Colour evolution: Top 10 stories on makeup innovation and developments in APAC

By Amanda Lim

- Last updated on GMT

Check out this round up of our biggest stories on makeup this year. [Getty Images]
Check out this round up of our biggest stories on makeup this year. [Getty Images]

Related tags Makeup Colour cosmetics

Check out this round up of our biggest stories on makeup this year, featuring advancements from brands such as Shiseido, L’Oréal, Hourglass, Kosé, and more.

Barrier benefits: SHISEIDO unveiled foundation that strengthens skin barrier with fermented extracts

Japanese beauty brand SHISEIDO launched a foundation in September that it claimed can bolster and fortify the skin's natural barrier with fermented kefir extract.

SHISEIDO described the Revitalessense Skin Glow Foundation as a formulation that “fuses serum and foundation”.

The cornerstone of this hybrid formulation was the combination of niacinamide and fermented kefir extract which the company claimed can support the moisture barrier function of the skin.

The latter was a moisturising ingredient containing kefir extract and glycerin. It was also featured in SHISEIDO’s Eudermine Essence Lotion, a new iteration of Shiseido’s 1897 debut cosmetic product, which was launched early this year.

The blue effect: Ultramarine blue pigment enhances foundations for North Asian complexions – L’Oréal study

Ultramarine blue pigment could fully replace black pigments in foundations and provide superior cosmetic benefits for North Asian complexions, suggested a study by Japan-based L’Oréal researchers.

One of the most widely used and versatile pigments, ultramarine blue is used in cosmetics to produce various colours, including purple, pink, and green. It has also been used as a substitute for black pigments such as black iron oxide.

L’Oréal-owned colour cosmetics brand Urban Decay has utilised ultramarine blue to create the foundation shade range for Urban Decay’s Stay Naked Weightless Liquid Foundation, which offers more than 50 shades to suit a diverse range of skin tones.

Masks off, lipstick on: Hourglass makeup sales grew 109% in Korea after mask mandate lift

Hourglass Cosmetics experienced a year-on-year growth of 109% in South Korea after authorities scrapped the face mask mandate for most indoor public places.

The Unilever-owned luxury beauty brand is distributed by Shinsegae International, a fashion, beauty, and lifestyle retailer from South Korea.

The latter reported that in January, Hourglass sales increased by 109% year on year (YoY) just as local authorities lifted its mask mandate for the majority of indoor public places on January 30.

Comfort vs celebration: Psychological differences between millennials and Gen Zs drove difference in makeup trends

The psychological differences between millennials and Gen Zs played a significant role in driving divergent makeup trends in Asia Pacific.

Fernanda Soro, global marketing manager at ingredients firm Sensient, observed a split in the colour cosmetics market between millennials and Gen Zs.

As the pandemic recovery kickstarted, the younger Gen Zs were in a celebratory mood, she said. This was vividly reflected in their choice of bright and vibrant colours in their makeup.

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‘Stress-free feel’: Beauty consumers seeking out strong lip colours with balm-like comfort – Shiseido

Japanese beauty brand SHISEIDO released a new lipstick that tapped into post-pandemic consumer demand for both strong colours without compromising on comfort.

With relaxed pandemic restrictions across markets, consumers were eager to embrace makeup once again. In particular, lip makeup was set to make a major comeback after COVID-19 upended lipstick sales.

During this time, many beauty brands prioritised transfer-resistant and long-wearing formulas to encourage consumers to continue wearing lipsticks underneath their protective face masks.

While attributes like longevity still remain important to consumers today, they are also prioritising the comfort of the lips.

Staying power: Kosé-owned brand Visée developed new formulation for ‘long-lasting’ lipstick range

Visée is launched a range of lipsticks specially formulated to elevate colour- and gloss-retaining effects in a bid to satisfy what it claimed were unfulfilled consumer needs for products with strong staying power.

In recent years, Japanese brands like Shiseido’s Maquillage​ and Kanebo’s KATE​ have introduced various colour transfer-resistant lip products, mainly in response to the COVID-19 pandemic that has been characterised by mask-wearing.

Although wearing a mask is now less of a mandated requirement and more of a personal choice, it has not stopped Kosé -owned Visée from delving deeper into formulation technologies that boost the lasting power of makeup.  

‘Exceptional colour retention’: Shiseido’s debuted ‘Water Sensing’ colour tech debuted with Maquillage

Japanese giant Shiseido debuted a new range of Maquillage lipsticks developed with its new Water Sensing Technology that combines transfer-resistant colour and comfort.

Maquillage Dramatic Essence Rouge arrived in stores in Japan on November 21 with seven shades.

The product was designed with Shiseido’s new Water Sensing Technology, which was developed to meet current consumer demands for lipstick.

According to the firm's survey results, consumers identified moisturisation ability, glossiness, and transfer resistance as their top priorities in an ideal lipstick that would give the ‘dewy lip’ look.

Burberry boom: Coty CEO optimistic of further growth for Burberry Beauty in China

Coty has targeted further growth for Burberry Beauty in China after recent successes in makeup and fragrance, alongside the impending launch of its first refillable perfume bottle.

During the company’s fourth-quarter earnings conference, CEO Sue Y. Nabi highlighted that Burberry Hero has climbed the ranks to become the number three male fragrance in China. 

According to the firm it was behind blockbuster fragrances Bleu de Chanel and Dior Sauvage.

At the same time, Burberry’s Beyond Wear Perfecting Matte Foundation has ranked number five in the premium long-lasting foundation category on e-commerce platform Tmall.

Film star? Perfect Diary launched lipstick that can ‘reduce fine lines by over 50%’

Perfect Diary launched a lipstick that claimed to have built-on lip essence and lip mask benefits thanks to its latest patented “bio film” technology.

The Bio Film Essence Lipstick was described as “the brand's first innovative lipstick product that combines lipstick makeup effects, lip essence functions and lip mask”.

The lipstick featured a pomegranate peptide complex, which the firm claimed can “deeply plump the lip skin and make the lip skin glow with health and vitality”. The brand co-created the ingredient with a French R&D team, the firm said.

The effects of the ingredient are said to be boosted by the Biolip technology, which it claimed forms a protective barrier on the lips.

Assurances needed: Concerns of makeup tester hygiene still heavy among Singapore’s beauty consumers – Watsons

Health and beauty retailer Watsons sought to ease consumer concern over the hygiene of testers by piloting a ‘first of its kind’ makeup exchange programme that it hoped will encourage more purchases.

While the COVID-19 measures had lifted, the heightened concern for safety has endured among consumers in Singapore. At the same time, the use of makeup was on the rise again as mask-wearing rules were lifted completely since February.

“Since the opening up and mask off from mid-February, we have seen a surge in cosmetics sales; a high double-digit growth compared to last year and it’s more noticeable in the lip category,” said Irene Lau, managing director of Watsons Singapore.

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