Eyebrows on fleek; sales of brow products double in trend-driven US color cosmetics market

Eyebrows on fleek; sales of brow products double in trend-driven US color cosmetics market

Beautiful brows – or ‘on fleek’ as the latest terminology to storm the internet would put it –  have become a must-have for US woman, with 25 percent wearing eye-brow make-up on a regular basis versus the 19 percent who apply eye make-up as a matter of course, according to Mintel’s new Color Cosmetics US 2015 report.

Multi-outlet sales of eyebrow cosmetics have nearly doubled since 2010, says Mintel, and the industry has responded with a slew of new launches of brow-specific products. Eye make-up was the strongest performing category overall, climbing 4.3 percent between 2013 and 2015. Mascara is still the staple of most make-up bags, with 48 percent of US women reporting routine use.

The natural, no-make-up trend has driven sales of relative newcomer BB cream too, with 17 percent of US women wearing the lightweight base on a regular basis.

“While overall color cosmetic category growth is slow, women continue to be influenced by trends, leading to shifts in cosmetics spending. Eye make-up is currently the strongest performing segment, driven largely by the popularity of eyebrow-specific products. Historically, eyebrow products have not been a big growth area in color cosmetics, as women have often relied on hair removal items to create thinner brows. We’re now seeing a shift as consumers gravitate towards fuller brows,” said Shannon Romanowski, Category Manager, Health, Household and Beauty & Personal Care at Mintel. “Despite facial make-up accounting for the largest share of category spending, sales have been slow as women opt for a pared down, ‘barely-there’ make-up look.”

Technology has contributed to the trend-driven environment of the color cosmetics sector, with consumers increasingly turning to social media and online tutorials to achieve the latest looks. Some 21 percent of women aged 25-34 like or follow make-up brands on social media platforms, with 17 percent going on to purchase products promoted online.

“Technology is becoming an increasingly important way to engage color cosmetic consumers, especially when targeting the core consumer demographic, women aged 25-34. We’re seeing a reinvigoration of the category as a result of new tech-focused initiatives that personalize the shopping experience, while encouraging women to experiment with new products and formats. By identifying consumer needs and promoting trends through apps, social media and online tutorials, brands and retailers are able to deliver information to help women navigate the category, enhancing the experience,” Romanowski continued.