The beauty industry is striving for diversity and aiming to grow more inclusive of gender, race and age. While brands and retailers are increasingly using women of all ages in advertising and marketing campaigns, Millennial shoppers still remain a focus for most colour cosmetics brands.

So, how can brands tackle the issue?

Digital beauty: not just for Millennials

The colour cosmetics market has benefitted from strong growth thanks to beauty bloggers, the selfie generation and the rise of social media. With all of these factors are primarily associated with younger age groups, colour cosmetics brands are focusing their marketing on Millennials.

While Millennials will remain a key group, thanks to their high frequency of use and willingness to experiment, directly targeting a slightly older generation could also be beneficial. Currently, older women’s strong spending power is limited by the frustration of not knowing which products and techniques to use. Hence, they are looking for more information and guidance as their face and skin change.

Women in their 40s and 50s are just as digitally confident as Millennials. Colour cosmetics brands should focus on creating more looks and tutorials for older women across social media channels, creating an image bank of inspiration to give them confidence to experiment with looks they can see working well on people of a similar age.

Tutorials, sub-brands and information can help women aged between 40-50 navigate their changing makeup needs so they continue to experiment with colour cosmetics.

50 is the new 30

The population of the western world is ageing, but the attitude of when ‘old’ occurs is moving. Those in their 40s-50s are very active beauty consumers, still in the workplace and with dynamic social lives. Additionally, cosmetic injectables, advancements in skincare and new anti-ageing procedures also mean consumers of this age group often don’t look or feel old.

However, the needs of the skin change as women age, and products that were once suitable are no longer ideal. Age-related concerns come to light and women often review and adapt their product choices: for instance, around a third of French women aged 45-54 are frustrated with makeup creasing into fine lines.

Additionally, loss of plumpness and radiance is a concern among women as their facial skin ages and brands can include highlighting and contouring products that address these specific issues. Indeed, a third of UK women aged 45-54 wear make-up to look more youthful, while 44% of US women who wear colour cosmetics claim they would be interested in make-up with anti-ageing properties.

Introduce segmentation of colour cosmetics brands

In 2016, Estée Lauder launched the Estée Edit sub brand to specifically target a Millennial audience. Colour cosmetics brands can similarly focus on an older audience, creating a collection of products that assure the specific needs of their skin have been catered to. While ranges for specific age groups is widespread in facial skincare, and a few base makeup products offer age-related claims, these often target women aged 50+, and the full makeup experience could benefit from similar attention placed on the concerns of those in their 40s.

Japan is at the forefront of mature beauty innovation

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Kanebo Coffret D’Or Gran Cover Fit Liquid UV II SPF 22/PA++, Japan: This collagen and royal jelly enriched foundation claims to conceal 50+ women’s skin imperfections in a single sweep, for a radiant and firm complexion.
Shiseido Prior Cool BB Spray Foundation SPF 50+ PA++++, Japan: A 7-in-1 spray, combining the function of foundation, primer, sunscreen, astringent, serum, skin tone controller and powder for mature skin.
Chicca Glam Pop Mesmeric Lip Line Stick, Japan: This cosmetic line is targeted at ‘stylish and adorable’ women in their 50s and 60s. The 3-in-1 lip primer, lip liner and lip colour claims to make the lips naturally beautiful.

Charlotte joined Mintel in 2013 as a UK Beauty Analyst and now focuses on the Global Colour Cosmetics and Fragrance markets. Prior to joining Mintel, Charlotte worked at a Beauty PR agency before moving to publisher Bauer Media to work on their women’s magazine portfolio. Charlotte is experienced in analysing consumer behaviours and identifying trends, and has a BA (Hons) in Public Relations & Communications.

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