Private label cosmetics get a glamour injection

Celebrity tie-ins and upgraded formulations and packs help retailers’ own brands compete with the big beauty labels, writes Patricia Mansfield-Devine

The private label cosmetics market continues to face challenges, and a number of trends are emerging that manufacturers and retailers hope to exploit to build their market share. Among them are celebrity tie-ins such as Rosie for Autograph at Marks & Spencer and Eva Mendes at CVS; increasing focus on natural ingredients and recyclable packaging; high-tech ingredients at modest price points; and upgraded packaging and presentation.

Fashion retailers continue to roll out cosmetics ranges to provide an alternative offering to garments, principally focusing on make-up rather than skin care, partly because the formulations are cheaper. Within make-up, most fashion retailers offer own brand colour cosmetics for lips, eyes and sometimes cheeks, but the more expensive-to-formulate concealers and foundations tend to remain off the menu.

“A lot of beauty and personal care products are everyday items that can be purchased easily from many types of retailer both in- and out-of-town, as well as online and through direct sellers, so the market is very fragmented,” says Susanna Capecchi at market researcher Mintel. “Few of the major retailers in beauty and personal care are actually specialist operators – Debenhams and the grocers vie with Superdrug to offer competition to Boots.”

Of the top 25 retailers in Mintel’s 2016 Beauty Retailing survey, eight . . .

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