The Beauty of Experimentation

A new blog posted from Larissa Jensen, director and beauty industry analyst with The NPD Group, discusses the importance of ease of trial in consumers discovering new products and trends. In "What I'll Be Wearing in About 20 Years," Jensen relates a story in which her 9-year-old son compliments her eye shadow, telling her, “Mom, I love that stuff you have on your eyes. It makes you look so pretty.”

Jensen writes, "That 'stuff' on my eyes was a new look I created earlier that morning with a brand new eye shadow palette I had just bought. It contains over 10 nude shades ranging from golds, pinks and grays to various shades of brown. I used the soft shimmery gray shade on the end, along with a few others for accents. Wearing gray shadow…using multiple shades… this was all a huge step for me. I’m not good with eye shadow. In fact, I’m so bad with it that I never ventured beyond my basic sandy colored shimmery shadow which I loved and wore for over 20 years.

"But that was before I discovered this new palette. It’s foolproof, allowing me to experiment and never get it wrong. While this is my first time using a palette with so many shades, I am just discovering what other makeup consumers have been enamored with for some time. Sales of eye shadow palettes with five or more shades have more than doubled since 2008. In fact, five+ palettes captured $2 out of every $10 sold in prestige eye shadow last year. Success in this category is key because 65% of makeup consumers use eye shadow, making it the second most used makeup product behind mascara.

"I recently put on that soft shimmery gray eye shadow again, and my son walked into the bathroom as I was applying it in the mirror. He studied me for a minute then said, 'Mom, I want you to wear that eye stuff to my wedding one day.' So, while I don’t know the style, fabric or length of the dress I will wear to his wedding, I do know that when it comes time for the mother/son dance, my dress will be a soft shimmery gray," Jensen concludes.

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