Beauty Gets Personal—Part 2 of 3: Makeup

The number-one benefit of using customized color products is the ability to choose or create colors specific to unique skin tones and types.
The number-one benefit of using customized color products is the ability to choose or create colors specific to unique skin tones and types.

In October 2019, The Benchmarking Company conducted a primary research study with more than 5,700 U.S. beauty consumers to better understand the flourishing personalized color cosmetics and makeup sector. Findings of the study help shed light on the appealing benefits of personalized color cosmetics, the top personalized makeup products among consumers and the drawbacks of getting too personal with consumers.

DIY Is Underwhelming

According to our research, 77% of beauty consumers are interested in purchasing products from their favorite brands (skin care, color and hair care) that they can personalize or have customized specifically to their preference—without having to do any work or mixing themselves.

Although not as many consumers have embraced DIY-ing makeup as they have skin care, 22% say they have experimented with creating their own color cosmetics, either by adding something to an existing product or mixing two products together. Half of these consumers say the results were OK, but not great; 45% were wowed by their results and a meager percentage said the results didn’t work out at all.

High Interest, Low Adoption

Currently, 60% of consumers indicate they are spending, on average, between $26 and $250 per year on conventional beauty products. And, to date, only 26% of beauty shoppers say they have purchased products they can easily customize or personalize. However, 43% of these consumers say when they did purchase customized products, it was makeup/color cosmetics—second only to skin care.

Made-for-me Is Critical

Because makeup naturally lends itself to customization and personalization, it should be no surprise that the number one benefit of using customized color products is the ability to choose or create colors specific to unique skin tones and types (T-1 see May Digital Magazine). One of the biggest gripes against beauty brands overall is that the color selection just isn’t broad or inclusive enough for the rainbow of skin tones seeking to buy products. Personalization looks this frustration in the eye and gives consumers the means to address the issue once and for all. For a list of the top personalized cosmetics survey respondents have purchased, see T-2 in May Digital Magazine.

Consumers are looking to personalize and customize their beauty experience through product recommendations tailored specifically to their needs, either made via consultation with a beauty expert in-store or one of the many online resources currently available.

Forty-three percent of consumers ask for a personalized recommendation when shopping in-store, while 32% have taken a color cosmetics quiz to help tailor their product recommendations. Once they’ve taken a quiz, 73% of consumers say they sometimes go on to purchase the products recommended.

For the full article, check out Global Cosmetic Industry's May digital magazine

Up Next: Hair Care

In part three of this three-part series, we’ll look at everything personalized hair care: exploring the hair products consumers are (or would like to) personalize, top benefits of personalization and more. Subscribe to Global Cosmetic Industry to secure your copy:

About the author:

Denise Herich is co-founder and managing partner at The Benchmarking Company (, which provides marketing and strategy professionals in the beauty and personal care industries with need-to-know information about its customers and prospects through custom consumer research studies, focus groups, its annual PinkReport and consumer beauty product testing for marketing claims. The company’s latest report is The New Age of Naturals, which provides a detailed look at the U.S. beauty and personal care consumers’ affinity for natural and organic beauty and personal care products and the motivators and influencers that drive consumers to purchase more natural and organic products than ever before.

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