The Contouring Trend Expands from Bronzers & Palettes to Skincare

Beauty bloggers fueled the contouring trend, and this makeup category now includes Estee Lauder's 'sculpting skincare.'

Contouring is the latest beauty craze. Contouring products include face and eye makeup - and now skin care.

The trend began with liquid and cream foundations, plus bronzers and highlighters traditionally sold in powder formats. In 2015, the contouring category has expanded to include many more convenient products that are marketed as being easier to use, like creamy crayons. And now the latest trend is combining contouring with skin care.

Makeup products that are used for contouring have to be blended, typically with brushes or sponges, which is good news for applicator manufacturers. Online tutorials encourage women to use a variety of applicators, in all shapes and sizes.

How the Contouring Trend Began

The ‘contouring’ trend began a couple of years ago when beauty bloggers and vloggers started to inspire women to use foundation in different skin tone colors, teaching them how to blend them like a pro using all types of brushes and sponges to give the face a more chiseled look.

When Kim Kardashian posted a tutorial in late 2014, 'contouring' officially became a beauty buzzword according to experts, including Mintel. Soon after, there were even more online tutorials, with bloggers creating face charts and videos. Women learned how to slim the nose and forehead, highlight the cheekbones, as well as add depth and dimension to the eyes.

Contouring Makeup Now Includes a Wide Variety of Products

Consumers need the right products to help achieve contoured looks, and brands have been listening. Bronzers, highlighters and foundations in cream and powder formats are plentiful. These are packaged in bottles, compacts and palettes.

Contour sets and kits, for the face and eyes, make it easier for the user to have all the colors they will need. Younique sells a set of BB creams in tubes, marketed as Contour Creams.

Crayons, sticks and pencils are marketed and promoted as easier ways to achieve a contoured look, and many brands have launched these products this year, including Clinique, Smashbox and Lancome.  

Taking a cue from beauty bloggers, many brands now have their own online tutorials, and include face charts and step-by-step guides with products - or this is printed right on a package. Too Faced has a contouring guide and face chart printed right on the back of its Cocoa Contour carton.

Anastasia of Beverly Hills' Contour Kits are in refillable palettes. The pressed powder version launched in 2014, and the brand's Cream Contour Kit launched in 2015. Each compact includes 6 skin tone shades, 3 of which are lighter highlighters, and 3 darker contouring bronzers.

See the slideshow above that shows a variety of options and packaging styles for Contouring Products.

Estee Lauder Takes Contouring to the Next Level

Is ‘sculpting skin care’ the the next generation of contouring?

Estee Lauder's New Dimension brand, and its Transformative Collection, launched globally in fall 2015 - and takes contouring to the next level, claiming to "sculpt from within."

Jane Hertzmark Hudis, global brand president, Estee Lauder, says the new collection is its biggest innovation since Advanced Night Repair was first introduced in 1982.

The collection was first introduced in the travel retail market in July 2015. At the launch event, The Moodie Report says that Hudis declared, “We are going to create an entirely new beauty category. Makeup is all about transformation – but why not skin care too? Or even skin care and makeup combined?”

The New Dimension product line-up includes two skin care products, Shape + Fill Expert Serum in a bottle, and Expert Liquid Tape in a tube.

There collection also includes two contouring compacts, which have a shiny blue finish: Shape + Sculpt Face Kit, with two cream foundation colors and a sponge; and Shape + Sculpt Eye Kit, with a creamy base color, cream highlighter and powder contouring shade that comes with a double-ended eye shadow applicator with a bristle brush tip.

The serum claims to deliver more defined facial contours in two weeks due to Estee Lauder's 'Breakthrough Shaping Technology.' It contains a pro-collagen complex to help improve visible volume and structure.

Liquid Tape claims to firm, tone and lift the skin over time. Twist its applicator tip to the "on" position, squeeze a drop onto the skin, and spread the film in an upward motion. Target the brow bones, eye area, upper cheekbones and corners of the mouth. The treatment is fomulated to "tighten like tape," with fast-acting polymers to tighten facial contours.

Will the Contouring Trend Increase Color Cosmetic Sales?

According to the latest market research, the contouring trend is already having a positive effect on sales in the color cosmetic category, and it's massive. Women are now buying more types of foundation and base makeup, in a variety of colors. 

Mintel predicts the contouring trend will continue to result in a surge in sales for color cosmetics, especially for products in the foundation category.

The NPD Group's Karen Grant, who is also a member of Beauty Packaging's Board of Advisors, says that contouring and strobing are generating millions in makeup sales - and explains in moe detail in the article, Expert's Opinion: Makeup Trends That Are Redefining the Industry

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