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Social Media Spurs Beauty Sales Among Millennials and Teens, Business and Industry Trends Analysis

McKinsey & Co. reports that as much as 50% of beauty and personal care product purchasing decisions by millennials and teenagers are based on word-of-mouth, or perhaps better said, word-of-device.  Photographs taken with smartphones are also redefining the way cosmetics are made and marketed.
Millennials are constantly snapping pictures of themselves alone or with friends, and studying how they look in those photos.  Makeup and problem-solving skincare products tailored to “selfies” is a major trend for cosmetics companies.  CoverGirl, for example, offers Outlast Stay Luminous Foundation.  Designed to reflect the light of the phone’s camera flash, the company tried 43 different versions of the formula, which was tested with selfies shot using iPhones, before settling on the finished product.  Avon’s True Color Bold lipstick is another selfie-tested product, which packs 50% more pigment than traditional lipsticks.  The result is color that matches that shown on product packaging.
Another draw for millennials is products that are considered green, or eco-friendly.  True Botanicals, for example, is a small, independently produced line of skin and hair care products that went so far as to have its brand certified as Made Safe, a U.S. certification program overseen by a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization called Nontoxic Certified.  True Botanicals also markets to millennials through online sales combined with online skin consultations with beauty experts.  Other nontoxic based startups include Supergoop, Evolved by Nature and Drunk Elephant.

Fast Beauty Firms Speed Up Cosmetic Product Launches
A number of startups have launched to target the young “fast beauty” market (somewhat similar to the “fast fashion” strategy where inexpensive new clothing styles are released by apparel makers on a very rapid schedule).  Makeup Revolution is a London-based company that develops low-priced cosmetics and other beauty items and delivers them to retailers in as little as 12 weeks.  Big beauty companies typically require at least six months at least to develop and release new products.  TAM Beauty Ltd. has a similar fast-beauty model.  Be for Beauty, founded in 2017, is 25%-owned by consumer products giant Unilever.  Thanks to an influx of money from Unilever, Be for Beauty’s plans included 25 new products or brand over three years.  Social media sites enable fast beauty firms to speed up the announcement and launch of their new products.  Online sales enable them to rush delivery via direct-to-consumer sales, but some of these products are also targeted at retail store shelves.  

     A short list of young celebrities is using social media such as Instagram to promote their beauty products.  Anastasia Soare, the billionaire founder of Anastasia of Beverly Hills, uses Instagram to post video tutorials for her products.  Kylie Jenner of the Kardashian family is in her early twenties and regularly uses social media to market Kylie Cosmetics.

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