Special Newsletter - Colour Cosmetics

Colour Cosmetics – a vibrant category offering plenty of opportunity!

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Colour Cosmetics – a vibrant category offering plenty of opportunity!

Related tags Colour cosmetics Cosmetics Color Trend

The colour cosmetics category has never been more dynamic or more diverse, and still underscores lots of opportunity. And the latest Cosmetics Design special newsletter focuses on what is happening worldwide

Colour Cosmetics – a vibrant category offering plenty of opportunity!

The colour cosmetics category has never been more dynamic or more diverse, and still underscores lots of opportunity. And the latest Cosmetics Design special newsletter focuses on what is happening worldwide.

The colour cosmetics category has always been the fastest moving category, simply because it is driven by trends and fashion, but today the choice is incredible: from retro looks to the bold and futuristic, while there is also a growing market for the natural look.

Below we highlight some of the biggest trends in the industry right in a series of dedicated articles that touch on K Beauty, the trend-setting US market, the way the selfie craze is influences product launches and how natural products are evolving.

This article provides a brief synopsis of the full articles, but if you click on the links you will be forwarded to the full story.

Truth or Dare? natural color cosmetics that work

Whether from natural-first indie brands like Evelyn Iona or top beauty industry companies like L’Oréal, color cosmetics formulated partially or entirely with natural ingredients are gaining popularity. And effective all-natural color has arrived or is at least now a real possibility.

Unlike products in other categories where consumer use and application is generally limited to private spaces, color cosmetics, their function, benefits, and their failures are visible in public every day. This has meant that the product development and industry learning curve on natural color has been a slow and careful process.

In personal care and cosmetics there’s a common trajectory brands follow as they move into new categories or develop line extensions that take the company beyond what is often a single-category or single-product brand origin.

In color, lip product often comes first; followed by mascaras, eyeliners, or brow products; then brands move into eyeshadows, blush, bronzer, and highlighter; from there it’s on to foundation, concealer, primer, and finishing or setting products.

US colour cosmetics paves the way for global trends

The colour cosmetics market is probably the fastest moving beauty category thanks to new looks with each fashion season. But in recent years it has been the US market that has provided the inspiration.

The beauty buzz has been all about South Korea in recent years, where K Pop has given way to K Beauty, providing a level of innovation that has been a source of inspiration for the industry in recent years.

However, perhaps more quietly, the emergence of a vibrant indie beauty category has proved to be the harbinger of all that's new and fast-paced in the US colour cosmetics market, giving way to subtle and understated natural and organic brands as well as high fashion brands that provide far more cutting edge make-up looks.

Market research company Kline Group has been closely monitoring the changes in this category worldwide, underlining how the market has been characterised by above average industry growth that has continued to spell opportunities for all types of brands.

Selfie style: how picture-perfect desire is impacting cosmetics

The rise of the smartphone and the accompanying wealth of photo-focused apps (including Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook as dominant leaders) has begun to impact onto colour cosmetics trends in earnest, according to various industry experts.

To get the low-down, we reached out to brand leader, Lori Machiorlette, president of makeup brush range blendSMART, and Charlotte Libby, global colour cosmetics and fragrance analyst at market research firm Mintel.

"The selfie trend has created a generation of women who are more continuously aware of their appearance than ever before, and attached to this awareness has come the increased desire to enhance appearance and correct perceived imperfections,”​ explains Libby, from Mintel.

This idea of striving for a picture-perfect finish is something that Machiorlette firmly agrees is now a dominant trend, particularly among younger consumers.

“We see millennials driving the future of beauty and if brands want to remain relevant, they should turn to the “tried-and-true” selfie for R&D​,” she says, noting that although the trend may originate among the youngest consumers, it is quickly being adopted by older generations too.

How K beauty is shaping the Asian colour cosmetics category

Here we are focusing on evolving trends and industry developments that impact the growing colour cosmetics sector in APAC.

And it's all about the ever-popular Korean beauty sphere and how K beauty and K pop trends are making waves in the global colour cosmetics market, along with the challenges they face.  

As Euromonitor International anticipates that APAC will replace the US as the leading colour cosmetics country by 2020, we take a look at the impact Korean colour cosmetics trends have on APAC and around the world.

In this article, Nicole Fall, Founder of Asian Consumer Intelligence, notes that Korean brands individualise their identities from other countries’ brands as they are aware of the importance of diversifying from competitors’ launches to support new and innovative trends.

Related news

Follow us


View more



Beauty 4.0 Podcast