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Markets & trends

Cosmetic industry harnesses diversity to grow in 2018

Big players such US-based NARS Cosmetics, as well as domestic brands Natura, O Boticário and Vult Cosmética have launched makeup lines suited to a wider range of skin tones.

Finding a niche that is unique and underserved can be the ace in the hole to gain leverage in a fiercely competitive industry that makes billions each year. That’s one of the reasons why domestic and international beauty companies are embracing diversity to grow their business in 2018.

While gender-neutral brands are redefining the fashion scene, makeup lines created to compliment a variety of skin tones are the beauty industry’s new holy grail. Not too long ago, products such as foundation, powder and concealer were restricted to a limited color palette, which made it hard for women – especially black women – to find makeup products to match their skin tone.

NARS' foundation sticks

NARS’ foundation sticks

The latest data from the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) shows that 53.6% of Brazilians are black or mixed-race, accounting for about 110 million people – more than half the total population. Creating products to suit this market is no longer a trend; it’s a market reality.

US-based makeup and skin care brand NARS Cosmetics has launched in Brazil its first line of foundation sticks with 20 different tones of nude. The company plans to have a total of 33 colors in 2018 and release six new concealer shades and a six-shade highlighting palette. NARS still has a relatively small share of the domestic market and the new products are expected to boost its presence in Brazil. In the last three years, the brand has grown double digits and plans to continue growing at about the same pace until 2020.

Following the same path, Natura expanded its color palette of premium foundations Una and launched 18 new shades featuring sheer and matte finish. The colors are divided into light, medium, brown and dark shades, with two colors specifically created for black skin.

O Boticário has also increased its product offering by adding new shades to some of its makeup lines such as Make B., featuring the Color Adapt technology, which claims to adjust to the different skin tones, creating a natural and uniform coverage. In addition, O Boticário manages the Viva Linda blog, with makeup tips and tricks for all skin types and tones.

Vult Cosmetica, which already had a line of high coverage foundations with 16 colors, including options for black skin, has recently launched a nine-shade pressed powder palette. “Brazil is a mixed-race nation, where the black population is a majority. As Vult has a strong distribution network throughout the country, it is important to offer a wide color palette as we do with our HD liquid foundation collection,” says Janaína Idalgo, web marketing manager at Vult Cosmética.

She says that Vult has access to research that points to market niches that are underserved by the industry and can developed. "We seek to cross-reference this information with internal data and take into account customer feedback obtained through our social media channels. The online environment is an important information hub that supplies us with daily insights and helps us create new products, improve and adjust colors, finishes and formulations,” says Idalgo.

In times where matters such as inclusion and diversity are widely discussed, Vult is considering different ways to reach out to new audiences. It is not always necessary to create a collection focused on a particular niche group; the brand endeavors to think of inclusion as a way to provide the same access to different ethnic groups, age groups and genders. The Nude collection is an example or how Vult embraces diversity within a color palette suited to a wide range of skin tones, from light to dark.

When asked about the impact of the new launches on sales, Idalgo prefers to focus on the challenge of meeting customer demands. “New products always boost visibility. With increasingly dynamic trend cycles, consumer behaviors and feedback in the online environment, it has become more challenging to launch new products in a quick and assertive manner. Nevertheless, we are ready to take challenges with drive and passion for what we do,” she concludes.

Daniela Belli


© 2018 - Brazil Beauty News -

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