Already a WGSN member? Log in now. Not a member yet? Request a demo.

Table of Contents


WGSN: Forecast A/W 21/22: Cheeks – Colour & Texture

Cheek colours for A/W 21/22 are bright, hyper-saturated, and designed to make an impact on digital platforms as much as in real life. Create palettes that pair beautifully with eye colours, and incorporate skincare benefits for instant glow

Print or save to PDF (please think before you print)

Plum Reps


Success in the colour cosmetics category will come for those brands that innovate beyond the traditional boundaries of make-up and borrow from skincare. Brands that introduce more hybrid product lines with skincare benefits and functions such as high-performance can take advantage of the large – and growing – consumer interest in complexion and skin health. Make-up/skincare hybrids are not new; base products such as primers, foundations and concealers infused with skincare ingredients are common on the market, but there are opportunities to extend this into your cheek portfolio.

Skincare continues to dominate the beauty market, with its growth dwarfing that of all other categories, including colour cosmetics. Sales of skincare products in the US grew by 13% last year, hitting $5.6bn, while make-up sales increased by only 1%, according to The NPD Group. To tap into the booming skincare market, colour cosmetic brands will need to fuse active ingredients that have been popular in serums and moisturisers, such as ancient herbs, new superfoods and plant-based extracts, into blushers for A/W 21/22.

The following six colour stories include suggestions for product concepts, textures and application. Use these to inspire your A/W 21/22 product development.

Add multicoloured hyper-brights to blusher palettes

Product concepts: create bolder and brighter cheek palettes to take advantage of consumers’ increasingly adventurous approach to colour. Develop high-pigmented, gel-based blushers housed in roll-on tubes that can be swiped on to the face to form strips of high-impact colour. Create a stationery kit filled with different-coloured refillable roll-on pens, packaged in a reusable tin.
Textures/finishes: focus on light gel-like textures, but ensure pigments deliver a strong colour pay-off and are water- and sweat-resistant. Explore transformative colour effects for Halloween with pigments that adapt to body temperature or to different light conditions.
Colour application: make it playful and multifunctional by infusing multiple colours into the formula, so when the user applies it on to the skin it will create a trio of tones for a high-impact effect.

Teb’s Teal

Oxy Fire

Electric Magenta

Golden Harvest

Vintage Blue



Combine digital blues with acidic artificial colours

Product concepts: design for the Insta-generation with unconventional colours such as Atlantic Blue, Cosmic Sapphire, Acid Lime and Vargan Light. Colours that make a strong impact on screen will have broader appeal, so maximising your cheek palettes with unusual pairings will be key. Develop stackable pots of blushers that enable users to mix and layer different colours together – being daring with the pairing is essential in this trend.
Textures/finishes: create cream-based pigments in both matte and metallic finishes to deliver multi-textured effects. Think outside of the traditional make-up box by creating base blushers in metallic shades and highlighters with matte finishes.
Colour application: as cheeks become a focus for creative self-expression in beauty, incorporate ingredients from primers into your cream blushers to enhance the skin, provide skin-caring benefits, and enable a smoother application.

Atlantic Blue

Purist Lilac

Cosmic Sapphire


Acid Lime

Vargan Light


Refresh autumn/winter palettes with baked blush hues

Product concepts: as consumers invest increasingly in skincare, make-up brands should incorporate active ingredients into formulas to create high-performance blushers that also treat the skin. This will appeal particularly to skintellectual shoppers looking for multifunctional make-up skincare hybrids. Develop all-in-one cheek colours that prime, hydrate and brighten the skin.
Textures/finishes: hybrid gel-cream formulas will be key, allowing consumers to seamlessly blend and build colour on to the skin while delivering extra hydration for comfortable wear. Create pots of liquid blushers that can be applied with fingers to deliver a radiant, satiny finish.
Colour application: pots will make application easy for those on-the-go, and the baked blush tones can also be used on the eyes and lips.

Burnished Sunset

Soap Nut

Putty Pink


Action points

  • Focus on hyper-brights: make your products stand out on the counter with super-bright, colour-clashing palettes. Combine this season’s key colour Electric Magenta with Oxy Fire, Acorn and Teb’s Teal. Consumers are now more experimental with colour, so tap into this opportunity with bigger and brighter tones.
  • Build palettes around tone-on-tone pairings: focus on colours that work harmoniously together. Develop palettes featuring three colours centred around similar orange tones or blush pink shades, which will have commercial appeal for the mass market.
  • Brighten up your pastels: dial up the saturation of your pastel hues, tapping into the rise of bolder and more daring make-up applications seen on Instagram. For newness, pair pastels with WGSN’s key colour A.I. Aqua to create palettes with high impact.
  • Infuse skincare ingredients into blushers: consumers expect their make-up products to do more. Take inspiration from skincare and explore new ingredients and plant-based extracts that can be incorporated into blushers to enhance the performance and function.
  • Make it playful: use transformative textures to elevate make-up rituals. Make it fun and sensorial with colour-changing pigments that adapt to the individual’s pH levels or the climate/environment for the party season.
  • Be sustainable when creating palettes: combine S/S 21 key sellers with this season's colours. Transseasonal tones will become increasingly important so reintroduce summer hues into your winter offer.

Thank you for reading this sample report.