Pure Beauty

Cosmetics Business reveals the 5 latest colour cosmetics trends of 2021 in new report

By Jo Allen | Published: 13-Aug-2021

It may have been beauty's hardest hit sector, but colour cosmetics is bouncing back with an air of celebration. This report reveals how brands can take advantage of the rebound

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Report introduction: At a glance

What's in this report?


Top 5 trends:

1. A return to vibrancy

2. Masks off, lips on

3. Eyes on the prize

4. Natural survivor

5. Game changers

Country highlights


Key challenges addressed

As Covid restrictions have eased off, make-up sales are picking up, but despite early signs of a comeback for colour, the category has a long journey ahead if it is to build back from the significant losses of the past year.

According to The NPD Group, the value of the prestige make-up market in Europe has halved in value compared to 2019, while global figures from Euromonitor International show that in 2020, the total colour cosmetics market declined by 15.5%.

Global value and growth, 2020-2021

Total colour cosmetics sales. Source: Euromonitor International

Total colour cosmetics sales. Source: Euromonitor International

For make-up brands the main challenge is “to see the light at the end, and resist this difficult period as it will rebound for sure” says Mathilde Lion, Industry Analyst and Director of Beauty Europe at The NPD Group.

Nevertheless, the truth is that make-up had already shown signs of weakness before Covid-19 hit, she says, with skin care becoming the number one beauty priority. In 2019, for example, prestige make-up sales were flat.

Lion says: “The pandemic accelerated the trends towards more natural make-up and less make-up. As consumers were stuck at home, it was a routine that many avoided for several months.”

Nina Nowak, Senior Researcher at GlobalData, agrees: “Beauty trends have gone through numerous changes in recent years, but the shift in consumer attention from make-up to skin care has been accelerated by a year of lockdowns.”

Cosmetics Business reveals the 5 latest colour cosmetics trends of 2021 in new report

This shift has brought challenging circumstances for make-up brands. “The closure of beauty giant Becca announced in March 2021 has shown that even brands with a large following have been heavily affected by the pandemic and weak sales.

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