An overview of the key trends to come in color cosmetics
Consumers continue to look for products that are easy to use and that take up as little space as possible on a shelf or in a travel bag. “Any product that over-complicates or does not provide an easy-to-obtain, instant effect will disappear, as consumers are searching for products that keep up with their busy lifestyles and are looking to live out hassle-free lives. If a product application is too long or requires too many steps, it will most likely be replaced for one that is more convenient and efficient,” says Juanita Parra, marketing manager at nail polish and make-up manufacturer IL Cosmetics.
According to Anne-Laure Linage, marketing director color cosmetics, Albéa, this trend will translate into smaller palettes, more 2-in-1 products, double- ended sticks and packaging specially designed for easier application, such as BeautyBlender’s Bounce Liquid Whip Long Wear Foundation, which has a built-in well-shape that the user pumps the product onto before applying with a sponge or fingers. “As for new beauty gestures, we’ll see practical but with a twist,” says Linage. Recent products include Albéa’s Quartz Slide compact, which locks and unlocks with a sliding mechanism.
The need for practicality also translates to a convergence of make-up categories, says Linage, with less of a differentiation between products and packaging for lips, eyes or face and a greater mix of textures for different uses. Examples include US-based clean cosmetics brand Ilia’s Multi-Stick, a creamy, pigmented product for use on lips, cheeks and eyelids; and Albéa’s Duo Stick (pictured), suited for products including foundation, concealer, blush, stick fragrances and sun care.
Consumers now want their green products to be as effective as non-green ones, and producers will need to focus on identifying miracle ingredients found in nature. “In formulations, we will see a maximization of the use of natural plants, with an increased use of [old-fashioned ingredients],” says Albéa’s Lineage. “There will also be ‘softer’ products that are less abrasive and respect the epidermis and natural beauty.” While 2018 saw the emergence of coal for cleansing and aloe vera for different uses such as lash growth, coming seasons will see brands reaching a little further, for example by using natural pigments from ingredients such as beetroot for color cosmetics, suggests Lineage.
The natural trend will also see brands find new solutions for high-pollution products such as glitter. “Today, glitter is very controversial because it’s made from little flakes of plastic. But consumer interest is still there, so we’ll see new glitters that are made from sustainable materials,” says Lineage. A few companies are already offering sustainable options, such as US-based Glitterevolution (pictured), whose biodegradable face and body glitter is made from plant-based ingredients.
With brand loyalty low among younger consumers, beauty players will have to become better at creating a community around a brand. “They need to understand the needs of these communities and make niche products that correspond to these needs,” says Albéa’s Lineage. Rather than using celebrities as ambassadors, companies will want its consumers to become ambassadors of the brand by including them in the decision-making process and favoring a word-of-mouth marketing strategy. Lineage points to US-based digital beauty brand Glossier as a good example of a brand that listens to its consumers and uses their feedback to create successful cult products.
The trend is closely tied to the increased focus on diversity and individuality, which translates to make-up products with specific packaging, custom-made ingredients and products that are tailor-made to skin needs, says IL Cosmetics’ Parra: “One size does not fit all anymore, as consumers want to feel unique and to express themselves under their own rules and definitions of beauty.”
“We see on the market increasingly reactive brands—big or small— that face consumer habits and adapt quickly to their modern-day needs. Integrating a hyper-connected and informed consumer and their beauty needs is what allows them to generate a winning consumer-brand bond. We are talking about product hyper-personalization, wide product diversity and very short product lifecycles, where products are rapidly launched and just as rapidly replaced by other innovations,” she adds.
Men’s make-up goes mainstream
Men’s make-up entered the mainstream in the last year, with major brands such as Chanel (pictured), Tom Ford and Maybelline now catering to the segment through product launches or by using men in their advertising. The next step in this category is more products that are made for men who want to accentuate their features and not just cover up blemishes or treat skin concerns.
Some companies choose to cater to the segment in more subtle ways, such as contract manufacturer Strand Cosmetics Europe and its Eye Contact mascara/eyeliner, which deposits a thin and colored film on the eyelashes. The gel-textured product is removed with make-up remover and marketed as a unisex product. “These users have particular needs, which can translate from ‘care’ to ‘make-up and care’,” says Albéa’s Lineage.
At the other end of the spectrum, brands such as UK-based Mmuk Man, a men’s cosmetics brand sold exclusively through Asos, offer products to create a full make-up look. Mmuk’s range includes a BB cream, foundation, primer, eyebrow pencil, eyeliner and the ‘Manscara’ lengthening mascara, which comes in black, brown and clear.
At the opposite end of the spectrum to the natural and ‘no make-up make-up’ look, experts agree that stand-out colors, shapes and textures will rule eye and lip make-up in coming seasons. “Graphic lines and features will be trending through 2019/20, on the lips and eyes especially,” notes Strand Cosmetics Europe marketing product manager Clara Roux. Schwan Cosmetics cmo Dagmar Chlosta agrees: “The graphic liner trend will grow, with a particular focus on red and berry tones as well as on intense black for a timeless eyeliner look.” Chlosta adds that dramatic features will take on a more natural look than the more extreme versions seen in recent years: “The unicorn make-up trend is slowly coming to an end and will be replaced by a new trend also offering a play of colors [but] with different effects. The surface will change, becoming subtler and finer, like liquid metal.”
Natural beauty is set to grow, with a bigger focus on commitment to nature and respect for the planet. As consumers become more aware of toxins and pollution, companies will need to strengthen any measures that focus on sourcing local raw materials, producing zero waste, reducing water consumption, reducing ingredients and seeking vegan, cruelty-free and organic certifications for their products. “Naturalness, sustainable development and eco-responsibility are major concerns,” says Strand Cosmetics Europe’s Roux. “In response to consumer expectations for natural, transparent, health-friendly and ethical products, brands will strive to come across as more sustainable and ‘cleaner’.” Product examples include Strand Cosmetics Europe’s Cosmic Shadows eye shadow, Cosmolips lip gloss (pictured) and Eye Love Cosmos mascara, which respectively claim to contain 99.6%, 100% and 99.2% natural ingredients of vegetable or mineral origin. Free from parabens, phenoxyethanol, silicone and synthetic perfume, they are especially aimed at the American West Coast consumer’s expectations for clean, green, vegan and cruelty- free cosmetics. “Beauty has already become organic and vegan. Now, clean— meaning free from toxic or harmful ingredients—is the next step. Consumers are becoming more aware of INCI [International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients] lists and expect brands to behave in a conscious and responsible manner both with them and the environment,” confirms IL Cosmetics’ Parra.
Corporate Social Responsibility is no longer a buzzword but a customer requirement, and companies will need to be ready to prove that their values line up with consumer expectations for sustainability. “The trend translates to transparency in ethics. Here, we’re not talking about the product level but about consumer expectations of the values of the brand,” says Albéa’s Linage.
As they grapple with an increasingly aware customer base, companies will need to be transparent with the sustainability of ingredients used, explains Schwan Cosmetics’ Chlosta: “More raw materials are under scrutiny and suppliers must ensure they are aware of these topics and can provide alternatives that meet the expectations of our customers and consumers alike. Consumers expect brands to take sustainability seriously. Cosmetics will have to be high performance and sustainable while allowing consumers to look great in a conscious way. For example, plastic alternatives for packaging will grow, [to include materials such as] wood, bamboo, or cane sugar.”
The matte lip trend is expected to give way to glossier finishes. This trend especially concerns European markets, while consumers in the Middle East are expected to continue to embrace an ultra-matte look. “For glossy formulations, lightweight is the key word,” says IL Cosmetics’ Parra, noting that thick and sticky textures are on the way out.
Glossy finishes are growing across categories other than lips. Inclusive beauty brand Flesh has achieved recent online buzz with its Fleshpot Eye & Cheek Gloss (pictured), which adds a pink and gold sheen to eyelids, cheeks or lips, while cruelty-free brand ColourPop has stimulated the trend with its popular Jelly Much Shadow, a high-pigment eyeshadow with a cream-jelly texture.
A radiant and smooth, but natural-looking complexion is becoming more important to consumers, strongly linked to the clean beauty and wellness trends that have gained momentum in recent years. Schwan Cosmetics’ Chlosta says there is more demand for products that use fewer toxic ingredients and deliver flawless results. Face make-up will be in line with the conscious trend, putting emphasis on natural finishes to keep the skin glowing and fresh,” she comments.
Increasingly, make-up is also chosen for the skincare benefits it brings, as can be seen in the rise of tinted moisturizers. Strand Cosmetics Europe’s Roux adds that products must offer an element of well-being and comfort, and says the focus on long-lasting formulations is set to continue. Strand Cosmetics Europe’s Goldenage Foundation (pictured) promises to hydrate and protect, with saffron extract, passion flower oil and Vitamin E on the ingredients list.
Offering a wide range of shades is also a must. Brands such as Fenty Beauty, with its Pro Filt’r foundation that comes in 50 shades, have set the bar high for consumer expectation for color matching.
The halal market is one of the fastest-growing consumer segments, according to Schwan Cosmetics’ Chlosta. “Halal is no longer limited to religion, but is now associated with ethical consumerism and lifestyle choices,” she says. “Consumers are increasingly trendsetters and fashion addicts, who love playing with different styles, using for example contact lenses in blue or green. In terms of make-up, the focus will be on intense colors, expert products for eyebrows, new interpretations of the traditional use of [eyeliner] products [and] semi- matte to matte finishes for the perfect lip make-up.” Also key to the trend is long-wear, with the halal-conscious consumer especially drawn to products that won’t rub off easily in warm climates.
Schwan Cosmetics’ halal range (pictured) includes more than 50 certified formulas, with products including the Precise Browliner, the One-Stroke Kajal longwear eyeliner, the Won’t Budge Mascara and Matte Intense Lipstick, which promises to stay on for five hours.