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NPD Report Shows Decline in Makeup Usage

Makeup usage by women 18- to 64-years old has declined by 5 percent compared to levels seen in 2008.

Makeup usage by women 18 to 64 years old has declined by 5 percent compared with levels seen in 2008, according to an NPD Group Inc. survey completed in the spring and released Tuesday.

This story first appeared in the August 18, 2010 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Karen Grant, vice president and global beauty industry analyst at The NPD Group, did not attribute the decrease in usage directly to the recession, but instead said, “Potentially, with the increase in unemployment and resulting decline in the number of women going to work, more women did not have a need to wear makeup. The recession, and unemployment, may have exacerbated the trend, but we began to see declines in usage prior to the recession.

“For some women,” she said, “with the emergence, acceptance and popularity of a more casual and natural look, makeup becomes more optional.” Grant added, “Staple products tended to perform better, such as foundation, particularly mineral foundation, in prestige, and in the mass arena, mascara was a strong performer.”

Meanwhile, 86 percent of makeup users have used makeup that features skin care benefits in the past year. Moisturizing (54 percent) and SPF (51 percent) are the most popular skin care benefits in makeup products. These were followed by “oil-free-won’t clog pores” (32 percent); “reduces wrinkles-fine lines” (30 percent) and items that are natural or mineral-based (27 percent), according to the report.

About 60 percent of women who use makeup with skin care benefits use it in addition to using skin care products with the same benefits, NPD stated, adding that almost 40 percent are using makeup products with skin care benefits instead of treatment products with the same benefits.

An additional one million women, based on census projections, are wearing only one makeup product a day, according to NPD.