Datamonitor's ConsumerGraphics database shows that in 2003, despite representing only 19.4% of the female population, Indian women aged between 15 and 24 years accounted for 29.8% of all Indian make-up sales. These teenagers and young adults spent a total of $19 billion on cosmetics in 2003.
In 2003, the Indian market for make-up was worth $64 billion. The consumption of make-up varies a lot according to different age groups as well as gender, with male usage of cosmetic products being so small as to be negligible.
Despite accounting for 10.6% of the total population, the over 55s age group still accounts for an even smaller proportion of the market at 8%. This figure is similar to that of the under 14s age group, which one would expect to be low, at 7.7%. By contrast, over 55s in the US account for easily the greatest proportion of their domestic make-up market at almost a quarter. One could attribute the low make-up usage of the Indian over 55 age group to a more traditional set of cultural values than younger consumers, viewing make up as less appropriate for many occasions.
On the other hand, Indian women between the ages of 15 and 44 years buy more than their expected share of make-up products, although the degree of over-representation decreases with age. For example, those in the 35-44 year old group account for 12.6% of the population and 19.6% of the make-up market, but women aged 15-24 years account for almost a third of the market whilst making up just under a fifth of the population, making this by far the most valuable consumer group for cosmetics companies.
Teenage girls and young women within this group have a particular predilection for eye make-up and nail varnish, accounting 32.1% and 30.5% of these respective categories. This reflects the greater propensity of teenage girls and young women to experiment with different styles and products. Whereas face and lip make-up are often applied as part of a beauty routines that use a limited number of make-up combinations, nail varnishes, eye shadows and mascara lend themselves to frequent and varied style changes.
The growth in make-up may well be further fuelled by the recent introduction in India of VAT that will serve to reduce the prices of cosmetics. The sales tax that preceded the introduction of VAT meant that taxes on cosmetics could be up to 23.5%, whereas this will now be limited to 12.5%.