Back with a vengeance: New data reveals top emerging beauty trends as ‘revenge spending’ soars in Japan

By Amanda Lim

- Last updated on GMT

New data reveals emerging beauty trends in Japan. [Getty Images]
New data reveals emerging beauty trends in Japan. [Getty Images]

Related tags Japan trends Post-COVID

Coloured brows, K-beauty, sustainability, and genderless cosmetics are among the top trends to keep an eye on in Japan as beauty consumers embark on revenge shopping sprees, according to new data.

Since the priority measures such as spread prevention were lifted nationwide on March 21, 2022, revenge consumption has been seen in the cosmetics industry as well as in the travel and food and beverage industries.

Since local authorities loosened social distancing measures in March, online beauty platform @cosme has observed revenge consumption in the cosmetics market. In May, its flagship store, @cosme Tokyo, set record-high monthly sales.

In late May, it conducted a survey of consumers which reported that 70% of respondents said they would increase spending on cosmetics. It was higher (80%) among younger consumers in their 20s.

Brow raising trends

Compared to previous years, sales of eyebrow products at @cosme Tokyo increased by 209%. This was the largest increase ahead of eye shadow (173%) and lip (167%) products.

The trend report said that the interest in eyebrows products will continue in an upward trend. Moving forward, it predicted that the focus would be on coloured eyebrows

“Until now, when it comes to eyebrow colour, the mainstream colour selection matches hair colour such as black, brown, and grey, but there is a movement to incorporate colours such as pink and purple.

“From powder to eyebrow mascara, various coloured eyebrow items are on sale from brands. Even in word-of-mouth communication, the appearance rate of words such as ‘colour eyebrows and ‘pink eyebrows’ is skyrocketing.”

K-beauty influence

@cosme has observed the rising influence of Korean beauty products, especially among the younger generation of consumers.

Its data has revealed that Japanese beauty consumers have started using terms that are more commonly used in the Korean beauty market, such as toner in place of lotion, and ampule in place of essence.

More than 30% of younger consumers in their teens and twenties reported a desire to incorporate more K-beauty products in their routines.

In light of this, @cosme predicted that demand for skin care in stick formats would accelerate. According to the survey, 30% of respondents reported an interest for cosmetics in more portable formats, including sticks and sprays.

This was cross-referenced with data from GLOWPICK, its sister site that analyses trends in South Korea.

According to GLOWPICK data, stick ampoules and balms have tripled over the past year, prompting the platform to establish a special category for it on the site.

Popular K-beauty brands including Nature Republic and Holika Holika have released ampoule sticks and three of them made it to GLOWPICK’s top 10 rankings for the first half of the year.

Furthermore, @cosme Tokyo has observed huge demand for K-beauty brand A’pieu’s Juicy Pang UV Stick, which “sold out immediately” ​when it was launched, said the firm.

Sustainability still a hot topic

Talk about sustainability has accelerated over the past couple of years and it seems that it will continue to be a hot topic.

According to data from the @cosme platform, the keyword ‘SDGs’ increased by 1076% over the past year, indicating that consumers' awareness of SDGs has improved significantly.

About 35% of survey respondents said they felt “guilty about throwing away cosmetics that I can't use up.” ​This is pushing consumers to seek out products with mini travel sizes and refill options.

When asked about future cosmetic choices, 20% of respondents said they would choose cosmetics with more emphasis on sustainable initiatives such as environmental protection. Similarly, about 20% of respondents said they would “be more focused on brands and their corporate philosophies when choosing cosmetics."

Beauty for everyone

With more emphasis on inclusivity, consumers are encouraged to “enjoy beauty in their own way”. ​The rate of genderless terms increased 109% over the past year.

According to the survey, 20% of respondents believe that cosmetics can be used by anyone, “regardless of gender, age, or skin type”.

More beauty brands are following this credo, with J-beauty brand Fujiko launching the All Humanity lipstick, while more established brands like Sisley have emphasised the universality of its products in its descriptions.

Furthermore, men have been used as models in advertising and we can expect a future where advertising visuals with models of a wide range of ages as well as gender will become commonplace.

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