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Makeup Sales Expected to Rise Again in 2017

The category may have outpaced fragrance during the holiday period, according to NPD.

Makeup might have outdone fragrance in terms of holiday sales — a sign that indicates its likelihood to keep growing in 2017, according to the NPD Group.

Prestige cosmetics could bring in more than $250 million over fragrance dollars for the fourth quarter — a big deal given that fragrance usually trumps other categories during the holiday shopping season, according to Karen Grant, global beauty industry analyst for NPD, who added, “the early indications are that fragrance really had a beating this holiday.”

That being said, makeup is growing faster than ever, with two of every five women who use makeup saying that they use upwards of five makeup products per day. Grant said she expects cosmetics sales will continue to grow in 2017, with some brand “shuffling” as the indies compete with more established lines.

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Other trends from 2016 will likely continue through 2017, Grant predicts. “At first glance, it looks like a lot of things have been continuing in the same direction, with more slowdown in skin care and more acceleration in makeup,” Grant said.

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In makeup, while consumers are still jumping on trend wagons, they are executing some of them — contouring, for example — in a more personalized way. For example, instead of using a palette set for contouring, some are buying a mix of products and still using them for contouring purposes, according to Grant. “They’re cherry-picking concealers, cherry-picking a strobing product,” Grant said.

She also predicts that makeup-skin care hybrids will continue to sell well in 2017. “The products that do well in that area are products that are helping you prepare for your look,” Grant said.

In skin care, antiaging is dead, at least in those terms.

“We’re definitely over the word,” Grant said. “It’s like metrosexual — you don’t say it. It’s not that we’re over the concept, but it’s this I-must-fix-myself-at-any-cost [attitude] — we’re over that too.”

Lip treatments, masks and complexion treatments that give users quick solutions are expected to continue selling well for the coming year. Consumer focus on prevention is also likely to lead to gains in the sun-care category, both in terms of specific sun-care products and moisturizers and foundations that contain SPF, according to Grant. “The end game is very important,” Grant said. “How am I going to look if my skin is getting damaged by the sun…she’s very aware that she needs to keep the canvas undamaged.”

In fragrance, flankers to classics and artisanal blends have been doing well, according to NPD. “When we look at the launches, most of the launches are not new, they’re spin-offs of existing classics,” Grant said. “A proven winner with a new twist and a younger orientation.” Chanel, for example, launched No. 5 L’Eau with Lily-Rose Depp as its face.

But overall, the category is in need of innovation to convince younger consumers to wear fragrance daily, including in countries like France where the category generally makes up about two-thirds of all prestige beauty sales. To get there, companies will need to work on their marketing materials resonating with younger generations.

She singled out Kenzo’s recent fragrance ad as an example of marketing that might resonate more with younger generations. “Fragrance needs to be less cheesy, corny, make-me-sexy and just more cool,” Grant said. “That ad shows it.”