Industry Insights

2022 Luxury Cosmetics Trends: Subcategories to Focus On

2022 Luxury Cosmetics Trends: Subcategories to Focus On

For our most recent webinar, we used our software that automates ideation research, White Space AI, to predict 2022 luxury cosmetics trends. Our software cross-analyzes mentions and sentiment patterns across reviews, search traffic, social media, and product descriptions to make highly accurate trend predictions. In this article, we’ll briefly cover 2022’s highest opportunity subcategories for luxury cosmetics companies. So let’s get started!

The below graphic demonstrates the top 10 highest opportunity subcategories in 2022 for luxury cosmetics brands. Opportunity scores are benchmarked from both the share of voice (which integrates sample size as a variable), as well as year-on-year growth rate (the motion of data). 

That’s Quite Cheeky

cosmetics trends - contour - brush on grey background

The highest opportunity subcategory in luxury cosmetics is contour. While it remains a relatively immature subcategory (relative to mammoths like lipstick and foundation), its small share of voice is magnified by its very high potential for growth. 

The growth of contour is inherently tied to predicted low-levels of COVID. With high vaccination rates, the trend of de-masking will soon pick up its pace again - and, without masks, comes the visibility of cheekbones. As a result, contour use will pick up at a very high growth rate (predicted to be 79 percent higher than 2021) because consumers use contour to enhance the definition of their cheekbones.

Making the Most Out of Beauty Sleep

cosmetics trends - cream -  hand cream

The second highest opportunity subcategory for 2022 luxury cosmetics? Night creams. Night creams are predicted to grow by more than 85 percent in 2022. 

With returns to office and outdoor life, consumers will no longer be able to afford spending as much time (and money) as now on their self-care routine. Whether it is from spending more money on social dinners at restaurants or returning to work commutes, consumers are predicted to decrease their time spent applying makeup and skin care products.

From having less time, consumers will supplement their busy day schedules with the importance skincare plays in their lives by increasing their usage of night creams. The subcategory allows consumers to spend just a few minutes applying cream in the night routine, once everything has settled down, and enjoy the benefits while they are distracted by nothing more than their dreams. 

Eye Shadow

cosmetics trends - eye shadows - brush

A surprising trend that came up in our analysis was the growth potential of eye shadow in 2022. When reading traditional industry reports like those from Mintel or Nielsen, you may expect a decline in eye shadow because during the height of the pandemic, consumer focus shifted toward eye makeup because masks were covering the rest of their faces.

That said, our AI-driven analysis identifies eye shadow as a very high opportunity with a predicted year-on-year growth rate of 43 percent. While we are not exactly sure what the story or logic is behind the anticipated growth of eye shadow, it seems that consumer interest took a small hit in the area in mid 2021 but will soon rebound to rival the subcategory’s growth spikes during mid 2020.


cosmetics trends - lipstick - lipsticks

In fifth place comes the most highly anticipated subcategory of 2022: the rise of lipsticks. Less masks mean more vibrant, dramatic lips. In the midst of this year, lipsticks have grown at a substantial rate compared to 2020’s lip lockdown. The logic of lipstick’s growth is nothing to re-hash. Less masks, plus more lips, equals more lipstick. The subcategory is predicted to grow 6 percent higher in 2022 than in 2021; a significant number when taking into account 2021’s monstrous growth in the subcategory.

What remains at play is how Fortune 500 brands like Dior and Chanel will fight back against the rise of Indie lipstick brands, who push accessibility and personalization to the forefront of their online journey. While we expect more innovation from the big players, COVID accelerated the growth of Indie Brands so we expect it to be an interesting competition going into next year.


For more insights on luxury cosmetics trends, you can watch our recent webinar 2022 Luxury Cosmetics Trends here on YouTube. If you’d like to sign up for a live demo of our AI-driven software, you can sign up here

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