It’s been a testing time for Shraddha Nigam. Her job at a private airline needs her to wear protective (PPE) kits and masks for long hours. Apart from the discomfort, Nigam, 24, is faced with the added challenge of wearing lipstick under the mask without messing it up.
“With a mask and PPE kit, one cannot even imagine wearing makeup that will transfer on clothes; therefore, I invested in smudge-free products since we got back to work,” she said.
Women like Nigam are opting for makeup products that are smudge-free and long-lasting as they gradually return to their pre-covid routines. As people adjust to the new normal, products that make their lives somewhat easier under the trying circumstances are flourishing while many traditional discretionary items languish because of lack of demand.
Cosmetics brands such as L’Oréal India, Avon Cosmetics, and Lakme are responding to the changes by working on a range of products that can not only last longer but also do not transfer onto clothes or masks.
L’Oréal India, which retails cosmetics under brands such as Maybelline, NYX and L’Oréal Paris, said it is also creating products that are smudge-proof.
“We are currently working on transfer-proof makeup owing to the fact that consumers have to wear masks on a daily basis. Our focus has been to create such products, especially coinciding with the festive period to boost demand in the discretionary spends-led cosmetics category,” said Pankaj Sharma, director, consumer products division, L’Oréal India, in a Mint webinar.
While eye makeup was always long-lasting, products such as lipsticks, lip crayon and foundation are now being created in a transfer-free formula.
Colorbar has recently launched transfer resistant “24 Hrs Weightless Liquid Foundation” in its smudge proof range, which already has kiss-proof lipsticks and lip stains.
“It’s like having an extra insurance to make sure the makeup stays and holds everything together, even more so in today’s times,” said Samir Modi, managing director, Colorbar.
Aruksheta Sethi, category head, colour cosmetics at Avon Color Cosmetics, said the company plans to introduce smudge-proof and transfer-resistant products. “We already offer smudge-proof glimmer stick kajal pencils and waterproof liquid eyeliner. This beauty benefit will accentuate more,” she added.
Hindustan Unilever, which sells the Lakme brand of cosmetics, said there has been an increase in demand for smudge-proof eye makeup.
“Our Lakme Eyeconic range and Lakme Absolute Infinity eye shadow palettes are more relevant now. As masks are becoming prevalent, consumers are experimenting more with their eye makeup,” said an HUL spokesperson.
Colour cosmetics thrive on social occasions, and as people have started stepping out, the category is recovering.
“At a time discretionary spends have hit a low, beauty brands are trying to stay relevant. However, I do not think any such range will be able to mitigate the business impact cosmetics firms are facing,” said Ankur Bisen, senior vice-president, retail and consumer, at Technopak, a management consulting firm.