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The Evolution of Makeup Bases: What’s Next in Beauty Prep

Dark-skinned person

As the beauty industry evolves, makeup bases are undergoing a transformative shift. Driven by trends like lazy perfection aesthetics, viral skin finishes, and rising temperatures, consumers are increasingly seeking products that offer both prolonged hold and personalized effects. This article explores key trends and products defining the next generation of makeup prep.

Table of Contents
● Primer skin finishes: personalized bases for every style
● Functional bases: skincare meets makeup
● Strategic actions: optimizing makeup base applications
● Market entry strategies: expanding demographics and innovations
● Trend Investment Projection: sustainability and innovation in makeup prep

Primer skin finishes: personalized bases for every style

The beauty industry is taking a significant turn with the move from standard color-correcting bases to more personalized makeup preparations. As of 2026, primers and tone-up creams are tailored to achieve specific skin finishes, enhancing both aesthetics and functionality. One significant aspect is the growth of personalized skin care products, which is expected to expand substantially. The market for these products is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.0% from 2023 to 2030. This growth is partly due to advancements in technology that allow for more personalized beauty solutions, including the use of AI to customize products to individual skin types and concerns​ (Grand View Research)​. In addition, consumer behavior shows a strong inclination towards personalized beauty products. A recent study highlights that 72% of consumers are willing to pay a premium for personalized cosmetic products, underscoring the significant demand for customization in the beauty sector​ (GreyB)​.

Dark-skinned person & primers and tone-up creams

This trend towards personalization is reflected in the rising popularity of products like the ONE/SIZE Tacky Hydrating Primer in the US, which is formulated with ingredients like beta glucan, hyaluronic acid, omega fatty acids, and black tea to offer both a lasting hold and a glowy finish. Such products highlight the industry’s shift from one-size-fits-all solutions to more tailored, functional cosmetics that meet individual consumer needs​ (Cosmetics Business)​. Meanwhile, Italian supplier Regi Laboratories introduces an innovation with their foam-textured primers. These come in three varieties: illuminating, mattifying, and moisturizing, catering to diverse consumer needs and preferences.

Functional bases: skincare meets makeup

The intersection of skincare and makeup is indeed seeing notable growth, particularly in products like water-based primers, concealers, and foundations, which offer both aesthetic and skin health benefits. This shift is reflected in the increasing global Google search volumes for these products. For instance, there has been a significant uptick in searches for water-based foundations, which are praised for their hydrating properties and lighter, more skin-like finishes​ (CB Insights)​​ (Editorialist)​.

skincare & makeup

This trend is supported by significant increases in global Google searches for water-based products like concealer, primer, and foundation, which have seen upticks of 400%, 300%, and 250% year-over-year, respectively. Products such as the Chinese brand Juyou’s Tripple Protein Repair Essence Cushion Cream exemplify this shift. This cream not only soothes damaged skin barriers but also provides a natural finish with 40% pomegranate fruit water and 75% essence, including innovative ingredients like human recombinant collagen that offer reparative benefits.

Strategic actions: optimizing makeup base applications

Adapting makeup-based applications to meet the evolving demands of consumers requires integrating color-correcting properties with protective ingredients or specialized skin finishes. A prime example of this trend in action is the Japanese brand Maquillage, which offers a mint-colored tone-up cream. For instance, their mint-colored tone-up cream not only corrects redness but also enhances skin appearance by providing UV protection and minimizing pores. This product exemplifies the trend towards multifunctional beauty products that cater to both aesthetic and skin care needs​ (Beauty Box Korea)​.

Dark-skinned person applying tone-up cream

Consumers are increasingly looking for products that offer more than just basic coverage or color correction. They value products that also provide skin care benefits like UV protection and pore minimizing, which aligns with a broader industry trend towards multifunctional and protective makeup bases. This strategic innovation in makeup products like the Maquillage tone-up cream reflects an understanding of consumer desires for products that not only improve appearance immediately but also contribute to long-term skin health​ (Beauty Box Korea)​. These strategic innovations underscore the importance of fusing aesthetic benefits with functional skin care attributes to meet the sophisticated needs of today’s beauty consumers.

Market entry strategies: expanding demographics and innovations

The beauty industry is witnessing new entry points into makeup bases, particularly among men and the skincare-obsessed Gen Alpha. Innovations are not just about product ingredients but also about application ease and inclusive marketing. For instance, the Korean men’s brand DASHU has tailored its Multi Cover Stick Foundation to simplify the makeup routine for beginners, including an inner layer of primer powder and an outer layer of foundation infused with SPF50+ PA++++.

Primer sunscreen

This product design reflects a deeper understanding of male consumers’ preferences for straightforward, multifunctional products, highlighting a growing segment in the beauty market that demands attention and innovation.

Trend Investment Projection: sustainability and innovation in makeup prep

In 2024, one of the dominant trends in cosmetic packaging is the shift towards sustainability. Consumers are increasingly conscious of their environmental impact and expect brands to be responsible. This has pushed cosmetic companies to adopt eco-friendly packaging solutions such as biodegradable materials, refillable containers, and reduced plastic packaging​ (Cosmetic Packaging Now)​.

Additionally, the overall beauty industry is seeing a significant trend towards sustainable and clean products. The demand for products that are both environmentally friendly and free from harmful chemicals continues to grow. Nearly all consumers (95%) are taking action to live sustainably, and they expect brands to reflect these values in their products. This trend is not only prevalent in product formulations but also in packaging, where there is a strong push for materials that have minimal environmental impact​ (NIQ)​.


Moreover, technology is playing a crucial role in enhancing consumer experiences and offering personalized beauty solutions. For instance, about 49% of beauty brands are using AI to analyze customer data and create more intelligent shopping suggestions, and 44% are using technology to create more targeted marketing campaigns based on consumer data​ (Global Cosmetic Industry)​.


As we look to the future, the makeup prep market is poised for transformative growth, driven by innovation and changing consumer expectations. The shift towards personalized makeup bases that cater to diverse skin types and preferences underscores a broader trend in the beauty industry towards inclusivity and specificity. Brands like ONE/SIZE and Juyou are leading the way with products that not only enhance aesthetic appeal but also incorporate significant skincare benefits, marrying functionality with beauty. Meanwhile, the expansion of makeup base users to include men and younger generations signals a growing market segment hungry for tailored, easy-to-use products. As environmental concerns and the pursuit of sustainability continue to influence consumer choices, the makeup industry must adapt by integrating eco-friendly practices and ingredients into their product development. By staying attuned to these shifts and continuously innovating, brands can ensure they meet the evolving needs of their customers while strengthening their market position in an increasingly competitive landscape.

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