Millennials Look to Instagram for Makeup Inspiration

BY Courtney Huckabay

Young shoppers are the driving force behind a boom in the cosmetics industry, the New York Times reports. Always camera ready, they are buying and using almost 25 percent more cosmetics than they did just two years ago and significantly more than baby boomers, according to the research firm NPD. And millennials who identify themselves as “makeup enthusiasts,” NPD found, are using six products each day.

"Meghan Roark, a 27-​year-​old, estimates that she spends $300 a month on cosmetics and skin care," Julie Creswell writes. "She watches at least three hours of tutorials each week on YouTube, learning new techniques or keeping up on emerging brands. Her morning makeup routine takes 30 minutes and involves up to 15 products."

"The striking expansion in cosmetics is a bright spot in what is otherwise a challenging environment for retailers and packaged goods companies. Big jumps in the sale of shimmery highlights, lush liquid stain lipsticks and dewy foundations have propelled the stocks of cosmetics giants Estée Lauder and L’Oreal to record highs."

Cosmetics retailers should be all over Instagram! The new AudienceSCAN survey revealed 33% of adults are using the social media platform.

"Kylie Cosmetics’ success illustrates the way that millennials — who may spend hours on social media platforms watching video bloggers and following so-​called influencers — are rewriting the rules. And brands are racing to evolve with the quickly changing market."

"Cosmetic companies are shifting ad dollars from traditional television and print platforms to Instagram and YouTube. Trips to exotic locations that were once reserved for editors from glossy magazines now go to influential social media personalities from all over the world who have thousands or even millions of subscribers hanging on their every post. And brands that once partnered with actresses or models to create a new shade of lipstick or blush are now collaborating with these influencers."

Cosmetics shops can take advantage of the Instagram popularity. Consider that the new AudienceSCAN results reported 42.5% of Instagram Users want to buy things that make them feel "attractive" throughout the next 12 months.

"Even products that have been around for decades are being “discovered” by millennials through social media. Estée Lauder’s Double Wear foundation, a product that was launched 30 years ago, is experiencing double-​digit growth rates, said Jane Hertzmark Hudis, group president at Estée Lauder. “It’s popular among millennials because it looks great in a selfie,” said Ms. Hertzmark Hudis, who also reported big jumps in sales of skin care products — particularly masks, which play well on social media and video blogs, or vlogs."

The selfie could not be more important to Instagram Users. 32% of them set personal goals to improve their appearance in the next year, according to AudienceSCAN research.

Five years ago, no one talked about Instagram and today, Instagram is probably the number one social media platform for our products,” Tarang P. Amin, the chief executive of e.l.f. Beauty, said. He has spent 30 years in the packaged goods industry. “And five years from now, it will be something else.”

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.