Three Trends Shaping Cosmetics Packaging Design

Published On: January 26, 2016

The cosmetics industry is among the most competitive retail industries, which makes packaging a crucial element in an overall marketing strategy. With thousands of brands and the ever-changing trends of the fashion world, cosmetics manufacturers are constantly challenged to create cutting-edge packaging. In 2016, we expect to see the following three trends driving packaging designs for cosmetics:


Even though it may seem counterintuitive in the cosmetics industry, many people are moving toward the trend of the makeup-free look. Consumer appetites are moving toward more real, quality, and honest products in nearly every industry. Product branding is shifting to uncomplicated, yet authentic designs—a departure from a mass-produced look and feel.

Although consumers demand authentic products, they need to be able to interpret this image through your cosmetics packaging design, especially when it comes to customers who are being introduced to your brand for the first time. Characteristics of these designs include free-form or handwritten typography, simple illustrations, and natural color palettes. Although bright colors have been popular in the cosmetics industry for a long time, a return to simple pastels may be effective for renewing interest in your product.

Minimalistic Luxury

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Luxury is an important component in any cosmetics packaging strategy, but there is such a thing as going overboard. Luxury packaging can imply an over-the-top approach, which can be overwhelming for consumers who want to get back to the basics. Many luxury cosmetic brands are taking a more minimalistic approach with subtle touches, rather than elements that scream luxury.

Quality and heritage in luxury brands is still strong, but the new characteristics of luxury packaging come from understated, subtle design elements, tactile textures, and soft color palettes. In particular, textured packaging is a competitive differentiator because it increases engagement before customers even take the product home. Minimalism can still be high-end and incredibly luxurious.


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Ultra-purity in packaging design is a growing trend largely driven by consumers’ appreciation of minimally and purely designed products. Consumers want to be able to look at the packaging design and immediately be able to understand its cosmetic claims.

Ultra-pure packaging designs do not distract from your main message. Instead, they can be innovative and streamlined to focus on the most important elements of your branding strategy. These designs rely on simplified, monochromatic, or dichromatic color palettes, simplistic yet pure branding elements, geometric shapes and patterns, or stripped down graphic elements.

Keep Up With the Beauty and Cosmetic Packaging Design Trends

Trends in health, beauty, and cosmetics change rapidly, and your packaging strategy needs to be scalable to adapt to these shifts. These packaging trends will likely have an impact on the cosmetics and beauty industries through 2016 and beyond. Contact JohnsByrne to be more innovative with your cosmetics packaging strategy.

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