Changing face of make-up

The arrival of multifunctional make-up, combined with the broadening of existing ranges, is driving growth in the cosmetics sector.

Sales of make-up in the UK are predicted to rise to &£620m by the end of the year, an increase of &£25m on 1995 figures. The rise is down to manufacturers capitalising on a fragmenting market with products that appeal to the time-pressured and stressed Nineties’ consumer.

Nail make-up has enjoyed the biggest rise over the past five years, growing at almost ten per cent a year, compared with face make-up at 2.7 per cent. Datamonitor’s new research into the UK make-up market found manufacturers driving growth in a number of ways.

In the prestige market, the line is blurring between skincare and make-up as manufacturers give their products multifunctional appeal. Meanwhile, consumer concern over issues such as ageing, pollution and UV rays has led to increased use of active ingredients such as vitamins.

These benefits have been key to driving value growth, although volume sales have remained stable, as consumers increasingly trade up to safeguard their looks. This has brought make-up into competition with some areas of the skincare market.

The range of colours, textures and application techniques that consumers use are widening as they become more sophisticated in their use and knowledge of make-up.

Datamonitor’s research confirms that although consumers are not buying significantly more make-up, they are more interested in buying the types of products required to achieve a certain effect.

Cross branding has been a relatively recent phenomenon. Companies from non-cosmetic areas of business have attempted to transfer the branding from complementary products on to their cosmetic ranges.

Retail chain Accessorize, for example, launched a make-up range to complement its core product line, allowing consumers to make fashion purchases in one location. For those manufacturers or retailers without an obvious fashion or beauty connection, however, this strategy requires the back up of a strong brand image with the ability to maintain quality throughout the product range.

Demand for convenience has been a key element in new product development. Pressures of time on consumers mean make-up products must be easy to carry, easy to apply, quick to use and long-lasting.

Quick-drying nail polish brands such as Maybelline Express have been key beneficiaries, offering the consumer a solution to time pressures. Other innovations such as Great Lash Mascara, also by Maybelline, and Max Factor 2000 calories have been similarly positioned. And with the pace of modern life showing no signs of slowing, demand for time solution products looks likely to continue.

The impact and pressure of modern working and social life has also created a demand for stress solutions. To date, the popularity of natural and aromatherapy products has had a huge impact on personal hygiene, turning the bathroom into a stress sanctuary.

The trend has yet to make the same impression in make-up, although some manufacturers have launched aromatherapeutic lipsticks. Datamonitor predicts new product development will lead to an ever wider range of natural products with therapeutic qualities.

The most notable trend has been the increasing number of fun or interactive products. The notion of fun and interactivity is having a growing impact in other markets such as personal hygiene and to a lesser extent haircare, and is being used to stimulate consumer interest in-store and in the home.

Manufacturers have also tried to boost interest in the make-up market. Cosmetics companies have broadened the range of exotic colours, fragrances or “flavours”, especially fruit-based products and in the lip make-up category. They are also creating products such as body make-up, non-permanent tattoos, and nail decoration kits, which target the youth market. Boots is the latest to capitalise on the growth of nail art with its range of 17 Coat and Draw nail art pens.

Looking ahead, these trends will continue to play a key role in shaping npd. Products with multifunctional benefits are likely to be the most popular.

However, success lies in formulating the right mix of product features and matching these to what is becoming an increasingly fragmented consumer base.

Factfile is edited by Lucy Killgren. Nick Downing, Datamonitor cosmetics and toiletries analyst, contributed

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