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Suppliers Speak Out--Color Cosmetic Trends

Posted: May 19, 2008, from the June 2007 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

Ever wonder how the new hot makeup colors are determined each season? We asked several cosmetic industry suppliers to share their information on what inspires color trends, how far in advance the top hues are identified, how different skin types factor into the equation and what new ingredients have them excited. Here is what they had to say:

Q: What drives color trends, and how much do runway trends influence cosmetic colors?

“Initiated and then driven by women’s press and fashion shows, fashion plays a major role in dictating color and product trends, taking its cue from the international catwalks where future shades and looks are showcased.”
Paula Derrick, vice president of sales
BABOR Cosmetics North America

“Runway and seasonal trends greatly influence cosmetic color trends. Many cosmetic companies will participate in fashion shows—Fashion Week, [held each year in the spring and fall,] is very big in New York—and work directly with the fashion designers to create colors that will complement the trends of the season. Some will even go as far as to create their seasonal packaging based around the fashions for that season.
       “One example would be this spring. On the runway, we saw a lot of neutrals with splashes of bright, vibrant colors. This created a ‘spring in bloom’ on many of the runways. Many cosmetic companies did a very color-saturated spring line. We are seeing a lot of bright pinks, greens and blues. Another trend this spring that complements the fashions is metallic, shimmery eye liner. This product is sure to be very popular this season.”
Laura Zachary, sales manager, Mineral Mine

“Fashion and demographics drive color trends. They influence color direction, but many runway colors and applications are not wearable for many women. Colors and applications are toned down to offer ‘real way’ versus runway cosmetics. This makes cosmetics wearable for a wide age range of women and for their daily lives at home, at the office, or on the town.”
Mari Roseman, marketing director, Colorlab Cosmetics

“Color trends are driven by socioeconomic factors and the colors that correspond to those factors. For instance, a black-and-white trend can be driven by diametrically opposed views in political opinions, or purple tones become popular as we reach for more spiritual support in our lives. A preponderance of spa colors—soft blues, greens, whites and tans—have brought relaxation and comfort when needed.
       “Runway color trends follow these socioeconomic trends, and cosmetic colors echo these trends, but must also interpret the mood with the way they are applied, whether eyes, lips or cheeks are the focal point of the look. A fresh perspective, shown seasonally, drives sales of trend color. Lips are strong, then eyeliner is important, and so on.”
Crystal Gryniuk
national marketing and public relations director, Colorescience