Eye make-up products drive growth for cosmetic companies

The eye make-up category grew at a compound annual growth rate of 29% from Rs210 crore in 2010 to Rs760 crore in 2015, shows data from KPMG


After nails and lips, experts peg eye make-up as the next big thing in colour cosmetics for personal care brands of both Indian and multinational firms. Photo: Priyanka Parashar/Mint
After nails and lips, experts peg eye make-up as the next big thing in colour cosmetics for personal care brands of both Indian and multinational firms. Photo: Priyanka Parashar/Mint

New Delhi: A dash of liner and kohl with a few strokes of mascara, and I’m ready for the day,” says Tanya Singh, a 24-year old communications professional who believes she can do without lipstick or nail paint, but not her eye make-up kit. “Eye make-up is a must for working women as it helps them to look presentable. It can instantly elevate one’s features even if one chooses to go without using lipstick,” she says.

Singh, who spends a chunk of her salary on eye make-up products such as eye shadows, eyeliners, kohl and mascara every two-three months is not an odd case.

After nails and lips, experts peg eye make-up as the next big thing in colour cosmetics for personal care brands of both Indian and multinational firms. Companies such as L’Oreal India and Hindustan Unilever Ltd, which owns the Lakme brand, are trying to cash in on and grow the Rs760 crore segment by introducing more easy-to-use product formats in kohl, eyeliners and mascara and smaller and affordable packaging for eye shadows.

“Eye is a big and high growth category globally. In India, it has been lagging behind because nails and lips have always been dominating the space but in the last four-five years, eye make-up is catching up. The products are easy to use and women in India like to use eyeliners, mascaras and kohl,” said Rajat Wahi, partner and head (consumer markets), at consulting firm KPMG in India.

For instance, Maybelline and Lakme offer retractable kohl pencils, providing an advantage over sharpenable products which come with the added cost of sharpeners and often lead to product wastage. Both brands also provide liners in the gel and pencil formats, allowing easy application and build up as compared to liquid variants. Their eye shadow products now come in smaller and affordable packs.

According to data from KPMG, the eye make-up category grew at a compound annual growth rate of 29%, from Rs210 crore in 2010 to Rs760 crore in 2015.

Eyeliners and kohl pencils as a category currently constitute almost 80% of the overall market, driving the segment towards high growth. Even mascara is growing with its share in the overall eye make-up category increasing from 10.6% in 2010 to 11.6% in 2015 as a result of online make-up tutorials and the impact of daily TV soaps on beauty and fashion preferences among consumers.

“We have witnessed strong double digit growth in the eye make-up category led by kohl and gel eyeliners. Women are increasingly surfing online for various eye looks and YouTube tutorials have furthered the interest,” said Shalini Raghavan, chief marketing officer, consumer products division at L’Oréal India.

The French cosmetics company offers a range of eye make-up under its parent brand L’Oreal and its American subsidiary Maybelline New York. With bloggers and YouTube tutorials helping these brands, women are increasingly using products such as eye shadows which were once dubbed as occasion wear.

“Eye shadows, which were predominantly used only for special occasions, are also making their way into regular use. Moreover, women are also starting to experiment more with bolder colours and newer formats and looks for special occasions as they seek a dramatic and special look,” said an HUL spokesperson.

The company offers a variety of eye make-up products including Lakmé’s 9 to 5 Eye Quartets, Eyeconic kohl pencil and mascara.

The rising popularity of eye make-up can also be attributed to e-commerce platforms with firms such as Amazon, Flipkart, Nykaa and Myntra which have helped these brands to penetrate smaller cities and towns. “These sites offer easy availability, greater and diverse product options, convenience in selection, home delivery and relatively lower prices to consumers,” said KPMG’s Wahi.

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