Color Cosmetics: All that Glitters

November 9, 2005

In 1999, muted makeup shades were all the rage; in 2000, a dramatic splash of cosmetic colors hit the runway. What's new for the new millennium?

Like anything else, the evolution of color cosmetics throughout history has tended to follow a logical progression. From season to season, what is considered new and different is simply a variation on the era's general trend.

However, as we have approached and now crested the new millennium, a dramatic change has taken place in the color cosmetics industry. Far from introducing a basic "look," the turn of the century has produced a variety of them-and, unlike in days past, all are acceptable.

Having flirted with the toned-down natural look in 1999 and swung to an extreme with bold and retro colors in 2000, the color cosmetics industry is now aiming toward pleasing a public that demands one of everything-and a personalized look that can vary significantly from one consumer to the next. It is a common theme that has enveloped the personal care and beauty industry in recent years, and one which will continue until the new-millennium dust settles, according to industry experts.

"At the turn of every century, a new attitude emerges," opined Gary Jones, director of research and development, BeautiControl Cosmetics, Carrollton, TX. "People are looking for something new and fresh. Right now, freedom and diversity tend to rule."

Mr. Jones confirmed that "on-trend" is no longer cut-and-dry in color cosmetics. "There was a time when you would open a magazine and every model in it was wearing the same basic makeup scheme," he commented. "Women were able to follow the trends easily by looking at what everyone else was applying; very seldom did you see mixed looks. Today, makeup turns on a dime. It's influenced by a variety of factors, not just fashion magazines."

This is evidenced by the variety of mixed messages sent out by the media to consumers: Bold lips and subtle eyes are in. A balanced look and holistic approach is a must. Subtle 60s-style lips with dramatic cat-eyes are ruling the runway. The confusion of images leads back to one point: In the 21st century-or the beginning of it, at least-anything goes.

Getting it Together
One thing hasn't changed: a desire for convenience and simplicity of application. As a result, combination products, such as blush/eye shadow sets, and multibeneficial cosmetics including sunscreen/foundation products, are on the rise, more so in fact than any other category in the color cosmetics segment.

The eye and facial makeup categories grew 3% and 6% respectively in food, drug and mass merchandising stores for the year ended Dec. 31, 2000, according to Information Resources, Inc., Chicago. At the same time, lip cosmetics declined 1.9% and nail polish/nail treatments dropped 4%. The most significant increase in color cosmetic sales was in the makeup combination category, with these multi-use items yielding a 16.5% jump over last year's sales, according to IRI.

Makeup sales were also on the rise in department stores, according to NPD BeautyTrends, Port Washington, NY: category sales rose 5% from 1999 to 2000, with total sales of $6.8 billion. Lip products fared better in department stores than mass merchandising locations, up 7% in 2000, according to NPD.

Prompting the sharp rise in combination-product sales last year were a host of complete lines, many of which include multi-benefit single items, such as sunscreen-containing foundations and wrinkle-easing eye color products. Sormé Cosmetics, Beverly Hills, CA, introduced its Believable Wet-Dry foundation in April. The foundation offers both color versatility and skin saving ingredients, according to company executives. The foundation utilizes alpha hydroxy acids to minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and offers the option of either a sheer, matte finish or a creamy, glowing look when applied with a moistened sponge.

Skin Alison Raffaele Cosmetics, New York, NY, introduced True Concealer, a base which not only offers an ultra-light finish but moisturizes and reduces inflammation with shea butter and chamomile oil. The company said that True Concealer and Transparent Finish, a loose powder packaged in a shaker-top jar, are suitable for all ethnicities and skin types.

Full product lines to be unveiled for fall include offerings from Estée Lauder, Lancôme, Burt's Bees, Seduce (Sexy Hair Concepts) and Avon. These full range lines encompass color schemes that make for an easily pulled-together look.

Avon's Luxe Life is "elegantly sexy," according to the company. The fall palette offers easy sophistication that can be conveniently dramatized for evening and focuses on chocolates, sophisticated hues, rich reds, fuscias and a hint of gold.

Black Opal developed Urban Opulence, a dynamic collection of gleaming colors that encompasses the mood of urban life, company executives said. Dual lip glosses and lip colors offer a variety of color combinations depending upon a woman's mood. The line also includes Metallic French Manicure nail enamel and Simplified Protective Base with ViatScreens, a protective base with vitamins and SPF 15. Burt's Bees continues to cater to those desiring a natural effect with Wings of Love, a collection that's billed as "earth-friendly" and containing "good-for-you" ingredients. The line includes All-Natural lipstick, Lip Love shimmer, Lip Love pencils, a tinted moisturizer, blushing creme, concealing creme and loose powder. Powdered facial tissues round out the line; the tissues are naturally tinted and leave a healthy, sheer glow while absorbing excess oil and shine. Prices range from $3-16.

Sexy Hair Concepts explores a palette of lilac and wine-stained hues with Seduce, a range that sports not only bold products but bold product names. Peep Show comprises three eye shadows: Enamor, Temptation and Sultry. Lip Lacquer includes Bella Donna and Last Kiss. Hot Cheeks is a purplish-pink cheek stick that casts an opalescent hint on the face, while Snow Kiss is a silvery shimmer dust with lavender undertones.

Glow with the Flow
Though it's difficult to get a handle on which of the multiple offerings will rise as "the" look in the coming year, industry experts contacted by Happi agreed that there is one trend that crosses all age groups and makeup styles: consumers' newfound penchant for glitter. Products that add sparkle and shine to virtually any part of the body-hair and fingernails included-are finding their way into foundations, sunscreens and a broad range of color cosmetics.

And the trend isn't limited to a little-girl look or line. "We have a new product. It's called Lunar Dust," revealed Pauline Youngblood, founder of Youngblood Cosmetics, a Simi Valley, CA-based natural cosmetics company that is geared more toward the upscale consumer than the teen set. "The upcoming look is a glowing satin skin, as opposed to matte. Lunar dust adds highlights in a subtle and sophisticated, yet fun, way." The product is available in three shades, golden, pink- and whitish-based, and can be used to highlight the cheekbones, temples, collarbone or any skin area, according to Ms. Youngblood.

Clinique will roll out Gentle Light, available in a foundation and a loose power, in the fall. Gentle Light is sheer and skin-perfecting for a naturally luminous finish, according to Arlette Palow, vice president of product development for makeup and fragrance, Clinique.

"We are finally getting into the category of luminous products," said Ms. Palow. "The idea is luminous but natural." Gentle Light comprises mosaic like, flat mirrored particles in the natural pigments one would use for foundation. "They're tinted like the foundation shade," said Ms. Palow, "so the look is very natural, but it does impart that luminosity that consumers are looking for. And the line is oil-free, long-wearing and sheer, yet gives optical coverage and correction."

Mr. Jones of BeautiControl Cosmetics said that the focus is on a combination of fun, sophistication and personal choice. "We introduced a fragrance body glitter," he commented, "and people said, 'Don't discontinue this! It's not just for young girls...it's for older girls too!'" The glitter is a little bit glitzy and a little bit glamorous, according to Mr. Jones. "Women as a rule haven't always had the permission to be glamorous," he pointed out. "Now they give themselves that permission."

Lancôme will welcome fall with a glitzy gala for the everyday, according to company executives. The Chic line celebrates both the feminine and wild side of a woman with hot hues, flashes of gold, metallic sparks and fantasy finishes-and even nail tips in wild fur. Fantasy Tubes eye gloss adds a dose of drama and can be blended for a transparent effect; the gloss will retail for $15.00. Other items in Lancome's lineup include Color Focus exceptional wear eye color ($16); Ombre Trio eye shadow and lip gloss ($35); Lip dimensions lip-shaping color ($20), Lip Brio lastingly brilliant lip lacquer ($20) and weightless, extra-shine and waterproof lip colors. For the face, Touche Liberté, a refreshing portable foundation, can be used in small touches as a highlighter for an added glow or as an all-over transparent veil, according to company executives; the product will retail for $22.50.

Elizabeth Arden will offer two distinct themes for fall-one edgy and the other innocent, company executives said. A Warm Shades and Cool Shades collection both offer shimmer, metals and shine. The Warm collection includes shimmer and velour lipsticks among its offerings, while Cool includes metallique lipstick and Pink Glow and Plum Pearl eyeshadows. Price points range from $3-20 for eyeshadow compacts, lipsticks and cheek color.

New York Color (N.Y.C.), Uniondale, NY has introduced Eye Shimmers, creamy, glistening shades that add a subtle sugar-coating of color to the eyelids and brow bone. Eye Shimmers are fast-drying, hypoallergenic and easy to apply with smooth, fingertip application. Eye Shimmers are available in White Ice, Iced Blue and Iced Mint and retail for just $1.99. The line was introduced at chain drug stores and mass merchandisers in March.

For pure fun, Wet 'n' Wild will introduce Fantasy Makeovers this fall. Though the line is geared toward Halloween, company executives said that it will inspire wild looks all year round. Fantasy Makeovers includes such goodies as MegaSlicks lip gloss, for intense color and shine in Black, Fiery (gleaming orange/gold gloss) and Ghouly (smokey green glimmer); non-bleed/feather formula lipsticks in the same color lineup; MegaBrilliance lip gloss in Shinin' (silver), Gold and Shimmy Shimmer (sparkling iridescent); Draw-It-On lipliner and the Witchin' Eyes collection, which includes coordinating masacras and eyeliners in such colors as gold, purple, silver, orange, black, red and white.

The Fantasy Makeovers line also includes Witchin' Nails and nail decals, Witchin' body face paints, and ancillary products including glitter sticks and gels, body tattoos, hair mascara and body and hair jewels.

Child's Play
Not all teen and 'tween products focus on the fantastic, however. The teenage market has grown significantly and is blending with adult cosmetics as youngsters become more selective.

"Teens have influenced the adult category just by buying into it more than they did in the past," commented Ms. Palow of Clinique. "They're the most fun consumers in the world; they're dynamic, willing to experiment and love to play." Teens also have a larger disposable income than the teenagers of yesteryear. "Teens know exactly what they're looking for and can honestly assess a product," Ms. Palow pointed out. "At the same time, they are more able to afford upscale or adult-type cosmetics than young people in the past."

Ms. Youngblood agreed that finances have been a factor in the changeover from robin's-egg-blue eyeshadow to the variety of color cosmetics and ancillary products that teens are dropping into their shopping carts today. Noting Youngblood Cosmetics' attention to natural ingredients and careful formulation of finished products, Ms. Youngblood admitted, "Teens may be a little put off from purchasing 'adult' geared products for no other reason than the price. However, young shoppers of today are more confident in what they want. And if they want something badly enough, they'll find a way to buy it."

Ms. Youngblood noted that upscale products may actually have more of an appeal to generation Y in the case of typically problematic skin during adolescence. "Our foundation is healthy for the skin," she insisted, "so we get a lot of referrals from dermatologists for teens who are prone to breakouts. And parents will buy our product for their daughters."

Wet 'n' Wild, though maintaining an adult-purchaser segment, is still popular with the teen set, as is Naturistics, a hip line of Gen-Y-geared products. Naturistics has introduced Hippie Stixx, two shades of tinted lip gloss that encompasses "groovy glamour with a retro twist," according to company executives. The ultra-shiny glosses are flavored for added appeal and come in Hip to be Strawberry, Way Out Watermelon, Lava that Berry!, Groovin' Grape, Bubbly Yum and Kook Kiwi. The items retail for $3.50 and were introduced in January.

Naturistics also unveiled Lil' Kisses early in the year to tie in with Valentine's Day, but the mini-lip glosses are fun year-round, company executives said. Lil' Kisses are available in either roll-on or wand-type application and are compact for portability. The Lil' Kisses line is also flavored with a choice of Strawberry, Watermelon and Vanilla in the roll-on version, or Mini Lip Sparklers in Strawberry, Watermelon and Raspberry. At just $.99 each, the line is popular with younger consumers, according to the company.

Making It Last
While youngsters bounce from one trend to the next, adults still desire a few basics that never change: economy, variety and a look that lasts.

For years, formulators have been able to create waterproof and smudge-proof masacaras, as well as oil-free, sweat-resistant foundations. More recently, long-lasting lip color has become a market mainstay. This year, more breakthroughs in lip color are appearing on the market.

Cover Girl introduced Outlast, a wand-application lip color that lasts even through such typical smudgers as workouts and lunch, company executives said. The product also comes with its own gloss which is applied to the lips after the color been given sixty seconds to dry. Outlast is available in 26 shades.

Revlon's Colorstay line now includes Colorstay Lips, a product that "won't kiss off," according to the company. The extensive line includes lipcolor, lipliner and liptint SPF15 and offers flesh tones, neutrals, deep and bright ranges.

With the broad variety of individual items and with a number of entire looks being considered on-trend, as well as new scientific-based and multifunctional items, it's unlikely that any one look will emerge as the top player in this year's color cosmetics competition. this year's big winner is the consumer, who will ring in the millennium with more choices than ever, and the ability to create a look that is uniquely her own.

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