1. Trends & External Forces

NPD: more women back to pre-pandemic makeup routines

PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y. — Women in the U.S. are back to their former makeup habits — or even kicking them up a notch — now that most mask requirements have been lifted and more people are returning to workplaces, travel, and events. In fact, 70% of makeup wearers have returned to previous routines or are wearing more makeup than they did before the pandemic, according to The NPD Group.

Use of several makeup products is on the rise, as women return to social life, based on findings from the 2022 “Makeup Attitudes and Usage Report” from NPD. Mascara is the most used makeup product overall, followed by foundation, eye shadow, eye liner, and lipstick.

“As women get dressed up again, makeup is a natural accompaniment,” said Larissa Jensen, beauty industry advisor at NPD. “The recovery and creativity of the makeup category is leading sales gains for the prestige beauty industry in 2022. After a gloomy period shrouded by the pandemic, we are seeing a renaissance in makeup artistry, as consumers experiment with color again.”

In the prestige makeup category, U.S. sales revenue grew by 22%, from January through May 2022, versus last year. That’s more than twice the rate of skincare, and faster than fragrance, according to Retail Tracking Service data from NPD.

Women report that they primarily wear makeup to enhance their appearance; however, Gen Z and Millennial women wear makeup mainly to boost their confidence. Across generations, almost 30% of women wear makeup because they say it brings them joy. “The pandemic shifted our definition of wellness, moving it beyond the physical to be more about mental health and well-being,” Jensen said. “Makeup products are satisfying an emotional need to look good and feel better about ourselves.”

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