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How facemasks replace use of makeup, lipsticks

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In the last couple of months and more so since the nationwide lockdown was lifted, you need to don a facemask if you are going to be out in public and so it is coming as no surprise that facemasks are gradually reducing the way and volume makeup is being used.

Lipsticks however are the worst hit cosmetic as the masks are covering the lower half of our faces and if this virus doesn’t go away anytime soon, it could mean the end of lipstick as we know it. Since time immemorial, lip cosmetics have been one of the ways for people to express themselves, lift their spirits and make their face stand out in the crowd. Now we’re contemplating another unhappy consequence of coronavirus: the possibility that face masks will wipe away the simple joys of lipsticks.

In a mini poll carried out on social media asking users of lipsticks and people who wear makeup in general if lipstick is still a daily staple with the masks and a whooping 90 percent of respondents say they have ditched the use of lipsticks when going out. Some however said they simply replaced bold lip color in favour of colourless lipgloss under their facemasks to protect their lips and to somewhat retain a sense of normalcy.

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Whether you choose a disposable paper mask or a washable mask or a fancy cloth scarf mask to cover your face from nose down, the messy result is the same, smears on the mask and around your mouth and face. Its not all gloom however as non-smear, transfer-resistant lipsticks are being rolled out into the market with claims they can withstand eating, drinking and even kissing.

If you can’t get your hands on these type of lipsticks and don’t wish to get smears all over your mask or/and face, you can instead, go for a dramatic eye area by smoking your eyes, using wing eye liners, apply false lashes and a bold brow.

According to market research, it is predicted that lipsticks will be one of the worst-performing categories in the beauty industry this year, with sales of lipsticks dropping globally everyday compared with other years. Figuring out how to have our lipstick and wear it too will be necessary if facemasks become a permanent fact of our daily lives for months or years to come.

So What Should You Do If Your Business Is A Lipstick?
In 2001, seeing an uptick in lipstick sales in spite of the recession, Leonard Lauder of renowned cosmetic company, Esteé Lauder, coined the term ‘lipstick index.’ The principle in effect meant that because people see lipstick as an affordable luxury, its sales would remain strong even in difficult times. It is clear now that his definition of ‘difficult times’ did not include a pandemic. But, like other discretionary products, the industry is optimistic, hoping that this phase will blow over soon and life will get back to normal. However, optimism alone will not keep business doors open and bring customers that are the engine of any industry.

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What then do you do if your business is a lipstick, classified under highly non-essential, discretionary products?
Modify: lipsticks may not be a necessity at the moment, but lipglosses and balms definitely are. Partially masked faces do not mean chapped, dry lips and the masks are going to come down at some point. Lipstick brands and businesses whose products have been deemed non-essential in a time like this may have to consider nearly-similar products they can immediately offer consumers that would be useful to them and would not shift away from their brand vision.

Improve: One of the reasons why even the most die-hard cosmetic enthusiast is shying away from lipsticks is the smear it leaves all over the mask. While powders may have the same effect, because it is a product that features above the mask, we can overlook it. But what is the use of having stains all over your mask when the product itself is hidden away from the rest of the world? Creating a matte, non-smear line may be the solution. Improving on complaints is what keeps any brand alive and this time is no different.
Expand: Research and trends have revealed that eye makeup is the new lipstick. Sales of mascara and eye shadow have skyrocketed since the pandemic. Just as you may need to modify your product line to reflect what consumers really need, you may also need to introduce new products that are in line with what you do.

Retaining relevancy in current times involves more than moving your business online or offering discounts. It is an entire process that starts with asking, “what does my ideal customer need now that I can offer?” If the answer is not your product, then, that should be your first line of action.

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