Bright future? Glow make-up can provide light in a wider cosmetics slump

By Kacey Culliney

- Last updated on GMT

Glow make-up sales in the UK grew 7% in the first six months of 2019 (Getty Images)
Glow make-up sales in the UK grew 7% in the first six months of 2019 (Getty Images)

Related tags make-up glow make-up illuminating glowing skin Uk France Cosmetics The NPD Group Npd Consumer trends

Glow make-up is rising fast through the cosmetics ranks, fuelled by changing consumer demands and a flurry of product launches and it’s providing promise in a challenging retail environment, according to The NPD Group.

Glow make-up products totted up £2.2m (€2.47m) sales across the UK for the first six months of 2019, up 7% in value on the previous year, according to The NPD Group. The growth of products with a glow or illuminating effect on the skin had been largely fuelled by a series of product launches, the data group said, and aligned well with trending social media interest.

Beyond highlighters

Speaking to CosmeticsDesign-Europe, director of NPD UK Beauty June Jensen said opportunities to tap into this glow trend were widening.

“It started from make-up, where we saw a lot of glow highlighters, but we are now seeing this moving into other segments, for example toners, primers, moisturisers and masks,”​ Jensen said.

Product development and launches would likely continue, with much coming from the emerging brands and more being done with strong colour palettes with glitter and glow effects, she said.

“Small and emerging brands have the most to gain from this new trend as they can more easily adapt and develop products with a glow effect for the skin,”​ Jensen said. However, as competition increased, she said it would be important brands stayed flexible and responded to trends “more swiftly”.

Light amid declining make-up sales

The NPD Group said growth in the glow make-up category was a “welcome boost”​ amid an overall decline in make-up sales, the most significant being in the UK and France.

Jensen said declines were largely related to a downturn in consumer demand and confidence but also a shift in what they were looking for and how they were shopping.

“It’s changing. Consumers are looking at make-up with skin care benefits. Foundation sales are in the strongest decline; however, we are seeing some foundations with skin care benefit and tinted moisturisers in growth,”​ she said.

“I also feel that for many years we have seen make-up driven by the power of social media influencers, encouraging customers to buy more products. This has been booming for years, but there had to come a time when consumers reduced their spend and had time to actually use and enjoy their purchases. This could be a factor at play here.”

However, there were some pockets of growth – notably in Italy and Spain - Jensen said, driven by e-commerce and increased dynamics among local chains and independent stores.

“The growth of glow make-up demonstrates that today’s savvy consumer is looking for products that enhance the skin while producing a more radiant, natural look. In a challenging retail environment, it’s important that brands understand the appeal of these product lines and adapt their marketing campaigns and retail experience to meet the needs of today’s demanding customer,” ​she said.

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