Considered a favourite accessory during crises, lipsticks have actually been shaken by the Covid pandemic: sales collapsed to unprecedented levels, both due to lockdowns and mask mandates. And yet, driven by innovations in line with the main current trends, in particular customization and naturalness, this segment is making a strong comeback, according to The NPD Group’s statistics. Premium Beauty News had a glance at this renewal tinted with new concepts.
After two years of slowdown, the makeup category is growing again, both in the US and Europe.
“There is a sort of catch-up phenomenon,” explains Mathilde Lion, Expert Beauty Europe at The NPD Group. “Today, makeup is the most dynamic category of Prestige sales, compared to 2021, with a +42% growth rate between January and May 2022 in European countries including the Big 5 ,” she explains. “However, it is still -23% compared to 2019, so there is still a long way to go.”
A long-lasting colour
According to NPD, lipsticks represent one of the most dynamic segments since the beginning of the year, with a +74% growth, compared to 2021 in Europe. “But it is still 48% lower than 2019, whereas the nail segment has completely recovered: it has even achieved a 5% growth, compared to 2019. As such, it is a reversal in trends, because the pre-Covid years had been marked by a sharp decline of this segment,” says Mathilde Lion.
This growth is mainly due to the share of ‘long-lasting’ products, which are doing well with 60% of lipstick sales, compared to 56% in 2019.
“Today, long-lasting lipsticks are a must-have, but natural ingredients, symbiosis with skincare, and refills are also very strong trends. We will see whether the refill concept lasts when refill sales statistics get significant,” explains Mathilde Lion.
The experience of a unique lipstick
At the peak of the crisis, eco-design and customization innovations helped boost these products. At the CES 2021 show, YSL Beauté, a brand of the L’Oréal Group, showcased Rouge Sur Mesure Powered by Perso, the first connected device to create your own customized lipstick at home. This device makes a lipstick in just a few minutes…
Maison M Paris developed a similar technology: the brand devised a customization concept of a new kind soon to be marketed. Consumers will choose three shades among the 60,000 colours available, on their own or according to an AI recommendation based on a photo diagnosis. The three shades will then be inserted in a ‘stick’, so users can simply switch from one colour to another, depending on their moods or on the occasion. The liquid shades are produced in single units based on a technology patented by the brand.
“Brands offer plenty of colours and 80% of women have more than three shades at home. So, we imagined a system to unite them in only one lipstick. It is more convenient, greener, and completely customized,” says Marie Rocchisani, the concept creator.
The long-wear, no transfer liquid formulas of this 3-in-1 product are composed of ingredients of natural origin. Each capsule can be refilled independently of the others. The Maison M lipstick will be available online for about 49 euros, and the refill will cost about 29 euros. In the long run, the brand founder plans to install her patented system in stores, where the product will be made upon request with the help of a beauty advisor.
Following the same principle, since December 2021, the young, independent French brand Bâton Rouge has offered customers to make their own tailor-made lipstick in a store. After four years of technical and regulatory developments, the brand opened its first point of sale in the Marais neighbourhood in Paris. With the help of a professional makeup artist, customers can create their own shade among infinite possibilities and choose the perfume and texture they want to get a unique lipstick.
“All colour shades, all tones and undertones are possible. Customers can also pick up a perfume among a choice of five – they are all 100% natural and free from allergens – and one texture: liquid, solid, satin, matte, or one with natural ingredients. The market, in particular the French market, lacked such a concept,” says Christelle Percheron, the creator of Bâton Rouge.
The customized colour is created with the makeup artist during the sampling phase, based on pigments pre-dispersed in castor oil. Customers test the sample on their lips and modulate it until they are satisfied with the result.
“We can play with all shades – red, pinky red, orange, or blue – like a painter playing with pigments to lighten, darken, or fade a colour,” describes the founder.
Once the choice has been validated, the stick is made straight away, in just a few minutes.
Bâton Rouge boasts an eco-responsible, transparent approach, with products made upon request in their laboratory-store. Solid formula packs can be refilled and the products are presented in pouches made from organic cotton as secondary packaging.
“We make products upon request, so there is no stock, no waste. Our customers mainly come for the experience: for the tailor-made colour, the experience with the makeup artist. It is definitely a moment of pleasure for them. And the eco-responsible approach is a real plus,” says Christelle Percheron.
These new consumption patterns can definitely put a smile (back) on people’s faces!