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Luxury brands embrace budget beauty trend with diffusion lines

Collaborating with retailers is seen crucial to effectively reach the target audience.

Luxury and premium brands are stepping into the budget beauty market by introducing accessible diffusion lines, according to WGSN – Key Trend 2025/6: The New Role of Budget & Diffusion Beauty Brands.

“Diffusion beauty lines have been difficult to sustain in the past,” the report stated.

“Ongoing inflationary pressures and growing opportunities in the mass beauty space will see a resurgence of brand subsidiaries with a new approach and a more willing consumer,” it added.

The report said collaborating with retailers is important to effectively reach the target audience. Notable partnerships include Korean brands Able C&C and VT Cosmetics teaming up with Japanese chain Daiso to offer exclusive beauty ranges priced from 500 won to 5,000 won. With Daiso collaborating with 14 brands, beauty sales have skyrocketed by 70%, particularly resonating with Gen Z and Alphas.

The appeal of these diffusion lines lies in their combination of substantial cost savings, quality, and efficacy, catering to value-driven consumers. 

For instance, Goop’s (US) affordable skincare and wellness brand, good.clean.goop, boasts products priced under $40 each whilst maintaining its promise of ‘clean’, effective formulations. 

Another example is The Healthy Ageing Serum, priced at $39.99, offering similar benefits to Goop’s Youth Boost Peptide Serum priced at $150.

To effectively execute this strategy, the report said brands must ensure that their diffusion lines retain the core values of the mainline brand whilst establishing a distinct identity, product designs, formulations, and pricing structures. 

Thee report pointed out that emulating the success of good.clean.goop, which has its own brand identity, website, social channels, and retail structure, will be crucial in appealing to a younger and more mainstream audience while setting the diffusion line apart from the main brand.

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