Pure Beauty

Return to retail triggers spike in prestige make-up sales

By Becky Bargh | Published: 18-May-2021

Beauty categories have seen triple-digit growth since lockdown restrictions eased on 12 April

The UK’s prestige beauty market has seen exponential growth since shoppers have returned to retail.

Data from NPD Group reported a 229% increase in luxury make-up sales in the first two weeks when customers were permitted to return to retailers and outdoor dining on 12 April.

From 11-24 April, sales of tinted moisturisers were up 267%, while foundations saw an uptick of 253% and bronzer sales soared above 170%.

Face masks, however – once known as the hindrance to the lip care category – are not slowing down the lip care category’s recovery, as sales rebound following the easing of lockdown.

The lip sector overall increased 190% during the two week period, with lip liners seeing the greatest increase of 434%, ahead of lip gloss sales at 185%, compared with the same period in 2020.

Eye make-up, meanwhile, still remains an important element of make-up while face masks remain a staple part of shoppers’ wardrobes, which is evident in the category’s sales.

Mascara’s popularity increased 287% compared with 2020, while eyeliner and eyelashes sales increased 283% and 307%, respectively.

Research by retail technology firm NearSt also confirmed beauty brands would benefit from Brits’ return to the office.

Searches online for lipsticks, specifically in bold reds, rose 30% between 1 and 15 March, while demand for foundation via search engines were up 22%, according to the group.

“2020 was a very challenging year for the prestige make-up sector,” said Emma Fishwick, Account Manager at NPD UK Beauty.

“We are very pleased to see that consumers have not lost their love for wearing make-up and this has been demonstrated by their eagerness to embrace a more made-up look as they return to physical stores and start going out to socialise again in England, with Scotland and Wales following soon afterwards.

“We expect this trend to continue as restrictions are eased further over the coming weeks and months.”

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