Prestige beauty brands in the UK are benefitting from consumer ‘defiance’ in the face of rising living costs, as well as aspirational trends.
According to a report from Circana (formerly The NPD Group and IRI), prestige beauty products grew value sales by 13.5% and unit sales by 10%, in the year to end of August 2023, compared with the same period in the previous year, to £1.4bn.
Make-up in particular pushed growth, rising 17% in value from January to end of August, buoyed by the wide availability of online tutorials by influencers on TikTok and Instagram, said Circana.
The analyst cited the ombre under eye trend, where different shades of concealer and blusher are applied under the eyes to create a glowing gradient effect to make the eyes look brighter, as being behind an uptick in sales of products in both categories.
Concealers grew value sales by 35% and blushers by 60% in the last year.
“Prestige beauty is an exception in the consumer goods market,” said Emma Fishwick, Account Director for Prestige Beauty at Circana, of overall prestige category growth.
“Skin care, make-up and hair segments are all growing in double-digits.
“In what seems like an act of pure defiance at the sacrifices they are making elsewhere in their shopping, consumers have extended the small lipstick treat that we typically see during a downturn to include other beauty segments such as skin care, make-up and hair care.”
Commenting on the impact of tutorials, Fishwick added: “Social media can provide an authentic platform for beauty brands, retailers, influencers and make-up artists to promote product features and benefits, educate through tutorials and further engage with customers.
“The experimental, artisanal and playful nature of the make-up category can be easily demonstrated through social media and allows for more widespread adoption of trends such as the ombre under eye.”