As the summer heats up, bronzers come out.
In May, bronzers were all the rage, with the top 5 brands generating $7 million in MIV, a proprietary Launchmetrics metric standing for media impact value. MIV tracks the impact of influencers, print media, celebrities, official third-party partners and a brand’s owned media channels. Benefit Cosmetics’ Hoola Matte Powder Bronzer topped the list with $2.4 million in MIV in May. Charlotte Tilbury’s Beautiful Skin Sun-Kissed Glow Bronzer followed up with $1.6 million, Chanel’s Les Beiges Bronzing Cream with $1.3 million, Milk Makeup’s Matte Cream Bronzer Stick with $1.2 million and, lastly, Fenty Beauty with its Cheeks Out Freestyle Cream Bronzer with $593,000 in MIV.
Benefit first launched its famed Hoola bronzer in 2001; the product has been a hero item ever since. It’s worth noting that, aside from Benefit, every top-5 bronzer is in a cream format — that it bucks the trend and lands the No.1 spot just shows just how strong the Hoola love is. It’s worth nothing that Benefits Cosmetics did hold a 30% off everything Friends and Family sales from May 1-5, including free shipping, which several news outlets picked up.
“With makeup taking the lead across all beauty categories, we see that brands are strategically highlighting the unique features of their hero products to stand out amidst a dynamic landscape of industry competitors,” said Alison Bringé, CMO of Launchmetrics. “Through meticulous research, development and product performance insights, these brands are strengthening the foundation of their offerings, ensuring they deliver authentic value. This prompts hero products to become catalysts for business success whilst propelling overall growth in the fierce market.”
Celebrity makeup artist Charlotte Tilbury debuted her creamy bronzer in 2022, and it didn’t take long for the glowy formula to become an internet favorite. The brand also notably signed Bella Hadid as an ambassador in March and she’s since posted about the brand several times to her 59 million Instagram followers.
Charlotte Tilbury is known for its Hollywood ultra-glam look, but Chanel took the No. 3 spot with a bronzer that purports to offer a subtler healthy glow look. Ahead of the travel season in April, Chanel launched a 15-gram travel-size version of its 1-ounce bronzing cream. It’s also a consistently popular product on TikTok, with people like Bethany Frankel praising the product. Meanwhile, others consistently compare the Chanel bronzer to other brands or “dupes” to see which is better.
Milk Makeup can also give credit to TikTok for the popularity of its Matte Cream Bronzer Stick. The brand has approximately 724,000 followers on its own TikTok channel, with one of its pinned videos about the difference between contour and bronzer receiving 1.5 million views.
“The rise of digital influence meant that influencers now play a pivotal role in marketing this category — commanding attention and shaping trends — generating almost $800 million in MIV in the first quarter of 2023 alone,” said Bringé. “Brands that seized the opportunity to authentically harness their power and unlock the potential to captivate and engage their target audience drove remarkable brand performance.”
In the case of Fenty Beauty’s Cheeks Out Freestyle Cream Bronzer, what is unique about its top MIV placement is that the product is conspicuously absent from the brand’s “bestsellers” product list on its website. Another Cheeks Out product — a blush — is included, as is the Sun Stalk’r Instant Warmth Bronzer, which comes in powder form. Fenty did not overly dedicate its social media content to the product, spotlighting it in only one post on Instagram, where it has 12.4 million followers. It is undetermined what specifically led the cream bronzer to clinch its No. 5 spot, but suffice it to say, organic love from its fans was a big factor.