Sep 11, 2018
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Boosted by social media, bold makeup goes up against the natural look

Sep 11, 2018

A recent study of the US color cosmetics market conducted by Mintel has found that striking makeup styles are growing in popularity, challenging the dominance of more natural looks as social media pushes shifting trends and attitudes, particularly among younger consumers.  

Bold makeup looks are on the rise - Instagram: @fentybeauty

The study, which surveyed female US color cosmetics consumers, found that 78% of those interviewed were interested in trying a no-makeup look, while 79% were keen to experiment with a glossy lip, proving that the au naturel look is still very much top dog in the cosmetics game.

However, bolder looks are also rapidly gaining ground. For example, 69% of consumers said they were interested in experimenting with a smoky eye, with 55% saying the same of a bold lip, and winged eyeliner and strobing being mentioned by 48% and 45% of respondents, respectively.

Alison Gaither, beauty and personal care analyst at Mintel, puts this change down to the influence of social media, stating in a press release that “many women are interested in trying out bold and adventurous makeup looks, such as winged eyeliner and strobing, as a result of what they’re seeing online.”
Indeed, 22% of those surveyed claimed that social media helps them learn about beauty trends, while 24% said that they watch makeup video tutorials online. Among women aged 18-24 these figures more than double to 47% and 53%, respectively, underscoring the importance of digital channels for communicating with younger Gen-Z and millennial markets.
According to Gaither, the power of social media could also be behind the growth in popularity of specific products. “With HD cameras showing every possible flaw, the obsession with poreless, lineless, glowing skin is leading some consumers to seek out products that imitate the filters they see and use on social media,” she explains.
Accordingly, launches of products with the word “glow” in their name have shot up 115% between 2013 and 2017 as demand has increased for cosmetics which claim to provide a radiant “flawless face” look. When looking at the usage of two of the basic products for creating this kind of look, namely highlighter and primer, it becomes evident that here again consumers are divided by age. While 51% of women aged 18-24 said they used the former and 49% the latter, these figures reduced to 23% and 25% among all those surveyed.
When it comes to purchasing cosmetics, 59% of consumers cited natural coverage as an important consideration in their decision of which product to buy, while 41% mentioned sun protection and other skincare benefits, and 30% said they sought out products with natural ingredients. By far the top priority for consumers, however, is finding a product which matches their skin tone, with 76% of those surveyed citing this factor as an important purchase influencer.

This figure increases slightly to 79% among black women, 29% of whom still have difficulties finding the right shade for them. This is despite ongoing attempts by a number of brands to develop more inclusive product ranges, a fact which suggests that there is still plenty of room for improvement when it comes to catering to the needs of women of color.

Mintel’s full “US Color Cosmetics Market Report – July 2018” is available for purchase on the agency’s website.

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