According to Euromonitor Inter-national, sales of makeup grew strongly in Eastern Europe, up 14.1% to top $3.2 billion 2017. High double-digit gains were recorded in Russia and Ukraine, with above-average growth in Poland, Belarus, Czech Republic and Serbia. The top Eastern European market by value was Russia, at more than $1.4 billion. Meanwhile, Euromonitor recorded slower sales growth in the more mature markets of Western Europe at 3.8% at $13.5 billion. The UK is the largest Western makeup market and has benefited from the devaluation of the pound, tourists and non-UK consumers buying premium beauty products. In addition, high demand for color cosmetics in the UK makes it one of the most dynamic markets in Western Europe.
The Eyes (and Lips) Have It
Across the European makeup category as a whole, Mintel experts noticed that there is more focus on textures and multisensory elements, incorporating smell, touch and temperature as well as color. Eye makeup recently came to the fore as a key growth category due to fashion and social media beauty trends encouraging consumers to be more expressive and creative.
“The shape of products is evolving to recognize this, with roller wheel eyeliners, click pens, stamps and crayons being added to product repertoires,” noted Charlotte Libby, global color cosmetics analyst at Mintel, who regards new artistic-inspired tools as a fast, easy and more modern way to define eyes. Mintel notes that in Italy 35% of women apply makeup to their lashes or lash line every day and 26% apply products to their eyelids.
Lip products and especially lip glosses are singled out by Mintel as one of the hottest categories in the European makeup market. For example, in the UK, lip gloss purchasing has grown 5 percentage points with 31% of women buying lip gloss in the past 12 months, compared to 26% in 2017.
“The popular highly-pigmented matte liquid lipstick trend is beginning to fade and is getting replaced by jelly, dewy and hydrating textures,” stated Libby.
Interesting examples of this trend are Lancôme Printemps Jelly Flower Lip Tint and INC.redible Jelly Shot Lipstick, which both incorporate real flowers in a transparent jelly/balm formulation. Scented lipsticks are also a thing with L’Oréal Paris Les Chocolats Ultra Matte Liquid Lipstick in 12 chocolate-inspired shades scented with chocolate, and MAC Oh Sweetie lip color, which is based on the tastes and scents of a cake shop.
Glitter and Embellishment
K-beauty is a strong influence on Western consumers who, like their Korean cousins, also strive for glowing, dewy complexions. Highlighters are now a dominant product and, according to Mintel, 25% of Spanish women are confident in highlighting or strobing their faces. As the trend evolves, foil, chrome, sequins and shimmer feature strongly in Fashion Week makeup, NPD and blogger-led trends. Yet, the desire for glittery styles is in stark contrast to growing consumer awareness for products that do not harm the environment. An emerging solution is biodegradable glitter, derived from metallized and colored eucalyptus tree extract, that enables women to create bold, standout makeup looks without negatively impacting marine life.
Vegan beauty is a growing trend in Europe as consumers seek products that reflect their desire for a more ethical lifestyle. According to GlobalData’s 2018 primary consumer research, following a vegan or vegetarian diet is most pronounced among Gen Z and Millennial consumers in Europe.
Responding to this trend is UK retailer Superdrug, which opened The Little Vegan Pop Up Shop in March 2018, selling vegan makeup, skin care and hair care brands. Its vegan makeup offer includes Danish brand Gosh and its own B. range. Meanwhile, Kat von D is a leading vegan makeup brand in the UK Debenhams and Laura Conti’s Botanical Vegan Lip Balm from Poland also addresses the vegan trend.
Indie Brand Disruption
The ease with which new brands can launch online, often without the need for a retail presence, favors innovative indies that are nimble and quick to bring products to market; they’re often the first to offer new colors and textures and innovation. A strongly-crafted USP is essential, such as Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty, which leads the market in understanding shade diversity; Milk makeup, a pioneer in vegan formulations with the launch of the cannabis-oil infused Kush range; and the skin-first positioning of Glossier, which focuses on complexion perfection. Mintel further highlights sustainability as a growing issue for the makeup industry citing Danish/New York makeup artist brand Kjaer Weis, which brings new focus to packaging with its intelligent refill system.
In such a competitive marketplace, brands are under increasing pressure to cut through the noise to engage their customers. Sharing product experiences on social media is ideally suited to makeup. According to GlobalData’s 2017 Q4 global consumer survey, 52% of European women say they regularly use social media sites and apps for sharing images and posts, while 38% say they regularly use it for discovering new products and brands.
“This creates an opportunity for makeup brands to tap into this new interaction pattern with highly design-led and visually-appealing packaging offerings,” said Jamie Mills, GlobalData analyst. “Product ‘shareability’ can also drive interest and excitement around the brand to a captive audience.”
Fenty Beauty’s Starlit Lip Trio (UK) with its unicorn-inspired holographic packaging exemplifies this approach.
According to Euromonitor Inter-national, most makeup brands target the under-30 age group with a continual stream of innovation due to this demographic’s high adoption rate of new products. As digital engagement is a strong contributor to the upsurge in makeup usage by Gen Z and Millennials, the online space is where future innovation is likely to be concentrated. Retailers had better watch out.
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Imogen Matthews is a respected consultant, journalist and researcher focusing on trends in the beauty industry. She regularly contributes to many of the world’s foremost beauty trade titles. Every year in April, she publishes The Premium Market Report, focusing on trends in the UK premium beauty markets.