Beyond Shrink It & Pink It: Female Friendly Cosmetics

FemaleFriendlyCosmeticsDoesn’t this go without saying? Shouldn’t all cosmetics brands be female friendly?  Even when the item is for men (soap, shampoo, shave cream), women are still likely to be doing the purchasing.  Despite this, not all brands are really female-friendly.  Women want to feel good by looking good. They want to feel ‘young, vibrant, and beautiful.’  However, the beauty category has become very difficult to navigate. Women can choose from literally thousands of beauty products at all price points.  What sets female-friendly brands apart from their competitors?

  • Time savers – Companies that understand women and their time pressures deliver solutions that save time. Multitasking products is a trend that is not going away. Women prefer products that have several purposes, such as moisturizer and sunscreen.
  • Promoters of Holistic Beauty and Well-being. Women place a high value on looking good, but also want to improve their health and wellness.
  • Facilitators of Comfort and Pampering – Women seek out comfort whenever they can.
  • Advocate of Social, Environmental, and Corporate Responsibility – Women care about sustainability, and giving back to society, and want companies to do the same.

Since there is so much choice in the market, companies must strive to differentiate themselves. Sephora has done an excellent job engaging with the female customer because they took away the customer vs beautician dynamic. Women are free to sample products, mix and match brands, salespeople are not paid by commission, and there is a wide range of products in one place.  Aveda is another example of the no-pressure sales environment. They have aligned their corporate image and their products – focusing on natural, organic beauty products. They also have salons adjacent to many of their stores, providing convenience (saving time!) for women.


Beyond the sales environment, women are social – they will seek out the feedback of their friends, family, and online reviews before purchasing cosmetics online. Of women who strongly agree with the statement, “The brands and products my friends use influence my own purchase decisions.”, more of these women (43%) look to Facebook than to fashion magazine websites (41%) for inspiration.  Successful companies will leverage this social behavior by increasing their social media presence.


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