Laurie Du
Laurie is Mintel's Senior Beauty Analyst based in Shanghai. She provides insights on the Chinese beauty market, consumer behavioural trends and new product development.

Eyebrow makeup is currently one of the most active subcategories in the Chinese colour cosmetics market, regardless of whether consumers are creating a simple, everyday look, or a sophisticated evening look. This popularity is reflected by data from Mintel Global New Products Database (GNPD), which reveals that between January 2016 and October 2017, eyebrow makeup products accounted for 8% of total colour cosmetics launches in China. In other key markets including Japan and South Korea, this figure is less than 5%.

Convenience needed amidst fast-changing brow fashions

Eyebrows have become increasingly important, especially as consumers become aware that a well-designed brow can greatly improve their appearances. At the same time, the evolution of eyebrow trends—driven primarily by major celebrities and popular personalities—have greatly influenced consumers’ brow choices. In recent years, popular eyebrow shapes include the flat brow, the arched brow, the wild brow, and, finally, the natural brow.

In order to appeal to today’s consumers, brands need to segment everyday, and special-occasion makeup. They should consider highlighting the ease-of-use and instant results that their products can offer by establishing a link between the product’s features (eg the applicator or texture) and desired eyebrow shape.

Tattoo brow gel for ‘lazy’ consumers

South Korean brand Clio Professional carries a long-lasting eyebrow makeup product that is inspired by tattoos. The liquid-to-gel texture, when applied to the brows, provides an effect that lasts up to seven days. This new format was quickly accepted by consumers thanks to its convenience—and other makeup brands have since launched similar eyebrow products.

Clio Professional Kill Brow Tattoo Lasting Gel Pencil

Introducing the concept of ‘eyebrow care’

The significance of brow makeup has also boosted the development of add-on products, which has greatly expanded the range of the eyebrow makeup subcategory. These include: eyebrow growth boosters, coatings and primers.

Thanks to the prominence of eyebrow colour cosmetics, consumer awareness for general brow care is also increasing accordingly. Makeup brands can extend consumers’ interest in brow makeup by educating them on ‘brow care’ and introducing a more sophisticated routine; such as offering eyebrow hair strengtheners, and anti-ageing serums for the skin around the brows.