Make-up and Colour Cosmetics - China - November 2012
“Make-up for women has a long history in China, tracing back to thousands of years ago. The traditional style of Chinese make-up for women is best exemplified in classic Beijing Opera, where both actors and actresses wear heavy make-up when they perform. However, since 1949, especially during the Cultural Revolution period between 1966 and 1976, make-up for women was condemned as decadent capitalism. It was not until 1978 when China started its economic reform and open door policy that make-up became popular again. Nowadays, the majority of Chinese women living in urban areas still do not wear make-up except for some special events, and if they do, they tend to do wear only a light covering. "
Some questions answered in this report include:
- How do consumers transition from traditional make-up and colour cosmetics to Western, Korean and Japanese make-up and colour cosmetics application? How important is personal image and will cultural perceptions convert consumers to using Western, Korean and Japanese brands and products?
- What are the top factors considered by consumers when purchasing make-up and colour cosmetics products and what are the ingredients that consumers want? What has the Chinese government’s involvement in the market been, and what have brands done to fulfil consumers’ demands in the market, and what else can be done?
- How have the different brands positioned themselves in the fragmented make-up and colour cosmetics market? What are the opportunities and obstacles in the brand strategies and activities currently used by the make-up and colour cosmetics companies in targeting the Chinese?
- What kind of premiumisation strategies can be used to stimulate growth in the make-up and colour cosmetics market? What else can brands do to allow consumers a better chance of exploring and understanding make-up and colour cosmetics?
Make-up for women has a long history in China, tracing back to thousands of years ago. The traditional style of Chinese make-up for women is best exemplified in classic Beijing Opera, where both actors and actresses wear heavy make-up when they perform. However, since 1949, especially during the Cultural Revolution period between 1966 and 1976, make-up for women was condemned as decadent capitalism. It was not until 1978 when China started its economic reform and open door policy that make-up became popular again. Nowadays, the majority of Chinese women living in urban areas still do not wear make-up except for some special events, and if they do, they tend to do wear only a light covering. By and large, Chinese women working in certain service industries and professions are required to wear make-up regularly.
The colour cosmetics market is driven by the economic growth and rising incomes, higher levels of education, and the increasing number of Chinese women working in the service sector industry, who need to be more presentable in front of clients. Growth is also emerging from cultural influences from the West, Japan and Korea and the emerging middle class. The real motivator for Chinese women to wear make-up is to gain confidence within themselves or to express their individuality.
The main barriers to the further development of China’s make-up and colour cosmetics market include the skin types and skin problems associated with Chinese women, since it is widely believed that wearing colour cosmetics too often can harm the skin, Chinese women also want to have fair-looking skin as this is part of their beauty culture. Additionally, the usage of make-up and colour cosmetics is not widespread enough, and where usage does occur, it is usually limited to a light use of make-up.
Make-up and colour cosmetics is a huge and fragmented market in China and brand loyalty is low due to the high presence of me-too products and high levels of marketing.
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