New beauty brands are standing out from the competition by offering something different to target groups of young female shoppers…
Interest in (and spending on) self-care and beauty is reaching a fever pitch among young consumers, creating both opportunities and challenges for brands. The Wall Street Journal has reported that established beauty brands are struggling to compete with indie upstarts and their celebrity founders. Kylie Cosmetics made young consumers’ hottest beauty brand ranking, thanks to Kylie Jenner leveraging her influencer effect to turn her fans into customers. Glossier’s Emily Weiss and famed makeup artist Pat McGrath employed a similar strategy, building social followings with influencers’ and their own cult followings. Now, major brands are catching on, like MAC, which teamed up with YouTuber Patrick Starrr and upped their digital presence.
Our recent (first ever) YPulse Brand Report examined the ways that indie upstarts—particularly those helmed by celebrity influencers—are taking attention away from mainstay beauty brands. Though big-name brands might still be at the top of “will use/buy” lists, newer competition is eclipsing them as brands young females “pay attention to”—a vital score that can help make or break a brand’s standing with young consumers. And the competition only continues to increase. With Instagram as a democratizing platform influencing young consumers’ purchases more than ever before, brand new beauty brands can rack up fans, and sales, quickly. That’s one reason we’re always keeping watch for the next makeup and skincare lines that could take off with Gen Z and Millennial females next. But because competition for their attention and wallets is more fierce than ever before, we’re seeing more beauty brands launch by targeting specific groups with unique offerings. Here are five to know and watch:
YouTuber Nikita Dragun is getting in on the indie beauty brand battle. According to Paper, the beauty mega-influencer with 4.1 million Instagram and over 2 million YouTube subscribers has made a groundbreaking debut with her new line Dragun Beauty. The brand is made for the Genreless Generation as, per her Instagram caption, “The first Trans owned beauty brand for Trans people and ALL people.” The marketing campaign is equally inclusive, featuring “Trans, Nonbinary, Gender Fluid, models of all shapes, sizes, and colors.” Dragun Beauty launched this month with two products packaged in an Instagrammable dragon egg—and quickly sold out.
Busy Beauty is the brand for Millennial women who don’t have time for showers. The startup’s COO tells Cheddar that their products, which are all dry or shower-less, were inspired when they “realized that [M]illennials don’t want to waste hours of time every day,” and that dry products were a trend to bank on. Dry shampoos reportedly claim 16% of the overall shampoo market, and Busy Beauty is also offering shower-less shave gel, body wipes, and conditioners. Their Instagram feed is full of ladies in gym-wear and testimonials that Busy products are perfect when you want to exercise but don’t have the time for an indulgent shower afterwards.
Tarte Cosmetics’ new Sugar Rush line is made specifically for Gen Z. Teen Vogue reports the new makeup ticks off all the boxes for becoming a beloved Gen Z brand: it’s vegan, cruelty-free, affordable, and backed by a group of real teen fans of Tarte called the “Sugar Squad.” The group of young brand fans are also the models for the new line’s marketing materials, where retouching and altering is off-limits (another trending move among hot beauty brands). According to PETA’s SVP, “The future of the beauty industry is vegan and not animal-tested.” Big brands are playing catch-up on the trend—CoverGirl made strides this year when they became the biggest makeup brand to be Leaping Bunny-certified.
This beauty brand is helmed by a teen entrepreneur who has made it her mission to bring “yuck free skincare” to her generation. Zandra Beauty items are cruelty-free and vegan (didn’t we say the trend was a major one?) and the brand also supports educating girls in STEAM subjects. The Root reports that the brand began as a childhood project by founder Zandra Cunningham, who first sold her products at local farmer’s markets. This past December, Zandra had their first foray onto big retailer shelves when Target sold their exclusive (on trend) “Treat Yo Self” Gift Box—clearly the growing brand is one to watch.
Petite ‘N Pretty
Petite ‘n Pretty is here to be the beauty brand for the pint-sized makeup lover. According to WWD, the startup wants to be kids’ “first experience in beauty.” The cosmetics company noticed a niche “community of mini MUAs [makeup artists],” and are working with tween influencers on Instagram and YouTube to promote their products. They’re selling makeup to kids and teens as young as four, offering buildable colors for experiential young and sheer looks for teens that are starting to add makeup to their daily routines. For those skeptical that such young kids would wear makeup, just take a look at five-year-old North West’s recent red-lipped looks.
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