Selfie style: how the consumer hunger to be picture-perfect is impacting cosmetics

Selfie style: how the consumer hunger to be picture-perfect is impacting cosmetics

In this trend special, we take a look at why and how ‘selfie culture’ is impacting on colour cosmetics.

The rise of the smartphone and the accompanying wealth of photo-focused apps (including Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook as dominant leaders) has begun to impact onto colour cosmetics trends in earnest, according to various industry experts.

To get the low-down, we reached out to brand leader, Lori Machiorlette, president of makeup brush range blendSMART, and Charlotte Libby, global colour cosmetics and fragrance analyst at market research firm Mintel.

Image conscious

"The selfie trend has created a generation of women who are more continuously aware of their appearance than ever before, and attached to this awareness has come the increased desire to enhance appearance and correct perceived imperfections,” explains Libby, from Mintel.

This idea of striving for a picture-perfect finish is something that Machiorlette firmly agrees is now a dominant trend, particularly among younger consumers.

“We see millennials driving the future of beauty and if brands want to remain relevant, they should turn to the “tried-and-true” selfie for R&D,” she says, noting that although the trend may originate among the youngest consumers, it is quickly being adopted by older generations too.

“We have noticed the inexhaustible selfie trends in glow, glitter and highlighting. So ultimately, millennials are driving trends that influence beauty seekers of all ages – a universal desire for the perfect glow or the bright and youthful effects from highlighting.”

Machiorlette says BlendSMART is positioning itself as one company responding to the trend, and is launching a rotating highlighter brush this spring.

Selfies in stats

How far is it fair to say selfies truly are a trend that’s impacting on consumer behaviour and demands? According to Mintel data, selfies really are as ubiquitous as the headlines suggest.

The following are key stats from UK data:

  • 25% of consumers who viewed social media content online in the six months to April 2015 posted a picture of themselves online. (2016)
  • 41% of 16-24-year-old female BPC viewers have posted pictures of themselves online. (2015)
  • 30% of female 15-24s have posted a picture of themselves in new clothes on social media in the last six months. (2016)
  • Capitalising on the selfie trend offers an opportunity for retailers to engage with their young shoppers and push brand messages out via content created by customers. (2016)
  • 51% of women aged 16-24 agree that the selfie culture is making them more self-critical of their own body, compared to 34% of women aged 25-44. (2016)
  • 28% of men have posted a picture of themselves on social media in the last six months. (2016)

It’s certainly not a UK-specific trend: according to the firm, in 2015, 17% of French consumer say they posted a picture of themselves on social media, as did 16% of German consumers, 21% of Italian consumers and 21% of Spanish consumers.

The industry impact

Libby explains how this is impacting on specific trends, noting that new makeup application techniques as well as product offerings, including a renewed emphasis on kits, have emerged in the recent period.=

Looking at the face through a camera lens has resulted in growing interest in professional makeup techniques such as contouring and baking, which were once the reserve of screen or theatre makeup,” she explains. “With an army of beauty vloggers able to teach makeup users how to master these techniques at home, they moved into the everyday routines of women.”

The beauty industry has responded to this consumer demand with new products and kits to create a flawless base with emphasised features; bringing a wave of new product innovation which tempted consumers into expanding their makeup collection.”

Related News

Personal Care Products Council (PCPC) Washington Report cosmetics

Washington DC and the state of beauty industry

Beauty and Fitness part 2: On-the-go make up

Beauty and Fitness part 2: On-the-go make up

Next-generation natural materials on the rise

Next-generation natural materials on the rise

Elizabeth Arden: A beauty brand turnaround case study with Air Paris

Elizabeth Arden: A beauty brand turnaround case study