The Rebirth of Color

November 9, 2005

Dramatic eyes, supershine for lips and vivid colors are the trends this fall

Just as the unisex look has taken a back seat to more feminine, sensual styles in the fashion world, so has the color cosmetics market taken a turn away from some of its more casual looks of the past. As the millennium approached last year, gray was the fall favorite in the color cosmetics market. But this fall, color is being reborn in red and other rich, dramatic shades.

“It is not just about a red lipstick anymore, but a rich color with a super shine. It is a glamorous season with a return to color. The fashion designers are showing color and women are wearing more color on their faces again,” said Sharon Garment of Mana Products, Long Island City, N.Y., a contract and private label manufacturer, which also markets Erno Laszlo, Black Opal, Interface, I Natural cosmetic lines and State of Mind, a bath and body line.

With the stakes to lure consumers higher than ever, companies are adding new, richer shades to their color cosmetic offerings. Marketers are also trying to reach new consumers. Procter & Gamble—without fanfare—removed the “Oil” tag from Oil of Olay products, to attract a broader target audience. “It allows us to leverage the brand’s appeal on a more global scale. ‘Olay’ is simple, bold and contemporary. It embodies beauty and truly modernizes the brand’s appeal among a broader target audience,” said Anitra Marsh, an Olay spokesperson.

The shades in Olay’s fall Metropolitan collection range from deep maroons and electric reds to gold. Each shade is rich in color, yet this season, Olay Cosmetics added an iridescent sheen to keep the colors from appearing matte. “As seen on the runways, dramatic makeup is making a comeback with deeper and richer shades,” said Cheryl Hudgins, Olay public affairs manager. “Spring’s soft, iridescent shades give way to urban chic colors that are vibrant, modern and feminine. This fall, Olay realizes that women want to change their look by adding deep, dramatic shades to spice up their more neutral basics.”

Whether or not a new look with deeper shades will send consumers flocking to beauty care aisles remains to be seen, but marketers expect cosmetic sales will remain strong. Mass market facial cosmetic sales totaled $2.8 billion for the year ended May 21, a healthy 10.5% increase over last year, according to Information Resources Inc., Chicago. The company separately tracks the nail care category, where sales fell 4.5% to $815 million.

As consumers search for variety, another segment of makeup has become strong. Sales of makeup combinations—packages that contain multiple cosmetic products—totaled $59 million for the year ended May 21, a tremendous 43.4% increase over last year, according to IRI. These packages contain facial cosmetics, nail products and sometimes other products such as body glitter. Brands such as Revlon, Cover Girl, Maybelline, Bonne Bell, The Color Workshop and My Generation placed in the top 10 in this category.

Several brands posted tremendous gains in the makeup combination segment. For example, sales for the one of Color Workshop’s makeup combinations totaled $5.6 million an increase of nearly 240%, according to IRI. My Generation’s combination sales rose 135% to $2.7 million and Maybelline’s combination sales totaled $2.5 million, a 161.4% increase over the previous year, for one of its makeup combinations.

In the prestige segment, Clinique led market sales in 1999, according to NPD BeautyTrends, Port Washington, NY. Lancôme placed second, followed by Estée Lauder, Prescriptives and Chanel.

The Glamour Gal Formula
Glamour comes in different shades and formulas this fall. Although rich tones are trendy, other looks, such as a subtle shimmer of silver, also promise to get the consumer’s attention. Part of Chanel’s fall collection is Lumiére Platine, a platinum face powder used to create highlights anywhere on the face. Through a unique baking process that combines a mixture of micronized pigments, Lumiére Platine (a fine, pressed powder) creates the impression that the face is wreathed in a halo of light.

A different shine—the unwanted kind that comes with oily skin—is bad news for glamour gals everywhere. One solution is Clinique’s Clarifying makeup clear skin formula. The matte-finish liquid foundation provides coverage as it absorbs oil and helps keep pores clean.

“The formula is lightweight and conceals flaws,” said Shirley Weinstein, Clinique senior vice president of product development worldwide. The formula contains oat flour, clove extract and laminaria saccharina to provide long-term sebum control and vital anti-irritant benefits. Also included is salicylic acid to break up plugs that can lead to blackheads and breakouts. With isododecane and polyethylene for long wear and specially treated pigments for stay-true color that is impervious to oil and water, Clarifying makeup stands up to sweat, humidity and hours of wear, according to Clinique executives.

“The old fashioned foundation for oily skin would make skin look unnaturally matte, as if it were caked on. But the lightweight foundation we are launching moves with the skin and makes it look matte in a natural way,” said Ms. Weinstein.

Innovative formulas that impart a desirable shine are having an impact in color cosmetics. One of the most popular new product is an eye gloss that creates a trendy, glistening wet look, said Mana Products’ Ms. Garment. The formula is easy to wear and feels light on the lids. It is available in a range of shades from naturally dewy to sultry.

Another formula in the spotlight for Mana this fall is a liquid lipstick that combines strong color with intense shine. The formula contains highly concentrated pigments along with an equally potent dose of light reflectors for color and shine, said Ms. Garment.

Color Flashback
Dramatic lips and eye makeup in bright orange and red shades had their heyday back in the 1980s. Loud statements were made not only in color cosmetics, but in clothes and hairstyles too. Now flamboyance is making a comeback. Last year’s matte colors are being replaced this fall by new textures and luster; lips are glossier and eye makeup more dramatic. “We are seeing glitz and glamour, almost a return to the 1980s in makeup and fashion,” said Kelli Teerman, cosmetics marketer for Amway’s Artistry brand. Amway’s fall color collection is inspired by the outdoors. Colors range from shimmery berry to shimmery green and navy shades.

Amway’s fall look calls for vivid eyes, lips and nail colors, created by a fusion of nature with iridescent shimmer. Dramatic eyes, resonant lip colors and shimmering glosses are key, according to the company.

Avon’s fall collection, “Autumn Legends,” includes shades derived from nature. The palette combines moss green, rustic terracotta and earthy brown brightened by blossoming rose and berry tones. The shades for eyes are misty fleshtones accented with deeper yet subtle contour shades of forest green and mauve. For cheeks, the look is flushed, as if having just come from the outdoors, said Tina Reynolds, Avon senior manager, product development global color cosmetics.

“I don’t think women are trying to look younger, but I do think they want products that make them look beautiful at whatever age they are,” said Ms. Reynolds.

While a rebirth of color might seem like a return to the 1980s, the consumer wants to feel like she is getting something new and trendy. “She wants something that is fashion forward with a modern look…new, vivid colors, dramatic eyes and makeup that is glamorous, almost exotic,” said Amway’s Ms. Teerman.

Part of Mary Kay’s fall Color I.D. collection is a lip crayon that provides long-lasting color with conditioners to assure a polished look all day. The shades are named classy, feisty, fickle, mellow, naïve and tender expressive, colors that match a person’s mood, according to the company.

“A lot of times, the fashion industry will drive the cosmetic industry and you will see those colors on the eyes and lips,” said Lena Campbell, Mary Kay color cosmetics product manager. “What we saw on the runways was a shift to red tones, so we highlighted the red color.”

The 1980s “rock star glam look” is making an explosive comeback with smoky eyes, red lips and rich colors, insisted a spokesperson for Tommy Hilfiger Toiletries. On the Verge, the company’s fall collection for eyes, lips and nails, includes new shades coupled with rich hues from existing lines. Four new shades for nail polish have a cream-like finish to contrast the look of ultra shimmery eyes and lips. The collection includes rich black, blue, deep gray and magenta.

For eyes, the collection includes a wet/dry eye color in a lush magenta shade with a flash of blue shimmer; a black shadow with silver glitter that creates smoldering, smoky gray eyes and another shade for deep, dark blue lids. For lips, ‘hand jive’ is a sheer, pink, glittery fast shine lip gloss, while ‘electric slide’ is a sheer, sparkling tangerine shade.

“Popular looks tend to reappear. The 1980s represented an era of super models, wild lifestyles—the ultimate glamour,” said Matt Teri, vice president, product development worldwide, Aramis Inc., manufacturers of Tommy Hilfiger cosmetics. “The year 2000 brings it all together with a twist that appeals to today’s modern woman.”

Color Surge
Makeup shades are becoming more colorful as many marketers move away from the beige/brown syndrome of years ago and the highly sought after gray shade of last fall. Richness in lips, more defined eyes, vivid nail colors and high gloss and shimmer are trends for the fall. Yet, another fall trend is transparent/paler lips, soft lines around the eyes and softer nail color and shine, according to Mark Pandiscio, Givenchy director of retail development.

Givenchy’s fall colors are divided into categories of pinks, reds, oranges, browns and trendy shades. “The trend colors are the metallic, opalescent, geared toward fashion to reflect that feel. Colors chosen for the fall season were based on influences from the runways, particularly from the Givenchy fall couture collection,” Mr. Pandiscio said.

The color burgundy is a Calvin Klein fall favorite. Fall shades for the Calvin Klein collection were inspired from key fall fabric shades, such as merlot, said a spokesperson for Calvin Klein Cosmetics.

“With Calvin Klein color, the makeup is directly related to the fabrics and colors of the season. The key for the fall is the eye look,” a spokesperson said. A new shade in Calvin Klein’s fall collection is redwood, which can be used as a dry or wet eyeshadow.

Cover Girl’s fall collection, Heartland, features warm terracottas, deep pinks, rich blues and mossy greens, inspired by catwalk trends. Products in the fall collection include these new colors for eyes, lips and nails.

Estée Lauder’s look for fall is ladylike, classic and elegant with strong eyes or lips, but not both. The colors are beige, khaki, black and white accented with gold and red.

“Neutral or not, makeup is back,” said Aerin Lauder, Estée Lauder executive director, creative marketing. “We’ll see a lot of deep lips paired with neutral eyes or natural lips with intense eyes. The look is polished and feminine.”

Red is making a big splash on lips and fingertips with Revlon’s fall collection from the gold-flecked, deep red of Chili Thrill to the warmed crimson of the Go Chili shade.

When Henry David Thoreau wrote “Simplify, simplify,” he could have been referring to today’s daily beauty routine. It is no secret that multi-purpose cosmetics are a hot commodity for just that reason. Products that offer multi-purpose benefits keep consumers from cluttering their minds and their pocketbooks with multiple products. It also keeps indecisive consumers from having to decide which colors will work well together.

Guerlain Paris’ “must-have trio”–part of the company’s Rosa Velvet fall collection–is a complete makeup offering in a single product, including warm orange-brown tones of velvety blush, lip gloss and golden face powder in a clear, stackable pot trio. The colors work well together, so consumers don’t have to carry separate lip gloss, blush and powder, said Karen Foertsch, Guerlain makeup marketing manager.

“This is what we hope will draw the consumer, because it is interesting, cute, compact and easy to apply,” said Ms. Foertsch. “Consumers want an easy way to look beautiful.”

“With more and more women in the workforce leading busy and hectic lives, multipurpose products such as multi-blush are in demand,” said Jenny D’Adamo, Clarins Paris marketing manager for color and fragrance. Clarins’ multi-blush—an all-in-one makeup for cheeks, eyes and lips—is part of the company’s autumn-winter collection of deep reds, autumn pinks and smoky gray.

“Its creamy texture and simple fingertip application is perfect to enhance the beauty of cheeks, eyes and lips. Multi-blush is a quick and easy-to-use all-in-one makeup that is compact and sized right for travel,” Ms. D’Adamo said.

Cover Girl’s multi-stick pencil can be used on eyes, lips and cheeks. The pencil comes in three colors, each with two contrasting shades that glide on easily for a creamy finish.

Maybelline’s Express Makeup 3-in-1, in a stick form, is a liquid, powder and concealer in one. It promises to deliver coverage like a liquid, to conceal where needed and offer the finish of a powder, according to the company.

Whether it is multi-purpose products or the deeper fall shades of color cosmetics that send consumers shopping, the stakes for marketers to deliver innovative products is higher than ever.

With the gray makeup syndrome fading fast, the first fall of the millennium is taking a colorful turn in the makeup market. Rich, deeper colors are back with shines and glosses being added to the mix. Eye colors are more intense and multi-purpose products are strong. Consumers are in for a colorful fall.

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