Premium Beauty Trends: What is the Future of Make-Up in the UK?


Welcome back. I hope you've had a good Summer.

Let's kick off with some good news!

A recent survey by Datamonitor showed that the UK is the fastest growing market for make-up in Europe, up 4.8% in 2013 against the European average of 2.9%. The latest NPD Group data revealed an even stronger performance for UK premium make-up, which has been shooting ahead by 12% in the year to June 2014.

The question for me is, what’s driving the UK market and can this growth can be sustained going forward?The latest Raconteur report on The Beauty Economy has some of the answers. Let's take a look at a few.

The Need to Look Good at Work

Caroline Neville, president of Cosmetic Executive Women {CEW} argues that a huge change in women’s lifestyles is driving growth. Travelling daily by train to her office over the last five years, she's been fascinated by the number of women of all ages retouching or completely applying their daily make-up.

“I feel it is the changes that many women are coping with on a daily basis that is partly responsible for this make-up on the train phenomenon,” argues Caroline in her opinion piece, citing multi-tasking mothers who work in a good job, women who run their own businesses and women who need to look good for their jobs- all are struggling for time.

The Desire to Look Good for Your Age

Older women are a key demographic group for premium beauty brands and their numbers are growing.Two years ago at the in-cosmetics conference, trend forecasting guru Antoinette van den Berg predicted the end of anti-ageing as we know it. “There will come a time when a woman of 55 will have no problem with looking her age,” she states in Alice Hart-Davis’ article entitled “Ageless”.

Most of today’s over 50s are not aspiring to look ten years younger but a fresher, more radiant version of themselves. Make-up helps them achieve this.

Beauty and Mobile Technology

A Google-Milward Brown digital beauty study shows that 43% of consumers use their tablets to compare prices and discover new beauty brands, while 34% of consumers use smartphones to research beauty products.Increasingly, beauty brands are becoming mobile-optimised –Estée Lauder has introduced a “high-touch experience” that replicates the in-store consumer experience. Going forward, the UK is leading the way in the beauty technology revolution. Here are a few examples {from Raconteur}:

  • Virtual makeovers – L’Oreal Paris’ Makeup Genius app turns the front facing iPhone and iPad camera into a mirror –users can then virtually apply any of the 300 colour products. Meanwhile, the Burberry Beauty Box has digital make-up charts and a nail bar that previews nail colours against women’s skin tones

  • iBeacons- the Crown Estate, which manages London’s Regent Street, is launching an app that uses Bluetooth low energy {BLE} to communicate directly with customers’ phones and alert them to offers in the shops

  • Social selling- move over Avon! This is the new “door-to-door” phenomenon that enables entrepreneurial sellers and consumers to shop from home. MyShowcase has 120 independent stylists selling from an edited selection of insider brands

Do you agree or disagree? Perhaps there are other trends that you feel are driving the make-up industry. Let us know in the comments section below.

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