The test of time: Japan’s beauty consumers seeking out assurance over the hype surrounding new launches – new data

By Amanda Lim

- Last updated on GMT

apanese consumers are favouring old reliables that have stood the test of time over new buzzworthy brands and products. [KATE]
apanese consumers are favouring old reliables that have stood the test of time over new buzzworthy brands and products. [KATE]

Related tags trends COVID-19 Cosmetics Japan j-beauty

According to a new trend report, Japanese consumers are favouring old reliables that have stood the test of time over new buzzworthy brands and products.

Owned by Japanese beauty retail and media firm istyle Inc, @cosme is a cosmetic portal that has amassed millions of product reviews from approximately 16.5 million monthly visitors.

Based on the reviews, the company compiles a list of 10 winners of its Best Cosmetics Award annually. This year, the company analysed around 1.2 million reviews to determine the award winners.

Interestingly, this year, the entire line-up of 10 products were previous winners of @cosme awards.

According to its data, the appearance rate of the term ‘best cosmetics award’​ increased by 1.2 times this year.

At the same time, according to a survey conducted in November this year, more than 60% of respondents said they were likely to buy a product that was trending on social media platforms like YouTube or TikTok.

However, only 30% of these respondents cited a wish to “follow trends and fashions” ​by doing so. Instead, a majority felt that hearing a lot about a product on social media gave them some assurance.

These observations have led @cosme to believe that its beauty consumers were adopting risk avoidance behaviours and were now looking for stalwart products that have stood the test of time.

@cosme coined the term ‘buzz consumption​’ to describe this new trend. “It’s buzz that does not end over a transient period. Buzz consumption also unearths products that have been on the market for many years."

One example on the list this year is NARS Light Reflecting Pressed Setting Powder. This product was launched in 2013 and has been a staple of many vanity tables. According to the @cosme, the number of reviews for this product increased by 2.4 times compared to last year.

Similarly, ORBIS Essence in Hair Milk also found itself on the list more than a decade after it launched. Likewise, its reviews also spiked by about eight times compared to the previous year.

“In the eyes of consumers, newly encountered products are all fresh, regardless of when they were released. You can generate buzz for all products, not just new products,” ​noted the @cosme report.

Grand prize winner

Taking the top spot this year was KATE Lip Monster, a product that has bagged multiple awards since its launch in May 2021.

The lipstick was developed in response to the increased use of face masks over the COVID-19 pandemic. With its proprietary technology, it is resistant to smudging on the surfaces of cups or faces masks.

Demand was so high that at one point, the brand struggled to keep the product in stock.

@cosme noted that Lip Monster’s popularity in 2022 signifies that the demand for mask-friendly products are not going away yet.

“Even now, a year and a half after its release, its momentum has not diminished. It seems that the reason why it continues to be supported is that consumers still have a high need for products that are suitable for masks.”

Over the past year and a half, the constant buzz surrounding Lip Monster with the release of limited-edition colours, product extensions, cosmetics awards, and its sold-out status amalgamated to help to cement the product as the top product in Japan.

@cosme concluded: “It can be said to be a product that truly symbolises this year’s trends.”

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