Brands are obsessed with Gen Z, but not for the reason you think

By Jo Allen 7-Mar-2023

Gen Z's influence, both on the industry and in their own households, is winning beauty’s prized older consumers – their Gen X parents

e.l.f. Beauty is now working beyond its core Gen Z consumer base. Photographer credit Jeff Lipsky

e.l.f. Beauty is now working beyond its core Gen Z consumer base. Photographer credit Jeff Lipsky

This article was originally published in the Cosmetics Business Skin care Trend Report  Receive your copy here

Blink and you wouldn’t miss it. The beauty industry’s fixation with Gen Z over the past five years has been clear for all to see, with spunky start-ups, legacy players and pretty much every brand in between swooping in with fresh concepts and bright colourblock design hues to capture this young consumer group.

It’s easy to see why: linking beauty with self care, wellness and mental health, this is a demographic that has challenged and reclassed beauty as a tool for self-expression and inner confidence above all, as they demand both performance and a sense of play from the products they use.

Brands that have met this demographic's expectations have created a new blueprint in beauty – but while they started with Gen Z, they certainly aren’t ending there.

Beauty brands that predominantly target Gen Z are now speaking to older demographics, including Gen X and Boomers – and examples are apparent from some of the best selling Gen Z beauty brands.

Skin care and cosmetics brand e.l.f. Beauty, the most popular Gen Z make-up brand according to Kyra’s 2022 Gen Z State of Beauty Report, last month released its first-ever television advert, which aired during the Super Bowl.

It featured 61-year-old White Lotus star Jennifer Coolidge – a prime example of how e.l.f. is working beyond its core consumer base.

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