According to Vogue Business, makeup brush sales are slowly declining, following years of explosive growth.
To combat this, brush brands have started getting creative by seeking out new expansion strategies.
Here are some of the ways they are doing it.
Quickly responding to online trends
Due to the rapidly changing nature of the Internet, brands are responding quicker than ever to online trends.
American beauty company, Sigma, for instance, has shortened its product release timeframe from a minimum of one year to just three months.
“It is challenging for us to keep the clients interested or needing to purchase new brushes,” Sigma founder, Simone Xavier, said. “When we see a makeup trend, we immediately address that,” she added, joking that she spends every second of her day on the internet.
Capitalising on the popularity of skincare
Taking advantage of the current skincare boom, brush brands are aware of the growing preference for skincare over makeup.
The trend – potentially fueled by the growing number of influencers advocating for it – prompted Sigma to create a six-piece skincare application brush kit in 2018. The kit consists of traditional-looking brushes for applying masks and moisturisers, as well as more innovative pieces such as silicone spatulas for scooping product out of small jars, and a serum brush with elevated bristles that is designed to pick up and spread watery serums more easily.
According to Sephora vice president, Beth Hayes, the current brush market has become saturated, and there may be opportunities for brands at the more premium end.
Although Sephora Collection usually creates relatively inexpensive brushes, it sees its more expensive brushes as the “bread and butter,” adding that most clients “do see brushes as an investment.”
In fact, many luxury, artist-founded brands have experienced heavy growth. Makeup brush brand, Artis, is one brand that has generated approximately US$500 million, selling over 1 million brushes in 600 doors worldwide to date.
Similar to the way designers make old styles exciting with new colours and patterns, brush makers are evolving superficial design elements to add a sense of “newness” to their collections.
For example, cosmetics company, Tarte’s goal is to make its products “covetable and collectible” by offering brushes that are shaped like mermaids, flamingos and stars – with the bristles and handles available in a huge range of colours.