But what does it mean that someone is using social media to learn about make-up? Is it more than make-up tutorials and reviews? To find out, a team of Sensory Spectrum's consultants took to the internet to learn more about just what social media has to say about color cosmetics. We narrowed the scope by focusing exclusively on liquid foundations and learned quickly of social media influencers racking up millions of views talking about beauty products. These make-up addicts (Muas) include James Charles, Nikki Tutorials and Tati and they are redefining the way their fans are talking about color cosmetics.
Our ethnographers noticed some common language being used by the influencers. Foundations are routinely measured on "flaking," "oxidization," "transfer," and "build-able" performance. Our theory became that beauty gurus are standardizing new metrics for product performance that is impacting their viewers. The A&U data supported this; most Millennials who used Social Media as their main resource for learning about make-up were more likely to be concerned with these specific terms than Millennials whose research included other methods and older consumers.
Sensory Spectrum consultants evaluate products
As one of the premier sensory evaluation firms, Sensory Spectrum needs to respond quickly to these trends. After identifying new terms used by consumers, we dug a little deeper by talking with make-up users about these terms and discerned which new terms were already captured by our current protocol. For new attributes that weren't already covered, we identified products that were failures and successes for the terms according to consumers. For example, Fenty Beauty was considered to "oxidize," or change color after dry down, while Estee Lauder Double Wear did not. By playing with these products and a few others, we were able to generate reference scales and train our descriptive panel to capture a more robust and modern protocol.
Want to know more?
Sensory Spectrum will be presenting an oral workshop on this topic at the 2018 SSP Conference that will provide more insights into this category. Stop by, take a look at our data and revised protocols, or just say "Hi". Give us a call if you want to know more about your products, or have us review and update your protocols.
Sensory Spectrum surveyed ~1600 self-identified make-up users for this article.