Study On Black Women’s Attitudes On Beauty

In its first segmentation study on African-American women and their psychographics around beauty, ESSENCE uncovers the unique mindset of the most passionate beauty consumers, African-American women. Smart Beauty V: A Revealing Look at the Mindset of Passionate African-American Beauty Consumers shows African-American women to be twice as likely to feel positive about their beauty. In addition, the study discovers four distinct beauty archetypes among African-American women based on mindset, product usage and knowledge.

The fifth installment of the Smart Beauty series, developed in conjunction with New York-based research firm Insight, looks at the distinct personality profiles that exist within the African-American market relative to the General Market; focusing on the psychographics that drive the beauty purchasing behavior of African-American women across hair, skin, cosmetics, fragrance and personal care.

The Smart Beauty V presentation was hosted by ESSENCE’s Beauty Director Corynne L. Corbett and included panelists Mikki Taylor, Essence Editor-at-Large; Cynde Watson, Makeup Artist and Beauty Expert; Elana L. Jones, MD, Dermatologist; and Susan Akkad, Senior Vice President Corporate Diversity Marketing, Estee Lauder Companies Inc.

“ESSENCE’s Smart Beauty research confirms that beauty goes beyond how women look, it is also linked to how she feels, and that sentiment translates to how she spends,” said ESSENCE President Michelle Ebanks. “Smart Beauty V has uncovered the diversity among women of color, who are a vital growth segment for beauty companies, by extracting four distinct archetypes relative to beauty consumption.”

Designed to explore the different relationships that exist with beauty among African-Americans so marketers can more effectively engage her, Smart Beauty V evaluates the psyche of a myriad of African-American women to understand their buying patterns and the emotions that attribute to them. The research methodology for Smart Beauty V was conducted in four phases including: client roundtable discussions, an Essence work session, virtual ethnographies, and online surveys.

The Smart Beauty V study found that African American women generally feel more positive about their beauty: “I think I am a beautiful woman”. (84% AA vs. 41% GM). It also revealed that African-American women are celebrating their beauty more than the General Market (61% AA vs. 52% GM) and they are feeling less challenged. (39% AA Vs. 48% GM)

Essence discovered four distinct archetypes when looking at beauty and how it relates to African-American women; distinguished by mindset, product usage, and knowledge.

…the spending power of African-American women, which has grown to $7.5 billion annually…

Smart Beauty is a series of panel discussions targeting beauty and retail industry decision makers. Launched in 2004, Smart Beauty’s first session awed beauty industry leaders with groundbreaking research about the spending power of African-American women, which has grown to $7.5 billion annually. The following year, Smart Beauty II: “Counter Intelligence” addressed the retail experience. Smart Beauty III: “Speak to Me” focused on the importance of language and messaging when marketing to the African-American beauty consumer in 2006. In 2009, Smart Beauty IV: “A Passion for Prestige” focused on African-American women and the prestige beauty category.

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