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Brief Published: 22 Aug 2016

Geek Beauty: 2016 Licensing Opportunities

Walgreens Wonder Woman nail collection in collaboration with Orly

As beauty brands wise up to the sizeable female sci-fi fan market, largely ignored by the beauty industry until now, we explore some lucrative licensing opportunities tapping into ‘geek beauty’.

At this year’s Comic-Con festival in San Diego (July 21-24), Mac hosted a booth to generate buzz for its upcoming Star Trek make-up line, which celebrates the series’ 50th anniversary this year. Pressed highlighter powders feature rusty colour swirls in reference to alien planet landscapes, and glittery lip gloss sets mimic starry skies. See Trends from Comic-Con 2016 for further event coverage.

Similarly, US pharmacy chain Walgreens released a Wonder Woman colour cosmetics collection. Celebrating the series’ 75th anniversary this year, and the standalone film due in 2017, the collection comprises make-up, hair accessories, nail polishes and wash bags – all featuring the bright, retro Wonder Woman pop art branding.

Star Wars is a lucrative geek brand to explore. In 2015, CoverGirl launched a dedicated make-up line with in-demand make-up artist Pat McGrath (see CoverGirl x Star Wars). We can expect more licensing deals with Disney in the fragrance and colour cosmetics market in the coming months, as Star Wars fever builds in line with the next glut of film releases.

Capitalising on the buzz surrounding Suicide Squad’s release, US hair colour brand Splat released an 11-piece hair dye collection, with each box accompanied by a comic book for collectors. Colours including Berry Blast and Crimson Obsession are inspired by characters Harley Quinn and the Joker, who showcase brightly dyed locks on screen.

As Hollywood continues developing comic book and sci-fi movies in the coming years, the fan base for licensed products will grow, as will female audiences. Clever brands will also take into account the collector element attached to much sci-fi merchandising, and market products with collectible packaging.