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Markets & trends

US trends: "Beauty Augmented" and Beauty hackers

What is happening to the beauty and make-up market? With 7% growth in the prestige beauty market, the US market is enjoying a new momentum mostly driven by the success of make-up and its staggering 13% growth [1]. The Cosmetics Inspiration & Creation Agency, a trends and consulting agency in beauty and innovation, recently released a study on the emerging trends for the beginning of this year 2016 called Beauty Augmented - Trends USA. A comprehensive report based on the agency’s daily observation of the US market and focused on the latest trends and novelties coming from this country, led by a surprising dynamism and strongly supported by the growth of social networks. The first Special Report on make-up is available. The agency is currently finalizing the report on skincare, which will be available in late September 2016.

Leila Rochet-Podvin

Leila Rochet-Podvin

On the occasion of the release of this study, Premium Beauty News met the founder of the agency, Leila Rochet-Podvin who will soon be flying to New York again where she will lead, as part of the MakeUp in New York trade show, both a conference on the evolution of make-up trends and Indie brands in the US and a round table dedicated to the influence of these indie brands [2].

Premium Beauty News - You called your report, "Beauty Augmented", why did you choose this title?

Leila Rochet-Podvin - Beauty Augmented refers to a beauty universe that is more and more "augmented", fuelled by increasingly digital consumption, a reflection of ourselves via selfies and a strong desire to use cosmetics differently. In this context, beauty becomes more assertive and the make-up market, particularly, is driven by points of reference that evolve towards greater hedonism, driven by new imaginaries, new creative brands, representations of new femininities, the whole of it fostering beauty conversations on social networks. As a consequence, the market has crossed the boundaries of imagination in a US make-up market that is rooted in the Entertainment industry.

People speak more and more of "Retail Augmented" ("more experiential"), of Consumption Augmented ("savvier with Smartphones"), and now of Beauty Augmented. We were able to identify six beauty trends illustrated with boards and iconic products that we bought during our four trips to the East Coast and the West Coast since January 2016.

Premium Beauty News - Can you tell us more about some of the six forward-looking universes in the report?

Leila Rochet-Podvin - In our report we started from the six traditional make-up universes to express the new "augmented" facets that will drive tomorrow’s beauty market. Nude is one of the universes of reference, a major trend that emerged during the 2008 crisis, which consisted in doing without make-up and relying on invisible and "unpretentiousness". This universe has greatly evolved and "augmented" with the "Shades of Nudes" trend - a nude trend where colour has emerged. On the one hand with - sepia or chocolate - bold tones that accentuate features (rather than concealing them). A tone found in fashion but also in complexion shades (with the explosion of bronzers) or of lips (returning to the chromatic trend of the 90s).

The other facet of "Shades of Nudes" is nude celebrating diversity - collections of nude shades were enriched to cope with the diversity of skin tones, to the recognition of multi-ethnicities and shades within the various local communities. It must be recalled that now in the US, there are more non-Caucasian births, and consumers regard brands’ recognition of diversity as a sign of modernity, all the more for Millennials. Hence the lingerie brand Naja, launched a new "nude for all" line, with seven shades of nude to address all skin tones. Meanwhile beauty brands are now complementing their palette of shades (Sephora USA offers 37 shades for its new 10Hr Wear Perfection Foundation). Beyond foundation products, the recognition of diversity, addressed in the sub chapter "nude diversity" goes beyond the foundation universe and unfolds in the universe of skin correctors, concealers and even blushes.

Premium Beauty News - In the US, the market seems to be driven by "Indie" brands, can you tell us more about this phenomenon?

Leila Rochet-Podvin - Indeed, we no longer speak of niche brands, the new buzzword is "indie brands", i.e., new "independent" brands. These hyper-creative brands, usually with a good mastery of social network codes and taking advantage of the e-commerce channel or of concept stores, are those that challenge the codes. Millennials particularly, eager for alternatives, dote on them.

Note that according to the NPD Group, results of make-up in the prestige sector were strongly boosted by internet sales, with a 30% [3] growth for make-up products in the first quarter of 2016. We called them the "Beauty hackers", because they divert the traditional codes of beauty in terms of packaging, distribution or textures. They are driven by an unbridled and very communicative creativity. Ridding this trend, there are brands like Milk MakeUp, which stemmed from a US creative collective launched in February 2016 or the brand created by the influencer Kylie Jenner, Kylie Cosmetics.

In this report, we identified for our clients the brands to follow and our observations.

The report, US Trends - Beauty Augmented on make-up is available since August 2016. For more information about our rates, please contact Elina Tran - Cosmetics Inspiration & Creation -


[1US Prestige beauty Industry Grows 7 Percent in 2015 - NPD Group

[2MakeUp in New York trade show - September 8, 2016 Conferences at 03:00 pm

[3WWD May 17, 2016 - Prestige’s Beauty’s Online Growth Outpaces Bricks-and-Mortar

© 2016 - Brazil Beauty News -

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