Most people believe that the reason consumers buy cosmetics is that they want to improve their appearance using beauty products.

While this is true and a large portion of the market buys cosmetics to make themselves look better, there are many other reasons and factors that go into the purchase decision process that consumers follow when buying cosmetics.

The cosmetics industry is a multi-billion dollar industry with a broad and complex consumer base.

So who makes up the target market for cosmetics, and what motivates consumers to buy beauty products? What are some of the key trends in this industry that are changing the way consumers make purchase decisions?

In this article, we will attempt to answer such questions and try and gain insight into the thinking and decision-making processes of the target market for cosmetics and understand what influences them.

If you’re planning to create a new product for this industry or are considering selling a product in this market, only by understanding the consumer’s drivers and motivations will you be able to create a marketing strategy that can succeed!

The Target Market for Cosmetics AMPLIFY XL
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The Target Market for Cosmetics: What do they buy?

Let’s begin our study of the target market for cosmetics by reviewing the most common types of cosmetics that people use. These include lipstick, lip gloss, perfumes or colognes, foundations, powders, blush, eyeshadows, mascara, eyeliners, creams and lotions, eyebrow pencils, eyebrow powder, etc.

Consumers’ choices for cosmetic or beauty products are governed by their objectives – is it to look better, to smell better, or to express their individuality? Or is it for professional reasons like acting or role-playing or looking professional in a business setting?

A growing trend to watch out for is the increasing number of consumers who are making purchase decisions based on their values. Consumers are buying products based on the values of the company or manufacturer, and not just on their own personal preferences. This is just as true in the cosmetics world as it is elsewhere.

Many consumers who care for the environment, how raw materials are sourced, and how products are manufactured may choose to only purchase ethically-sourced, environmentally-friendly, natural and organic products. Others who care for animals and their welfare might only buy vegan products or at least those that are not tested on animals.

Some people care about corporate social responsibility and will purchase products only from companies with good labor practices or those who give back to their communities.

As you can see, consumers buy different types of cosmetics based on different governing principles. Understanding these principles is important to build products and craft messages that appeal to the modern consumer.

The Target Market for Cosmetics: Why do they buy?

Now that you know the most common types of cosmetic products that consumers buy and the governing principles based on which they make purchases, let’s review the reasons why they buy specific products.

1. Looking better

Most people buy cosmetics to improve the way they look. If they’re not happy about a blemish or a wrinkle, they will use cosmetics and try to hide or disguise it.

Some people buy cosmetics because they like the way it makes their skin look or feel – smoother, softer, younger. Others are after a certain color or shade that will highlight their eyes and make them stand out more in a crowd.

Looking better is a strong need for most people. And by segmenting the market based on need, cosmetic companies are able to create loyal customers who will return to their brand time after time.

2. Smelling Good and Attractive

Some consumers buy a beauty product because they want a certain scent or taste on their body. In this case, the desire isn’t to cover up blemishes or wrinkles; instead, they’re after the smell of perfume or a scent that is attractive to others.

3. Relax and Pamper

Some people buy cosmetics just to relax and pamper themselves. Makeup is a way for them to take time out for their own pleasure, and the act of applying it can be calming and soothing for many.

4. Express Individuality

Some people use makeup because they want to make a statement about how they feel or what they think. It’s a way of expressing their individuality and showing the world that they’re different from everyone else.

Many use cosmetics as a form of self-expression – they want to use products that make them feel pretty or attractive, or that reflect their personality. Some use cosmetics to create a certain image or persona that they want others to see.

5. Peer Pressure and Fitting In

Some consumers buy cosmetics because of peer pressure – if someone else is using a brand of lipstick or foundation, they may feel the need to do the same.

A lot of people also buy cosmetics as a way to fit in with a certain group or lifestyle. If you see someone wearing the same brand of lipstick as you do, you may feel more connected to them because of similar tastes.


The target market for cosmetics is diverse, and there are many different reasons why people buy these products – from looking and smelling better to pampering themselves and expressing their individuality.

Increasingly, people are spending money on products, companies and brands that match their values. This is evident from the growing markets for products that are environmentally friendly, organic, vegan, natural, and/or ethically sourced. The cosmetics industry is not untouched by this trend.

By understanding the target market for cosmetics, companies can create marketing strategies that better appeal to their consumers. This can help them sell more products and increase profits.