The USD 7.6 billion makeup category still represents the largest share of beauty sales. A key factor contributing to makeup’s annual performance (-7%) is the overall decline in makeup usage. Indeed, nearly one-quarter of women in the U.S. are using much/somewhat less makeup today, found The NPD Group in The Changing Face of Makeup, the market research firm’s latest report in conjunction with CivicScience. The findings show that casualization is factoring into this, with more women working from home and also embracing a more natural look.

’Natural’ is a big buzz word in many industries, especially beauty – in terms of product ingredients as well as consumers looking to achieve a more natural look. How makeup responds to this movement will be key to its revival,” said Larissa Jensen, vice president and beauty industry advisor, The NPD Group. “Historically, NPD data has detected a shift between makeup and skincare every four to five years. Based on this, and the slowdown in makeup that began to take hold in 2017, I anticipate we’ll see makeup rebound in the next one to two years.

Skincare brought in USD 5.9 billion for the year, and natural was the top growth contributor. Natural brands represented 30% of total skincare and sales grew by 14% over 2018. Looking at specific segments of the market, staples such as cleansers and moisturizers grew and more targeted treatments were among the top performers, including acne treatments, brighteners, exfoliators, and lip treatments.

Eventually, fragrance sales totaled USD 4.5 billion and this was propelled by the growth in stronger concentrations - perfumes (+49%) and eaux de parfums (+9%). While artisanal fragrances continued to grow at the fastest rate, it is the success of top ranked designer brands that captured the largest share of category sales, which has driven the sales performance.

Makeup usage is on the decline in the U.S., but opportunities exist to bring consumers back to the market, says The NPD Group.

My one word to characterize the beauty industry in 2019 was ‘disruption;’ my word for 2020 is ‘connection’ – not in terms of technology and devices, but the human connection we have to each other, to brands, and to the environment,” said Jensen. “As topics such as transparency and sustainability become more mainstream, consumers are putting the social and environmental impacts of their purchase decisions front and center, and brands will need to act accordingly.