cult products include Beauty Elixir, Premier Cru Eye Cream and Vinoperfect Radiance Serum, which sells one SKU every 30 seconds somewhere in the world.

Le Domaine has also hitched its star to the anti-ageing power of the grape. The lineup contains two patented ingredients -ProGR3 – a blend of antioxidants containing resveratrol made from organically-grown grapes – and GSM10 – a powerful active that combats oxidation and enzymes that cause the breakdown of collagen in the skin.

 Le Domaine was initially sold online but has scored its first major retail partner in the US, the largest beauty market in the world. Bluemercury is offering the brand as part of The Cache, a one-stop shop highlighting new and emerging brands curated by its in-house experts.

With 180 stores across the US, Bluemercury is one of the fastest-growing beauty specialist chains in the US and was acquired by Macy’s department stores in 2015 for US$210 million in cash. Specialising in luxury and prestige beauty, the company stocks leading and on-trend brands such as Augustinus Bader, Dr Barbara Sturm, La Mer and SK-11.

Le Domaine is available online at Bluemercury’s website and has rolled out in 20 stores across the US. The range of four products – The Serum, The Fluid Cream, The Cleansing Emulsion and The Cream – are priced from US$77 to US$242,

The Brad Pitt connection aside, Tracy Kline, head of merchandising,  spa and supply chain for Bluemercury, says that Le Domaine’s products stand out from the crowd.  “They hit all the right points: the story, the ingredients, being environmentally conscious.  The art and science – having this story of the vineyards and the wineries for the past 20 years to deliver this great product – we think it’s going to be super successful”.

Le Domaine’s products, except for the cleanser, are refillable and almost entirely recyclable with caps made from recycled wine barrels from Chateau de Beaucastel, the vineyard owned by the Perrin family.

We are also launching in Harvey Nichols in the UK and Printemps in the French resort town of Deauville, added Marc Perrin, co-founder of Le Domaine. “We are selecting the places we grow, and this will be the first time the products will be readily available in the US. We know from our website that’s our biggest market”.

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