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The Changing Hue of Color Cosmetics

By: Carrie Lennard, Euromonitor International
Posted: April 7, 2011, from the April 2011 issue of GCI Magazine.

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In 2010, there were quite a few notable budget cosmetic launches. U.K. drugstore Superdrug introduced a budget cosmetics range called MUA (Makeup Academy), costing £1 per item. Topshop in the U.K. and Payless shoes in the U.S. both launched successful private label color cosmetic ranges. U.K.-based retailer Accessorize, too, introduced four private label makeup collections. The ranges launched by clothing and shoe retailers mark a growing trend for fashion retailers to diversify their product offerings.

Despite these prices perhaps being low enough to make consumers question the quality, it seems, for now, that price alone is enough of a lure to persuade consumers to try out the products. Whether or not they keep coming back is another question.

Natural Color Cosmetics Have Potential to Drive Industry Growth The naturally positioned color cosmetics niche is in its infancy, but has strong potential for future growth thanks to the general resilience of “natural” beauty products to consumer trade down. P&G has tapped into the growing consumer demand for naturally positioned beauty products with a new range of color cosmetics under the Cover Girl makeup brand—NatureLuxe, which launched in the U.S. in November 2010. While not all of the products in the range are claimed to be natural, NatureLuxe is one of the first naturally positioned color cosmetic lines from a major beauty company and demonstrates the continual transition of natural beauty into the mainstream.

Natural and organic color cosmetics are nothing new, with the likes of Dr.Hauschka having been around for years. However, the prices of many of these brands are often at the premium end of the scale, and their distribution remains quite limited—for example, a bronzer in the U.S. costs approximately $36.95 and a four-shade eye shadow set $43.90. This means that a gap in the market for more affordable and widely available natural color cosmetics has existed for a while. The average price of NatureLuxe is set to be around $11.99 per product, and the line will retail in drugstores throughout the U.S.

Innovation in Mascara to Drive Eye Makeup Growth

Eye makeup achieved the strongest absolute growth in 2009, with a $567 million increase in its global value size. The category expanded primarily because of mascara. Technological innovations within mascara and higher prices aided value growth. Following successful premium launches—such as vibrating mascaras from Estée Lauder and Lancôme and Givenchy’s wand, which resembles a spiky ball—Dior is shaping up to launch Diorshow 360, a rotating wand. These launches have a tendency to filter down to the mass market, and should help to maintain consumer interest in eye makeup.

Lash Enhancer Sparks Trend; Potential Growth in Eye Makeup