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Markets & trends

Global colour cosmetics sales to grow 6% in 2018, forecasts Mintel

Mintel expects global colour cosmetics sales to exceed US$ 48bn in 2018, up 6% from 2017. The market intelligence agency has presented the main trends driving the category at a conference during the 28th edition of in-cosmetics Global, the world’s leading tradeshow for personal care ingredients, which took place on 17-19 April in Amsterdam.

Global sales of colour cosmetics are expected to reach US$ 48.3 billion in 2018, up 6% from US$ 45.5 billion in 2017, according to new research from Mintel. The US (US$ 12.1 billion), Japan (US$ 6.4 billion), China (US$ 5.1 billion), the UK (US$ 2.7 billion) and South Korea (US$ 2.2 billion) are forecast to be the top five colour cosmetics markets in 2018.

Mintel has identified four macro-trends in the category: social media, sustainability, transparency, and hybridisation.

Social media

As the success of influencers has shown that people buy personality, and not simply the products, it has become more important for brands to have a personality.

  • 41% of Chinese colour cosmetics users are influenced by celebrity beauty bloggers and vloggers to buy products
  • 31% of German make-up users aged 16-24 wear make-up to feel trendy
  • 66% of UK women aged 16-24 say it’s easy to learn new beauty techniques from the internet

Social media gives brands a way to build a more intimate relation with consumers. They also encourage makeup users to adopt new habits.

As fashions change, new ’selfie-friendly’ zones of the face are receiving more attention,” says Charlotte Libby, Mintel’s Global Colour Cosmetics Analyst.


The whole beauty industry is shifting towards natural and organic products. Colour cosmetics makes no exception with an increased attention on product origin and quality of ingredients. In such a context, brands will be expected to demonstrate their ethical policies and consideration of resources and alternatives.

  • 66% of UK female beauty buyers aged 16-24 want retailers to give them more information about which beauty products are environmentally-friendly
  • 24% of Italian women have bought natural and organic make-up in the past year

Consumers are drawn to brands that act responsibly. Attempting to reduce the carbon footprint by tackling waste is an area in which colour cosmetics brands can innovate. Alternative materials like bamboo, coconut husk and rice bran have been a growing trend in packaging,” says Charlotte Libby.


Young consumers want to be sure the companies and brands they buy from align with their personal views.

  • 34% of Brazilian Millennials aged 19-35 say they prefer to buy from brands that support social causes
  • 39% of US women aged 18-34 think brands that support charities are trying to make themselves look better

Brands need to convince consumers their positioning is genuine. “A strategy involving charitable donations needs to be long term and treated appropriately, becoming part of the core business of the company,” adds Charlotte.


As consumer demand for make-up with skincare benefits increases, there is more opportunity for brands to develop hybridisation between categories.

  • 67% of Chinese women want to minimise make-up steps
  • 41% of US female beauty buyers would be interested in multi-purpose beauty products
  • 41% of French women think that the environment (eg pollution, cold weather) affects the appearance of the skin

As part of growing concerns around pollution, face make-up can act as another layer of protection. Hence, it is important that colour cosmetics incorporate skincare benefits such as hydration and UV protection. Probiotics also have a chance to grow; a prominent trend in skincare, connecting good bacteria to healthy skin, they are increasingly being used in colour cosmetics too,” concludes Charlotte Libby.


© 2018 - Premium Beauty News -
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