Are Skincare-Makeup Hybrids the Future of Cosmetics?

When the Coronavirus hit the cosmetics industry, it did not only affect sales; it shook its very foundations. Before the world of makeup had to grapple with a virus that forced everybody indoors, effectively putting a temporary stop to any reason to dress up and make up, reports were revealing a rapidly building problem – cosmetics sales were either stagnating or declining. Taking over was skincare, with K-beauty brands slowly and steadily giving larger brands a run for their money.

Skincare products have thrived in the pandemic with skincare-makeup hybrids
In spite of declining sales in the beauty industry, the skin care segment continued to thrive. Image courtesy of Debora Dahl

Enter a global virus to shake things up, and makeup sales begin to experience a faster decline. A report by Mckinsey predicts that there will be a 55 and 75 per cent decline in cosmetic and fragrance purchase respectively, especially for prestige brands. This is partly due to the lockdown, but also because we still have to wear a mask when we step out, or at least until a vaccine becomes readily available globally.

For skincare brands, the story has been different. The same report explains that, all over the world, these brands experienced an uptick in sales. The boom has clearly not declined, with everyone beginning to launch skincare products from JLo beauty to Pharell’s Humanrace and Alicia Key’s Keys Soulcare. Now, skincare brands are entering into the cosmetics-sphere, launching hugely successful skincare-makeup hybrids.

This week, K-beauty brand, Glow Recipe, launched its second skincare-makeup hybrid product. The Watermelon Glow Niacinamide Dew Drops is a liquid highlighter with hyaluronic acid and niacinamide that can work three ways: as a primer, as a serum and as a highlighter. The reviews are out already, and so far, it has been nothing but praise.

Glow Recipe's Watermelon Glow Niacinamide Dew Drops is an example of skincare-makeup hybrids
Glow Recipe’s Watermelon Glow Niacinamide Dew Drops is a serum that doubles as a highlighter and can act as a primer. Image courtesy of Allure

And Glow Recipe is confident that its new product will be successful. In January, it released its tinted lip balm that co-founder and co-CEO Sarah Lee said was its most successful product launch of the year. The product ranked in the top-three skin-care SKUs at Sephora and Cult Beauty, with the brand selling one tube every 30 seconds in North America within the first few weeks of launch and selling out at several Sephora physical locations, Lee said.

Glow Recipe's tinted lip gloss was its first successful skincare-makeup hybrid
Glow Recipe’s tinted lip gloss was its first successful skincare-makeup hybrid. Image courtesy of Bustle

But it is not the only skincare brand dipping its feet into the colourful waters of cosmetics. The Ordinary has a foundation, and way before 2020, sunscreen brand Supergoop launched an SPF eyeshadow. Skincare brand Tatcha is also offering its Kyoto Red Silk Lipstick and a primer in addition to its other cosmetics-skin-care hybrids including tinted lip balm and a tinted eye treatment.

Tatcha primer and eyeshadow are skincare-makeup hybrids
Skincare brand Tatcha has also delved into cosmetics promising skincare benefits. Image courtesy of Tatcha

For now, it seems like the major proponents of skincare-makeup hybrids are the skincare brands. However, if the sale of cosmetics continues to decline and skincare products that double as makeup continue to rise, it is only a matter of time before the cosmetics industry makes the necessary pivot.

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