Sigma has worked with its Chinese makeup brush manufacturers for 10 years; and this long relationship has allowed the brush maker to shorten its product release time-frame from a year-plus to just three to four months. To follow the recent shift from heavy contouring to a lighter look, in just a few month, Sigma created and launched a new version of its bestselling F80 Flat Top Kabuki brush-F80 Air, which has less densely packed bristles for applying tinted moisturizers and lighter foundations. The F80 Air is now one of Sigma’s 10 bestsellers.
Real Techniques recently released a set called the “Rebel Edge Trio”, which purports to give users more control over how much product gets deposited, a nod to the new makeup minimalism. They also have noticed a growing trend for “colour popping”, featuring bright slashes of mascara, eye shadow and liner on eyes, which will offer another new opportunity for the specialty brush market.
Capitalising on the skincare boom
Although brushes are most often used for makeup, the growing preference for skincare over makeup is also an opportunity for brush makers. On social media, influencers often use them to apply face masks and moisturisers. This also prompt many brands to offer skincare application brush kits, or create makeup brushes with skincare ingredients such as charcoal- and collagen-infused brushes.
Brush designers and makers are changing up superficial design elements to create a sense of newness. Tarte offers brushes with the shape of mermaids, stars and flamingos, with bristles and handles in every colour imaginable.
As the makeup applicator market gets increasingly crowded, there may be opportunities for brands at the premium end.
Artis, which was co-founded by former MAC makeup artist Matthew Waitesmithe, its makeup brushes can retail for upwards of $60 each and hundreds of dollars for a set. Rae Morris, an Australian makeup artist, her makeup brush range entirely handmade in Japan, with some styles retailing for more than $100. Surratt Beauty sells only 13 brushes, all made in Japan via a 60-step process. The brand’s cheek brush ($125) is regularly in its five bestselling SKUs.
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