Table of Contents
By Theresa Yee
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
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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.
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.
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.