Make-up sales to hit £2bn in 2017 as natural look becomes a trend

Britain’s love of beauty products shows no signs of fading with sales of colour cosmetics forecasted to grow 7.2% this year to £2 billion, according to new research.


Photo: Charlotte Tilbury

With 83% of UK women now wearing makeup on a regular basis, the market is expected to grow by an impressive 36% to £2.5 billion by 2021, has found a new survey from market intelligence agency Mintel.

Growth will be partly driven by the face and lip colour sectors, which saw the biggest rise in sales in 2016 as a result of the ‘no make-up make-up look’ and colour correction trends. Last year, sales of face products rose by 10% to £580 million, while sales of lip colour items grew by 11% to £304 million.

“The colour cosmetics category continues to show strong year-on-year growth, particularly driven by the fashion for the ‘no make-up make-up’ look, which requires more products, time and skill than the name might suggest. Celebrities such as Little Mix’s Jesy and Holly Willoughby have recently been seen to showcase their natural beauty by appearing make-up free on social media, which is contributing to women drifting apart from full faces of make-up in favour of more subtle, natural looks aimed at enhancing rather than transforming,” said Roshida Khanom, associate director of beauty & personal care at Mintel.

Indeed, Mintel’s survey revealed that 35% of women use make-up to subtly enhance their natural features, while just 12% say they like to experiment with different looks. Only 7% of UK women say they wear make-up to create a bold or dramatic look.


Photo: Maybelline

Tiredness is the main reason why women turn to makeup with 41% of them saying they wear colour cosmetics to look less tired, followed by 39% who use it to cover blemishes. Additionally, 25% of those surveyed use make-up in pursuit of a more youthful appearance.

Interestingly, in today’s social media obsessed society, the share of young women who wear make-up to look better in selfies has increased by 7% to 22%.

“Colour cosmetics remains a transformative sector, both with regards to appearance as well as emotional wellbeing. With confidence rating higher than attractiveness as an emotional impact of wearing make-up, brands should use it as a tool for revealing inner beauty and focus more on strength and empowerment. Whilst the selfie trend continues to heighten the awareness of one’s own reflection, most women are favouring natural make-up looks to enhance their features rather than create dramatic looks,” added Khanom.

ELUSIVE TRENDS

While some beauty trends have become quite popular in the UK, such as the strong eyebrow look (tried by 29% of women), nail art (tried by 24%) and face contouring (tried by 20% of those surveyed), some trends remain elusive.
Just 6% of women who wear make-up have tried the ombre lip trend, with over half (55%) not knowing what this is; meanwhile, only 6% have given strobing a go, with 66% of women not knowing what this is.

“With too much choice and too little time, consumers are looking for shortcuts to help the decision-making process. When it comes to make-up trends, there are more opportunities for sales assistants to showcase new styles, either on themselves or on customers. Shoppers can also be encouraged to try products on a mannequin in-store, for example, to enable them to see what a trend would look like and practice it before buying into it,” said Mintel’s Khanom.

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