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Euromonitor International Report: A Shift in Focus

By: Carrie Lennard, Euromonitor International
Posted: April 6, 2010, from the April 2010 issue of GCI Magazine.

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Although Russia was far from immune to the global recession, the color cosmetics segment in the country still proved to be a key contributor to global sales in the category, with value growth of 11% in 2008, only a slight drop from 12% in 2007.

As in the Chinese market, lip products are by far the most popular type of color cosmetics in Russia, accounting for 39% of total color cosmetic sales in 2008. Consumer loyalty in Russian color cosmetics is extremely low, with only around 5% of women sticking with a single brand. The majority use an average of five different brands, which has helped to keep sales in the segment high.

Premium facial makeup put in a strong performance in the country, with growth of 14% in 2008. This development was underpinned by new launches of multi-functional products such as Faberlic’s antiwrinkle Mineral Foundation and Giordani Gold Sublime’s foundation with sun protection. There has been a noticeable switch to premium brands as many female consumers perceive them to be of a superior quality to mass facial makeup.

Men Still Reluctant When It Comes to Color Cosmetics

There has been much hype around male-specific color cosmetics, with high-profile launches such as YSL Touche Éclat for Men, which is on sale across select countries in Western Europe. Outré fashion designer Jean Paul Gaultier first launched the premium-priced Le Male cosmetics range in October 2003, so the concept is nothing new. In Western markets, use is highest among younger males who are keen to emulate the “guyliner” look of rock stars such as Fall Out Boy’s Pete Wentz. Older generations remain almost totally averse to such products. Even men who are open to experimenting with male-specific color cosmetics are often only comfortable doing so when a product’s packaging looks masculine. The design of Touche Éclat for men highlights this need for men’s makeup to appear different to women’s in order to convince men to purchase it.

The case of the Japanese market shows that it is possible to achieve a high level of color cosmetics penetration among men. It is nothing unusual for men to wear color cosmetics in the country because the androgynous look is fashionable and strongly favored by young males. Male-only beauty stores such as the Dandy House in Tokyo, where men are given makeup tips and beauty treatments, are commonplace. However, Japan is atypical in its cultural acceptance of males purchasing color cosmetics. Due to the continuing social stigma surrounding male use of these typically female products, the Internet remains the prime channel for purchase in most other markets. Recognizing this, brands such as Clinique, with its M Cover concealer, have made sure their male-specific color cosmetic products are available to purchase online. This also allows brands more opportunities to inform and educate men about products. Despite talk of male cosmetics moving into the mainstream, male makeup is likely to remain largely confined to the Web.

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