US colour cosmetics market boosted by social media

Make-up is spurring on the US beauty market thanks to the influence of social media stars. Faye Brookman reports

The Kardashian/Jenner clan, Anastasia Beverly Hills, Huda Kattan and a cadre of other social media influencers have ignited sales of colour cosmetics in the US.

Consumers poured over beauty hacks shown on tutorials or ogled the latest cosmetics items from ‘Insta-famous’ posters. To duplicate their looks, they hopped online or fled to stores to buy the appropriate products.
The result was that after years of colour taking a back seat to skin care in the US, the cosmetics portion is booming.

In the overall picture, according to NPD Group, beauty expanded a healthy 6% in North America for the 12 months ended December 2016. Prestige beauty alone expanded US$1bn to $17bn. Consumers appear willing to dig a little deeper into their pocketbooks for luxury beauty in higher-end environments. For the second year in a row, prestige gains outstrip mass gains, which were held to 2%. Mass, however, still has the larger share of the pie at $22.8bn.


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A social event

Exposure on social media has become more important than traditional advertising for many companies. Influencers now rule the beauty universe and companies from L’Oréal (with a team of five social media figureheads) to John Frieda have added bloggers or beauty authorities to their rosters. NPD identified several brands growing from exposure on social media. They are e.l.f., NYX, NARS, Benefit, Becca, Tarte, IT Cosmetics, Urban Decay, Anastasia Beverly Hills and Make Up Forever.

Make-up apps, allowing for people to “virtually” test beauty looks are clicking with shoppers too. Sephora, Maybelline, L’Oréal, Kiss Products, CoverGirl, Coty and Clairol are among those using technology to boost sales.

Most recently, ModiFace announced what it says is the first beauty augmented live-stream capabilities to be used on Facebook Live and YouTube. Sephora will be first to use the technology with its Virtual Artist Application. The new capability allows anyone, including make-up artists and brands, to broadcast a live video demonstration of different make-up styles by virtually applying them on their broadcast video using ModiFace’s technology. The application of virtual make-up on live video is done in real-time, meaning that it is applied instantaneously as the video is being broadcast. What works well with virtual makeovers is that adventurous users don’t have to apply and then wash off to see new looks.

The segments most touted by social media powers, notably brows, lip colour and concealers, drove colour cosmetics.
Make-up’s top launch for . . .

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