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Ethnic Cosmetics Fit New Beauty Paradigm

By: Sara Mason
Posted: December 10, 2008, from the December 2008 issue of GCI Magazine.

BlackUp recently launched a collection of high-pigmented lipsticks, rich in natural active ingredients, in a redesigned package.

  • Ethnic minorities, now one-third of the U.S. population, are expected to become the majority by 2042.
  • Bioactive botanical ingredients will become more pervasive as the natural and organic market matures.
  • A multitiered approach to building brand awareness will become more necessary.
  • Channel marketing should be included in the strategy to integrate ethnic media, authority experts or spokespersons for credibility, visibility and reach.
  • Sampling will be key to launching new ethnic facial products, as it will allow customers to find their shade match and experience the formula.

There is beauty to be found in the diversity of women all over the world, and what makes them different also brings them together—color. Thevi Cosmetics’ sleek, modern line in rich and vibrant shades is just one of many new ethnic cosmetic collections that celebrates the unity of color.

“Color is influenced by lifestyle, fashion, home décor, tradition and every aspect of our lives,” says Thevaki Thambirajah, founder of Thevi Cosmetics. “We have an opportunity to emphasize not a trend but an everyday expression of self, femininity and powerfulness in a dramatic way for every woman through color cosmetics.”

The opportunities are undeniable. Ethnic consumers generally buy and use more makeup and are more playful with color. “When compared to the general population, ethnic women have a high percentage rate of makeup usage, beauty spending and the number of beauty brands purchased,” says Delia Grant, Avon’s senior manager for U.S. marketing, color.

Recognizing the value of these consumers, mainstream beauty brands are increasingly and successfully targeting ethnic consumers with expanded shade palettes, relevant spokespersons and focused marketing initiatives. In the meantime, niche beauty brands are also staking their claim.