Is 'affordable luxury' now dominating the skin care landscape?

By Jo Allen | Published: 16-Jan-2023

As retailers mix up their assortment of prestige and affordable brands, 'luxury' is being redefined in beauty

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This article was originally published in the Budget Beauty Trend Report. Receive your copy here

Beauty has no boundaries. It’s a concept that brands often use in their marketing to champion the expression, individuality and diversity of the modern beauty consumer.

But it also reflects the fluidity of the beauty landscape today: from the blurring of traditional retail channels to the re- evaluation of what luxury means in beauty today.

In the UK, budget-friendly brand The Ordinary is sold in premium department store Harrods, while The Inkey List rubs shoulders with La Mer in Selfridges.

Stateside, shoppers can buy prestige beauty in mass market retailer Walmart since it partnered Space NK earlier this year. This wouldn’t have happened even five years ago. So what’s changed?

“Retailers like Harrods are looking for brands and products that bring people into store, and I don’t think they necessarily need to have a certain price tag to do that,” says Lauren Leibrandt, Director at Baird’s Beauty and Wellness Investment Banking practice.

“Today, it’s way less about price and more about performance. Efficacy is key. It can’t be overstated just what an important driver that is for consumers, whatever the price point.”

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