Although I didn’t think I was their target demographic, I just got a tutorial on makeup trends from L’Oreal and YouTube. Among other things, I learned that searches for makeup hit a high in October as millions of people search for Halloween ideas and inspiration. And it turns out that the pursuit of beauty never sleeps. According to this new Think with Google infographic, people search for different things depending on the time of year.
For example, thanks to “Movember,” there’s a rise in “moustache wax” searches, especially in California, New York, Illinois, Texas, and Florida. And beard grooming related searches peak in December. They grew 85 percent in 2013 year-over-year. Top searched questions about beards are “How to grow a beard?” and “How to trim a beard?”
And Gen C, a powerful and incredibly motivated group of consumers, is looking in different ways—watching tutorials on YouTube and using smartphones to get product reviews in stores. Some beauty brands such as L’Oreal are capturing this interest with seasonally and topically relevant content across platforms. That makes them exceptions to the general trend that Thomas Owadenko wrote about a few days ago in “Cosmetics Brands are Missing the YouTube Boat on Halloween.”
BOO-ming Interest in Makeup for Halloween
Normally, Gen C doesn’t wear makeup to frighten people. Quite the opposite. But on Halloween, that’s what many members of this psychographic will be doing. According to a Google Consumer Survey conducted in August 2014, half of the people dressing up will need special makeup, and one in three had already started planning. This month, searches for makeup hit an all-time high as millions of people hunt for ideas.
Many are watching makeup videos for inspiration. According to YouTube data on views as of September 2014, several of the top makeup tutorials are for Halloween-ready looks. This includes the “Frankie Stein Monster High Doll Costume Makeup Tutorial for Halloween” by KittiesMama.
L’Oreal Matches Video Content to the Moment
Halloween isn’t the only “makeup holiday.” L’Oreal USA CMO Marie Gulin-Merle says:
There’s interest in makeup throughout the year, but different categories within makeup tend to pop up at specific times more than others. We see interest in specific makeup looks around various holidays.
Knowing when these trends pop up can help brands be more relevant than ever. The content that is proving the most popular and engaging on the L’Oreal Destination Beauty YouTube Channel is based around seasonal topics. Recently, Aspyn Ovard and other influencers created a number of Halloween tutorials for the channel, and Gulin-Merleconfirms that L’Oreal aligns their digital marketing strategy to these seasonal trends.
Mobile Video is the New Makeup Counter
Of course, holidays aren’t the only time Gen C wears makeup. The search for beauty is constant and, increasingly, it’s on mobile. As of August 2014, more than half of all beauty and makeup searches on Google and YouTube come from mobile devices. And contrary to popular belief, if shoppers are using a mobile phone in a store, they’re probably not shopping around. According to Google research, people are primarily looking for product information and reviews while on the go.
For example, the Sephora to Go app is designed around this insight. It lets consumers search for product reviews, save their favorite products and pull up their loyalty card to scan at the register. Now, shoppers can even use their smartphone to try on makeup in a store. Rather than open up a tube of L’Oreal lipstick, they can open up L’Oreal’s new MakeupGenius app to virtually sample shades.
Beauty Shoppers Watch Video Tutorials to Stay on Trend
Video is also a must-have beauty tool. There are millions of makeup-related searches on YouTube, and those searches are on the rise. There was a 36% rise this summer year-over-year, and many people are looking for tutorials. In fact, tutorials on makeup are viewed more than any other kind of tutorial on YouTube. 70% of beauty purchasers said that YouTube videos, especially how-tos and product visualizations, influence what they decide to buy, according to TNS/Ogilvy/Google “Path to Purpose Research” conducted in May 2014.
After Halloween, prom season is the biggest makeup event on YouTube after Halloween. I learned from L’Oreal and YouTube that the top searches about prom makeup are related to eye color, dress color, and getting a natural look.