In the Mood

By Imogen Matthews, Consultant to In-Cosmetics | November 21, 2012

Here's a look at the latest innovations in mood cosmetics and the emergence of color adaptive formulations in the marketplace.

Are you in the mood? Datamonitor defines mood cosmetics as cosmetics and personal care products that change color or texture to correspond with the user’s changing moods. These products are distinct from neurocosmetics, which serve to enhance consumers’ mood or mental wellbeing.

“These products go beyond aromatherapy-type products by claiming to interact directly with the body’s neurotransmitters, in turn changing consumers’ emotional and mental wellbeing state,” explained Michaela Peck, analyst, Datamonitor.

Mood cosmetics were around in the 1990s when a small niche brand, Tony & Tina, launched a range of products containing aromatherapy ingredients designed to lift the user’s mood. Ingredients included St John’s Wort, the homeopathic anti-depressant, which could be found in T&T’s Mood Balance Lipsticks. Whether the concept actually worked is debatable, but the product sowed the seeds for today’s crop of mood cosmetics.


Multi-hued hair color is all the rage right now.
Too Faced, for example, has channeled the mood trend with its MoodSwing Gloss. The product claims to be a “shade-shifting” lipgloss that uses heat responsive technology to react to body temperature. It is clear on application before going through a spectrum of pink hues as it reacts to the body’s temperature.

Natural brand Lush is taking Emotional Brilliance, its debut makeup range, into this new arena. The concept enables customers to match their preferred lipstick, eyeliner or eyeshadow shade with the emotional state they wish to embody. Lush has created an Emotional Brilliance Colour Wheel for people to choose three colors that stand out at that moment. The colors are placed in the middle of the wheel and ranked according to strength and weakness, subconscious talent and talent. Consumers then choose the color that represents the area they want to accentuate or that resonates with their subconscious need.

Peck insists that there is a more conscious attempt by consumers to adopt a more holistic approach to beauty, which is driving the trend for mood cosmetics.

“Consumers are now starting to shop for beauty brands with their own personal health and wellbeing increasingly front of mind,” she said. “They are gravitating towards products that go beyond the skin’s surface and which create a heightened feeling of wellbeing.”

Datamonitor has conducted research into consumers’ perception of physical attractiveness. In 2011, seven in ten global consumers {72%} told Datamonitor that they deemed “physical attractiveness” to be “very important” or “important” in creating a feeling of wellness or wellbeing. With attractiveness ranking 11th out of the 14 listed factors, beauty remains less intrinsically linked to wellness than say personal health, hygiene and general lifestyle in the mind of today’s consumer. Nevertheless, it now forms a distinct pillar of overall consumer wellbeing, according to Datamonitor.

Color Adaptive Cosmetics
A personalized experience is behind the idea of color adaptive cosmetics, which are primarily in the foundation sector. These products are said to adapt their formulations to match the specific pH of a consumer’s skin, thereby providing a much closer skin tone match. The advantage of these products is that they take the guesswork out of selecting a makeup shade, while providing a superior fit for their individual needs.

There are a variety of color cosmetics to suit most skin tones in the market.
“From a manufacturer perspective, there are premiumization opportunities attached to color adaptive cosmetics,” maintained Peck. “In providing consumers with such ‘personlization benefits,’ brands are able to convey a perception of prestige, thereby encouraging consumers to trade up and pay a price premium.”

Diorskin Nude is an example of color adaptive technology. The range of foundations comes in half tones that adjust to the complexion, claiming to provide a more natural result in every light.

Skin Perfect CC Colour Control 2-Way foundation by Alliance Cosmetics, aimed at Asian skin, was picked up by Mintel’s global new product database. It is described as an all-in-one foundation with advanced formulation and color control properties to make skin visibly flawless and radiant. Not only does it tick the color adaptive technology box, it is an example of the next generation CC creams, following on from BB creams.

“Such color match technology has now transcended the premium makeup segment and is now being incorporated into mass offerings as well,” explained Peck, who cited Maybelline’s Fit Me Foundation, which incorporates “skin merge technology” that adapts to the user’s skin tone.

“Faced with this differentiation challenge, I think the emphasis is now on premium makeup brands to implement better self-adjust technologies to achieve a much closer and more accurate skin tone match,” she added.

Novelty or Trend?
But are mood cosmetics and color adaptive cosmetics nothing more than novelties? Peck expects latent opportunities for mood cosmetics and the related concept of neurocosmetics, provided that manufacturers and brands can overcome the inevitable barrier of consumer skepticism surrounding these trends. In her view, when a brand claims mood enhancing or color fit properties based on negligible levels of the necessary ingredients to deliver, it will fall foul of today’s more informed and ingredient-savvy consumer.

“Industry players will quite simply need to ensure that they substantiate the use of active mood enhancing ingredients with proven product efficacy,” she observed.

New product development in the area of mood cosmetics and neurocosmetics remains relatively niche. Peck predicted as brands understand how consumers’ beauty, psychological and wellbeing needs interact, that innovation will start to gain more traction.

“I think color adaptive cosmetics are more likely to be an enduring trend in the beauty industry, given the more tangible consumer benefits that these products provide consumers,” she continued. “I think the longevity of this trend will be contingent both on the ability of product formulators to develop and harness more sophisticated and accurate color match technologies and also on the ability of brands to successfully communicate these technological benefits to the end consumer.”

Datamonitor and Mintel will present at next year’s trends presentations at In-Cosmetics, which will be held April 16-18 in Paris.

More info: www.in-cosmetics.com

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