Mainstreaming makeup trends: what has shifted in consumer expectations?

By Kirsty Doolan

- Last updated on GMT

Schwan Cosmetics said it believed the trend for multiuse makeup products will continue in 2024
Schwan Cosmetics said it believed the trend for multiuse makeup products will continue in 2024

Related tags Makeup Colour cosmetics Cosmetics Skin care Private label trends Consumer consumer behavior

From refillable packaging to multi-purpose usage and skinification benefits, it appears that these attributes are now a 'must-have' for makeup, rather than a 'nice-to-have'.

More requests for refillable cosmetics products

According to report from data and analytics company NPD-Circana, sales of refills increased by 364% between January and the end of July 2022, compared to the same period in 2021. The company said that the colour cosmetics category led the way, with lipsticks, bronzers and blush being the most popular products, and believed this was due to the simplicity of their existing packaging and longevity of formulations.  

Account Manager at NPD UK Beauty Emma Fishwick said: “Buying refillable products are becoming more mainstream… (this) marks the beginning of the refillable beauty story as only a small percentage of sales weight of makeup products are currently refillable. This is similar for skincare and hair products.”

Meanwhile, a consumer study by market insights firm GlobalData, which was published in December 2022, found that 67% consumers find refillable/reusable packaging to be important, even more so than plastic free packaging (64%) which has been in the spotlight in recent years.

On this note, private-label colour cosmetics manufacturer Schwan Cosmetics has just launched a refillable lipliner, Power Up Your Pout.

Schwan Cosmetics sustainable product development team lead Sandra Schäfer said the company has been getting a lot more requests for refillable cosmetics products this year.

She also said refillable products don’t only allow consumers to reuse the packaging and purchase fewer items to save resources, energy and money, they also offer more customisation and personalisation options “as consumers can choose different colours, textures, and formulas to suit their preferences and needs,”​ she said.

Schäfer believed this trend will continue to grow in the future as consumers become more aware of sustainability and regulators increase their pressure on single-use packaging​ but highlighted that creating these kinds of products have been challenging on the technical, cosmetic and customer sides.

“On the technical front, we had to adapt several machines to enable the filling and packaging of the refillable units. To achieve this, we invested in upgrading our German factory and formed a project team that could overcome all obstacles proactively,” ​she said.  

She also shared that the cosmetic aspect posed another challenge, as the company had to ensure that the texture was securely packaged in a refillable system that protected it from environmental influences and damage during transportation. “This required a well-engineered design with a refillable unit that contained the texture and part of the packaging,” ​she explained.

Another pain point was ensuring that the refill process was simple and convenient for the user.” “We wanted the lipliner to be self-explanatory so that it could be easily integrated into the daily makeup routine,” ​she said.

Meanwhile, packaging company Quadpack also launched a refillable packaging solution a few months ago, PP-Pop Jar and the company’s category manager for skincare at Karen Merchán advised that: “Refill concepts only work if they are effortless and engaging”.

Skinification of colour cosmetics

According to NPD-Circana, 53% of makeup users have looked for hybrid makeup/skincare products in 2023, which is up by 6% from 2022.
Meanwhile Euromonitor International research analysts Olivia Stelmaszczyk agreed that more consumers increasingly expect colour cosmetics to not only provide aesthetic benefits but also treat skin concerns and improve skin health and attributed this shift to the popularity of TikTok. 

“Content on TikTok has pushed skinimalism or the idea of “status skin”, prompting the adoption of “your skin but better” products,” ​she said.

In correlation to this, Schwan Cosmetics’ global product management team leader, Sandra Lossau said the company had also been inspired by the current fusion of colour cosmetics and skincare and was seeing more customer demand for this. 

Its recently launched a lipliner enriched with peptides and already creates enhancing serum liners, as well as serum-like lipstick and concealers that Lossau says: “seamlessly blend skincare benefits with makeup – offering nourishment, protection or always boosting with a touch of colour.”

“We're seeing an increasing demand for skincare ingredients in colour cosmetics as consumers seek simplified beauty routines and skin protection. This shift reflects a preference for natural, healthy looks over heavy coverage,” ​said Lossau.

Multi-purpose products

According to Research Manager at Euromonitor International, Herbert Yum, products price rises have left consumers struggling to cover their expenses in 2023. The company’s research showed that in 2023, 74% of consumers were concerned about the cost of everyday items and 44% wanted to save more money.

Yum said that inflation has instilled a new financial mindset where more consumers hunt for the best deals. This extends beyond just the price tag and these consumers will find clever ways to maximise their budgets without sacrificing quality.

“Businesses need to step up incentives, innovate around affordability and cater to cost-conscious needs,”​ he explained.

Therefore, one way people can get more ‘bang for their buck’ is by purchasing a multi-use makeup product.

Lossau shared that a surge in multi-use products designed to serve various purposes was now a notable trend for the private label manufacturer. She commented that this offered consumers the benefits of versatility, time saving, and also cost efficiency and believed that this pattern stemmed from the pandemic-induced shift towards minimalist lifestyles.

“Multi-use products not only enhance skin condition, texture, and appearance but also provide a touch of colour and radiance,” ​she said. “We anticipate this trend to persist and evolve as both brands and consumers increasingly embrace the multifaceted benefits of multi-use products.”

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