What make-up means to Gen Z: 3 key insights – part 2


Adin Heller

Senior Research Executive, New York

The second in our series on insights into Gen Z’s relationship with make-up, cosmetics, and beauty: They are the experts – or know someone who is.

Continuing our series on insights into Gen Z’s relationship with make-up, cosmetics, and beauty, we’ll take a look at another insight that can help brands connect with consumers more deeply, empower them, and give them confidence and inspiration to broaden their beauty repertoire.

Insight 2: They are the experts – or know someone who is

When it comes to make-up, Gen Z are very self-aware. They know their skin; they know what colors work for them; they know what ingredients and social issues are important to them – which enables them to make basic, everyday selections within the category.

And when they don’t know something, they know who to turn to for advice and know-how, be it a make-up artist (MUA) friend or a beauty vlogger.

mua friend

As we’ve seen in previous research with Gen Z’s, they are highly adept at assessing, harnessing, and curating the immense amount of information available at their fingertips 24/7. They also have an inherent distrust of brands – which has only grown in today’s ‘fake news’ riddled climate.

When they want to find out about a brand or product, Gen Z-ers trust their peer group, social media experts whose make-up need and values align with their own, and any other third-party source (e.g Reddit, reviews on retail websites, etc.) they deem trustworthy. Thus, any brand can be ‘decoded’ and ‘debunked’ at any time.

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For brands and products, this essentially means they can’t hide or lie about what they really are (is a brand truly committed to the environment and animal welfare?), what they really do (does this eyeliner actually stay on for 24 hours?), and what their products really feature (are ingredients presented in a transparent manner?).

This presents an opportunity for brands to be transparent, honest, and open with consumers. Why leave it up to websites like Sephora to call out what is or isn’t in a product? Or even worse, make consumers hunt around online to find the information that’s important to them?

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Brands can enhance their transparency, approachability, and trustworthiness by making information like ingredients and ‘how-to’ tips more apparent in-store.

Tune in for our next installment to find out why in-store is a key touchpoint to leverage when engaging Gen Z.

If you’d like to learn more about any of these insightsget in touch with our New York office.