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Sales of foundation boosted by expanded shade offering

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Robin Driver
Published
today Dec 3, 2018
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Sales of foundation increased 4% in the French selective beauty retail industry from August 2017 to July 2018, with the product category achieving revenues of 110 million euros in the period, according to the NPD group. In the often relatively uneventful selective beauty sector, the growth has been driven by an accelerated rhythm of new launches. Indeed, from August 2017 to July 2018, 80 new products were released, double the number of launches in the previous year, while sales of new foundation products increased 28% in the period. 


The Dior Backstage line - DR


"The increase in sales of foundation is stimulating sales in the selective retail sector, which is excellent news. The dynamic growth also highlights how important makeup is in the industry. Foundation has always been an interesting category, giving brands the opportunity to prove their expertise, but also their creativity and their capacity to innovate," explains Mathilde Lion, European beauty expert at NPD Group. 

From August 2017 to July 2018, the natural look trend firmly established its popularity, with sales of natural or "second skin" shades seeing growth of 10%, while sales of matifying foundation rose 38%. Liquid foundation, which is still the most popular kind, saw sales increase 5%, but new formats are also gaining ground, such as gels – sales of which grew 211% in the period –, mousses, which saw an increase of 672%, and sticks, which posted a rise of 93%. 

Aside from new textures, different skincare benefits and increased sun protection, however, colour is where brands have really been innovating. More than 330 new shades were launched between August 2017 and July 2018, around 100 more than in the previous year. It's a shift towards diversity that was no doubt initiated, or at the very least publicised, by Rihanna's Fenty Beauty, which offered 40 shades of foundation and 30 correctors at launch. 

The brand's inclusive offering is complemented by decidedly diverse, urban messaging, a positioning that Dior has also been flirting with recently. Already among the top five brands for foundation sales in the selective beauty sector thanks to Dior Skin Forever, a line which sticks closely to the script of traditional high-end beauty messaging, the French luxury brand launched Dior Backstage in June. This new makeup line, clearly targeted at millennials, also bets heavily on diversity in its marketing and offers 40 shades of foundation, among other inclusive products. 

Among the other top-selling foundation brands are Lancôme's Teint Idole, available in 40 shades, and Estée Lauder's Double Wear, which offers 51. Launched by the American brand 20 years ago, the line was recently reformulated and expanded with new shades. "As a result of this larger offering for consumers, the average number of different products sold by each store has increased 12% compared to the previous year," concluded NPD. 

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