Beauty manufacturers target tweens with character merchandising, finds Mintel

Beauty manufacturers are targeting younger consumers, new research from Mintel reveals. It found 61% of girls aged 9-11 would like to wear more makeup than their parents allow.

“Between reality stars like the Kardashians and bestselling books like Twilight and Hunger Games, character merchandising plays a large role in how manufacturers are marketing makeup and accessories to the tween and teen crowd and parents might struggle to keep their children from wanting a part of it,” said Kat Fay, senior beauty analyst at Mintel. 

“In order to attract this group and get support from parents, products must be subtle in appearance and emphasise ingredients are safe for young skin, while still playing on the books and TV shows that tweens and teens find appealing.”

When it comes to regular usage, 37% of girls aged 9-17 say they use lip gloss/stick every day, while 33% report applying mascara on a daily basis. Twenty-seven percent stencil on eyeliner seven days a week and 16% use foundation every day.

“It appears the use of foundation, eye liner and eye shadow increases sharply from age 12 to 13,” said Fay. “This suggests the first of the actual ‘teen’ years and the beginning of junior high school marks the expansion into more adult cosmetic products.”

More than half of all teens indicate that their moms help them make cosmetic choices, but this varies greatly by age. As expected, tweens are most likely to rely on their mothers to help with purchasing decisions (73%) while only 39% of girls aged 15-17 say they need (or want) mum’s help. Conversely, 78% of this older segment say they buy whatever looks good on them, while only 36% of tween girls agree with that statement.

It appears adults aren’t the only ones making frugal financial decisions when it comes to their beauty basics. More than a quarter (26%) of tweens and teens say they buy whatever is on sale or cheapest at the time of purchase.