Next Up: CC Creams

The first mass CC cream to be introduced in the U.S., the biggest market in the world for color cosmetics (by retail sales), was Olay Total Effects CC Tone Correcting Line, which arrived on shelves toward the end of 2012. The brand claims to treat seven signs of aging, as well as providing color correction and UV protection. It hits all the right spots, but in multiple categories—and that might encourage brand cannibalization trends going forward.

The CC development is clever, and like BB, the trend originally came from Asia. In effect, CC creams have taken a concept that has worked extremely well and given it a marketing overhaul just at the moment when demand was starting to look vulnerable. The world’s biggest soft drink manufacturers activate this re-branding strategy all the time in order to stay ahead of the game. And it works.

Make no mistake about it. CC creams and their spin-offs will be a big hit in Western markets in 2013—and they could blur the boundaries between skin care and makeup even more than BB creams. And as yet, it is unclear whether that will have negative implications over the long-term.

It might be that consumers simply get used to what, in effect, is a new and fast-growing beauty care category, made up of skin care/makeup hybrids.

Excerpt from “Multifunctionality: The Sweet (and Sour) Spot for Color Cosmetics” by Rob Walker, Euromonitor International, originally published in April 2013 in GCI.