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Trendalytics: Lipstick Searches Soar Amid Pandemic Recovery

Following the lifting of mask mandates, search traffic for lip cosmetics skyrocketed, in one case, over 1,000 percent year-over-year.

Lip cosmetics may have been the hardest-hit category in prestige beauty in 2020, but new data suggests it’s headed for a rebound.

Data from Trendalytics shows triple-digit search volume growth in several searches around lip cosmetics, which the firm attributes to changing CDC guidelines around mask wear. Long-wear lipstick grew 1,135 percent year-over-year, while shimmer lip gloss, plum lipstick and plumping lip gloss grew 889 percent, 300 percent and 259 percent, respectively.

“CDC guidelines are lifting the lipstick category. When we were analyzing what makeup would look like when society recovered, our instincts were that the concealers and lipsticks would be the first to rebound. Without the guidelines, I don’t think the lipstick could have recovered the way that it has,” said Sarah Barnes, content marketing manager at Trendalytics.

“It’ll be interesting to see the brands service demand,” Barnes continued. Even before consumer interest swelled, the category had a fair amount of launch activity and innovation in the first quarter, including Hourglass’ vegan alternative to carmine. In the mass market, Cover Girl gained market share for the first time in years.

Cece Lee Arnold, chief executive officer of Trendalytics, said the phenomenon was in line with the lipstick index, only on delay. “Makeup is and has always been an affordable luxury, and for people who were lucky enough to make it to the end of the pandemic, part of what you want to do is make yourself feel good again,” she said.

For more from, see:

By the Numbers: Color Cosmetics in Q2

E.l.f. Cosmetics, Jen Atkin Collaborate on Makeup Line

L’Oréal Discontinuing Makeup Category, Essie in Japan