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The cult of Australian cosmetics

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), July 2014 – June 2015 (n=9,108).

While global mega-brands like Maybelline and Revlon may dominate the Australian cosmetics market, home-grown brands are not only carving out a niche for themselves, they’re even giving the major brands a run for their money in some categories, the latest findings from Roy Morgan Research reveal.

Some 6.3 million Australian women 14+ (64%) buy make-up of some kind in an average six months, with nine of the 10 best-selling brands being foreign-owned: Maybelline, Revlon, Avon, L’Oréal, Covergirl, Rimmel, MAC, Max Factor and OPI.

But one Aussie brand creeps in at number 10: Nude by Nature, purchased by 314,000 women during this time period (or 5% of total cosmetics buyers) – which puts it ahead of prestige brands Clinique and Estée Lauder.

After Nude by Nature, Napoleon (262,000), Natio (255,000) and Nutrimetics (209,000) are the best-selling Australian brands. (Anyone else nnnnnotice a theme here?)

10 best-selling Australian cosmetics brands

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), July 2014 – June 2015 (n=9,108).

Nutrimetics performs best of the Australian brands across individual make-up categories, featuring among the 10 most popular eye shadows, eyeliner/eyebrow pencils, lipsticks, lip glosses, concealers, blushers, face powders, all-in-one creams and nail polishes. Being a direct-sales company, its customers would usually buy items from multiple categories in the one transaction, explaining why it is the only fourth best-selling Australian brand (and the 17th overall), but appears so frequently in the category Top 10s.

Napoleon and Nude by Nature products also make it into the top 10 for several categories. What’s more, Nude by Nature is the country’s best-selling face powder.

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

“Almost one-quarter (23%) of Aussie women who buy cosmetics in an average six-month period purchase an Australian brand up from 19% in 2012. Nude by Nature accounts for the largest portion of them, but as we’ve seen, Napoleon, Natio and Nutrimetics are popular too.

“Admittedly, almost a million more women buy Maybelline make-up than Nude by Nature in any given six months. However, our data suggests there is plenty of scope for Australian cosmetics brands to increase their market, tailoring their communications to reflect what is most important to their present and potential customers.

“For example, women who buy locally made cosmetics are markedly more likely than the average cosmetics-buyer to consider it important that their make-up is manufactured in Australia. Natio and Innoxa customers feel especially strongly about this.

“Another feature that tends to matter more to women who buy Aussie make-up brands than the average cosmetics-buyer is that the products are not tested on animals. (Indeed, the vast majority of brands in the chart above are certified cruelty-free.) Innoxa, Natio and Nude by Nature customers are particularly concerned with this.

“Interestingly, Napoleon customers are less like customers of other Aussie makes and more aligned with women who buy US brand MAC, being dramatically more likely than the average cosmetics buyer to nominate a ‘glamorous look’, ‘recommendation by make-up artist’ and ‘recommended by friends/family’ as factors important to them when purchasing make-up…”

For comments or more information about Roy Morgan Research’s cosmetics and skin care data, please contact:

Vaishali Nagaratnam
Telephone: +61 (3) 9224 5309

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%