HO CHI MINH CITY: Two American brands, Maybelline and Ponds, are the most favoured cosmetic brands among Vietnamese women, according to a new study.

Local research agency Q&Me surveyed 360 women, aged 20-44, by mobile phone and reported that 75% of respondents said they used makeup at least once a week, with nearly 90% using lipstick.

Moreover, the survey found that 30% of Vietnamese women consider expensive makeup a necessity and use it daily.

The most important sources of information about products were Facebook, the social network, and word of mouth recommendations. More than 80% of the respondents who use makeup watched YouTube videos to find information.

Country of origin was revealed to be the primary factor in the purchase decision, with US brands Maybelline and Ponds the most favoured, together gaining 35% of responses for 'brand for me' across all age groups.

Though Maybelline is a subsidiary of French cosmetic giant L'Oréal, the American makeup brand was considered the 'makeup brand for me' by 20% of respondents, 13% higher than its parent company.

At the beginning of this year, WARC's Trend Watch for Vietnam chronicled the country's 6.6% economic growth in 2016. Frederic Neumann, co-head of Asian economic research at HSBC, noted that "Vietnam is in a sweet spot right now" and he expected that "strong growth will persist in the next several years".

For the country's beauty market, this meant stable growth of 4% last year, according to a recent Kantar report which highlighted the internet's influence on awareness of beauty products.

The "internet has gradually changed the way people build knowledge, get influenced and decide on a beauty item," said Fabrice Carrasco, MD of Kantar Worldpanel Vietnam/Indonesia/Philippines. "Needless to say, it's now a crucial topic worth deliberating in any route-to-market plan."

He also highlighted the country's low barriers to entry for international companies, and a greater visibility for foreign brands, "which are already favoured in consumer minds".

Data sourced from Q&Me, Vietnam News, Kantar Worldpanel; additional content by WARC staff