What Drives Women’s Purchases of Cosmetic Foundation?

Two adult blonde women shopping for cosmetics in Walgreens type store

In partnership with a well-known CPG brand, we’ve previously looked at understanding how natural and premium care products are interpreted. We knew that more and more consumers have become increasingly aware of the potentially harmful ingredients in cosmetic products. The research had discovered that most people find there are some benefits to natural personal care products, but don’t often buy them because of the high cost. Based on the previous research, the CPG company sought to understand more about how women define “natural” and “premium” in the context of foundation. For this second phase, they wanted to understand what benefits or key differentiators specific to natural foundation could drive purchase intent, if at all. Based on the results, they hoped to determine the messaging that could convince female consumers of the importance of natural foundation.

The Research

In order to achieve the CPG company’s objectives, we conducted an Agile Attitudes & Usage* study. We recruited only women, ages 18 to 55 who wear foundation at least 4 times a week, who were open to or purchase premium or natural foundation. Using the previous phase of research to guide our objectives, we sought to determine the following:

  • How women define natural and premium when it comes to foundation
  • Particularly, gain a deeper understanding of how natural is differentiated in the minds of consumers
  • Why women do or do not buy foundation from brands that are natural or premium

The Results

The differences between how women define premium and natural are slight.

While there are some slight differences, the top characteristics associated with natural and premium are similar—although some characteristics are more strongly associated with premium than natural foundation. The few slight differences show that natural foundation is more characterized by its ingredients, while premium foundation is associated with how well it makes the skin look.

The majority of women buy foundation because of the way it feels and looks, not necessarily because it’s natural or premium.

There are several key factors that motivate women to purchase their existing foundation, as well as several factors that would encourage them to try a new foundation. While price is a key barrier to purchasing natural foundation, focusing messaging on the importance of specific benefits could help increase purchase intent of natural foundation. To learn more about those key benefits, download the full report below. You’ll also learn about

  • Specific characteristics associated with natural and premium foundation
  • The reasons women choose their current foundation over others
  • Barriers to purchasing a natural or premium foundation
  • Factors that influence women’s decisions to try a new foundation
  • How brands can focus messaging to convince consumers of the importance of natural foundation
Download Executive Summary