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These teenagers obsessed with cosmetics. The “Sephora kids” phenomenon is growing in France.

They are between 10 and 12 years old and already following the XXL beauty routine. Rivals of TikTok, these beauty junkies buy treatments in quantity, sometimes inappropriately. A phenomenon that worries parents but mobilizes brands.

Bianca is in the 5th grade at a Parisian college, and she knows it easily. she is obsessed with beauty products. His dream? Decorate her room with a backlit dressing table and fill the shelves with creams, highlighters, primers, bronzers, powders, glosses and other accessories (beauty blender, XXL brushes, eyelash curlers, etc.)… Every week she and her friends take a trip to her neighborhood. The Sephora store, “just look and if I can… buy.”

“I feel like I’m entering a little adult world in this store.” He is an expert on new products. “The last time I spent €30 on a moisturizing serum, it was really expensive. I wanted to buy the Cheeky Tint blush stick from Huda Beauty, but I didn’t have much left in my gift card for Christmas,” regrets the young woman, who spends part of her pocket money on addiction-fighting beauty products. In the United States, these preschool consumers of skin care have a name: “Sephora kids.”

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Pixel generation

In France, the phenomenon is coming slowly but surely. Bianca is only 12 years old, has a few minor acne spots, and yet she already has a beauty regimen as long as her arm… She tells us she can no longer go out in the morning without the cleansing gel. moisturizer + concealer ritual + powder + mascara + gloss. “My acne scars complicate me, makeup allows me to hide it and feel beautiful on days when nothing is going well… My clothing style is sober, jeans and sweet white. or grey, makeup brings a feminine touch. But sometimes it’s hard not to have perfect skin,” she concludes with a sigh. It’s clearly on social media, and especially TikTok, that Bianca and her friends find their inspiration.

A schoolgirl and her BFFs during recess (best friends forever) devour videos from their favorite beauty influencers like Saphoo (@saphoo, over 2 million followers), Lily (@lilyslilah, idem) or Mathilde (@mathildekst, 1 million), but also videos made by kids their own age who know like the pros, how to set the tone flawless “Generation Alpha, which comes after Gen Z, grew up with digital filters and AI-processed images. Therefore, he has a perception of reality that is distorted,” warns Vincent Gregoire, director of consumer trends and insights at NellyRodi’s trend office. “He wants shine, color. We also talk Pixel generation – a generation that perceives the world only with extremely high definition.” A generation in which a visible pore is an anomaly. And which is of great interest to the beauty industry.

Play the cuteness card

Yesterday largely dominated by cosmetics heavyweights, the beauty market has undergone its own revolution in less than ten years. Dozens of brands have appeared, such as Bianca’s favorites and others such as Tarte, Milk, Drunk Elephant, Charlotte Tilbury and Byoma. With the promise of being more inclusive, more organic, more ethical, cleaner, these new players have disrupted the market, following the lead pioneered by Rihanna with Fenty Beauty (launched in 2017). For experts, it was the global lockdown due to the Covid pandemic that changed everything. Some of the most beloved brands among tweens were born at this pivotal moment. This is the case with Florence by Mills, launched in 2019 by Millie Bobby Brown (star Stranger Things), or “Rare Beauty,” a variety of makeup and skincare from former teen muse Selena Gomez.

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Founded in 2020, it will earn about $300 million by 2023, according to the business magazine. Fast Company. Another recent addition that’s a hit with tweens (squeezes teenagersteenagers, and betweenRod, his daughter Hailey Bieber’s brand, launched in 2022. Every time, the same strategy. rely on the popularity of their founder and his firepower on the networks. Selena Gomez is the most followed celebrity on Instagram with 429 million followers, Hailey Bieber has 51 million fans on the same network (and 12 million on TikTok), and Millie Bobby Brown has 63.1 million. Many are available online, their brands are also distributed in large chains of physical stores; pre-teens don’t have a credit card (yet) to fall for the signals. click and pay. Their secret to seducing our children. We play the “cute” game. packaging in pastel colors, “smoothie” formulas, gourmet perfumes… Vincent Gregoire analyzes: the world.”

Care is reserved for adults

It’s still normal for our pre-teens to still need cuddly toys to soothe them. But what about this surge in ultra-young skin care? Dr. Marie Jourdan, a dermatologist from Paris, reminds. “The only products recommended for children are a light moisturizer and sunscreen. Use of inappropriate active ingredients may cause irritation, hypersensitivity or dry skin. This is the case with retinol, for example.” Derived from vitamin A, it is an anti-aging ingredient that has an exfoliating effect that is desirable for mature skin; What about hyaluronic acid? “No risk,” assures Marie Jourdan, “the product mainly affects hydration.”

However, the specialist (and mother of a 10-year-old daughter, a fan of beauty) assures us. skin regimen may be helpful for your child. It teaches self-care, conveying subtle gestures, such as rubbing your face after cleansing.” He is rude. “Young girls who play beauty influencers want to emulate their mothers above all else. It’s a role-playing game that promotes personality development.” A kind of “beauty dinner”, in short. One thing’s for sure, these “Sephora babies” represent a huge new market. Vincent Gregoire. “Beauty brands sometimes shy away from this phenomenon, but they will capitalize on this emerging segment with the goal of retaining the loyalty of this new age group.” According to him, some brands known to the general public are already working on the “tween” range. In the United States, we have already moved at speed. A completely new type of mother has appeared on social networks: i serum mom. Obsessed with the idea that we should learn the right steps to delay aging as early as possible, she advocates starting skin care as early as possible, with baby.

Source: Le Figaro

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