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Potential of Innovative Makeup Clearly Seen in India

By: Priyanka Bhattacharya
Posted: May 3, 2011, from the May 2011 issue of GCI Magazine.

Indian consumers have an affinity for products that utilize and market natural ingredients. That is what natural skin and hair care brand Lotus Herbal is focusing on with its Ecologique cosmetics range, which claims to be 100% vegetarian, 97% natural and is enriched with botanical extracts.

Talking about the market for nature-based makeup products, Nitin Passi, Lotus Herbals’ director of marketing and sales, says, “This segment of natural makeup has huge potential in the Indian market, and Lotus Herbals is prepared to grab it. We have found that Ecologique, our natural makeup brand, is growing very rapidly, and we have an aggressive and in-depth growth plan. We are focusing on educating more and more customers through our beauty advisors about the benefits of using natural makeup. We are working hard to increase makeup purchases in the limited decision-making category, and want women to think [about the] well-being of their skin before applying any product.”

In fact, makeup buyers are changing slowly; they are moving from being traditionalists to experimenting with new colors and formats of makeup products. That is one of the reasons why the Indian market is seeing a 24% growth year-on-year even through the tough financial situation that rocked the market globally.

Giving insight into the consumer psyche, Passi says, “Indian women know what suits them best. They try and test all new products. They change their look by season and occasion. Now, brides-to-be (a segment that invests heavily in buying good makeup) are asking for different makeup looks. They are no longer hesitant in trying new fresh looks, and are more experimental and ask for products that can make them look better.” He further adds that women in India are better informed than before due to exposure to trend reports in media, online reviews and expert tips. “However the purchase of makeup does not elicit the same buying behavior, because, for some it is still an impulse buy—but, slowly for many, buying makeup is becoming an important purchase decision.”

That is why Lotus Herbals thinks it is the right time to introduce a new category in the makeup market. It has launched lip colors that are infused with almond oil; kohl pencils that have eye-soothing camphor; and nail enamels that are acetone- , DBP- and toluene-free. Passi claims that, in part, this is the reason its Pure Colors for lips, Natural Kajal, Colourdew Nail Enamel and Hypnotica Eye Contour Definer products are doing brisk business.