Colour cosmetics is enjoying a period of impressive growth, fuelled by a powerful digital undercurrent that is fostering experimentation and visual sharing, as well as nurturing brand exposure on a global stage. It is expected to continue outperforming staple categories in the wider beauty industry, as spending per capita on colour cosmetics rises alongside female disposable incomes in emerging markets, and the commoditisation of colour cosmetics extends beyond developed regions.
2015 saw the most robust growth since 2010, as colour cosmetics grew by 7% in value, equating to USD3.4 billion. Colour cosmetics has an edge over other discretionary categories in being visual, and easily shareable and coveted on social media.
Developing regions are witnessing the most dynamic growth but with a lower value contribution, whilst developed markets grow steadily amid difficult market conditions and intense competition. Asia Pacific and North America defy the norm, with both growing strongly in value.
The industry remains mass-centric; however, evolving consumer priorities in developed markets are boosting premium, as consumers trade up to experience more, buy themselves time and favour a quality over quantity approach to living.
The trend for holistic wellness is having reverberations across colour cosmetics, including inspiration from skin care and food, to formulations targeted at active and urban lifestyles. Facial make-up will remain the category leader by absorbing a range of these new influences.
A move from conspicuous to conscious consumption is seeing the importance of transparency rise, which explains why heritage names are falling out of favour in place of more meaningful niche brands.
Growing sophistication in consumer tastes will drive premium growth faster than mass over 2015-2020. By 2020, the largest colour cosmetics region, North America, will be a majority premium market.
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