“Women of all ages are embracing their natural beauty, especially among America’s Millennial generation who are using color cosmetics to enhance their features in order to look like the best version of themselves. Brands have an opportunity to promote themes of self-expression and embracing natural beauty in product marketing in order to reach this active and engaged consumer market. Short beauty routines underscore that Millennials are strapped for time and emphasize efficiency, highlighting the importance of products that can be applied quickly and easily, as well as those that can multitask,” said Margie Nanninga, beauty and personal care analyst at Mintel.
However, it appears that what women say they prefer for their beauty routine and how they look when they leave the house doesn't always align. While these Millennial consumers are slightly less likely to prefer the natural look, they are more likely (71 percent) to actually wear a natural makeup look than female consumers overall (68 percent).
The majority of Millennial women report spending just 20 minutes or less (59 percent vs. 68 percent overall) on their regular beauty routine and one-fifth (18 percent) say their beauty routine consists of four or less steps. Usage of cosmetics products that are essential to the natural makeup look have also been on the rise among younger consumers over the past five years**. Indeed, nearly half (46 percent) of women aged 22-39 use eyebrow pencils today, up nine percent since 2011 (37 percent); four in five (79 percent) are using mascara compared to 73 percent five years ago; and 77 percent of these consumers say they use lip care products compared to 73 percent who said the same in 2011.
But don't confuse the natural look with the no-makeup trend as nearly half (46 percent) of Millennial women say they feel more confident when they spend time on their appearance and 20 percent say they feel pressure to always look good. Despite these pressures, two in five (40 percent) Millennial women agree that it’s okay to not always look your best and over one third (36 percent) say that their appearance is a form of self-expression, especially among younger Millennials (40 percent).