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Suppliers Speak Out--Color Cosmetic Trends

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

“The trends of color cosmetics are highly influenced by runway fashion and the season itself. The seasonal makeup collections are created to wear in harmony with the color and textures of the fabric and fashion styles of the season.
       “The color trends or looks are also influenced by the season, taking inspiration from the characteristics of the summer months, cool winters, and the specific activities that occur during these periods of time, such as holidays and summer vacations.”
Caroline Rushworth, director of education, Sothys USA, Inc.

“Fashion designers, makeup artists and celebrities very often set trends. If you remember the ‘80s, fashion was very bold and colorful, and so were the makeup trends. Today, the trends in makeup are much more natural, not so made up. However, that doesn’t mean that makeup is dull and colorless, it just means that looks tend to be more subtle. Dazzling eye color can spark an otherwise subdued look and create an overall glamorous look.
        “Since fashion runway shows are presented a year before the season, makeup conceptions follow suit. One point of note is that many runway looks edge toward the dramatic. The end consumer would not be so extravagant. The period after the collections are shown and before looks hit the stores is when the importance of the makeup artist and stylist comes into play. Part of their job is to take looks and interpret them for the various makeup manufacturers around the world to create looks that fit into today’s lifestyles. Most larger makeup companies have their signature looks. Some companies specialize in dramatic colors, others specialize in fashion trends, while others provide a little of both in order to capture a broader market.”
Shiri Sarfati
vice president of international
and domestic marketing and sales
Repêchage

“Fashion and runway trends are the strongest influence. As new fabrics and materials are produced for designers to create their collections, this stems the creative process, which in return creates color trends.”
Alphonse Wiebelt
vice president of development and education
TRUE Cosmetics

“Color trends, like fashion, are typically influenced by social issues, politics, the economy, the environment, and traditional and popular cultures. Runway trends can greatly influence cosmetic colors. The various layers of the fashion industry know the colors and styles they will be marketing for a particular season 18 months in advance. This information is one of many sources of inspiration for designers in all areas of fashion and related industries, including cosmetics.”
Flo McRae, vice president and co-founder, CosMedix

“Color trends are driven primarily by the fashion industry and also by key celebrity trendsetters. We also take color trends from nature, especially the spring and fall. Makeup shades are heavily influenced by what is shown on the runway.”
Theresa Robison, vice president of business development Jane Iredale—The Skin Care Makeup

“Fashion plays a pivotal role in influencing cosmetic colors. In general, bright, extreme colors have a brief popularity, to be replaced by more down-to-earth tones. Lightness or darkness, as well as intensity of a given color, is taken into account in all color trends, too.”
Erika Bosley, marketing manager, Sormé Cosmetics

“Color trends are generated by research firms who analyze trends and data, as well as celebrities wearing a particular shade; people always use celebrities as their influencers. These findings are then used in the fashion and apparel industry, which presents them to the public in trade shows and collections.”
Claudia Longo, U.S. manager
Kryolan Professional Makeup

Q: How far in advance are a season’s color trends identified, and how is it done?

“Typically six to nine months in advance. Usually very much in line with fashion shows’ lead times. Color trends are mostly identified by an analysis of what will be appearing in the fashion and film industries. Cosmetics companies look toward the runway collections being presented in
New York, Paris, Milan and London for inspiration.”
Theresa Robison, vice president of business development Jane Iredale—The Skin Care Makeup

“Linked very closely to the fashion industry, the season colors are identified a minimum of
12 months before the release, more realistically 18 months. The seasonal makeup collections are inspired from the fashion trends. The general theme and concepts of the trends, the color and the textures of fabrics are examined resulting in creating a collection to complement the fashion looks most appropriate for our target market.”
Caroline Rushworth, director of education
Sothys USA, Inc.

“About two years is when color trends are set for the fashion and interior design world. From there it trickles down to cosmetics. With more just-in-time manufacturing, however, there is still time to wait and watch until six months to a year before the season arrives. Color trends are identified by New York Fashion Week, which previews its fashion six months in advance of the season and is a perfect time to confirm trends and tweak any products. Celebrities have become an increasingly large influence on makeup. From the Internet to TV to weekly magazines, an image of a celebrity wearing a new product can create a trend or demand overnight. This makes it very important to keep a good inventory of products.”
Mari Roseman, marketing director
Colorlab Cosmetics

“A season’s color trends are typically forecasted one to three years in advance. Trendsetting agencies, usually independent studios with large international teams of trend scouts, designers and sociologists, identify the new colors for a season. To forecast colors, the team scouts and studies future social developments and upcoming lifestyle trends.”
Flo McRae, vice president and co-founder, CosMedix

“A season’s color trends are identified at least a year in advance. These trends come from the European fashion shows, trends, fabrics and popular European hot spots for vacation, such as the French and Italian Riviera.”
Erika Bosley, marketing manager, Sormé Cosmetics

“Color trends are identified by industry think tanks and then promoted and published annually. These color forecasts are somewhat self-fulfilling because fashion, interior and furniture designers pay close attention to them.”
Paula Derrick, vice president of sales
BABOR Cosmetics North America

“Colorescience identifies trends approximately a year in advance to create the products and manufacture the colors. The photos of the look to be worn as a trend are created around the same time, of course. Trends are followed and extrapolated to create a look that will be fresh and new for the season, spring/summer or fall/winter.”
Crystal Gryniuk
national marketing and public relations director Colorescience

“It begins at least two years in advance. There are color forecasting companies that do reports on the trends in color. For instance, there is a strong influence in fabrics that have a metallic finish; therefore, there is a strong trend in makeup for metallic finishes. When fabrics become sheerer, makeup becomes lighter and sheerer. As fabrics become heavier in body or matte, then makeup follows suit for balance.”
Alphonse Wiebelt
vice president of development and education
TRUE Cosmetics

“Colors can be released up to two years in advance. Runway trends influence the cosmetic color a great deal, because each season, fashion designers follow certain trends and the makeup has to match the particular trend. Fashion and cosmetics are very much intertwined.”
Claudia Longo, U.S. manager
Kryolan Professional Makeup

“Color trends are identified as far as a year in advance. Cosmetic companies will meet with designers when they are creating their season trends to get inspiration from their colors, patterns, textures and styles.”
Laura Zachary, sales manager, Mineral Mine

Q: Do color cosmetic offerings differ by ethnic group? If so, how is that reflected in trends?

“Yes, they do. Darker-skinned women need a certain intensity of color in lip, eye and cheek colors. They also need a little bit of yellow or orange in the foundation. Lighter complexions need a little pink in the foundation.”
Erika Bosley, marketing manager, Sormé Cosmetics

“Yes. There are collections of colors that are forecasted based on the different personalities and characteristics of a woman. There is the modern and practical-minded woman, the active and independent, the counterculture who has a creative eye for style and glamour, and then the more futuristic-thinking who keeps her eye on innovations and likes to experiment. Then shades are influenced by the skin tones and culture of the country.
       “Depending on the country and the woman, there will always be trends that are designed to speak to the audience. It is the responsibility of each company to know its audience and develop products that speak to those women.”
Alphonse Wiebelt
vice president of development and education
TRUE Cosmetics

“Trend looks can work for all skin tones when the color intensities are available. Some shifts in depth of color are needed to provide the look on different complexions. This would be the only alternation.”
Crystal Gryniuk
national marketing and public relations director
Colorescience

“When creating a makeup collection, many factors must be considered. Questions such as: Who is our audience? Who are our clients? What are their ages? All of these considerations and many more come into play. For a makeup collection to be successful, it must have enough shades for every skin color and complement every complexion regardless of age. When selecting shades, one must consider: Who is the core client? If your core client is African American, then, of course, your foundations must correspond with the many shades that are associated with this ethnicity. Respectively, if your client is Nordic, you will have many shades of light.”
Shiri Sarfati
vice president of international
and domestic marketing and sales
Repêchage

“Yes, ethnic skin is quite varied, so it is important to have a wide range of color options for foundation products as well as color cosmetics. It’s important not to pigeonhole ethnic skin either. We don’t have an ‘ethnic collection;’ instead, we’ve made our entire line to be appealing to all skin tones from African American to Mediterranean, Indian, Latina and Asian. Many designers now feature models with a more global appeal, both in their runway collections and in their print advertising. Makeup artists will often use the same color palette, but in different color depths and intensity depending on the model. Shades are generally deeper and richer for women of color and lighter and softer for fair-skinned Asian, Russian or European models.”
Theresa Robison, vice president of business development
Jane Iredale—The Skin Care Makeup

“Yes. If you have ever looked at the same shade of say, sky blue against a snow white background and then against a midnight sky background, you know that the blue looks very different against these backgrounds. The same is true with individual’s skin tones, which vary in lightness and darkness and also in undertones, which can be yellow to pink. In order to get similar effects, you need to adjust for these variations.
       “Some products might need only slight, but crucial, adjustments to accommodate for these variations. A soft pink lipstick with a blue undertone may look romantic on someone with blue undertones in their skin but very dramatic and bold on someone with yellow undertones in their skin. The same would apply for creating a nude look. Clearly, you would need different products to create the same look on very light or dark skin and would need to accommodate skin undertones as well.”
Mari Roseman
marketing director, Colorlab Cosmetics

“Trend is usually not determined by ethnic group; however, the basic collection in most lines has the various assortments of shades to meet individual skin tone needs.”
Paula Derrick, vice president of sales
BABOR Cosmetics North America

“Absolutely. The European woman differs from the American woman, who differs from the Asian woman and South American woman. Mostly because individuals in each market have different lives, styles, fashions and skin colors. A woman in Saudi Arabia, for example, will most likely emphasize her eye makeup because her body might be more covered than an American or European woman. Skin tones vary in different countries, so the trends are such and follow what works better for a particular ethnic group. Indian women have a very distinctive makeup look and use strong, dark hues for the eyes and heavy foundation, whereas American women wear light makeup, ‘the no-make-up look.’ It varies culture to culture.”
Claudia Longo, U.S. manager
Kryolan Professional Makeup

“Many cosmetic companies offer a complete range of products and shades giving women a selection of products appropriate for them. The most important product to offer women of color is the correct foundation shade.”
Flo McRae, vice president and co-founder, CosMedix

“Seasonal collections are not driven by ethnic group. Not all shades from a collection will suit all skin tones and skin types, just as the fashion styles will not suit or complement all body types and figures. Certain individual makeup items from collections will inevitably be more suited and more popular with certain ethnic groups.”
Caroline Rushworth, director of education
Sothys USA, Inc.

“I do not believe that cosmetic offerings differ by ethnic groups. Cosmetic companies create a range of color palettes to offer, so there is something for everyone. They also create different looks for each palette to increase the range of options.”
Laura Zachary, sales manager, Mineral Mine

Q: What has been the most exciting recent cosmetic formulation offering and why?

“Women are increasingly seeking natural skin care and cosmetics, and they are looking for active products that protect their skin and help minimize the effects of aging.”
Mari Roseman
marketing director, Colorlab Cosmetics

“The most exciting new cosmetic formulation is high definition (HD) micro makeup—perfect for HD, as well as digital cameras—think bridal photos. Because the film and entertainment industry’s standard is quickly changing to HDTV, makeup has to be able to adjust to the new demand. Regular makeup doesn’t work as well with HDTV. HD micro makeup hides the imperfections of skin on HDTV so the actors look perfect.”
Claudia Longo, U.S. manager
Kryolan Professional Makeup

“Most new product development at this time is focused on the addition of skin care benefits to product formulations delivering nonsurgical cosmetic improvements. Two examples come to mind. One is foundation with UVA and UVB filters that contain the finest micropigments to diffuse and reflect light and reduce fine lines and wrinkles while working with a partner moisturizer, based on skin type and condition, to enhance the delivery of the moisturizer’s skin care benefits. The other is lip color and lip gloss with integrated plumping agents, enhanced by moisturizing agents and reflecting gloss pigments, which together create a 3-D effect to physically and visibly enlarge the lips, to deliver fuller-looking lips and clear lip contours.”
Paula Derrick, vice president of sales
BABOR Cosmetics North America

“The most exciting has been anti-aging ingredients in cosmetic formulas. With the inclusion of liposomes, such as coenzyme Q10, in formulas of mineral cosmetics, the results are incredibly long-lasting and provide the ultimate in skin health and protection. Mineral makeup has certainly been around for a while but is just now becoming mainstream in the fashion and beauty arenas. Mineral makeup interacts with light to create a soft focus, luminous effect; something that every woman, not just celebrities and models, love. Minerals reflect and refract the light so that skin looks smoother, more even-toned and younger.”
Theresa Robison
vice president of business development
Jane Iredale—The Skin Care Makeup

“An exciting cosmetic formulation on the market today is mineral powder sunscreen that is chemical-free and derives all of its sun-protective properties from the earth itself. This invisible powder sunscreen does not interfere with makeup application and keeps the skin cool.”
Crystal Gryniuk
national marketing and public relations director
Colorescience

“Minerals. Minerals are still hot, and now they are offered in pressed powders too, a less messy way to use mineral makeup. Minerals are natural and healthy to wear. Minerals will not block pores and are virtually allergy risk-free. Minerals offer complete coverage for skin conditions such as acne, rosacea and redness of the skin following treatments. Minerals also expand and contract with facial movements and do not settle in fine lines.”
Erika Bosley, marketing manager
Sormé Cosmetics

“According to professional makeup artist Jaime Kitson, ‘The most exciting cosmetic formulation has been multiuse products. For me, as a person using makeup on myself and my clients, a product has to be two-dimensional for the woman on the go. Women today do not have time to use 1,000 products; they want to look great in five minutes or less.’
       “I agree with Jaime 100% that multiuse products are imperative for the modern woman. Having a product that is multiuse saves time, money and is easy to take with you for touch ups during the day.
       “I also believe that a very exciting and necessary cosmetic formulation has been mineral makeup. Although not new to the world of cosmetics, mineral makeup is rapidly becoming more and more popular. Women are very concerned with taking care of their skin; it contains only natural ingredients, and it will not obstruct the skin. It provides long-lasting coverage and is so light, you can’t even feel it”
Laura Zachary, sales manager, Mineral Mine

“The inclusion of serious skin care active ingredients within a cosmetic makeup product. Some makeup formulations feature powerful active ingredients that are presented in the skin care professional and homecare products—actives from sources such as botanicals, biotechnology, neurocosmetics, and minerals and polymers.”
Caroline Rushworth, director of education
Sothys USA, Inc.

“Skin-bettering ingredients in cosmetics—cosmeceuticals. Nothing new to spas, but mineral makeup is just starting to hit the mass market. What is new in spas is offering more than mineral makeup: mineral makeup with cosmeceuticals.”
Alphonse Wiebelt
vice president of development and education
TRUE Cosmetics

“Mineral-based makeup products continue to be an important part of the cosmetics world. We are also seeing makeup that actually changes color to match skin type. This technology is in the early stages, but it will certainly be an important factor in time to come. Makeup that changes color to highlight the positive and hide the negative will be the wave of the future.
  “Age-defying makeup and makeup with anti-aging benefits is another trend in the marketplace. When setting out to create a makeup collection, we also wanted it to be referred to as treatment makeup because of our choice ingredients that contained seaweed, vitamins and minerals that would actually help nourish skin. As technology improves, beauty products must change along with it. As long as beauty and youth rule the marketplace, there will always be consumers willing to do and try almost anything that helps make them look and feel better.”
Shiri Sarfati
vice president of international
and domestic marketing and sales
Repêchage

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