Most states have lifted mask mandates, and millions of American workers are going back to work in-office. And with their return to work, women are buying more cosmetics (70%) than they did pre-COVID-19 pandemic, according to The NPD Group. NPD’s “Makeup Attitudes and Usage Report” reveals that mascara is the most used makeup product overall, followed by foundation, eye shadow, eyeliner, and lipstick.
Makeup is a natural accompaniment as women get dressed up again,” says Larissa Jensen, a beauty industry advisor at NPD. “The recovery and creativity of the makeup category are leading sales gains for the prestige beauty industry in 2022. After a gloomy period shrouded by the pandemic, we are seeing a renaissance in beauty, as consumers experiment with color again.”
In the prestige makeup category, from January through May 2022, sales were up 22%, compared to the same period in 2021. That’s more than twice the rate of skincare and faster than the fragrance category, according to Retail Tracking Service data from NPD.
The Report digs into consumer behavior as well. Women say they mainly wear makeup to enhance their appearance. But Gen Z and millennials say they primarily use makeup to boost their confidence. Across generations, almost 30% of women say wearing makeup 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 says. “Makeup products are satisfying an emotional need to look good and feel better about ourselves.”
Cosmetics has always been an industry open to entrepreneurs. Look for a niche, launch with a product, not a whole line. Don’t ignore men or teens. As for marketing, according to Insider Intelligence, the beauty hashtag has nearly 108 billion views on TikTok, making beauty one of the biggest product categories on the social site. Insider Intelligence also says beauty “is a key part of TikTok’s commerce development. The platform partnered with Shopify to launch TikTok Shopping last year.”