Part One

Complexion trends are shifting: latest in global colour cosmetics

By Lucy Whitehouse

- Last updated on GMT

Complexion trends are shifting: latest in global colour cosmetics
A global colour cosmetics and fragrance analyst for Mintel reveals how the trends around colour cosmetics are shifting, and how brands can respond.

We caught up with Charlotte Libby on the latest emerging and evolving trends across colour cosmetics in an exclusive interview ahead of her presentation at the upcoming in-cosmetics Global trade show​ in Amsterdam, 17 - 19 April.

From to new trends in contouring to sustainability and its impact onto ingredients, here Libby reveals the latest expert insight. For part two of this interview, on the latest influences coming from teens and smartphones, click here​.

A new focus on highlighting the complexion: return of blusher

Highlighting and colour correcting markets are still big business for the industry, and are seeing a shift towards a demand for more subtle, natural looks, according to Libby, with contouring trends shifting and seen as a way to highlight the face in less overt ways.

We are seeing growth in draping (with blusher) rather than contour (bronzer) emerge a new way of adding subtle definition​,” Libby explains.

In the UK, Mintel tracked a 9 percentage point increase in women buying highlighter, going from 9% in 2016 to 18% in 2017.

Colour correcting product purchasing also grew from 8% in 2016 to 12% in 2017, and amongst 16-24 year-old women, 38% bought a highlighter, 31% a primer and 21% a colour correcting product.

I think ultimately the K-beauty trend has brought bigger focus on skin with dewy complexions, so we’ve seen makeup textures evolve away from matt towards dewy, shimmery looks​.”

We’re also seeing the ‘Instagram face’ - heavier makeup styles with full-on countering -  shifting to add more natural-looking definition and glowy complexions. It’s a slightly more fashion-forward look.​”

Sustainability focus for ingredients

Consumer behaviour when it comes to demand for specific ingredients is shifting to sustainable products in colour cosmetics, suggests Libby.

Concern over specific issues - including microplastics, glitter and the conservation of bee populations - is having a knock-on effect onto trends in beauty.

Libby notes that the use of synthetic beeswax is a growing innovation in mascara, and in makeup brushes we are seeing increasing use of synthetic hairs, as a cruelty-free focus is demanded by consumers.

This is something that’s really going to impact on the whole supply chain; we’re seeing a real scrutiny of the production line​,” says Libby.

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