Unit sales of prestige make-up products decline 20% compared to pre-pandemic levels, reports The NPD Group

London: 25th October 2022: According to The NPD Group, which recently merged with Information Resources, Inc. (IRI®) to create a leading global technology, analytics and data provider, unit sales of prestige make-up products declined 20% from January to the end of August 2022, compared to the same period in 2019. The market for prestige make-up products in the UK was valued at £334M, a decline of 25% in comparison with the same period in 2019.

Make-up sales have been particularly impacted by the shift to remote and hybrid working, a decline in tourism and an increase in reliance on products that multi-task such as lip and cheek tints and foundations with skincare benefits.

Streamlining make-up routines

Beauty buyers appear to be streamlining their make-up routines for a more pared back approach. Skin preparation products have seen some of the most dramatic declines since the beginning of the pandemic. Unit sales of Lip Primer declined 54% and unit sales of Eye Primer declined 43% in the period from January to the end of August 2022, compared to the same period in 2019. 

Emma Fishwick, Account Manager, NPD UK Beauty explains: “There is an evident decline in sales of primers across all make-up segments including face, eye and lip, suggesting that consumers are skipping the “Prep” make-up step and seeking alternative methods through skincare products. They maybe purchasing foundation products with in-built primer benefits or relying on one product at the end to keep in place such as setting spray.” Unit sales of setting spray products increased 35% in the eight-month period compared to before the pandemic. 

Nail Sales

Contrasting the decline in total make-up unit sales there has been an 18% increase in sales of nail units compared to pre-pandemic levels, as consumers aim to do their manicures at home to save money. 

Emma Fishwick, Account Manager, NPD UK Beauty explains: “The “Natural Look” in make-up is not a new trend, but sub-segments such as Highlighters and Eye Shadows declined faster than the whole market and suggests that consumers are going back to basics. Post-pandemic, priorities have changed and many consumers are choosing a more minimalist approach to make-up.”


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