What colour to choose for cosmetics packaging?
Many studies confirm that the colour of the packaging can affect whether customers choose and buy your product. Let’s see how a cosmetics manufacturer can use colour psychology to boost sales.
Colours have always influenced our emotions. Below we have presented the associations evoked by each colour in customers. Is it enough to choose a colour that will affect sales performance when designing packaging? Certainly not. Mare Borowiński, PhD one of the best Polish specialists in psychophysiology of vision, says in the interviews:
No colour is bad in itself. Their combination is important, which determines the effectiveness […] and the in-store purchase decision making process . 
Once, I contributed to the development of an advertising campaign for a certain line of cosmetics. These were not organic products, but they were set against the background of wooden boards, surrounded by greenery. Ladies, when asked why they bought this particular cosmetic, replied that they chose it because it is ecological. So the context that gave that impression translated into the product. 
Hence the conclusion that one cannot focus solely on the meaning of a single colour. You have to take into account the entire context and connections that the colours make up with each other.
Colour psychology is the science that studies the colour impact on our behaviour and decisions. According to one of the most widely recognized marketers in the world, Neil Patel, “colour accounts for as much as 85% of the reason why we buy a particular product.” In turn, some studies show that customers subconsciously evaluate a product within 90 seconds from seeing it for the first time. So the decision on the packaging colour has a direct impact on what message you send to your target group.
Let’s check the meaning of individual colours and what they are associated with by customers.
In design, white is most often a neutral background that allows you to highlight other colours. In addition, white creates a sense of peace and security and symbolizes purity, simplicity and innocence. As a result, this colour is very often used in the beauty industry. Cosmetics manufacturers who have decided to apply white to the cosmetic packaging are, for instance, Dove and Ziaja.
Red is a colour that stimulates our senses and makes our hearts beat faster. No wonder – after all, it most often brings to mind a bouquet of red roses and is a sign of passionate feelings. The darker the shade of this colour, the more luxurious the packaging. And the lighter red shade , the more energy it has and the it incites more to action. Red is also the colour of enthusiasm and strength. Therefore, through packaging, it can communicate self-confidence. Among the cosmetics manufacturers who often use this colour on the packaging of their products are Neutrogena, Pupa and L’Oréal.
Pink is one of the most popular feminine colours that can be found on numerous cosmetic packaging. Often, the target group of products in pink packaging are younger customers, especially teenagers. The strong and expressive shade of pink represents youth, rebellion and therefore has something eccentric about it. It happens that pink is perceived by customers as a symbol of carefree, all thanks to the saying “to see through rose-tinted spectacles “. Cosmetics manufacturers that use pink on their packaging include Kylie Cosmetics and Miya.
Blue is one of the safest colours. The danger of using it, however, is that it can create such a boring and predictable effect that customers will not pay attention to the packaging in this colour. Blue evokes a sense of trust, confidence, reliability and responsibility. Packaging with dark shades of blue is usually targeted at older customers, and lighter shades at younger customers. Most often, this colour is used by brands that want to emphasize their credibility and stability. The cosmetics manufacturer that uses blue shades in packaging on the largest scale is Nivea.
Green colour is usually used in the packaging of ecological and environmentally friendly cosmetics because it is clearly associated with nature. Green packaging also brings to mind vitality and harmony. Green has a calming effect on the audience. A brand of cosmetics that uses shades of green on packaging is, for instance, Botanique.
Yellow, the colour of the sun, stimulates people and is associated with joy. It is cheerful, positive and emphasizes the originality of the product. Most often used in the packaging of cosmetics that protect the skin from the sun. The yellow packaging is likely to attract young people’s attention. However, you have to be careful when choosing a shade of yellow for packaging – some studies show that if this colour is too intense, it can be repulsive and even cause anxiety. An example of a cosmetic brand that uses this colour in packaging is Yellow Beauty.
Orange is a radiant colour that, similarly to yellow and red, can quickly catch customers’ eye to your cosmetics in the drugstore. It is eye-catching, it is an “energetic” colour, and when used in cosmetic packaging, it emphasizes their effectiveness and quick action. For instance: the manufacturer of cosmetics brand Clinique chose orange for the packaging of its face cream , which provides sun protection and has an anti-wrinkle effect.
Grey packaging, similarly to white, is the background colour. It allows you to better display other colours, adding neutrality and elegance. Thanks to the grey colour, other colours will become more pronounced. It goes well with most colours. If you want to emphasize that your cosmetics belong to the professional line, you can add a little blue, red or gold colour to the grey background. If you prefer to obtain “new” and “originality” effect you use yellow at the grey background.
The beige colour on cosmetic packaging, similarly to green, emphasizes the natural origin of the product. If your cosmetics do not contain artificial substances and are not toxic to the environment, then beige packaging will emphasize these features. It is worthwhile to reinforce this message by choosing packaging made of a material that is also produced in a sustainable manner. In the Polish market, the brand that uses the beige colour in cosmetic packaging is Resibo.
Summary – The importance of colours in cosmetic packaging. What is worth knowing about?
What associations, emotions and feelings evoke in your target group are the basis for designing packaging for cosmetics that will affect sales results. And although the meaning of colours is important, many other factors must not be forgotten, such as the shade of a given colour, colour combination and the context, i.e. the environment in which the customer will come into contact with the product for the first time. Lighter colour shades will reduce the seriousness, black and white colours will emphasize that the product is luxurious, pink will add femininity, whereas red, orange and yellow will catch the customer’s eye at the earliest. So the point of departure should be to think how you want customers to perceive your brand.
Do you need help in designing packaging for cosmetics that will boost your sales? Get in touch with our consultant. At Burgopak Poland, we specialize in the design and manufacturing of packaging that attracts attention and has a direct impact on sales performance.
 As cited in: https://zielonalinia.gov.pl/-/biznesowa-moc-koloru, access: 6.10.2022
 As cited in: https://www.wiadomoscikosmetyczne.pl/artykuly/marek-borowinski-kacik-makijazowy-w-drogerii-powin,42145/3, access: 6.10.2022
See https://www.wiadomoscikosmetyczne.pl/artykuly/marek-borowinski-kacik-makijazowy-w-drogerii-powinien-dzialac-na-kobiety-jak-swiatlo-na-cme,42145, access: 5.10.2022