Colour rebound: Makeup makes ‘full-fledged revival’ in Japan as consumers drop mask habit – @cosme

By Amanda Lim

- Last updated on GMT

Dior Addict Lip Maximiser awarded @cosme's grand prize for the first half of 2023. [Dior]
Dior Addict Lip Maximiser awarded @cosme's grand prize for the first half of 2023. [Dior]

Related tags Makeup Japan Colour cosmetics COVID-19 Mask hybrid products

Japan’s colour cosmetics market has bounced back fully as consumers ease up on mask habits to fulfil the desire to enjoy makeup, says retailer @cosme.

@cosme is a Japanese media and retail brand that publishes trend reports based on feedback from its online community as well as its retail outlets.

At its flagship store in Tokyo, monthly sales in April exceeded JPY450m – a 165% increase compared to the same time last year. It was the best month for brick-and-mortar since it opened in January 2020.

In particular, sales in the makeup category increased by 171% compared to the previous year, indicating a significant rebound, said the retailer.

“Since the second half of last year, there have been signs of a full-fledged revival as opportunities to go out have increased and the wearing of masks has been eased.”

The company also attributed the sales boost to the increase in travellers. It noted that tax-free sales accounted for about 20% of total sales at @cosme Tokyo in April.

According to Japan Tourism Statistics, April recorded 1,949,100 visitor arrivals compared to 2,926,685 visitor arrivals in 2019.

Lip domination

In its latest trend report on the first half of this year, makeup products dominated @cosme’s top 10 rankings. In stark contrast to the first half of 2020, the top three spots were awarded to makeup products.

The overall grand prize winner was Dior Addict Lip Maximiser, followed by Visée Essence Lip Plumper, and Cezanne Pearl Glow Nuance Blusher.

@cosme said the prevalence of makeup products in its rankings further “confirmed the full-fledged revival of makeup demand”.

In a consumer survey conducted by the company, 48.7%, of the respondents said the desire to indulge and enjoy in lip makeup had returned.

Transfer-resistant lip products continued to be top sellers. However, @cosme believes that transfer-resistant claims are declining in importance, noting that its grand prize winner, Dior Addict Lip Maximiser, was not smudge proof.

Instead, demand for lip-plumping products was increasing, according to @cosme data. Not only were the top two products lip plumping glosses, the appearance of ‘lip plumping’ has increased 210% compared to the previous year.

Changing bases

In addition to lip products, there has been increasing demand for makeup products that can replace the use of foundations. The term ‘no foundation’ has increased by 380% over the past five years.

“With the easing of wearing masks, base makeup needs are diversifying. The no-foundation trend, which makes use of only makeup base, sunscreen and face powder to complete their base makeup, has increased as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is still alive and well in the first half of the year.”

One such product example is Cosme Decorté Sun Shelter Multi-Protection Tone-Up CC make-up base, which is highly rated by consumers as a foundation-free alternative. It climbed up to fifth in the overall top product rankings.

Maquillage Dramatic Skin Sensor Base NEO and Dior’s Forever Skin Correct Concealer are other products that have become popular in relation to this trend.

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