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Colour Cosmetics in Latin America

October 2017

The colour cosmetics market in Latin America managed to keep its head above water over 2011-2016. The category recorded a CAGR of 1.7% despite a decline in value occurring towards the end of the period, Chile and Argentina offsetting the impact of economic crisis in Brazil and Venezuela. Direct selling still holds strong as the core channel for colour cosmetics purchases in the region but retail infrastructure is rapidly improving and critically, expanding beyond urban centres.

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Turbulent times for colour cosmetics

The colour cosmetics market managed to keep its head above water over 2011-2016 in Latin America, despite an overall decline in value taking place towards the end of the period. Chile and Argentina offset Brazil and Venezuela, as the former two markets benefited from premiumisation and the latter two felt the impact of economic crisis.

The lips and eyes do the talking in Latin America

Make-up trends in Latin America tend to favour one area of the face at a time, be it a focus on the eyes or the lips, and both usually to the detriment of facial make-up. This pattern differs to trends globally where the face is the core canvas and focus of the majority of investment in products and care. Localised preferences are also apparent, for example in Brazil and Mexico lip products churn the most revenue, and in Argentina and Colombia, the eyes.

Direct selling stands its ground but retail infrastructure is improving

Despite the myth that direct selling has had its heyday, direct-to-consumer distribution models are still holding their own in Latin America, with a little help from tradition and technology. Aside from Chile, Venezuela and Uruguay, direct selling hovers around the 50% share mark or higher in most other countries. However, an improving understanding of the needs of communities beyond cities and urban areas is fostering investment in physical and digital retail infrastructure, sure to disrupt the landscape and support growth.

Widening the urban lens critical to reaching growth potential

The movement away from cities and into the vast expanse of the remainder of the region is critical for the colour cosmetics market to amass new adopters since maturity is already setting-in in urban strongholds. Aside from reaching new non-urban consumers, growth in the region will be heavily buoyed by habitual usage over 2016-2021. In some smaller but fast-growing economies, such as Colombia, a rise in GDP per capita will be the most important driver of market growth.


Key findings

Regional Overview

Putting Latin America into context
Injecting some colour back into the market
Latin American tastes buck the global norm
Lip product and eye make-up sales closely correlated
Choice is paramount to market growth
Stark trade-off between lips and eyes
Facial make-up sluggish despite innovation
Life in direct selling yet
Channel shifts point to premiumising preferences

Leading Companies and Brands

With market maturity comes market consolidation
Latin America a two-horse race
Widening the urban focus critical in Latin America
Geographic breadth beats depth


Chile strengthens as one to watch
Demand for natural products buoys direct-to-consumer formats…
…and sustained habitual usage
Lip products first to go when times get tough

Country Snapshots

Argentina: Market Context
Argentina: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Bolivia: Market Context
Bolivia: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Brazil: Market Context
Brazil: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Chile: Market Context
Chile: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Colombia: Market Context
Colombia: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Costa Rica: Market Context
Costa Rica: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Dominican Republic: Market Context
Dominican Republic: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Ecuador: Market Context
Ecuador: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Guatemala: Market Context
Guatemala: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Mexico: Market Context
Mexico: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Peru: Market Context
Peru: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Uruguay: Market Context
Uruguay: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Venezuela: Market Context
Venezuela: Competitive and Retail Landscape


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