Trends in make-up

Trends in make-up

Make-up is a vibrant growth category where innovation plays an important role in driving consumer interest. The European market has benefited from a high level of product launches, with many designed to appeal to digitally engaged consumers who like to look “selfie-ready” when posting on social media.

According to Euromonitor*, sales of make-up in Europe reached €11bn in 2015 and showed a modest growth of 2.8%. Eye make-up was the largest product category, valued at €3.7bn with growth of 1.7%; face make-up was worth €3.5bn, up 4.5% and lip products rose 2.4% to reach €1.9bn.

The UK was the largest and most buoyant market, valued at €2.7bn with robust sales growth of +5.9% year on year. Much of the growth has come from premium foundations and concealers, which increased by 14.3% year on year. Formulations are becoming ever more sophisticated and refined, so that the skin is left primed, nourished and natural-looking, unlike traditional foundations which often reinforce, rather than hide imperfections. For example, Burberry’s Bright Glow Foundation delivers a bright glow through which skin is still visible. Other face products that light up the face include Beam Team Bronze, from The Estee Edit, Estee Lauder’s diffusion brand, and Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation, that claims to give a perfect looking second skin that lasts all day. Described as a new generation of anti-ageing, full coverage foundation, its “hyper-intelligent” formula dispenses evenly over the skin and does not sit in imperfections. One of the key ingredients is laricyl, a concentrated mushroom extract that is said to improve skin firmness, tighten pores and flood the skin with moisture.

Make-up sticks are a strong trend, despite a long tradition in pencils for eyes, brow and lips. A modern take on an old product, today’s sticks are chunkier, do not need to be sharpened and are formulated to be as effective as powder or cream products. For example, Smashbox has brought out a Step-by-Step Contour Stick Trio of creamy blendable sticks for contouring, highlighting and bronzing. Meanwhile, Clinique has extended its Chubby Stick range with two Sculpting Contour and Sculpting Highlight sticks, shortly after launching in the Nude Foundation Stick in ten shades from very light to dark.

Old products gain new relevance

Consumer interest in contouring and highlighting products has been driven by a desire for taking selfies, using camera phones or tablets. Not content with the ability to photoshop images using smartphone software and apps, women are turning to make-up to achieve a flawless image. Make-up brands are targeting millennials, aged 18-30, who are the most involved age group and like to post selfies on various social platforms, including Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Terms such as “photoshopping”, “filters” and “flash photo” are used as a means of giving consumers the tools to achieve an instant Instagram-ready look. For example, Estee Edit Flash Photo Powder is a translucent, sheer finishing powder, inspired by fashion muse Kendall Jenner, and promises a “picture-perfect finish that’s always ready for a flash”.

Meanwhile, face highlighters are being updated as strobing products, which are designed to make skin glow, reflect the light and look flawless. UK Glamour magazine recently described strobing as the new contouring: instead of emphasizing the cheekbones from below with a darker shade, strobing involves a targeted highlight on the tops of cheekbone which help enhance and sculpt the face. Examples include MAC Strobe Cream, Barry M Illuminating Strobing Cream and Nars Copacabana Illuminator.

Although some of the newest trends in selfie make-up come from Asia, strobing is something that is quite new. “Strobing is a new naming that is coming to Asia but as a product effect is not new at all,” states Florence Bernardin*, company manager, Information et Inspiration, that specialises in Asian beauty trends. She affirms that strobing used to be called shading or products for 3D effect as many Asian women want to have a slimmer face that doesn’t look too flat. “I would say strobing is bringing new product formats such as convenient pencils or cushions to the beauty markets,” she asserts.

Meanwhile, Asia, and particularly Japan, is the forerunner for make-up products that claim to be perfect from a 10cm distance and from any angle, due to a blurring effect and light reflection pigments. Bernardin cites Integrate from Japanese brand Shiseido, a loose mineral foundation that evens out pores to make them disappear, is non-cakey and has a “just applied” long-lasting finish.

Another new term for an age-old make-up product is “draping”, which describes a new way of applying blusher. Instead of applying one colour, draping is about adding layers of different colour to achieve a youthful flush. For example, cult make-up brand, Le Métier de Beauté, has launched Exquisite Kaleidoscope, a stack of four cheek colors that fans out and are designed to be used one on top of the other.

Future trends

Beauty futurologist, Antoinette van den Berg*, envisages a future for make-up that will allows consumers to embrace their individuality. She predicts that transgender is an important new group that will influence brands to take another approach to developing cosmetics. “Brands will look at this group differently and create a marketing blur, in the same way as some have when targeting older consumers,” she believes.

Perhaps the biggest change in make-up will come less from products and more from new technology. Already, the way consumers choose make-up products is changing with the arrival of sophisticated app technology, much of which coming from Asia. An example from Korea is Laneige Beauty Mirror that allows the user to “apply” different make-up looks using her smartphone and save them, either to share on social media or as a reminder of products to buy directly from Laneige. This is just the beginning and every day there are new apps promising different ways to interact with cosmetics.

*Euromonitor, Florence Bernardin and Antoinette van den Berg will present at next year’s in-cosmetics Marketing Trends presentations in London, which takes place 4-6 April.

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AUTHOR: Imogen Matthews is a cosmetics industry consultant at I M Associates

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