The $7.6 billion makeup category still represents the largest share of beauty sales, but as skin care continues to grow the share gap between the two categories is narrowing. A key factor contributing to makeup’s annual performance is the overall decline in makeup usage. According to The Changing Face of Makeup, NPD’s latest report in conjunction with CivicScience, nearly one-quarter of women in the U.S. are using much/somewhat less makeup today. The findings show that casualization is factoring into this, with more women working from home and also embracing a more natural look, according to NPD.
“'Natural’ is a big buzz word in many industries, especially beauty – in terms of product ingredients as well as consumers looking to achieve a more natural look. How makeup responds to this movement will be key to its revival,” said Larissa Jensen, vice president and beauty industry advisor, The NPD Group. “Historically, NPD data has detected a shift between makeup and skin care every four to five years. Based on this, and the slowdown in makeup that began to take hold in 2017, I anticipate we’ll see makeup rebound in the next one to two years.”
Skin care generated sales of $5.9 billion for the year, and natural was the top growth contributor. Natural brands represented 30% of total skin care and sales grew by 14% over 2018. Looking at specific segments of the market, staples such as cleansers and moisturizers grew and more targeted treatments were among the top performers, including acne treatments, brighteners, exfoliators, and lip treatments.
Fragrance sales totaled $4.5 billion and this was propelled by the growth in stronger concentrations—perfumes (+49%) and eau de parfums (+9%). While artisanal fragrances continued to grow at the fastest rate, it is the success of top ranked designer brands that captured the largest share of category sales, which has driven the sales performance.
“My one word to characterize the beauty industry in 2019 was ‘disruption;’ my word for 2020 is ‘connection’ – not in terms of technology and devices, but the human connection we have to each other, to brands, and to the environment,” said Jensen. “As topics such as transparency and sustainability become more mainstream, consumers are putting the social and environmental impacts of their purchase decisions front and center, and brands will need to act accordingly.”