Vivienne Rudd
Vivienne is the Director of Innovation & Insight for Mintel's BPC team, creating and delivering trend presentations and focused insights to clients around the world.

After years of being told to manage our fitness levels in the pursuit of health and wellbeing, it appears that the message is getting through. A third of consumers in France, Germany, Italy and Spain say they exercise 2-3 times a week. At the same time, female sports stars are gaining as much attention – and money – as their male counterparts.

The media is taking note. Take women’s football, for example. Well established in the US, womens’ football has now become an attraction in Europe, with the UEFA Women’s Euro 2017 finals part of the TV schedules in July and August. While at the end of August, the spotlight turned towards the rugby girls and the Women’s Rugby World Cup also gained significant media coverage.

Organisations such as Sports England are trying to convert this interest into active participation, running campaigns like Sport England’s This Girl Can, which celebrates active women and seeks to overcome any obstacles to their participations. One image from the campaign has the strapline, “My game face has lipstick on it”.

However, it’s not only the media that’s catching up – the beauty industry is getting in on the act too. Mintel’s 2017 Global Beauty & Personal Care Trend ‘Active Beauty’, has been one of our most successful beauty trends ever, identifying the opportunities for beauty brands to develop products that mimic exercise routines and language, and which work with consumers while they work out. This includes make-up that stays in place during the sweatiest of occasions, as well as bodycare products to be used before, during and after workouts, or fragrances that add motivation.

Finding the right approach to Active Beauty gives beauty brands a sporting chance of success

In fact, sports make-up is one of the entry points to Mintel’s athleisure-inspired ‘Active Beauty’ trend. In France, 43% of women who exercise would be interested in using make-up that stays in place during exercise, followed by two in five of their Italian counterparts.

Already tapping into this trend, Tarte has launched its Athleisure For the Face make-up range, described as “yoga pants for the skin”. TrèStique introduced the Athleisure Set to take women “from sweaty to ready”, which features the Magic Mattifying Balm + Blotting Sheet Duo, a multi-use balm that can be applied over foundation to set make-up and instantly eliminate shine, or as a primer. This comes with Blotting Sheets hidden in the packaging to absorb extra oil. More recently, Clinique has joined the sporting line-up with its Fit range. This includes a Workout 24-Hour Mascara, Lip + Cheek Flush and Workout Makeup Broad Spectrum SPF 40 along with Post-Workout Mattifying Moisturiser and Post-Workout Neutralising Face Powder to calm down reddened skin. Primark’s PS…  beauty range has launched the gym-friendly No Sweat Sweat-Resistant Mattifying Face Powder, which is designed to leave a shine-free finish throughout the workout.


One of the motivations behind women’s interest in these cosmetics is the desire to look selfie-ready at all times. The “Insta-beauty” trend has inspired Pout Case, a phone cover that contains a slide-out, customisable palette of foundation/concealer, lipstick and lipgloss. Use the phone’s camera as a mirror, apply your make-up, take a selfie and you’re ready to go. Repeat as necessary.

Fresh opportunities

Most of these make-up innovations are aimed at terrestrial sports, but swimmers are yet to be addressed beyond waterproof mascara. Many swimmers use products designed to help their hair recover from immersion in chlorinated or salt water, but what about their skin and make-up? Beauty companies might consider water-activated face and body make-up that not only stays in place during a swim, but also releases conditioning and nourishing ingredients that improve skin tone and texture. So many sports, so many opportunities, yet so few products…

The full copy of Mintel’s 2017 Global Beauty & Personal Care Trend ‘Active Beauty’ is available for free download here. Interviews with Vivienne Rudd, Director of Global Insights, Beauty and Personal Care, are available on request from the press office.