Asian cosmetics have long centered around the natural look: fair, pure skin accentuated by innovative brow and lip effects. Particularly in Japan and Korea, concealing imperfections is still as important as ever; even young men are seeking that extra glow.
Yoga skin, for example, is described as “a look that feels real.” This trend, emulating “the radiance you have when you step out of the yoga studio – juicy, dewy and super-hydrated,” first caught on in Asia. Like so many other styles that start in this region, it soon gained popularity in Western countries, reminding us that there’s much more to makeup than meets the eye.
The New Shopping Cycle
Younger generations have changed the way beauty products are sought, bought and marketed. Shopping now starts on YouTube or other video platforms, where brands can partner with influencers to demonstrate and endorse their products. At this point, the consumer is simply browsing and looking for ideas before moving to Instagram (or perhaps a specific brand’s website) to investigate further.
The challenge with online shopping for cosmetics is the limited ability to capture colors, textures and scents. So, brick and mortar stores are getting creative. They’re reimagining—and even reinventing—their retail atmospheres.
Beauty as an Experience
In Asia, home to many of the world’s oldest and most beloved beauty brands, quality makeup is commonplace. It’s the process of applying the makeup that consumers in these markets value and view as a differentiator. Enter the in-store makeup bar, a social and sensory experience that answers questions such as:
- How does the product feel when it’s applied?
- How does the product visually evolve as it’s being applied?
- What is the fragrance?
- Does the scent impart an implied taste?
- What are other customers saying about the product?
Online, these questions appear as static reviews or FAQs. At the makeup bar, they come to life through the five senses and the imagination. Sophisticated makeup bars even offer coffee, beverages and snacks, a la a traditional “bar.”
Creating the Sensory Impact
What does all of this mean for formulators? Cosmetics suppliers are allocating resources toward enhancing the entire shopping and application experience to appeal to the senses beyond that of sight. In the process, they are turning to Sensient Cosmetic Technologies to provide ingredients that bring sensory appeal to beauty products. For example, our Soothing Watermelon SCD 6117 gel.
How This Engages the Five Senses
- Touch: A mousse-like texture obtained through a combination of three thickeners. Covagel provides an instantaneous cooling effect, while Covacryl MV60 extends the softness. Covasilic 15 gives just enough firmness to hold the formula together. Lastly, the addition of Fucosorb WP seaweed extract adds anti-inflammatory qualities.
- Sight: A true watermelon shade achieved by blending 2 Unicerts, Yellow and Red.
- Smell: What else, watermelon, developed in house by Sensient Flavor.
- Taste: The watermelon scent is reminiscent of a sweet summer day.
- Sound: We’re certainly hearing the compliments!