Whether through portability, decorative techniques, sustainability, innovative dispensers or digital connectedness, some of this season’s most popular Color Cosmetics packages—and anticipated reveals—prove that beauty brands aim to capture consumers’ interest with a number of attributes that appeal to the senses. As always, suppliers are pushing the limits in bringing these wishes to reality.
As the Color Cosmetics market continues to sustain growth—and as consumers, especially Millennials and Gen-Z-ers seem always on the quest for the newest sensation—it’s imperative that brands differentiate themselves in some way. Competition is tight, but the rewards can be bountiful for brands that develop captivating products and packaging. Even a tiny piece of the enormous pie can be significant.
The global Color Cosmetics market is expected to reach $9.9 billion by 2024 according to ResearchAndMarkets.com’s analysis of the period 2018-2024, rising at a market growth of 7.6% CAGR during the forecast period.
In the U.S., Prestige, in particular, remains strong. Larissa Jensen, executive director and beauty industry analyst at The NPD Group—and a member of Beauty Packaging’s Board of Advisors—says the U.S. Prestige beauty industry reached $18.8 billion in 2018, a 6% sales increase over 2017.
Jensen reports that makeup sales hit $8.1 billion in 2018, and “though it experienced soft growth, the category holds promise, as the number of consumers using makeup reached 67% in 2018—an increase of six percentage points over two years ago.” Among the fastest growing areas were makeup setting spray/powder and false eyelashes.
From a packaging standpoint, strong current trends range from customization to environmentally friendly components and ethical consumerism; dynamite deco to premiumization; new gestures to interactive packaging.
Taking It Personally
Brands are selecting packaging more thoughtfully than ever before—from an Instagram-able perspective as well as by providing a personal touch or customizing a stock item.
At LoMei Cosmetics, based in Taiwan, Allan Kuo, vice president of sales, has noticed a move toward personalization and customization. He says, “The brand managers will not launch products to the majority. Instead, they seem to target the specific customer and focus on what they want.” In Asia, he says, cosmetic brands tend to cross over with cartoon characters, such as Disney or Line Friends, to boost sales.
It all boils down to the consumer’s relationship to the package.
According to Heyone Yun, vice president of innovation at CTK Cosmetics, “A new generation of consumers is looking for packs that are interactive, fun and satisfying.” She says, “By emphasizing gestures such as clicking, squeezing, twisting, sliding, watching a precise action, using an addictive mechanism—a #satisfying package is created. The #satisfying package trend relieves stress through touch and visual senses, and playfulness.”
#Satisfying package is part of CTK’s 2019-2020 trends report, which shows the hashtag is growing with Millennials and Gen Z. CTK says #satisfying is now attributed to over four million images/videos posted on Instagram alone.
CTK works to create versatile and customizable options and, of course, new gestures. One of their latest Color Cosmetics packages, the Open Mirror Palette, highlights the #satisfying sliding gesture, and offers options with shapes, inserts, windows and more. Inspired by mirror cellphone cases, the Open Mirror Palette features the mirror on the outside surface instead of on the inside of the palette. Yun says having the mirror on the outside simplifies the application process and introduces a new opening system. The palette easily slides open with one hand, and the mirror opens to a perfect angle for makeup application.
Further, explains Yun, “We designed the palette with space below the mirror for brushes and applicators, and having the mirror on the outside surface also keeps it free from product.”
Yun tells Beauty Packaging the greatest challenge with the package was to create a proper space for brushes. She explains, “The initial palette was designed for eyeshadow, and the applicators were thinner. When we started the development on large sizes for blush and highlighters, the brushes needed more room. We had to be careful to grow the palette to accommodate the applicators, but keep the portable size. Our engineers have come up with multiple designs and sizes.”
Whether a gesture or a cap, many brands look for some type of customization element that differentiates them from the crowd.
At SeaCliff Beauty, Vonda Simon, founder/president, says, “I see more customization of packaging—maybe simply a customized overcap or cover—but something to distinguish and help the brand stand apart from the stock packaging most brands use.”
Seram says they have improved their know-how in mercury-free epoxy, now offering new customization options from this polymorphic and polychrome material. In the form of plates or flat adhesive surfaces, the decorations fit perfectly into the inserts and the flat surfaces provided for this purpose to finish a package in a unique way. The material allows an infinite variation of tones, styles and decorations, alone or in combination with other materials such as lace or dried flowers.
At Axilone USA, which offers both stock and custom high-end packaging, for lipsticks, fragrance and skincare, Fran Cardiff, senior vice president of sales, says that personalization has become notably more important due to Instagram.
“Consumers are more and more versatile focusing on personalized experiences and aiming to express themselves through products,” says Anne-Laure Linage, color cosmetics marketing director, Albéa. “At the same time, the packaging needs to be a hit on social media. It becomes an object of desire, it must be Instagram-able and collect as many likes and views as possible.”
With customization a huge request from consumers, Albéa developed the Million Vibes Collection, which consists of 13 unique and customized packages for different makeup applications, “designed to inspire individuals through new textures and visual effects, from silk-screening to UV spray or sparkly effects.”
Requests for packaging that can be personalized at point of sale are flowing in at HCP UK, according to managing director Jackie Mantle, whether for a personal look or a functional aspect. Mantle says, “We are seeing more recent launches of ‘build your own’ products that allow customization at the consumer level, such as magnetic compacts where the choice of pans can be made at point of sale and easily slotted into the pack.”
Dagmar Chlosta, chief market officer, Schwan, says, “Customized packaging is a huge trend, elevating the appeal of products and enabling brands to have market differentiation.” She says Schwan’s “personal touches” service offers their clients endless possibilities to combine their desired texture with care ingredients, making this “a very customized and unique offer.”
Clean and Green
As more and more attention is being called to the plight of plastics in the environment, Color Cosmetics brands have stepped up their efforts to find sustainable packaging solutions—a trend backed up by many suppliers we interviewed for this article.
At Schwan, for instance, Chlosta tells Beauty Packaging, “Without any doubt, sustainability is going to define the future of beauty.
Consumers all around the world are becoming more and more conscious and are looking for eco-friendly makeup products and packaging in accordance with their personal way of life.” Chlosta notes that packaging trends surround reusing and recycling processes, offering refillable packaging products or less functional ingredients combined with less packaging and less waste.
Schwan recently presented the PERFECT product range—sustainable pencils made of renewable wood and uniquely designed to hold new high-tech ingredients, enabling long-lasting and waterproof formulas. The second innovation of PERFECT was the worry-free safety-lock cap: Its special design makes it possible to close a wooden pencil, airtight, for the first time keeping the formula fresh.
“As wood is a natural material, and not an airtight package, the biggest challenge for our developers has been to find a system that allows the combination of wood with these very demanding formulations,” says Chlosta.
Axilone recently designed an airtight lipstick injected with recycled material to respond to the strong demand for formulas that contain fewer preservatives. And the decoration is a water-based lacquering process, which is eco-friendly.
Sustainability is also a common request from customers of MG New York, where Gary Korba, chief officer of operations and innovation, tells Beauty Packaging: “We have been working on compact designs and materials that will minimize the plastic footprint.” While he explains that paperboard compacts have been more popular in the last year, he says an alternative approach can be a compact that can be separated into parts before disposal. “This may be what is needed for the future,” observes Korba, who reveals that his son, Matthew Korba, VP of MG New York, “has created a hybrid compact design which uses 36% less plastic, plus has the ability to separate the parts.”
At WWP, “Green packaging is “a constant ask,” according to Chris Wightman, senior director design and innovation, “especially with small boutique and startup brands.” In addition, he says, “The tide seems to be turning to a true desire as opposed to simply a marketing story. This trend is becoming very important in the formulations as well.” Popular requests to WWP in this vein are for refillable components.”
Kuo, from LoMei, agrees, saying natural cosmetics and packaging are “enjoying strong growth due to environmental issues, while plastic packaging is becoming less of a favorite.” To meet this demand, LoMei developed a cork material that can be used for packaging. “The cork material will keep growing and it doesn’t harm the environment. This green concept will reduce plastic resin in cosmetics packaging,” he says.
Custom and Complex
Premium Color Cosmetics continue to glamorize the beauty market, with often exquisite products for high-end brands.
At the Luxe level, Axilone’s Cardiff says they are responding to requests for unique decoration (due to Instagram) and premiumization, as “demand for high-quality and premium lipstick has been growing.” Additional requests include more metal than plastic, “a nice click sound” when closing, a magnetic closure as a plus; heavier weight; a square shape; shade identification; and, as formulas are more and more fragile, a requirement for watertight/airtight packaging.
Brands are also focused on “innovation in formulation, gesture and complex decorations, says Cardiff, adding: “Color is not only color anymore, we see a trend where color meets skincare benefits.”
HCT Group’s Lindsay Maddox, sales manager, has also seen blurred lines between what has traditionally been considered color cosmetics packaging and skincare packaging. “We are always receiving inquiries for tubes featuring our Zamac cooling tips from both color and skincare brands. Color brands are also starting to find purpose for airless components as well, which really opens the doors for us as far as creative packaging solutions are concerned.”
This merging of categories and its influence on packaging is also occurring at SeaCliff Beauty, where Simon says, “We sold our client, Rodan + Fields, a “skin perfecting tinted multi-tasking liquid” package, entirely custom multi-layered decorated bottle, tip and custom overcap and mixing bead. “This was a completely custom package produced around the needs of the product which has six color tints,” explains Simon. A complex project, Simon says there were typical challenges around the formula performance with the package, and getting the white color to be “a perfect white.”
This past October, inspired by “the liveliness of eyes,” Christian Louboutin introduced his Tape à l’Oeil (eye-catching) Eye Colour collection. Enthused by and named after women who turn heads, this pigment-rich eye color range is striking in tone and finish—and designed to stun. Available in Matte Nude and Metallic, both collections launched in six shades for a total of 12 eye colors.
“To me, eye colour is parure pour les yeux. It is jewelry for the eyes,” says Louboutin. The introduction of Eye Colour enriches the designer’s Eye Amplifiers collection, enabling women to create a complete Christian Louboutin eye look.
The formulas are encased in a clear vial adorned with a gold fluted shell that references Byzantine and Art Déco motifs, two époques that Christian often revisits in his work. This objet d’art is topped with a slender weighted cap that is reminiscent of Christian’s iconic Nail Color design. Similar to a calligraphy brush, the cap rests comfortably in the hand, ensuring a controlled and precise application experience. “Its innovative, short and dense bristle brush allows for optimal product pick-up, precise placement, and optimal painting and blending of the formula for the most artistic expression” according to the brand.
Dior’s Spring-Summer 2019 haute couture collection, also with a focus on eyes, relied on Peter Philips, creative and image director for Dior Makeup, to style a makeup look of rich and expressive eyes decorated with patterns drawn in thick black lines to accompany the season’s clothing collection by Maria Grazia Chiuri.
A magnificent powder compact marks the incredible 190th birthday of Guerlain. The brand chose TNT Global Manufacturing to up the ante on the French icon’s previous powder cases that were made with gold e-coating Zamac.
This celebratory compact, the universal radiance powder Ladies In All Climates, by Guerlain, is a limited edition that “revisits the codes of its precious, original, 1897 case, in line with Guerlain’s request.”
The complex assembly consists of a dozen pieces, including the structure made of gold electro-plated Zamac, specific to this limited edition, the matte PP plate with gold hot stamping and the soft click magnetic closure. It adds up to a tactile and eye-catching refillable case, which holds the Meteorites Voyage travel powder.
Speed Is the New Black
As the demand for speed-to-market grows, it is altering packaging in the Color Cosmetics area.
Albea’s Linage tells Beauty Packaging, demand for quick launches is changing everything. “The market is going faster, with more launches, shorter development time, faster deliveries, ever-changing trends.” She declares, “Speed is the new black.”
She adds: “Consumers are craving new products, so brands are launching many collections, limited editions, to fill consumer’s desires—and there are new product launches every day.”
Axilone’s Cardiff, agrees, saying, “Yes, it is now critical to answer any demand in ‘no time.’ In addition, social media can decide overnight that an item will become a bestseller and we need to adapt our production schedule to answer to a very sudden growing demand. Producing a high-quality package is not enough, it must be delivered on time.”
HCT Group’s Maddox, says, “Quick-to-market launches are a huge trend in packaging. Customers are always asking how quickly they can get their specific product to the market. To accommodate this request, we have created stock packaging options that offer customization, that can be turned around quickly. A great example of this is our Block Magnetic compact. This compact allows customers to choose a platform that can accommodate either a baked or pressed powder. It also allows customers to choose a flat lid or a lid that features a deco plate for more intricate design features. Offering customizable stock components is a great way to help brands achieve the speed they are looking for without having to compromise their image and design.”
Korba, of MG New York says speed to market is just one part of the demand, saying the key is how to accomplish the speed without sacrificing the creativity of something new. He explains: “We have developed a system with our clients to utilize existing molds with differentiation of graphic plaques to meet the demand… it is not just speed, it is flexibility, creativity and quality.”
Graphic treatments of the compacts are a key factor, according to Korba. He says the compact must look interesting on social media as well as on display in the store. There are so many different types of treatments especially when using a decorated plaque to differentiate one design from another on the same compact mold. Options offered are metal, acrylic, laser-cut, metallized, 3D printing, heat transfer, silk screening, micro embossing, offset, spot varnish and digital print on fabric. “Since the industry wants products faster and different; an updatable existing compact allows agility and flexibility.”
Utilizing their strength in plaque development and 3D print, Korba says MG New York worked with the Estée Lauder brand in the launch of an eight-pan compact for Violette, a makeup artist and influencer. He says this was a quick-to-market initiative to develop a compact with a look of luxury and femininity.
The platform of eight round pans was existing, so MG added gold vacuum metallizing, gold foil wrap, and an acrylic plaque printed 3D on the underside to get the appearance of being under glass. “The finishing touch,” says Korba, was the gold stamping on the acrylic with the logo Estée Lauder by Violette. The objectives of speed, differentiation, quality and cost were realized.”
Jackie Mantle, managing director HCP UK, says HCP has also seen an increased demand for speed-to-market finishing techniques such as digital printing, which she says is ideal for smaller quantities to achieve multi-colored designs with a high level of detail.
Decoration and finishing innovation continue to be a big draw for customers, says Mantle, especially those who have selected HCP’s stock packaging to aid speed-to-market, to create a point of difference and align the packaging with their brand aesthetic.
“Glitter finishes remain a strong trend,” says Mantle, “while mirror-shine, textile top-plates such as sequins or metallic PU and candy-color opalescent finishing techniques are also frequently requested.” Holographic and prismatic effects are some other eye-catching decorations that work well on social media, she explains, and are especially popular with brands that focus on video content.
Recently, HCP created several on-trend and highly decorative items for UK brand Ciaté London. The stand-out launch Glitter Storm eyeshadow palette is housed in the supplier’s stock Radii Square Grande Compact with a magical cascading glitter decoration to the cover and completed with a stunning gold logo and coordinating metallized finish to the cover and base. The custom 9-well vac form insert is silver-foiled and screen-printed with eyeshadow names inspired by the beauty of the night sky, such as Comet, Stargazer and Interstellar.
Adam Dargan, managing director, Ciaté London, comments on the success of the palette: “When we were first presented with the concept of the Radii Square Grande Compact, we were immediately excited and wanted this to feature as the star of our Holiday 2018 program. We worked closely with the team at HCP on both the shades and shapes of the glitter used within the window of the top plate and also the movement of the glitters to ensure the cadence of the movement was perfect. We launched this innovation as a nine-piece eyeshadow palette which sold out worldwide at launch.”
A new stock standout from Cosmopak grabs attention on a number of fronts. The supplier has introduced its patent-pending threadless magnetic closing vials, and says this concept is suitable for any vial product. It is available now as a stock component in round and square. The design ensures the cap stays on and is easy to remove by a simple twist.
With many consumers and brands always looking for the latest, coolest packages, Albéa has developed what they call “an innovative and collaborative offer” called ‘IoB Kickstarter,’ that helps brands to digitalize their products and interact with their communities.
“Being the first physical touchpoint between a product and a consumer, the packaging is a key element of the retail experience” explains Noé Gailly, Albéa’s marketing director for Fragrance, Pharma, Oral Care and Connected packaging. “Beauty consumers today are ultra-connected and want to do more with the pack: discover stories behind the product, share content on their social media networks or even buy the product by scanning it on an app.”
The IoB Kickstarter offer is part of the Internet of Beauty (IoB) program from Albéa, which offers a retail experience to brands and their consumers. Albéa’s IoB is a connected packaging project developed by a cross-functional team of Marketing, Design, IT and Packaging Engineering experts. In addition, Gailly says IOB was built in partnership with “key players of the beauty industry as it opens news opportunities for brands to better interact with consumers.”
Using IOB, Gailly explains, “Consumers can access a new range of services, including quick and easy access to information. Brands will be able to better understand their consumers and address their needs with greater precision.”
Developed with CMSmartconnect—a start-up in consumer purchasing experience and marketing data collection/analysis—Gailly says the IOB Kickstarter offer is available for beauty brands that want to instantly interact with their consumers through packaging linked to their digital adapted content.
The IoB Kickstarter offer gathers a connected makeup compact and digital service. The Onyx + makeup compact incorporates Near Field Communication (NFC) technology. Just scan the Onyx+ compact with your smartphone to discover a digital experience and new contents such as tutorial videos, secrets behind the pack and information about the formulas.
The CMSmartconnect multi-technology platform links the digital content of brands to the connected compact, to instantly monitor consumer interactions, collect and analyze data to measure marketing campaigns. IoB Kickstarter costs 53,000 euros for a minimum order quantity of 100,000 units, and brings together the expertise of Albéa’s Color Cosmetics and IoB teams in the digitalization field.
On the Go
Small remains a big opportunity in makeup; travel size products grew faster than all others, up 29% versus last year, according to stats from The NPD Group.
WWP’s Wightman backs up the findings, saying, “Small, on-the-go and multi-purpose packages continue to remain on trend along with new innovative dispensing systems.”
Tony Son, general manager, SamHwa, agrees. He tells Beauty Packaging: The main trend in Color Cosmetics packaging is the “on the go” concept. “The consumer has no time to apply makeup in their home, so they try to do it on the subway or bus, or even when they’re driving.”
Which features are most requested? Son says, “First of all, it should be easy to carry in the consumer’s bag—so the package should be more slim, compact. The makeup should be easy to apply because the consumer does not want to mess up their finger. And, the consumer wants to reduce time in applying makeup. So the formula needs to be multifunctional like makeup plus skin care.
SamHwa recently launched airtight stick packaging called “Aero Stick,” a series to help contain a more moisturized stick formula—ideal for on-the-go applications. This packaging has a special and patented sealing mechanism to prevent loss of moisture in the formula. Son says it stands out from other products that have a very tight cap to make a better seal; in that case, the consumer can have difficulties opening the cap. The “Aero Stick,” he explains, has “a smooth opening that feels the same as non-airtight stick packaging.” He adds that “the airtight function is the highest level in the market.”
Winky Lux and Kaja are two breakout brands with their roots in on-the-go fun and Instagram-able packaging.
Natalie Mackey, CEO and co-founder of Glow Concept, which owns Winky Lux, tells Beauty Packaging: “In a recent survey of our top 5,000 customers, “packaging” was cited as a primary reason they discovered the Winky Lux brand. Because we’re digitally native, we always knew that our packaging would need to be pretty enough that a customer would want to share a picture of it.
We start our design process by thinking of how we can give her a tiny gift; one that perhaps feels more like jewelry than makeup. In a sea of sameness, it’s always important to stand out.”
The Kitty Box, a new launch from Winky Lux, can be purchased in a few different ways, including Create Your Own Kitty Box where you can pick three “lippies” to create your bundle; Bestseller Kitty Box for $43 that comes with Flower Balm in shade pink, Matte Lip Velour in shade meow and Matcha Lip Balm in shade original clear.
The brand’s Betches Lip Pill Kit ($26) is a limited edition and designed by insta-stars @Betches. Each pill box contains two Winky Lux best-selling lipsticks. They come as a boxed set and make “an ideal gift for the makeup junkie in your life.”
Kaja’s “bite-sized” makeup products were designed to help create looks from day to night. Right on trend with the Pantone Color of the Year, the brand has launched a line of products in the Coral shade. Kaja Cheeky Stamp in Bossy, for instance, delivers a fresh, dewy look with an all-in-one cushion compact. Blend in or stamp on in a heart shape for a coral flush of color.
As the suppliers in this article have voiced—and as has been key to the success of many of the brands mentioned here, from Indie to haute couture—there’s a general upscaling of cosmetic packaging taking place, with an ever more complex list of requirements that lead to #satisfying packages.
What about the influence of consumer preferences? Will the trend for quick and repeated launches last? LoMei’s Kuo doesn’t think so. He tells Beauty Packaging: “Speed to market with simple packaging will not last too long, as the customer wants to have something that represents their personality.”
In the U.S., Color Cosmetics is forecast to rise through 2022. Key to growth, according to ResearchAndMarkets.com, is the multi-year trend of emphasizing the eyes, eyelashes and eyebrows. In 2017, eyes were reported to be the most photographed feature on Instagram. As a result, the growth rates for eye makeup were healthy in 2017, driven by strong growth in other eye makeup.
Metallic, cream and glossy eye shadows were on trend, as were eyebrow gels and pencils, and eyebrow and eyelash growth products.
Lips continue to get lots of attention, according to findings from ResearchAndMarkets.com, which says the North American lipstick market is projected to surpass $5.1 billion by 2023.
Anticipated growth in the market can be attributed to rising focus of manufacturers towards product innovation. For instance, lipsticks are now coming with moisturizer and other properties.
People are also showing a preference toward chemical-free cosmetics and are thus opting for organic and natural cosmetics including lipstick, which is anticipated to fuel the lip product market in the region.