Athleisure Trend ‘Blending’ into Makeup Category

BY Courtney Huckabay
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Athleisure makeup has the cosmetics industry breaking a sweat, Fast Company reports. Cosmetics brands are catering to fitness enthusiasts’ desire to look good in and out of the gym. The gym and yoga studio have become social gathering places. The new era of “going out to the gym” is what partially inspired Rochelle Rae to found Rae Cosmetics, sweat-​resistant makeup made for women.

The active lifestyle and culture has changed—going to the gym, to a yoga or pilates class is much more than just working out. Now it’s a social experience,” Rae said. “You don’t just go quickly and quietly work out alone and leave. You meet friends, then have a coffee or snack, you might even meet a future date and hit happy hour on a patio … You meet more people at the gym than at a nightclub or grocery store. So you want to look your best.”

"That also means it’s a place to take even more pictures," Rina Raphael writes in Fast Company. "There was a time not long ago when taking a photo at the gym was considered inappropriate, but now Instagram is rife with selfies of people doing #yoga, #pilates, and #running."

These game changers are important for gyms to consider as well. It might lead to upgraded locker rooms and "beauty bars" appearing where tanning salons used to take up space inside fitness centers. The new AudienceSCAN study reported 16% of Americans are members of fitness clubs/​gyms, and 30% of them are millennials.

Taking care of your appearance and your upkeep when you’re at the gym is like a badge of honor in some ways,” notes beauty editor Bahar Takhtehchian, who is seeing more young women document their fitness routines. “People want to look and feel good at the gym.”

Activewear today is no longer exclusive to athletic apparel; recent growth in key makeup categories coincides with the rising popularity of makeup as the latest workout essential. In the U.S., prestige makeup sales increased by 11 percent to $7.6 billion in the 12 months ending February 2017, accounting for over 80 percent of  total industry gains, according to global information company The NPD Group. Growth in foundation, primers, eye brow, and lip color products, as well as those formulated to be long-​lasting and waterproof, are playing into the trend.

The new AudienceSCAN survey revealed 32% of Fitness Club Members intend to keep buying activewear and 21% will pay for facial or other day spa services this year.

In today’s image-​driven society, the bar has been raised to maintain a perfected ‘natural’ appearance virtually around the clock,” said Karen Grant, global beauty industry analyst, The NPD Group. “With heightened focus on appearance, the door opens for manufacturers and retailers to fill the need for consumers seeking increased usage of beauty products that can hold up to the rigors of our active lives – including a workout – to look good before, during, and after working out. “

Foundation sales grew by 8 percent during this period, driven by long wear foundation and those with added benefits. Long wear foundation sales increased by 13 percent, while basic foundation saw a decline. Concealer sales increased by 17 percent and powder by 7 percent, the latter which has now surpassed blush sales. Completing the makeup package, growth in eye brow makeup accelerated to 31 percent and lip color sales increased by 18 percent.

Cosmetics stores can reach Gym Members with newspaper (print, online, mobile or tablet) ad campaigns because 57% of them took action after seeing these types of ads in the past year.

Makeup has seen sales increases for products designed specifically to help makeup last; primer sales for the face (+16 percent), eyes (+6 percent), and even lips (+23 percent) have grown. Waterproof mascara (+16 percent) and eyeliner (+7 percent) led the gains in their respective categories. To freshen up after a workout, dry shampoo sales increased by 66 percent.

AudienceSCAN data is available as part of a subscription to AdMall for Agencies, or with the SalesFuel API. Media companies can access AudienceSCAN data through the AudienceSCAN Reports in AdMall.