Makeup continued its overall leading role in the global prestige beauty market in 2016. Sales of prestige makeup products soared by 23% in South America in 2016 (compared to +9% for prestige skincare products and +13% for prestige fragrances), by 13% in North America (compared to +3% for prestige skincare products and + 1% for prestige fragrances) and by 6% in Europe (compared to +1% for prestige skincare products and fragrances), according to data from The NPD Group.
Makeup accelerates as fragrance weakens
In the U.S., sales of prestige beauty products grew by 7% in 2016 (vs +6% for the overall beauty market), according to The NPD Group. The prestige beauty market was mainly driven by the increase in make-up sales (+12%) which, according to the market research firm, contributed to 76% of incremental gains of the sector in value and to 83% of the volume increase. On the other hand, sales of prestige fragrances continue to weaken, with a growth of 1% only. As far as prestige skincare sales are concerned, the U.S. market grew by 3% 2016.
The trend is very similar in most markets, with consumers attracted in every product that can improve their appearance instantly including in a selfie made at any time of the day. Self-staging on social media plays a key role in this phenomenon.
In a dynamic global market, France was the exception in 2016. Sales of prestige beauty products dropped by 3% compared to 2015, according to The NPD Group, the strongest decline in 10 years. Skincare sales recorded the strongest decline (-7%), while sales of perfumes and make-up dropped by 2%.
The French market, which has been suffering from a sluggish economic environment for several years, was strongly hit by the decline in foreign tourist numbers in 2016 after the wake of terror attacks, explained The NPD Group.
"The Paris region accounted for two-thirds of the decline, while it is usually a driver for the market," Mathilde Lion, a beauty specialist at NPD, told Reuters.
However, some segments of the market remained unaffected by this trend and recorded strong growth in 2016. That is the case of niche fragrances, which are continuing to grow and, in the make-up category, of products for eyebrows, lipsticks or skin luminizers.