How Luxury Brands Use Cosmetics to Become More Accessible

How Luxury Brands Use Cosmetics to Become More Accessible


Luxury brands are very expensive, and only a small number of people can afford to pay for Chanel, Gucci, Fendi, etc. If people can afford to buy high-end items, they are most likely buying handbags or ready-to-wear clothing from their stores. However, there is a new way luxury brands are trying to become more accessible and affordable to a wider range of people: a cosmetic line. These expensive brands know that they have a niche market and that their target segments are very limited with their prices, so in an effort to expand their clientele, they have created makeup, body care, and perfumes that are less expensive.

A lot of well-known brands have come out with a line of perfumes or makeup that are much less expensive than their signature bags and clothes. Most of the items would be under $100, while still maintaining the “luxury” of the brand name.

In this article, cosmetics can refer to makeup, skincare, body care, hair care, and perfume. 

Here is a list of topics we will discuss:

  1. High-end brands that have cosmetic lines
  2. Makeup, body care, and perfume
  3. It is more affordable
  4. Still feels exclusive and luxurious
  5. Brand recognition

1. High-end brands that have cosmetic lines

Let’s first talk about the luxury brands that have implemented a line of cosmetics. Almost every designer brand has implemented some form of product lines like perfume or makeup. One of the most notable is Chanel Beauty. In addition to their iconic handbags and haute couture, they have a full line of makeup, skincare, and of course, their famous perfumes. These items reach a wider audience, while still maintaining Chanel’s signature presentation and packaging. 

Gucci Beauty is another notable example. They have makeup, nail polish, and fragrances. These products are still marketed as luxury, so you get the Gucci experience with a lower price tag. The mascara they sell is $35, which may be considered expensive for a mascara, but in Gucci terms, this might be one of the most affordable items.

Even designer shoe brands like Jimmy Choo and Christian Louboutin have a limited range of cosmetics. If your brand is considered luxury, or even moderately priced, then creating a cosmetics line is definitely not a bad idea to broaden your customer base and have a wider range of prices.

2. Makeup, body care, and perfume

Having a cosmetic line does not mean you have to create a makeup line. If makeup does not quite fit your brand’s image, then try doing body care or perfume lines. For example, body wash, body lotion, and different fragrances. Not every designer has come out with a makeup line, however, most high-end brands have at least one signature scent.

A good example of this would be Ralph Lauren. They do not have a makeup line, but they do have a line of men’s and women’s fragrances that are all pretty popular and well-known.

3. It is more affordable

It is no secret that most designer brands are very expensive and very few people can afford a lot of the items. This makes the customer market fairly small, which does make the brand more exclusive, which can be a good thing. However, if a brand is too exclusive and if their target market is already very small, then there are higher chances of people shopping at a competitor, or just opting to buy a dupe.

One way these brands can set themselves apart is through their beauty and cosmetics lines. The products in these lines are more affordable and people feel less guilty about buying a $30 mascara than a $2,000 bag. With these lines, more people can afford the products, so more people will buy the products and shop at the store. 

4. Still feels exclusive and luxurious

A lot of people buy luxury items for the designer name, and many of the items have the logos on them so everyone else knows it’s a Gucci or Dior bag. The same concept can be applied to a cosmetics line. The brand name is still attached to the products, so people can still buy a luxury item.

These cosmetics are way less money, but people still want to feel like they are getting a luxury product. These products seem exclusive, with a much more affordable price tag, which once again creates a new consumer market for these brands.

5. Brand recognition

Once these designer brands created their products, they were able to put their products in other cosmetic stores. The makeup lines were first put in large department stores, like Macy’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Bloomingdales. People walking through the cosmetic floor would recognize the iconic brand names and be more interested in purchasing the product.

Similarly, a lot of designer brands now have their products in stores like Sephora and Ulta, which has a broader category of customers. Putting their product in these stores opens up brand recognition to potential customers just walking around the store, and for customers who came just for the designer makeup.

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Whether you are already in the luxury fashion industry or are looking to be a part of it, there are definitely a lot of benefits to including a cosmetics line. Of course, every brand is going to be different, so the products you choose to include are going to be based on the aesthetic or brand image.

Luxury brands are a very niche market, everyone knows what they are, but not a lot of people actually shop there or can afford to shop there. This might be fine for some brands since being exclusive might actually be helping their sales. But for other companies, they need to set themselves apart from their competitors and open up their market. This led to a lot of designer brands incorporating fragrances, makeup, and even skincare. 

Cosmetics is an interesting industry within itself, and these luxury brands wanted to become a part of that competitive market, getting a taste of the success cosmetics could have for their company.

If you’re interested in reading up more about successful strategies to market your fragrance business, we’ve got a post right on that. You’ll also find a list of the most profitable, expensive, and successful fragrances sold worldwide. Here’s the link!

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How Luxury Brands Use Cosmetics to Become More Accessible In this post, we're looking at how luxury brands can use cosmetics to broaden their customer audience with aspirational values.
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