Whether mass or prestige, consumers are looking for products in packaging that stands out with a high-end look. And suppliers are responding by delivering cosmetics that are not only attractive, but also portable, effective, multifunctional, customized and cleverly named to boot—as makeup aficionados want it all.
But in this industry, just when you think you have a handle on the latest trends, suddenly things can take on a new dimension. As you’ll read in this article, one forecast is for cosmetics that have taken their cue from the food and drink industry, and thus, require refrigeration, which presents a whole new challenge for cosmetic packaging suppliers. While mascara tubes have taken on a plethora of shapes and sizes over the last few years, we found one that has now broken the mold to adapt to consumers’ desire to get every last drop of a formulation. Digital applications and decorating techniques for packaging have also started to gain ground in the Color Cosmetics world.
Trends from Korea also continue to shape new product launches, with alphabet creams and cushion compacts impacting new developments worldwide. Pipettes, too, have emerged as exacting applicators for launches from blush to foundation.
Viktorija Gnatoka/global packaging analyst at Mintel, tells Beauty Packaging, “I love the packaging from South Korea designed by LG Household & Health Care. The packages are aesthetically very beautiful and highly functional—and many embrace the heritage of the culture and country.
Cosmetic Sales on the Rise
According to new research from RnRMarketResearch.com, the Color Cosmetics market is projected to register approximately $47 billion by 2019, with the high market share held by North America and Europe together, due to high consumer disposable income, innovations in color cosmetics and new product launches. The high growth is forecasted to be in the Asia-Pacific countries, mostly China and India, due to an increase in disposable spending—and a rising preference for prestige products.
Research from NPD backs up the trend, showing that in the first quarter of 2015, makeup outperformed the overall prestige market and experienced double-digit growth across many segments, including lip liner, eyebrow makeup, and face applicators. Sales reached $1.1 billion.
“The shift in where women focus their color needs and desires is a natural one, and it will no doubt change again,” says Karen Grant, global beauty industry analyst, The NPD Group—and a member of Beauty Packaging’s board of advisors. “Color is key when it comes to makeup. It’s the area where consumers play with fashion and are willing to experiment as they seek ways to make bold statements and refresh their look.”
With consumers leading on-the-go, action-packed lives, multifunctional products have captured their interest, leading to a variety of packages that can perform dual functions and be pulled from a purse for day or night applications.
Gnatoka says functionality—and multifunctionality—has been on the rise with consumers wanting products that can perform several functions at the same time. “Users of multifunctional products are motivated by simplifying their beauty routines and by an ability to achieve the desired look faster,” she says.
This leads to an increase of novel applicators such as brushes, sponges, etc., that assist consumers in product application. Gnatoka explains, “We have seen applicators with cooling and massage effects that sometimes visually seem to be a replica of regular beauty devices. For example, for Spring 2015, Lancôme launched Le Duo Contour & Highlighter Stick that features two different ends of the product for different applications, and Sephora introduced its multitasking upside down mascara.
At HCT Group, Winnie Sung, director of sales, has also seen a comeback of dual functionality in both formulation as well as packaging. She says HCT Group has received a lot of requests for formulations that can be used multiple ways—such as lip and cheek tints or eye shadows that can be used wet and dry, as well as packaging with multiple functions such as the supplier’s new airless pumps with applicators in the cap or base. “I think that with women leading busier lives, taking on multiple roles in the office and at home or just traveling more in general, there is a need for cosmetics to keep up with our sometimes hectic lifestyle, be portable and take on multiple roles as we often do. It’s easier to tote around a few streamlined items than lugging around a large makeup bag full of products,” says Sung.
Nicole Amorosino, director of product sales, HCT Group, agrees with Sung, saying that in the past year or so, there have been more and more innovations in packaging that is multifunctional. “We have seen many two-in-one products over the years, but lately more packages are being developed that could be as many as four-in-one. I think this is really speaking to the market and how the consumer behaves. The consumer is looking to buy more products that serve more than one function, and that they can take with them on the go.”
In addition to multifunctionality, multiple color choices are also all the rage. Ed Fabiszak, VP sales & marketing at SussexIM, says there has been a reemergence of larger palette compacts that offer greater makeup options within a single package.
Virginia Lee, analyst for Euromonitor International, points to Advent calendars for holiday 2014 that offered recipients and self-gifters the opportunity to try multiple products. She says nail polish maker Ciaté offered the Ciaté Mini Mani Manor Advent Calendar, which offered nail art lovers 24 nail polishes along with glitter sprinkles and caviar pearls inside a box that looks like a house.
Another noticeable trend this past year has been the return of contouring palettes with multiple shades designed to reveal and conceal.
Mike Daum, Derik Industrial, says they have seen a continuing and growing trend for contouring/sculpting kits/color palettes. “We are getting a large number of inquiries from brands ‘chasing’ this trend,” says Daum.
Another evolving trend in Color Cosmetics is customization—and here, packaging suppliers have lots of opportunities. Gnatoka says: “No two consumers are the same and they are looking for products that help express their personality.”
She says, “In beauty we have seen brands giving consumers a choice of thousands of personalized formulations such as, for example, Ioma Ma Crème, but the packaging has not yet been leveraged. There are definitely many opportunities to customize packaging in beauty where indeed each consumer is beautiful in their own way.” For instance, Gnatoka points to Mypackonline, from Digital Packaging in France, which offers to customize packaging such as boxes, by adding the name of the person, a photo and a recorded video with the QR code that will turn the regular pack into a gift.
Customization can also apply to collections that meet certain marketing criteria.
Fabiszak says he has seen growth in smaller, or targeted market launches with packaging developed specifically for a group’s demographics or for a seasonal launch. “Seasonal launches link improved formulations with special decoration packaging,” he says.
Doug Goodman, president, Goodman Packaging, is a manufacturer’s rep that has worked with Sussex for decades. He says, “SussexIM has recently responded to standard requests with innovation in technologies including multi-shot injection molding, small lot customization via IMLs, personalization via digital watermarking and smart phone applications, and final assembly in process.”
Always a Delight
Of course, consumers’ desire for a product provides the most compelling reason for a sale, and is perhaps the most visible connection to a well-designed and executed package. Mintel’s Gnatoka says “delight” is another trend that essentially speaks to the aesthetic appeal of color cosmetics packaging.
“Despite functional attributes of packaging that enhance product experience and often reinforce the claims made on pack (for example, certain brush type for volume or curl mascara), color cosmetics packaging should have that first impact on store shelf with the beautiful and impressive packaging,” she says. She cites the Dior Diorific range, which launched around last year’s holidays. “The absolutely beautiful packaging creates a desire to not only use—but to simply own the product,” says Gnatoka.
Gold, the epitome of luxury has been used on a number of packages over the past year, especially among prestige brands.
Euromonitor’s Lee, says, “Black and gold was a popular color combination for new launches. Fashion house Gucci entered the world of color cosmetics with glossy black compacts stamped with a gold Gucci logo in fall 2014. Actress Eva Mendes introduced her Circa color cosmetics line in March 2015 with lipsticks in black architectural packaging trimmed with gold.”
While classic black has pervaded Color Cosmetics, we seldom see packaging in its flipside of pure, pristine white—but that has now changed with a covetable new custom collection from HCT Group.
HCT Group’s Sung, tells Beauty Packaging: “Recently, we created an all zamac custom cosmetics line for the new brand Lilah b. Using the material, zamac, in an entire line is extremely rare. This metal is quite costly and hard to manufacture so most of the time zamac components are used as promotional items or only as a minor part of the component. We had to get really creative in engineering the item—a compact with a swiveling lid—so that it created the look we wanted without blowing over the customer’s budget.” She says they had to have it look substantial all while trying to use as little material as possible to keep costs within target and to ensure the compact was not going to be too heavy.
In addition to that challenge, says Sung, Lilah b’s core color was a creamy shade of white. “White is a notoriously challenging color for cosmetic packaging in that it is a hard color to keep consistent throughout manufacturing thousands of pieces and across various materials,” she explains. “In the end,” says Sung, “the pieces came out beautifully. The weight of the zamac and the natural cooling feeling of the metal provided a great tactile quality with an immediate sense of luxury. There really isn’t another line like it in the market.”
Decorative Techniques/Use of Color
One of the greatest challenges for Color Cosmetics brands comes in keeping up their image and ensuring that new products remain fresh and desirable. Gnatoka stresses that packaging definitely contributes to creating this image. She says. “Whether that’s creating a certain celebrity range or emphasizing the image of a person, packaging becomes sort of a personification of all those attributes together. Use of various decorative techniques, inks, embossed elements on pack—all create these effects.” However, Gnatoka says it is equally important to maintain the balance and not make packaging so overly complicated that consumers are turned off. She says, “There is always that thin line that brands have to maintain: “An ability to stand out on shelf, but also not to turn off the consumers. Smart use of colors as well as a change in packaging color often helps to refresh the brand.”
This is why decorative techniques used on packaging have continuously expanded with suppliers innovating seemingly endless possibilities.
Gnatoka says knockout techniques include embossed elements on pack as well as metallized inks—both of which always create a special effect. “But,” she says, “we have also seen the use of holograms and 3D effects, especially on primary packaging, that creates a whole different dimension of how packaging is perceived and what look it creates on shelf.” Bold shapes and designs also stand out.
HCP offers a multitude of decorative techniques, including its Card Effect printed paper, which the supplier says is ideal for top plate inserts on its Radii Square or Round cardboard compacts. Eye-catching combinations can be achieved through multiple deco processes on matte or gloss laminate with embossed or debossed designs. Foil blocking and shimmer inks are also available, and brands can even add jewels.
The Eyes Have It
Mascara has long been known to inspire new shapes, colors and imaginative decorative techniques—and often hinged on the applicator. Now, the latest craze toward enhancing eyebrows has spawned a category with numerous products.
Euromonitor’s Lee says bold, thick eyebrows were “in” in 2014, with multiple product launches designed to sculpt. One very unique product, she says, was the Maybelline Brow Drama Sculpting Brow Mascara. “Unlike other gel brow products that come with a spoolie shape brush, the Maybelline product featured a round, sculpting ball brush,” says Lee.
In general, Lee says mascara brushes are becoming bigger, colorful, and more extravagant. She cites Maybelline’s Pumped Up! Colossal Mascara with the brand’s biggest brush—and the brush tip is yellow. The CoverGirl brand launched Bombshell Volume Mascara, which comes with a pink brush for the base coat and a black brush for the topcoat. The CoverGirl Full Lash Bloom Mascara offers feminine appeal with curvy hot pink packaging and a brush in the same color. Meanwhile, Lancome’s Grandiose Wide-Angle Fan Effect Mascara touts the patent-pending “first swan-neck wand” to fan out the lashes.
Now, a new and unique mascara package has broken the mold. Just last month, the pack was singled out for technological advancement and enhancing the users’ experience, receiving a 2015 DuPont Award for Packaging Innovation.
AmorePacific’s squeezable mascara tube eliminates consumer frustrations with inconsistent delivery, dried out product and inability to extract mascara from the tube. The package claims to be the first matte silicone mascara tube in the world, and is made of silicone with an aluminum laminated inner pouch.
The enhanced functionalities of the squeezable mascara tube help to reduce the amount of unusable formula remaining in the tube and extend the useful life of the mascara, while providing a unique tactile sensation.
Mascara tubes can also be decorated in an eye-popping way thanks to technology from Tapematic USA, Inc. Tony Denning, president, says, “Tube printing [for all types of tubes] is performed on the Tapematic CPrint cylindrical UV digital printer utilizing CMYK + White printing processes. With printing speeds up to 4,800 parts per hour, the CPrint is a perfect solution for companies that wish to offer unique full color printing on a wide range of cylindrical objects.”
Additionally, Tapematic offers a solution for printing on the top of flat—or even concave—objects, such as caps, providing some unique decorating opportunities. The combination of digital printing and Tapematic’s PST line, which is a fully automated in-line 3D coating and metallization/sputtering system, accommodates various shapes and sizes for the cosmetics industry. Denning says, “Various effects are achievable which are not available utilizing any current existing technology.”
Foundations, too, now appear in upgraded packaging to match their advanced formulations—many of which also include SPF and other skin benefits.
Alex Cripchuck, senior vice president of commercialization, PakLab, says they have also noticed a “significant increase” in skin care products that offer some color as a payoff apart from the usual immediate benefits like skin smoothness, hydration or sun. He says, “Tinted moisturizers, in the three basic shades of light, medium and dark are now being sold even as part of medicated acne treatments.”
Lee says as foundations become lighter in texture to meet consumers’ desires for a weightless formula, the packaging is going beyond glass bottles with screw tops and pumps to include glass bottles with bulb glass droppers. “The rapid growth in BB and CC creams which blend benefits of foundation and skin care has prompted companies to introduce more foundations with skin care benefits,” explains Lee.
She offers a high-end example: Bobbi Brown’s Intensive Skin Serum Foundation SPF 40, which includes cordyceps mushroom. Lee says, “The foundation’s bulb glass dropper reinforces the scientific positioning of the Bobbi Brown foundation.” At a lower price point, says Lee, is Maybelline Dream Wonder Fluid-Touch Foundation “which claims to be ‘12X Thinner’ than the leading Maybelline foundation and also has a dropper.”
In addition to the actual packaging, foundation makers introduced new applicators to improve the application process. Lee says Procter & Gamble launched CoverGirl Ultra Smooth Hair Smoothing Foundation with a silicone disc applicator to minimize the appearance of fine facial hair. Bare Escentuals introduced bare Minerals bareSkin Pure Brightening Serum Foundation SPF 20 and its accompanying Perfecting Face Brush. The Perfecting Face Brush has a fluid reservoir that is claimed to offer a no-mess, even application.
In keeping with this trend, HCP has received lots of interest in its 10ml airless pump, which signifies prestige through its aluminum casing, and has a window to show the product level. The airless pump has been used for serums, foundation primers and foundations.
Packaging also plays a strong role in the presentation and delivery of mineral powder foundations and related products.
According to Michael Salemi, COO, The Packaging Company, “Cosmetic compact sifters have been used to package loose power in the beauty industry for quite awhile; however, not every beauty company deemed rotatable sifters necessary.”
He says more companies are now realizing the value of a rotatable sifter as they allow the user to dispense only the amount of product that is going to be used each time—which allows the product to stay fresh longer. Not to mention, they keep product safe from spills during travel.
Recently, The Packaging Company customized a sifter to match the cap. Salemi says, “A major cosmetics company sent us a unique, custom color to match; this color was used for a sifter compact cap as we manufacture custom color rotatable sifter compacts. By adding a special color and/or artwork, a cosmetic company can make a standard compact look unique.”
Dressing Up the Basics
As Salemi noted, adding color can make a big difference in making a custom or stock package stand out. And as the cost of formulations grows, many brands are turning to stock packaging to help defray costs.
Darren Eade, VP of sales, Kemas, says he has noticed cost issues causing a slowdown in brands utilizing innovative decorative techniques on their packaging. He says, “I think the industry has taken a step back over the past 12 months and doesn’t appear to be progressing the way it should or could be. From our perspective, the brands are willing to explore more decorative options, however, the final result is always driven by the cost.”
He says, “We’re noticing that customers are becoming more content with utilizing existing packaging and dressing it up in different ways… whether it’s in the form of changing up deck-plate layouts for compacts or simply changing the decoration and aesthetics of the fashion parts. In my opinion, the larger brands appear to be keeping to the basics with packaging design as they appear to be minimizing the costs associated with the more intricate designs. I believe part of the reason is due to the new formulations coming to market, new ingredients and texture, etc… which equal increased costs—therefore, less is being spent on the actual packaging.”
Instead, Eade has seen the increased use of heat transfer labels. He says, “The customer is able to achieve so much more for so much less via the use of this decoration technique.” According to Eade, heat transfer labeling offers the customer an increased ability to add detail and color to their design and apply it at an affordable cost.
Eade says in-mold labeling has enabled Kemas to produce unique decorative images and keep costs down. This was the case with a recent brand request to recreate a specific textured finish that had only been done on metal in the past. “The challenge for us, he explains, “was to try and replicate this finish through an in-mold process, thus, minimizing the overall product cost while achieving the same effect.”
SussexIM uses in-mold labeling to create special effects and patterns, which can be targeted to appeal to demographic groups, geographic or cultural differences, seasonal trends, etc.
Keeping Up With Formulations
Not only are ever-advancing formulas affecting packaging costs, they’re also dictating appropriate materials to be used in order to ward off incompatibility issues—and work to preserve the precious and sensitive products.
SussexIM’s Fabiszak says he has noticed that many of the new formulations being developed are direct pour into the primary package, which results in bonding problems. “We are working on developing solutions to the unforeseen bonding problems that arise,” he says.
According to Paklab’s Cripchuck, “Uniqueness still lies in innovation,” such as with the true liquid to powder color foundation produced by the company’s R&D team. He says, “The product went from wet to dry in a few seconds and the effect was so dramatic that finding the right component that would prevent the remaining product in the pump from caking was the biggest challenge for us this year. The solution demanded a complete shift in our thinking and we finally resolved the issue by modifying the delivery system with the help of Aptar, one of our preferred supplier partners.”
New packaging challenges are also on the horizon as refrigerated beauty products expand into the cosmetics category.
Ali Poston, director of product development and marketing, Kolmar Laboratories, Inc., tells Beauty Packaging: “The food and beverage industry is really driving the trends in both color cosmetic formulation and packaging.”
She says, in packaging, “You see this with brands like Tony Moly, which uses their packaging to tie directly into their product marketing. For example, their mini lip balm packaging that looks like a piece of fruit provides a playful yet distinguishable solution to identifying the ingredients within the product.”
However, to take that influence a step further, says Poston, “The most interesting conversation happening in color cosmetics is refrigerated beauty products. The influence from the food and beverage industry is going to take merchandising color cosmetics to a new level, therefore affecting both formulation and packaging development.” She says we are going to start to see beauty products being shipped, stored and marketed much like products in the food and beverage industry.
“We are seeing this now,” she says, “with the surge of nutricosmetics and products like beauty juices that address the ‘beauty from within/you are what you eat’ trend, which requires refrigeration.”
Poston says the influence of food and beverage is not limited to nutricosmetics though—it is also driving innovation in the texture of color cosmetics.
“With new innovation in color cosmetic formulation evolving into products that offer transformations in texture and provide more of a sensory experience for the consumer, innovation in packaging, in all its forms, will be crucial to accommodate these sensitive systems. As we see the rise of refrigerated beauty products and products that need temperature controlled storage conditions, we will see a shift in packaging and delivery of color cosmetics, as we are seeing a bit more in skin care.” This, she says, is already happening in Asia with brands like, JejuBaram, and will certainly be a shift for the U.S. market as well.
Technology is also expanding its role in the future of Color Cosmetics packaging. Mintel’s Gnatoka, tells Beauty Packaging, “I think we will see higher use of 3D printers to create unique designs and packaging details that will contribute to the whole pack.” Blending with the multifunctionality momentum, Gnatoka says, “We have seen blurring categories in Color Cosmetics and in the beauty market in general, and I think this will eventually be reflected in packaging with novel hybrid packs that combine the attributes of two products in one. We might see a combination of the best two parts from two packs that will enhance the product experience and improve application.”
For example, Gnatoka says, “According to Mintel in South Korea, a new generation of hybrid lip tints is on the rise, and accounted for 14% of total lip cosmetic launches in the country in 2014. This novel lipstick format responds to consumers’ interest in long-wear and hydrating lip products. This eventually will lead to novel packaging solutions to support such product launches.”
Ittse, a newly launched San Francisco startup from two luxury cosmetic brand pros, brings playfulness and interactivity together in a beautifully designed cosmetic palette with a magnetic compartment in which you can mix and match more than 100 magnetized pressed shadows, brow and complexion products for instant customization. The palette is offered in three fashionable colors. All refill pans are packaged in a reusable, crystal clear, plastic clamshell and tucked into a charmingly decorated, soft-touch, cardboard sleeve adorned with gold foil. A sheet of “it-girl” stickers is enclosed to add to the fun.
Gretchen Chevalier, founder & CEO, says, “In creating a new beauty business it was my mission to respond to a specific consumer demand that I’d seen go unanswered for years—an extensive line of high-quality yet affordable color cosmetics that are completely customizable. It was paramount that the palette packaging be both functional and chic while also satisfying the customizable requirement. Thus I selected luxuriously finished outer fabrics with gold accent stitching and sized the pallette to accommodate the optimal number of products while still being comfortable and sleek in the palm of a hand.”
Smith & Cult was created by beauty veteran Dineh Mohajer (co-founder), credited with revolutionizing the color cosmetics industry with her launch years ago of Hard Candy. Now, Mohajer’s Nailed Lacquer delivers smooth coverage and brilliant shine in an exclusive 5-Free formula. The name Smith & Cult is meant to express two sides within us: “Smith” is the good girl, “Cult” is the edgy one.
As far as the unique and eye-catching packaging, Mohajer says: “To be completely candid, I just make stuff I like/love/dream about. I knew I wanted the packaging, like the name, to encompass the complexity of our collective beauty experiences. That desire morphed into the creation of elegantly polished, gold-toned cylindrical caps only then to be hammered to death-ish in my backyard (my neighbors were a bit concerned). The juxtaposition of the damaged caps and flawless bottle parallels the spectrum of our beauty experiences. These imperfections make us who we are, and despite the ups and downs, ultimately more beautiful.”
The provocative story continues on the brand’s website with details on how each shade was inspired and how it’s representative of the experiences depicted by the heroine in her diary entries.
Pacifica just launched its Power of Love Collection exclusive to Target for Spring 2015 as part of Target’s Made to Matter Program, a product collection of leading natural, organic and sustainable brands. Pacifica’s Power of Love BOGO features a natural lipstick ($9.99). For every lipstick purchased, Pacifica will give one to a woman in need. There is also an eye shadow palette.
Brook Harvey-Taylor, Pacifica’s founder and president, says: “We believe in sharing our core value, compassion, with all women. That is why for every Power of Love lipstick we sell at Target, one lipstick will be donated to a woman in need. By working with great organizations such as Dress for Success and others of the like, we can support women in transition.”
For Brook Harvey-Taylor’s backstory on the colorfully packaged, sustainability-committed brand that’s growing by leaps and bounds, please see the Online Exclusive.