After a year of Zoom sessions and FaceTime calls, consumers have seen enough…of themselves. Pallid skin tones, wrinkles and acne are all magnified by the screen or selfie. The good news for makeup marketers is that foundation, blush and concealer help hide those imperfections. Skin care benefits are blending into the makeup routine with improved shade-matching via more tonal offerings or the incorporation of long-wearing variations.
According to a survey conducted by Beautyque NYC, an experiential retail marketing platform for emerging beauty, health and wellness brands, 75% of respondents indicated they have changed their beauty routines since the pandemic started.
MAC Studio Fix Cream-to-Powder Foundation
“For most of us, many aspects of our lives have changed since the start of the pandemic. As a result, we’ve had to adapt our routines, habits, and lifestyles to fit the ‘new normal,’” Beautyque NYC Founder Sonia Khemiri said.
In the survey, 59% of respondents claimed to use makeup less often since the pandemic, but 30% use the same amount of makeup as they did before the pandemic. In relation to skin care, nearly 50% of survey respondents use the same amount of time as before and just over 40% use skin care more often. Fragrance and nail care items are used less often. Foundation and concealer are among the most used makeup products.
“The vast majority of consumers use makeup as a means of improving their overall self-esteem and perception,” Khemiri explained. “In terms of the brands our survey respondents support and purchase, the price has to be reasonable, and the product has to be cruelty-free, consist of high-performance formulas, made from clean and natural ingredients, and offer an inclusive shade range.”
Social media platforms, friends and family, and influencers are the top resources the respondents use to gain information on beauty trends along with researching beauty products online before making a purchase, according to Beautyque survey results.
The events of 2020 served as “undeniable catalysts” for change across industries, according to Mintel. The beauty business was no different, with diversity moving to the forefront in facial cosmetics. New research from Mintel revealed that more than three-fifths (63%) of Americans say they are inspired by beauty brands that show diversity in advertising, with the majority of those who would like to see diversity in beauty/grooming advertising saying they feel this way because it “reflects real life” (68%) and “shows that there are different ways to be beautiful” (56%). What’s more, nearly half (47%) of beauty consumers say they have looked for/bought from brands with diversity or inclusivity in the last year and a quarter (24%) have shopped with beauty brands that are minority owned.
According to Clare Hennigan, senior beauty and personal care analyst at Mintel, beauty marketing is increasingly shifting from aspirational to inspirational.
“Successful brands recognize that demonstrating a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion—whether through employment, advertising and/or product development—helps drive inspiration and empowerment. Brands have the opportunity to make a real impact by integrating different types of beauty diversity in a way, and at a place and time, that is truly authentic to them,” she said.
Understanding consumer perception of beauty inclusivity is complicated and nuanced. In the Mintel survey, half (52%) of consumers who use beauty products say affordable products indicate that a brand is inclusive, while 48% say a wide range of shades makes a brand inclusive. Two-fifths (39%) feel that when brands represent diverse groups in advertising that makes them inclusive.
“When consumers consider whether or not a beauty brand is inclusive, it is largely dictated by whether the brand satisfies the consumer’s own needs—how accessible the brand is to them personally—underscoring the importance of understanding core audience values and needs. This approach has led to some brands developing hyper-personalized, inclusive products like the new L’Oréal Perso, which uses AI to create personalized skin care formulas. At the same time, other brands are exploring inclusivity through a minimalist or universal approach,” said Hennigan.
Strength In Numbers
While consumers were in flux between pandemic quarantined life and prepping to return to society, facial cosmetic sales slipped 15.6% to $1.6 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 May 16, 2021.
However, according to The NPD Group, first quarter sales of 2021 US prestige beauty products rose 11% to $4.2 billion. While sales of skin care grew 12% to $1.4 billion, makeup sales dropped 9% to $1.5 billion, said NPD. However, within the makeup sector, highlighter sales were up 12% YoY and sales of bronzer rose 2%.
Drew Barrymore’s Flower Beauty added CBD-infused concealer pots.
One of the primary takeaways for the prestige beauty industry during the past year has been the consumer’s shift to self-care at home, noted NPD in its findings.
Kirsten Kjaer Weis, founder of indie beauty brand Kjaer Weis, New York, told Happi that minimalism is on the rise.
“We are seeing a huge focus on hybrid makeup/skincare. That is something we have always done at Kjaer Weis,”she said. “The pause the world has taken has really minimalized makeup, we all want to do something nurturing and care for ourselves. It is why this category is doing so well; a minimalist approach with huge efficacy on performance and skin care. Customers are looking for that and they will continue to look for that.”
Due to the pandemic, sheltering in place, social distancing and fashionable face masks, consumers want to simplify their beauty look, according to Victoria Vohland, director of operations/R&D for RCMA Makeup, Simi Valley, CA.
“Most people are now telecommuting via Zoom or other online platforms. So, creating a full-face makeup look for an hour-long virtual meeting can seem a bit time-consuming,” she told Happi. “Consumers are dealing with the struggle of finding the balance of effort versus time. Let’s face it, a perfectly creased and blended eye takes a lot of talent and effort. But, many consumers have moved into a not so natural, ‘natural beauty’ look.”
Vohland noted that natural beauty looks often consist of neutral skin tone products that are less dramatic, but still enhance the natural features.
Danessa Myricks branched out into facial cosmetics at Sephora.
“At RCMA, we wanted to help create an effortless, easy-to-use product that gives a truly natural beauty look, so we are developing a tinted primer for consumers who don’t really have the time to sit for hours in front of the mirror. The product’s lightweight crosspolymer technology will give an ‘insta-filter’ effect to the face without using your phone,” she said.
Consumers are definitely taking care of their skin much more than ever before, observed Sebastien Tardif, celebrity makeup artist and co-founder of Veil Cosmetics, New York.
“We’ve seen a big lift in skin care demand and this is just going to continue to get stronger as people understand the need to get their skin to look its best before getting to the makeup part,” he told Happi. “When it comes to makeup, the complexion and concealer category has been very strong. Speaking for myself, Veil Cosmetics is infused with skin care and I think that people are looking for multitasking skin care infused types of makeup. That’s definitely a trend that is gaining in strength.”
Weightless and lightweight formulas definitely are all the rage and very much in demand right now, Tardif told Happi.
“They let skin breathe, which is exactly what consumers want. People have walked away from the heavier mask-like formulas, with full coverage makeup seeing a big decline,” he said.
Setting the Canvas
Consumers crave facial formulations that feel good while making skin look good at the same time, as seen with recent launches in both the prestige and mass markets.
For Summer 2021, MAC Cosmetics launched MAC Studio Fix Tech Cream-to-Powder Foundation. A tri-system blend of water, emollients and powder, the foundation glides onto skin as a soft, creamy emulsion with a lightweight, transformative texture, said the company. The sweat- and humidity-resistant formula provides medium buildable coverage, allowing for true-to-skin shading from very light to very deep in a natural matte finish. Light-diffusing properties soften lines to create a fresh, flawless texture for all skin types. The formula also delivers immediate and long-term moisturization with 12-hour wear, too, according to the brand.
True to MAC’s legacy of inclusivity, Studio Fix Tech Cream-to-Powder Foundation features 42 all-inclusive shades ranging from dark to light. More than 30 years ago, MAC created Studio Fix to support darker-skinned models who could not be matched properly backstage. The extensive shade range alleviated personal extensive shade mixing and matching—making it a go-to at fashion shows and in everyday life ever since.
“Making our products inclusive of all skin tones has been core to MAC from the beginning,” said Eva Yean, senior vice president, global product development, MAC Cosmetics, New York. “When we reformulated Studio Fix Tech Cream-to-Powder Foundation, it was imperative that we provide our consumers with a diverse range of shades that they’ve come to know and love from our Studio Fix collection.”
MAC revamped MAC Face & Body with a new name and expanded shade range—Studio Radiance. While the formula remains the same, Studio Radiance offers an expanded shade range of 30 skin-twinning shades, ranging from light to deep, to better meet the needs of everyone.
Huda Kattan’s latest innovation is Glowish, a hybrid makeup/skin care line.
Maybelline’s new Fit Me! Primer instantly blurs pores for a long-wearing mattifying effect with SPF 20, said the company of its big launch for July. This primer controls shine and extends makeup wear for up to 16 hours. Also rolling out is Instant Perfector Glow, Maybelline’s first 4-in-1 “glow” makeup that is a primer, concealer, highlighter and BB cream all in one. Products are sold at Ulta.
Also at Ulta, Drew Barrymore’s Flower Beauty added CBD-infused Flower Beauty Chill Out Color Correcting Pots. The peach-toned concealer corrects and brightens under-eyes. The products are said to instantly neutralize dark circles and leave under-eyes appearing illuminated. The nourishing formula is infused with hemp-derived CBD to hydrate and smooth delicate skin for the perfect concealer base. Treated pigments provide a soft-focus effect, while vitamin E and jojoba extract provide antioxidants and moisturizing benefits. Vegan and gluten-free, it is available in three shades—Deep Peach, Light Peach and Medium Peach—at both CVS and Ulta.com.
Flower Beauty’s new lightweight Get Real serum foundation conceals and smooths skin for a naturally radiant finish, weightless feeling and buildable coverage. Lavender flower water brightens and refreshes the skin while olive oil, a natural anti-inflammatory, provides antioxidants and hydration. The formula is said to match a range of skin tones and features a natural finish with buildable coverage. Gluten free, it is available in 16 shades.
A Hint of Tint
The latest cosmetic creation from global beauty entrepreneur and influencer Huda Kattan is Glowish, billed as makeup essentials that help bring out a natural, inner glow. The fragrance-free collection—are a hybrid between Kattan’s high-performance Huda Beauty cosmetics and clean, efficacious Wishful skin care. Two Glowish products launched last month at HudaBeauty.com and Sephora.com/in-store. A key ingredient in Glowish products is red bell pepper. Kattan and her team harnessed the blue-light protecting qualities in red bell peppers as a star component of the beauty SKUs.
The hero product in Glowish is a Multidew Skin Tint loaded with the “perfect balance” of pigments and undetectable light-diffusing pearls that instantly blur and brighten tbe complexion giving skin a natural sheer coverage yet dewy, all-day glow. The waterproof product is made with 92.6% naturally-derived ingredients and is available in 13 shades.
Another new Glowish SKU is a Soft Radiance Bronzing Powder, an easy-to-use bronzer that leaves a velvety finish and a glowing sun-kissed effect that works with your natural skin tone, said the company. The unique formula boasts a super silky texture, a marbled-pigment swirl, true color payoff, and bronzing pigments designed to give a buildable bronze. Infused with antioxidants, the formula is made with 90% naturally-derived ingredients and will be available in five shades.
After more than a year of being lockdownd and shut-in, consumers want to bring back a sun-kissed look. L’Oréal Paris’ new Sublime Bronze Self-Tanning Facial Drops went viral on TikTok last month. It delivers a streak-free bronze at an affordable price point. The drops can be mixed with a favorite serum or moisturizer daily until desired color is achieved. Formulated with hyaluronic acid, skin is left hydrated, and the amount of color can be customized based on the number of drops used.
According to the brand, this is the second L’Oréal Paris product to go viral this year, with Infallible Fresh Wear Foundation-in-a-Powder also a big favorite with influencers.
Sol by Jergens offers a glow up by way of a serum.
With shorts season in full swing in the northern hemisphere, beauty expert and celebrity makeup artist Neil Scibelli (@makeupbyneil) touts Jergens Natural Glow as a go-to for achieving subtle, natural results.
“Jergens Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer has been a staple for both myself and my makeup kit for years. It leaves the most natural-looking self-tan on your skin. Not to mention, the formula delivers color without any streaking or unflattering self-tanning scents. It also works wonders a few days before heading to the beach to jump start your color,” he said. “The new and improved Natural Glow formula contains coconut oil and vitamin E, so you’re getting even more hydration built in, while you bronze. I’ve even used it on clients before red carpet events on the arms and legs, and it leaves a transfer-proof radiance to the skin while locking in moisture at the same time.”
This month, Sol by Jergens added a new product—Deeper By The Drop—designed to make tanning simple to use and entirely customizable. The oil-free sunless tanning serum creates customizable color based on skin tone and desired results. With vitamin E, coconut water and a blend of antioxidants, the paraben-free product provides a sun-kissed look.
Indie brand Nuria is seeing success with its Defend Matte Finish Daily Moisturizer Mineral Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 30. This weightless, all-mineral, broad-spectrum SPF 30 is meant to be used daily either alone or under makeup as a primer. Powered by antioxidants and protective ingredients such as peach flower and euphrasia extract, this daily moisturizer mineral sunscreen shields skin from aggressors like UVA/UVB rays and pollution, which can stress skin and accelerate aging. It absorbs easily into the skin for matte, natural looking skin on every skin type and tone.
Founder Naomi Furgiuele knows that the best sunscreen is one consumers will use every day.
“Sun protection is such an important aspect of skin care, so we put all our attention on merging the latest ingredient and formulation science behind SPF protection with centuries of wisdom from Asia. In China and Korea, the peach tree has had significant meaning for thousands of years, with the peach flower used in skin care to support and protect the skin from sun damage and signs of aging,” she said.
According to Furgiuele, her brand’s sunscreen offers the protection of mineral sunscreens combined with the antioxidant protection of peach flower and lemon balm.
“It is also transparent on any skin tone, which was an important factor to Nuria as we continue to fulfill our mission to support and connect diverse, vibrant women from around the world,” she told Happi.
The next generation of CC cream has arrived at Dermablend. New Continuous Correction Tone-Evening CC Cream SPF 50+ is a non-comedogenic foundation that is true to tone, providing medium to full coverage, skin correction and sun protection. Clinically tested to visibly improve skin’s radiance after four weeks, Continuous Correction Tone-Evening CC Cream SPF 50+ provides broad spectrum SPF 50+ without leaving a white cast and free radical defense in an oil-free formula that won’t clog pores or weigh skin down, said the company. Formulated with a blend of antioxidants, this makeup and skin care hybrid reduces the appearance of redness, discoloration, hyperpigmentation, dark spots and age spots, while providing 24-hour color wear.
Spray To Stay
Facial mists are also bountiful in the beauty marketplace right now. These products offer a light feel with wellness benefits. For example, PCA Skin recently rolled out a Daily Defense Mist to protect skin from daily exposure to environmental stressors, such as blue light and other pollutants, while offering an instant boost in hydration for a more radiant complexion. This antioxidant-rich formula blends seamlessly with other skin care and makeup products to create the ultimate shield of protection, all day long, according to PCA.
RCMA believes in the “you but better” look.
Danessa Myricks Beauty, an indie brand that recently expanded into Sephora, launched its first makeup setting sprays. Set It Forever Mist Setting Spray and the Dewy Forever Mist Hydrating Setting Spray help to prep, prime and refresh the skin throughout the day, before or after makeup. Forever Mist is powered by Temperature Control Technology to prevent makeup meltdown for vibrant, long-lasting wear for up to 16 hours while Dewy Forever helps nourish and hydrate skin for a shine-free and refreshed look all day, said the brand.
Urban Decay All Nighter Loose Setting Powder
Urban Decay’s new All Nighter Loose Setting Powder, is a translucent formulation that pairs with the cult favorite All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray, which is relaunching with new packaging to create to ultimate long-lasting makeup look for Summer 2021.The silky powder blocks oil without being cakey for an even complexion that lasts all day without settling into pores or fine lines, said the company. All Nighter spray’s new look features a concert flyer-inspired design that’s a nod to Urban Decay’s rock ‘n roll roots.
All Nighter’s weightless, microfine mist is waterproof; it prevents makeup meltdowns while boosting makeup’s vibrancy.
The global cosmetics industry will grow 5.3% a year to reach $463.5 billion by 2027, according to Allied Market Research. A surge in demand for skin care products and natural ingredients, and changes in packaging styles and marketing strategies, are driving the growth of the global cosmetics market. An increase in demand for organic cosmetics will create new opportunities too, predicts AMR.
Eyebrow serums are ripe for future product development, as mask mandates made eyebrows the star of the show during the past year. According to market research from Spate, it seems once-niche products like eyebrow serum have become a more permanent fixture in the beauty scene. On average, there are 30,400 searches for eyebrow serum in the US every month, and interest has grown 50.8% since last year.
Sublime Bronze Tanning Drops offer buildable color for the face.
Searches for eyebrow serum are largely brand-driven and Grande Cosmetics stands out as a consumer favorite, found Spate in its research.
“The internet’s vast reach has created the booming information era in which today’s consumer is more educated, aware and connected,” Vohland of RCMA Makeup told Happi. “Consumers are demanding higher standards, quality products and accountability from ethical brands. The market has been based on a ‘it works’ mentality–producing dated formulas with harsh ingredients that damage the skin.”
Tardif of Veil Cosmetics told Happi that the makeup industry is focusing on the desire to conceal facial imperfections.
“We’re seeing all sorts of concealer hacks on social media; how to lift the eyes tricks, how to open up the eyes more naturally. People are getting a better understanding of what a concealer is as opposed to a highlighter or a corrector,” he said. “I think that people are getting a bit savvier and understand that concealing is not about a cookie-cutter approach but it’s about experimenting with different techniques until they find the most suitable approach.”
Formulators are working on sheer, buildable types of coverage when it comes to foundations and tinted moisturizers, Tardif added.
Overall, the facial cosmetics market remains focused on creating a primed and polished canvas for makeup in general after a year at home in quarantine.
“I believe there will be a huge uptake in wanting to show yourself to the world and have a ‘painted face,” said Kjaer Weis. “It translates across a full makeup range with a healthy glow.”