Regardless of cosmetic congestion, consumers still believe there is room for growth


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Lady Gaga’s makeup brand.

As the cosmetic industry continues to boom, consumers are left to wonder what they want from makeup companies. The cosmetic industry grew $93.5 billion in the U.S. market in 2019 and is expected to continue to grow 7.14 percent compound annual growth rate from 2018-2023. 

The industry has expanded from large umbrella cosmetic corporations like L’Oréal who own Maybelline and Urban Decay, to see more indie and independently owned brands started by celebrities, social media influencers and beauty entrepreneurs. 

Millie Bobby Brown’s Florence by Mills, Lady Gaga’s Haus Laboratories, Kesha’s Kesha Rose and Victoria Beckham’s beauty line are just a few celebrity lines introduced in 2019.

Along with a spike in beauty brands, many companies have increased the number of launches each year. Anastasia Beverly Hills, a cosmetic company worth an estimated $3 billion, launched 11 eyeshadow palettes in 2019, compared to three palettes the year before.

Fenty Beauty, a cosmetic brand launched by singer Rihanna, is worth an estimated $3 billion after launching in 2017. The cosmetic company nearly doubled the number of launches in 2018 and 2019, from 10 in 2018 to about 18 in 2019.

Some enthusiastic makeup buyers are flooded by the expansion and are beginning to feel that the market is congested. 

Libby Wickham, a senior at DePaul, said that she often feels overwhelmed by the saturation of new beauty brands and products. For her, saturation matters the most when products are unoriginal.

“There was a period of time where nothing was exciting me in the industry,” she said. “I kind of already feel like everything has been made. How do you get more creative from there?”

Samantha Close is a Communication professor at DePaul that specializes in capitalism and transforming models of creative industries.

Over-saturation can definitely cause consumers to lose interest,” Close said. “There is a big boom of content once a niche interest or industry ‘makes it’ online, with lots of people creating content, and then as that ‘hot new thing’ enthusiasm dies down only the stronger outlets survive,” she said.

She believes that capitalism has long been a big influence on the beauty community, which means that “beauty is subject to the same pressures that other industries are,” Close said.

Regardless of the cosmetic congestion, Melyna Gizzi, a junior at DePaul, and Wickham are just as enthusiastic about makeup as they were a few years ago. 

“I don’t follow brands as obsessively but I hear about them and still get excited,” Wickham said.

For Gizzi, big influencers like Kim Kardashian keeps her interested in the industry.

“My enthusiasm towards makeup has increased because of people like the Kardashians and because makeup artists make it looks so fun and extravagant,” Gizzi said.

Both Gizzi and Wickham believe that there is still room for cosmetic companies to grow. 

“I just ask [for my makeup] to not be animal tested and mostly vegan, which I know is hard to find,” Gizzi said. “I would also like to see more of a healthier skincare line. There just needs to be greater research and work for it rather than a strictly business mind.”

Wickham is also moving towards cruelty-free options. 

“I’m making the move towards all cruelty-free products,” she said. “On that same conscious not, I’d like to see more clean beauty products.”

The global beauty industry was worth $532 billion in 2019, with the U.S. currently holding the world’s largest market.  With a 7.14 percent compound annual growth rate, the market is expected to reach $800 billion in 2025.