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Young Aussie women making up the make-up rules

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), July 2014 – June 2015 (n=9,108). Base: Australian women 14+

Maybe she’s born with it, maybe it’s…make-up! According to the latest findings from Roy Morgan Research, almost two in every three (64%) Australian women aged 14+ buy some kind of make-up in an average six months. Foundation is the most popular item overall, purchased by 36% of women, ahead of mascara (26%), lipstick (23%), face powder (21%) and eyeliner/eye pencil (19%).

Among young women aged 18-24, however, these figures are substantially higher. Not only do 70% of women in this age range buy make-up in any given six-month period, but they are markedly more likely than the average Aussie women to buy every category of cosmetics measured by Roy Morgan Research – as the chart below indicates.

On top of their zealous make-up purchasing habits, 18-24 year-olds appear to have different cosmetic priorities than the average Australian woman. While foundation is once again the most popular item (47%), face powder joins mascara in second-top spot (both 38%) and eyeliner/ eyebrow pencil (32%) overtakes lipstick (29%) to take fourth spot.

Cosmetics bought in last six months: 18-24 year-old women vs Australian average


Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), July 2014 – June 2015 (n=9,108). Base: Australian women 14+

As we reported recently, Maybelline is the most popular cosmetics brand in Australia, and 18-24 year-old make-up buyers are no exception: 30% of them purchase at least one Maybelline item in an average six months (compared with 20% of total Australian women). And whereas MAC rates seventh-most popular overall among Aussie women who buy cosmetics (7%), it is the second-most commonly purchased brand among this key age group, purchased by 20% of all who buy make-up in any given six months.

L’Oreal and Australis are also considerably more popular among 18-24 year-olds than any other age group.

Andrew Price, General Manager – Consumer Products, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“Since 2011, sales of most cosmetics categories have been relatively flat or even declined slightly in some cases, due to an overall drop in purchase incidence among Australian women of all ages — with the exception of 18-24 year-olds, who remain as hooked on make-up as ever.

“This makes them a key segment for cosmetics brands – with the challenge of course being to hold onto them in this static market. Knowing what they look for when purchasing make-up is a good start. Like the majority of Australian women, value for money is extremely important to 18-24 year-olds when buying cosmetics. They also place higher-than-average importance on a brand’s reputation and its long-wearing qualities, and value a glamorous look and appealing packaging. Compared to other women, they are far more likely to buy their cosmetics from department stores.

“With the help of Roy Morgan Research’s in-depth cosmetics buyer profiles, brands can gain a more comprehensive understanding of their consumers – as well as those of their competition – in order to tailor their marketing campaigns so as to reach exactly the right audience…”

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About Roy Morgan

Roy Morgan is the largest independent Australian research company, with offices throughout Australia, as well as in Indonesia, the United States and the United Kingdom. A full service research organisation specialising in omnibus and syndicated data, Roy Morgan has over 70 years’ experience in collecting objective, independent information on consumers.

Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size

Percentage Estimate


25% or 75%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%