“Reviews and social media dominate product discovery,” she told Happi. “Shoppers turn to their friends, influencers and micro-influencers for inspiration. And while shoppers are still heading into stores to test and discover new products, online reviews play a bigger role than ever before in helping shoppers make decisions.”
Clients are looking for a range of products for spring 2018. According to James Vincent, makeup artist, director of education and artist relations for The Makeup Show, New York, the gamut runs from bold black liner, to metallics and golden shades, to unexpected lip looks.
“Texture is the trend to incorporate into an everyday makeup look,” he said. “Trying high shine lips or lids, holographic cheeks and extreme matte or gloss lips and glitter in anything and everything is the fun makeup feel for the season. With so many options available, there are amazing makeup products in each and every price point.”
And the numbers are climbing in the luxury side of the cosmetic category. The US prestige beauty industry rose 6% to $17.7 billion in 2017, according to global information company The NPD Group. At the forefront, makeup sales increased 6% to $8.1 billion.
Though makeup’s growth rate slowed in 2017, it remains beauty’s largest category, bringing the most dollar volume to the industry, noted NPD. Growth was driven by high volume segments including foundation (+7%) and eyeshadow (+13%), as well as other face products such as bronzers, highlighters and glow products. Sales were also positive for other key segments like face primers (+17%), concealer (+10%), eyebrow makeup (+7%), and lipcolor (+2%).
Meanwhile, the mass category is seeing its share of hits and misses depending on the product. Gains are harder to come by in mass facial cosmetics, as sales rose 1.7% to $2.2 billion, according to data from Information Resources Inc. (IRI) for total US multi-outlet (supermarkets, drugstores, mass market retailers, military commissaries and select club and dollar retail chains) for the 52 weeks ended Dec. 3, 2017. Foundation fell 1.6% to $1.0 billion, blush fell 6.8% to $149.7 million, bronzer dipped 14.5% to $53.7 million and powder slipped 2.8% to $379.4 million—but concealers soared 7.4% to $295.0 million and “body accessory” jumped 35.7% to $227.7 million. Makeup combo in facial cosmetics rose 8% to $46.6 million.
Mass lipcolor, it seems, is following Leonard Lauder’s Lipstick Index, which suggests that lipstick sales are inversely correlated to economic health. For the past year, despite some recent gyrations in the stock market, economic activity has climbed and with it, all the major indexes. No surprise, then, that lipstick sales are falling; lip cosmetics overall fell 3.8% to $883.2 million in sales. Lipstick sales dipped to $666.8 million, but lipgloss sank a whopping 24.2% to $122.9 million, according to IRI. Lip combos fell 81.2% to $10.6 million but lipliner bucked the trend, as sales rose 5% to $68.4 million and lip treatments climbed 38.6% to $14.4 million.
Taking a look at other color categories, eye cosmetic sales fell 2.9% to $2.1 billion. Mascara sales declined 2.9% to $914.7 million. Eyeliner fell 9.3% to $544.7 million, eyeshadow sales dipped 8.9% to $284 million and eye combo sales fell 17.4% to $42.3 million. The outlier here is eyebrow makeup sales, which jumped 24.9% to $295.5 million.
While the mass market was a mixed bag of sorts, big players remain committed. Shannon Curtin, senior vice president, North America, consumer beauty, Coty, New York, told Happi, while trends today are fundamentally changing how consumers shop, mass retail continues to be an important channel for all beauty players.
“We firmly believe in this segment, and feel it’s an incredibly exciting time to be in the mass channel,” she said. “As a self-service market, the technological evolution is going to allow brands to elevate the consumer experience in this channel more than ever before.”
The landscape is changing when it comes to the cosmetic consumer, observed Ami Mallon, global corporate educator, Osmosis Colour, Evergreen, CO, who explained that rather than purchasing product just for the feel, smell or packaging, cosmetics consumers are now interested in specifics about how products are made.
“Not only are they looking for luxury, convenience and beauty that’s on trend...they want to know where ingredients are sourced from and what specifically they do on the skin,” she told Happi. “Cosmetics shopping is not just about the products though, it’s a sensory experience. The weight, look and environment of where products are being sold plays a huge role.”
Michael Hawley, president of Note Cosmetics, Los Angeles, told Happi that the 2018 shopper is looking for a product that fulfills a need or a want. This may include how-tos, makeup trends and what to expect from product performance.
“The consumer continues to acquire information across various channels. Social media plays an integral part of how users discover new products as users are highly engaged sites/apps such as Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube and Facebook,” he said. “Brands are investing heavily in social media to ensure that consumers are introduced to their latest products generate brand awareness.”
Lisa Thurman, co-founder, Amazing Cosmetics, Chicago, agreed. While the younger client is looking at trends and isn’t as brand loyal, she is very much the online shopper.
“The more mature client tends to be interested in performance and definitely exhibits brand loyalty if she finds a product that solves a solution to a problem,” she told Happi. “This demographic is increasingly comfortable purchasing online but still desires an in-person experience if it’s unique and customer service driven.”
Pantone is a major influencer when it comes to color cosmetics. Ideal for nails, eyeshadow and eyeliner, the modern blue-purple shade Ultra Violet (Pantone 18-3838) is Pantone’s Color of the Year for 2018. In beauty, Ultra Violet is well-suited for cosmetic looks created by combinations, blends and ombres. A singular matte purple on the lips or nails makes a bold statement of non-conformity, while softly blended metallics and shimmers in Ultra Violet transform the eyes into windows to the cosmos, said Pantone in its report. Purple shades in hair continue to elevate street styles as a symbol of creative expression. On the palette for every beauty medium, Ultra Violet complements and emboldens every other color, adding complexity and mystery.
“We are living in a time that requires inventiveness and imagination. It is this kind of creative inspiration that is indigenous to Ultra Violet, a blue-based purple that takes our awareness and potential to a higher level,” said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, in a statement when the color was unveiled. “From exploring new technologies and the greater galaxy, to artistic expression and spiritual reflection, intuitive Ultra Violet lights the way to what is yet to come.” Complex and contemplative, Ultra Violet suggests the mysteries of the cosmos, the intrigue of what lies ahead, and the discoveries beyond where we are now. The vast and limitless night sky is symbolic of what is possible and continues to inspire the desire to pursue a world beyond our own.
“The Pantone Color of the Year has come to mean so much more than ‘what’s trending’ in the world of design; it’s truly a reflection of what’s needed in our world today,” added Laurie Pressman, vice president of the Pantone Color Institute. “As individuals around the world become more fascinated with color and realize its ability to convey deep messages and meanings, designers and brands should feel empowered to use color to inspire and influence. The Color of the Year is one moment in time that provides strategic direction for the world of trend and design, reflecting the Pantone Color Institute’s year-round work doing the same for designers and brands.”
Meanwhile, feathered friends are the inspiration for the Winter Collection: Birds of Paradise from Aveda, including both warm and cool-hued lipsticks, blushes and eyeshadows.
“With hundreds of species on the brink of extinction, it felt timelier than ever to celebrate the color that birds bring to the skies and the balance they bring to our ecosystem,” said Aveda Global Creative Director Antoinette Beenders. “No creatures are quite as magical as birds—they inspire and they ground us, a reminder of our connection to the earth. I hope that this collection stirs people to see nature with new eyes and to fearlessly protect what makes it so beautiful and so powerful.”
As previously predicted by Paul & Joe Artistic Director Craig-Ryan French, the beauty industry is currently experiencing a bold revival of the “new wave” color trend that defined the 1980s.
“It was fascinating to see the unicorn and mermaid beauty trends flourishing in 2017,” he said.
On the Forefront
Glowing skin is always in, but this year in particular it is making a comeback, noted Mallon of Osmosis. This type of look can be challenging particularly in the dry winter months.
“The key to a great glowing skin look is light layers of product,” she said. “Heavy layers of foundation will look cakey on the skin but layering a light moisturizer, illuminating primer and then a light layer of base will create a gorgeous glow that will last all night.”
To prime and prep skin, Estée Lauder is expanding its hues of Double Wear Maximum Cover Camouflage Makeup for Face and Body Broad Spectrum SPF 15 as well as the launch of Estée Lauder Double Wear Custom Coverage Correcting Duos. The new, easy-to-use collection of dual-ended color correctors shift skin into neutral with shades for every skin tone expertly developed by makeup artists, the customizable formulas are layerable and blend seamlessly onto the skin to provide a flawless base for concealer or foundation. Available in a broad range of shades, the Duos collection includes color correctors for every skin intensity level from Pink (Light) to Orange (Deep).
At IT Cosmetics, the new Bye Bye Foundation Full Coverage Moisturizer with SPF 50+ with 3D Skin Flex is touted as a life-changing, full coverage moisturizer. Developed with input from plastic surgeons, this revolutionary innovation improves the look of skin concerns including redness, pores, dark spots, breakouts, lines and wrinkles—all while protecting your skin with SPF 50+ broad-spectrum physical sunscreen. Ideal for all skin types, it also features fermented ingredients like sugarcane, sea kelp and coconut water. Bioluminescence and diamond powder add subtle radiance without glitter or shimmer.
Nars Cosmetics introduced Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation, its first 16-hour fade-resistant foundation with full-powered radiance. Its medium-to-full buildable coverage stays vibrant and fresh, as if just applied, said the company. The staying power is enhanced by a patent-pending technology that delivers a uniquely weightless texture with superior bendability for an imperceptible effect that looks like skin. Formulated to improve skin hour by hour with skin optimizing complex—a blend of raspberry, apple and watermelon extracts helps support skin elastic fibers to smooth and improve skin texture—while specialized pigments recognize and fuse with skin for a close match. It is available in 33 skin-matching shades, ranging from deep espresso to the fairest tones.
L’Oréal Paris recognized that the need for a luminous, glowing complexion is here to stay. New for 2018, the brand introduced five products in the L’Oréal Paris True Match Lumi Collection to create an effortless glow with ease. This includes Glowtion, a lotion that features a lightweight formulation that hydrates skin while delivering an illuminating tint; Glow Armour Illuminating Drops, custom highlighting pigment drops that can be added to any makeup, foundation or skin care product to create a highlighted, dewy look; Shimmerista Powder, a light-capturing loose powder to achieve a soft prismatic glow; Glow Nude Palette to create a multi-dimensional sculpted glow; and Bronze It Bronzer that leaves skin with an instant sun-kissed glow.
Another addition to L’Oreal Paris collection comes from within the iconic Colour Riche franchise: Colour Riche Shine. It offers a hydrating and ultra-radiant, lasting shine effect coupled with a rich color pay-off, according to the company. Colour Riche Shine delivers saturated shiny lips with ease of speed and application. The formula utilizes double phase technology combining emollients and oils. It is available in 16 high-shine shades encased in a Parisian chic, crystalized package embellished with gold accents.
At Maybelline, the crispest pigments meet its most extreme matte finish in Color Sensational Powder Matte Lipsticks. According to the company, with two times more mattifying powders than Color Sensational Creamy Mattes, Color Sensational Powder Matte Lipsticks provide the brand’s most extreme matte finish. Hues range from nude to red. The brand also recently rolled out SuperStay Matte Ink Un-Nudes, a range of 10 unconventional neutral shades.
Pat McGrath Labs started off 2018 with a luxe launch. The incendiary makeup artist’s latest mesmerizing must-have is Lip Fetish, a bespoke lip balm developed over the past two and a half decades on set and on the runway. It joins McGrath’s 40 matte and luxe lipsticks. The luminous lip product protects from free radicals with an antioxidant, vitamin-rich, and anti-aging formula that glides on flawlessly, restoring softness and elasticity while hydrating lips.
“It repairs, restores and replenishes lips, keeping them smooth and leaving them with a dewy, luminous finish,” said McGrath in a media statement.
The new Marimekko for Clinique Limited Edition Collection combines the iconic, vibrant patterns of the Finnish design house Marimekko with Clinique’s most-loved everyday beauty essentials. Pop Splash Lip Gloss + Hydration is 20 water-light shades of hydrating gloss, each shade packaged in a unique Marimekko print. Made with watermelon extract, Pop Splash Lip Gloss + Hydration slips across your lips, drenching them with a newfound weightlessness—and it provides over-the-top shine without being sticky, according to the company.
Also, ultra-saturated liquefied lipcolor in three bold finishes arrived at Estée Lauder. The new Pure Color Envy Paint-On Liquid LipColor features a time release encapsulated hyaluronic acid. It also delivers a full coverage finish in a weightless long-wearing liquid formula for eight-hour wear. Colors span from metallic to vinyl in finish.
Lashes & Lids
Beauty connoisseurs are on the hunt for the perfect mascara –one that adds volume, separates and darkens lashes. CoverGirl claims its new Peacock Flare Mascara won’t disappoint the masses. This mascara is said to be ideal for anyone who has passion for the artistry of makeup and craves the transformation that the right product provides. Its feather fan brush consists of alternating layers of bristles. The next generation formulation features a special wax blend as well as a volume boosting complex. It is also enriched with sea buckthorn extract, vitamins and minerals which help give the formula a rich and creamy feel.
Eyebrow cosmetics are also still trending this season. For brow impact that lasts for days, consumers can check out Maybelline New York Tattoo Studio Brow Gel. This waterproof gel adheres to brows for a no-hassle wear that lasts up to two days. It is available in four long-lasting shades.
Additionally, the popular drugstore beauty brand introduced Lasting Drama Light Liner, billed as an easy-to-use mechanical cream eyeliner that adheres to the upper lid, inner corner and waterline for eye brightening made easy. Formulated for all-day, waterproof wear with no smudging, fading, or need to re-apply, this long-wear, light-reflecting formula brings highlighting beyond the inner corner to illuminate and accentuate, according to the company.
Laura Geller is upping the ante with its Line-N-Define Dual Dimension Eyeliner. This double-ended eyecolor features two versatile formulas that give peepers a flawless, sculpted look. One side contains a long-wearing kajal liner and the other, a precision tip liquid liner. The richly pigmented kajal formula is blendable and glides on smoothly for the perfect smoky eye look. The quick drying, long-wearing liquid liner, on the opposite end, has a precision tip that paints on pigment and creates a crisp or dramatic wing, said the company. The eyeliner comes in eight shades, each with a classic black liquid liner.
And, mass market leader Wet N Wild did a re-formulation on its top-selling eyecolor products with a sleek new design too. Its Color Icon Eyeshadows, a collection of highly pigmented shades, offer long wear and contain a higher percentage of pigment and pearl-density than ever before, creating a unique, satiny texture that lasts all day without fading or creasing.
The formula features nylon to promote blendability and a silky texture as well as silica to provide smoothness and even application.
The push to incorporate more gender-neutral cosmetics as well as the movement toward more natural cosmetics, will continue to rise in the market, noted Mallon of Osmosis.
“Consumers are savvy, they know more and want more out of their makeup,” she added. “Shoppers want a product that is specific to their needs. Multi-use products with an added convenience factor will also be huge. Applying makeup takes time and the average cosmetic buyer is busy with life.”
Hawley of Note Cosmetics predicts that more formulas will provide increasing levels of skin-caring benefits to color cosmetics.
“The demand for more responsibly-developed products will continue at the same time that augmented reality continues to transform the shopping experience,” he observed. “It is an exciting time in the beauty industry.”
According to French of Paul & Joe, the amalgam of the past and present will be the future of color cosmetics.
“We have seen a plethora of unexpected colors on the lips and eyes. It’s very exciting to see this kind of experimentation with makeup… I find the current movement in beauty trends incredibly inspiring and very exciting—we’ve been going in circles for a while—let’s break the rules and move forward into the future with fashion!”