There’s no question that social media’s role in our lives has influenced sales in the cosmetics market, partially because users want to appear their best when posting selfies—or emulate the plethora of looks they see showcased on their devices. Packaging, too, has been in the spotlight as innovative components—from minimalistic-sleek compacts to eye-popping palettes with an abundance of shades—can lead to “shares” galore and, in turn, boost brands’ reach via visuals on sites such as Instagram.
To snag the interest of powerful social influencers, savvy brands often begin the product development process with this type of exposure in mind.
“ ‘Instagrammable packaging’ is a huge trend,” says Jill Tomandl, vice president, product development & innovation, at Smashbox. She tells Beauty Packaging that Smashbox has focused on creating packaging that stands out in social media. For instance, “Powder appears to burst when you swivel the video lenticular, compact lid of the Smashbox Cover Shots Eye Shadow Palettes,” she explains. Lenticulars were also used on the compact lids for the Smashbox Drawn In. Decked Out. collaboration with artist, Ana Strumpf. Her illustrated designs appear to be moving (for an animated gif of the palette, please see beautypackaging.com). A lenticular compact lid also flashed all the shades of lipstick included in the Smashbox Be Legendary Lipstick Palette.
MG New York produced the entire compact and lenticular plaques for the three Smashbox palettes with the buzz-worthy lids. The technique is called video lenticular, and MG offers various options in color in addition to metallic effects. Gary Korba, chief officer of operations and innovation, MG, explains that the palette’s unique construction, an MG design, includes a two-piece injection base, a board cover, lenticular cover and a magnetic closure.
Jennifer Tejada, senior creative development manager, MG New York, says: “With the increase of influencers on social media, it was important for us to develop new and innovative ways to capture this new audience. We challenged ourselves to create compacts that we could bring quickly to market with unique graphics to meet the increasing demand.”
Like MG, many suppliers are facing new challenges as they jockey to meet these changing criteria for success.
“The younger generations want new experiences and they want them now,” says Sonia Cerato, makeup category manager, Quadpack. “They want their beauty products to reflect their Insta-lifestyle, meaning, quick, convenient and selfie-ready. New gestures are emerging that are familiar to these youngsters, such as swipe or thumb gestures.” At the same time, she says consumers are keener to get involved in their beauty, demanding professional products and precise application. “In many cases, this requires packaging with special applicators like professional brushes or sponges,” she says.
Chief market officer at Schwan Cosmetics, Dagmar Chlosta, revealed in a corporate press release that the company is reacting to changing consumer expectations and behaviors, and is currently “in a transition phase, moving from a cosmetics pencil expert and manufacturer to a beauty enabler.” She says, “That means we are expanding beyond our tried and trusted product portfolio—which is still going to be the core of our business—and will offer our clients new customized products and solutions.” As they focus on speed to market, differentiation and innovation, a special emphasis will be on Gen Z consumers, with offerings in vegan products as well as biodegradable components like sharpeners and caps. “These young people have a very different approach to beauty, using it as an expression of individuality,” says Chlosta. “They also are socially conscious and care about the environment. This requires us to think very differently.”
Shapes of Things to Come
Brands are increasingly looking for standout shapes as well as products that are simple to use, easy to tote—and quick to launch.
“We notice that our customers are drawn to more ergonomic and interesting geometric shapes, so we are creating new shapes in all types of packaging,” says Judith Hsieh, director of project management Packaging and Product Innovation, at HCT Group. She says many brands are looking for components that are easy-to-use and travel-friendly, such as stick formulations and packaging, “so we are continuing to add new variations of this type of component to our stock library, some of which include unique applicators for a simplified application process.”
In addition, Hsieh says: “This year we are focusing on our turnkey program to fully support our customers who are looking for quick-to-market launches. With countless new formulations that pair perfectly with our latest stock packaging, we provide ready-to-go products and allow our brands to focus on the creative side of development.”
A ‘Race to Shelf’
Speed to market has become a top priority for the beauty industry. While creating visual excitement, the Internet has also accelerated a “race to shelf” (in-store and virtual) phenomenon. With the next big beauty trend just a click away, what’s new can quickly become old, making it a priority to launch at a faster rate than ever—leaving suppliers working hard to actualize the products and packaging in a market that’s on an upswing, both in the U.S. and globally.
Jim Farley, EVP business development for World Wide Packaging, tells Beauty Packaging: “Millennials are having a larger impact on brands and driving demand at a very fast pace, due to immediate gratification.” He says this leads to shorter development time and more pressure on manufacturers to perform.
Cerato agrees: “The phenomenon of fast cosmetics is changing the way we work. Faster-than-ever turnaround times require smart packaging concepts, as well as a smart approach to supply and manufacture, with closer collaboration among participants in the supply chain, like formulators, packagers and fillers.”
MG New York’s Korba tells Beauty Packaging that each inquiry he gets starts out with ‘How soon can I get delivery?’ He says Fast-to-Market currently leads the trends in the color cosmetics category, followed by Unique Graphics (pop color, interactive art, metallic, glitter, and lenticular have been very successful); Pallettes, Pallettes, Pallettes; and Lipstick x 10, which “was a big win packaged in a holiday gift box.”
“Key today,” emphasizes Korba, “is how fast you can execute and how unique the graphics can be.”
Consumer experience, design and speed-to-market are also of rising interest in the sampling market. John Vandercliff, president, JP Packaging LLC, tells Beauty Packaging: “We continue to see our clients wanting to offer their customers more options when it comes to color cosmetics. They are looking for unique ways to deliver samples of multiple shades for a greater consumer experience, while maintaining their brand image with fit and finish to the packaging.”
JP Packaging provides single- and multi-dose formats from sachets to mini-tubes and bottles, and has just announced they are launching a Thermoform Sampling program for Q2 2018.
They will offer stock thermoform sampling options for clients needing speed to market, and custom thermoform sampling options for clients “looking to stand out and maintain some unique presence in the marketplace.”
The Stakes Are High
Brands that stand out visually and launch quickly can have a lot to gain. According to market research from Euromonitor International, forecasted growth for color cosmetics in the U.S. will reach $17.2 billion in 2018, a 3.5% rise over the previous year. Forecasted growth for global color cosmetics in 2018 is expected to reach $65.7 billion, a 3.6% rise over 2017.
In fact, according to Larissa Jensen, executive director, beauty industry analyst, The NPD Group—and a member of Beauty Packaging’s Board of Advisors—of all the industries NPD was tracking for 2017 Holiday—Beauty showed the strongest gains in Prestige retail—and the Makeup category posted growth of +6% for the year.
The prestige beauty market, especially, has been strongly impacted by social media, and brands have gotten extremely creative in engaging consumers and earning brand loyalty through innovative products and packaging, contests, influencers, pop-up shops and more.
Telling an Engaging Story
Smashbox communicates the brand DNA through package design, drawing on its origin as a photography studio in Los Angeles—thus, the moving images on the palettes mentioned earlier.
In addition, the Smashbox Master Class Transformation compacts were designed to look like film strips. The Photo Edit Eye Shadow Trios mimic a camera lens. Tomandl says they sent an actual camera lens to the component manufacturer for inspiration. Customization is also “a huge trend,” according to Tomandl, who cites as an example, engraving the brand has done on lipstick cases. She says interesting finishes and textures including glitter, metallic,
iridescent/holographic, and pearlescent are also on trend in both product and packaging.
Shine has been “hot” with customers at HCP Packaging, where Cheryl Morgan, creative marketing manager HCP UK, tells Beauty Packaging: “Glitter and redefined luxury are two big trends we’re seeing a lot of demand for in terms of decoration. Our newly developed ‘Glitter Storm’ compact features sequins and glitter suspended in liquid for a beautiful and interactive pack.” She says they’re finding that more premium brands are requesting glitter, which also ties in to two directions they’re seeing for the luxury sector: “On one hand, we’re increasingly finding luxury brands are looking for highly decorative finishes, for example, with textile top-plates or finishes that really stand out with shimmer and shine. But on the other hand, we’re seeing luxury brands taking a much less ostentatious approach and really paring back the packaging both in terms of decoration, branding and pack profile.” In the latter case, a luxury aspect is brought in with elements such as a magnetic closure or an in-mold design.
Recently HCP UK created The Instant Eye Palette for Charlotte Tilbury. Morgan says, “To bring to life Charlotte’s vision has been a huge success and is a great example of modern luxury. The fully customized rose-gold metallic palette has a satisfying magnetic closing feature and combined with the ultra-chic elongated, slim profile, the brand has set a new benchmark of opulence.” The cover is custom embossed with the brand’s signature starburst design and logo, while the insert holds 12 eye-shadow pans with a proposed look for each color group screen printed alongside.
The cover, insert and base were fully metallized on HCP’s in-house metallization lines in Charlotte Tilbury’s rose-gold trademark hue for a stunning result.
Rose gold also featured in Quadpack’s recent work with British boutique brand ‘delilah’ for its Pure Light Liquid Radiance. The 30ml bottle from Quadpack’s Q-Line family was treated with a matte finish, applying “an almost magical blur” to the view of the formula within. The screen-printed branding appears raised over the background, like a second layer wrapped around the bottle. The pump and cap are metallized in delilah’s signature rose gold color, contrasting with the discreet finish of the bottle.
In many ways, Cerato says this is a project that stands out as “an example of good packaging development—carried out as it should be.” Quadpack’s Makeup Division, its package developers and the client all seamlessly worked together to ensure requirements were met.
The liquid formula had to be packaged in a way that respected this brand proposition. The lotion pump had to be easy to use and the pack needed to sit comfortably in the hand, all the while staying true to the tenet of understated luxury. “The finished pack ticks all the boxes,” says Cerato.
Decoration and color-matching were critical during this project, says Cerato, as the delilah brand has a very strict code. As a British boutique beauty brand, it is inspired by an abundance of quintessentially English influences, from Britannia Metal, a traditional semi-precious, pewter-colored metal, to the crown gold accents that run through the whole line. Crown gold was a rose-colored gold introduced by Henry VIII to replace the gold sovereign. She says the screen-printing of the bottle and metallization of the pump and cap had to adhere to the strictest standards to ensure consistency across the range.
World Wide Packaging (WWP) also favors all parties sitting down together from the start of a project. Farley says this approach was key in the tight timeline needed to execute the launch of a new product for Anthropologie—a 50ml tube, for the Albeit brand’s Tinted Moisturizer.
“This project development was an extremely smooth process because we met at WWP in our showroom and everyone was involved in kick-off—customer, designer and filler,” says Farley. “We all provided our input, which led to a successful launch with no surprises.”
Refillable and Sustainable
As Gen Z and others increasingly voice their desires for a healthy planet, refillable and sustainable packaging continues to evolve in the beauty world, notably in the lipstick category.
NPD’s Jensen says that refillable packaging and mini/travel size sets and kits have been impacting the market. “Refillable packaging leverages an environmental appeal as consumers aren’t consistently disposing of empty components, but rather reusing high-quality, beautiful pieces.” And Jensen notes “as consumers are preferring experiences, mini size sets are ideal for their travels and allow them to experiment with a brand before making the higher price, full-size commitment.”
As an example of a successful refillable, Jensen points to Hourglass’ Confession Ultra Slim High Intensity Refillable Lipstick.
Denis Maurin, EVP of technical sales, HCT Group, says the component mixes an aluminum cap with a zamac base, delivering “a beautifully luxurious finish.” As an added bonus to the consumer, it was made refillable to aid in its affordability.
“I hope to see more and more brands willing to incorporate metals in a more innovatively affordable way,” says Maurin. In the past, he points out, most cosmetic packaging was made from metals. Then it all became about plastics because of their affordability and decoration possibilities. “I’d love to see the pendulum swing back towards a trend of metals where consumers find true value and pride in the products they choose to purchase” adds Maurin.
Refillable components can also lend to consumers’ desires for beauty products that are customizable, such as with Samhwa’s new stock tool, designed to offer their clients both sustainable packaging and customization trends.
Sherri Ruffini, Samhwa’s senior director of sales, tells Beauty Packaging, “Trends we are seeing are multifunctional and customizable packaging for the woman on the go. Customization is a large trend allowing the consumer to determine what she needs for her skin care or color regime.” Ruffini says there is also an emphasis on refillable/sustainable/eco-friendly packaging.
“With many of the millennials becoming more environmentally conscious, we believe this will be a larger growth sector going forward,” she says.
Addressing all these trends, Samhwa developed an innovative refillable lip gloss. “This is a new stock tool produced by Samhwa designed to offer all of our clients both sustainable and customization trends,” explains Ruffini. The inner refill, which is uniquely shaped like a lipstick bullet, is made in PETG to offer the best clarity to display the shade accurately with the polypropylene cap. Samhwa also offers many different decoration possibilities to service all brands from mass to prestige, with 3- and 4ml fill capacity.
This refillable package allows the consumer to customize her shade for the day, evening or week, says Ruffini. The user has the choice to determine what shade she wants to wear for day or night, by simply interchanging the color refill in the inner bottle.
The main challenge with this package was in perfecting the assembly process for user-friendly ease of use to avoid customer frustration. Ruffini explains that there are many technical components with this package, making it more complicated. In addition, being molded in different raw materials creates further complications to the fit and function.” She says, “To overcome this successfully, we had to R&D extensively for one-and-a-half years to work and flow effortlessly before presenting it to the brands.”
The Samhwa package has launched with two K-Beauty brands—Saem Eco Soul Tint and ShuShu Fancy Girl Lip Gloss—but has not yet debuted in the U.S.
What’s tagged as the first plastic-free and environmentally friendly refillable lipstick from French brand La Bouche Rouge is challenging more than just a cosmetic conscience, according to Sophie Maxwell, Futures Director, Pearlfisher. She says, “The packaging acts as a manifesto for personal expression and societal change, with supermodel Anja Rubik, the face of the brand, describing her solidarity and the brand mission, saying: ‘I like the idea that buying a lipstick can become activism, the symbol of a conscience!’ ”
The luxe lipstick is housed in a beautiful fine leather case. It’s refillable and “developed in the classic French artisanal tradition.” Priced at $157 for the coffret, which includes the lipstick and a refill ($52), the buyer keeps the case, and refills it with a magnetized lipstick. Founder Nicolas Gerlier, a French beauty veteran, says, “Because an estimated one billion lipsticks are thrown away every year in the world, we designed the first environmentally friendly refill with no PP or POM, and made in the Morbihan, Bretagne.” In addition, for each lipstick sold, La Bouche Rouge will donate 100 liters of drinking water to Eau Vive Internationale, an agricultural and water-resource charity.
Asquan Group’s new multi-functional Bunny Kit resonates with the customer’s desire to easily apply a new look while she’s “on the go.” Designed for maximum portability, customization and to inject an element of play, this palm-sized package can contain a complete mini regime of lip care products or a mix-and-match color story, incorporating different textures and transformative effects for lip, face or eyes. Whether you want a neutral look for meetings, or glitz and sparkle for a night out, you decide what to carry in your Bunny Kit. Wherever you are, you can change your look as the mood moves you or circumstances dictate.
“Customization is a new playground for the beauty industry,” according to Charlotte Wastyn, Albéa Tips Studio Manager. She says, “From now on, brands are enabling individuals to feel cherished, respected, and unique. Personalization is now everyone’s top priority and brands are reacting.”
Wastyn says makeup products have to be simple and intuitive to use, but the makeup results must be professional. She says this is especially true when it comes to lashes. “Lashes are a reflection of your personality,” says Wastyn, and “related to the individuality trend which celebrates all personalities, our new Lash Expression mascara family is all about daring to be who you want to be.”
With their intuitive and simple designs, Wastyn says Lash Expression’s plastic mascara brushes are really easy to use, and help the consumer to achieve their desired effect: extra volume, curl or definition. The Burgundy mascara brush gives extra volume and definition; the Flamingo mascara brush brings volume and curl to the lashes; and the Nacarat eyebrow brush allows precise sculpting of their brows depending on their mood of the day.
The Burgundy and Flamingo mascara brushes have “really precise design with numerous rows of bristles, small and long bristles, curved or straight, that enhance the natural shape of your lashes,” says Wastyn. Nacarat’s tiny design sculpts the shape of the brow with precision.
In developing the brushes, Wastyn says the challenge was to create easy-to-use brushes associated with a professional makeup result and easy application. “Finding a balance between complexity and simplicity was very challenging,” she says.
Formulating a Strategy
New launches in formulations also follow trends in social media—“natural” sustainable and glitzy—and aim to appease a younger generation of consumers. As always, it’s about successfully pairing product and packaging.
Bob Tognetti, president, Design Quest, a turnkey solutions provider, says, “We find that social media continues to play a large role in the direction of the way brands develop new products.
Consumers can easily interact with their favorite social influencer, beauty experts and brands to discover new trends quicker than ever before. They have access to an endless number of product reviews and expect more options. They’re also willing to experiment and no longer rely on the same staple products they have used for years. They expect high-performing formula made with less harmful ingredients that is paired with innovative packaging that not only looks good, but also makes using the product more convenient.”
At Alkos, Allison Kieffer, communications manager, introduces us to Glitter Liner, “a super fun glitter top coat that can be worn as eyeliner, glittery touches to the lash line, over existing makeup or even as mascara for lashes or brows. The formula is housed in a “fun pack:” The dual-acting liner wand features both a brush at the end and mascara bristles to add glitter to lashes, brows and even hair.
The supplier’s Masca Liner offers a glamorous twist to a regular black eyeliner and mirrors the holographic trend in color cosmetics. This versatile liquid liner comes in an array of shimmery colors in a safe and long-lasting formula. The dual-acting liner wand holds the same features as the Glitter Liner.
Strand Cosmetics, which designs, formulates and manufactures Made in France skincare and makeup products, has launched the “Charming Lipstick.” The new formulation is made of beeswax and vegetable wax with moisturizing properties and has an ultra-comfortable texture. Provitamin E provides antioxidant and regenerating properties.
Gina Bonfiglio, product developer at Lady Burd Cosmetics, sees current product trends in glittery eyes, soft, glossy lips—with packaging in glossy finishes. With the trend toward ultra-portable sizes, the supplier developed a new black mini stick, which is a more compact version of an existing component they have been using. The challenge came with ensuring that the product functioned properly with their existing tooling; it also had to be compatible with the formula. As a result, Lady Burd’s 2-in-1 Matte Color Stix add a pop of color to cheeks or lips.
And a new mini tube is small enough to fit in any bag for on-the-go touch-ups.
Matte lip products, brow mascaras and lash growth formulations are trending at Precious Cosmetics, according to Anton Meindl, senior director of sales and product development.
He says Precious is currently developing “a unique proprietary eye shadow/primer combination.” This formula is not yet on the market and provides 24-hour wear, with no smudging. Meindl says the “very innovative” product was developed by the company’s head chemist.
Looking to Tomorrow’s Consumers
Looking ahead, product and packaging will have to be perfectly matched, innovative, attractive, individualized and social media friendly—and produced in record time. No small order!
For launch 2019, Rebecca Goswell, creative director, Asquan Group, tells Beauty Packaging: “We see the rise of color cosmetic products that stretch existing creative boundaries and empower the customer to “bring out the ‘you in you’ anytime, anywhere.” She says Asquan design innovations are creating “flexible beauty” options you can customize and carry with you.
“There is a merging of traditional categories,” explains Goswell. “The key words we are using are Transformation, Mutation and Customization.”
Goswell says Asquan’s designs make it easier to express your own personality—whether it’s the layering of high octane foil metallics with a rainbow of color washes and glazes or simply being able to customize foundations with different filters, mimicking instagram and whatsapp.
Golden glows, violet vibes, crazy or calm, anything goes. “We, as end users,” says Goswell, “become ‘art in living color!’ ” And in a market where sales are increasingly online, Goswell says packaging is working harder and faster to visibly demonstrate unique functionality and to enhance the qualities of the product within. “A strong and emotive visual appeal is now more important than ever.”
As Pearlfisher’s Maxwell sums up in her article on page 180, “Overall, we are moving towards a powerful new world where cosmetics brands increasingly and clearly reflect the idea and ideals behind their products to help us make more of a statement about just who we are and aspire to be—as they also display their own stance on cultural issues and in doing so both radically and practically, disrupt the look, feel and experience of the beauty category.”
Could it be the next Japanese teen phenomenon? Shiseido launched a new open innovation project called POSME in January 2018, which will offer a variety of consumer goods and services jointly created by high school girls and various industries and companies.
The first POSME launch is a multi-use color item, Play Color Chip, that can be used in a variety of ways, such as eye color or blush. It is also easy to carry around and swap with friends.
Available in Tokyo and Kansai regions of Japan, and online, it will be sold in a set of six disposable chips of the same color. According to Shiseido, “Play Color Chip marks a change in cosmetics, transforming an item to be used individually into something that can be ‘shared or swapped,’ thus creating a new form of enjoyment.”
The new chips, which are applied with a finger, are said to “offer more freedom in makeup,” allowing users to coordinate colors with friends, try a new color more easily, or enjoy a special color for a special occasion. The initial lineup of one product in 21 varieties, will be expanded, and will have periodic release dates: Eight colors on January 26, eight colors on February 23, and five colors on March 16, 2018. Each group will retail for about $3.