US prestige beauty sales top $14 billion in first half of 2023

By Alessandro Carrara | Published: 7-Aug-2023

Lip make-up itself was the fastest-growing segment across all the beauty categories, and has been attributed to the rising usage of make-up products in 2023

Prestige beauty sales in the US jumped 15% to US$14bn during the first half of 2023, driven by an increased appetite for lip make-up products.

Make-up was the fastest growing category overall within the luxury market, according to research from consumer insights firm Circana, with sales revenue up 18%.

This has been supported by the ‘lipstick effect’ phenomenon in 2023, which has contributed to a 3% rise in make-up usage in the states,  surpassing pre-pandemic levels.

The 'lipstick effect' is the theory that consumers are still willing to buy less costly luxury goods to make themselves feel good, when they have to make cost savings in other areas.

Lip make-up itself was the fastest-growing segment across all the beauty categories, from both prestige and mass beauty retailers.

Skin care sales also benefited from a 14% increase during the period, but saw more subdued consumer interest compared with 2022.

Shoppers are instead turning towards hybrid products that can address skin concerns and provide make-up coverage, Circana has found.

Despite this, new face serum, body spray and facial cleansers launches were cited as the largest growth drivers for the prestige skin care market.

“Beauty continues to be the darling of retail through the first half of 2023, maintaining its position as the only industry to grow based on units sold across the general merchandise and consumer packaged goods categories Circana tracks,” said Larissa Jensen, beauty industry advisor at Circana.

The mass beauty market also saw a strong performance in the first half of 2023, with sales rising 9% to $28bn.

While hair care sales revenue was significantly higher in the mass market, hair product sales benefited from significant growth on the prestige side and was up 13%.

This was attributed to the category experiencing increased pricing during the period, growing at three-times the rate of the overall industry.

“The beauty industry is hitting the right notes, meeting consumers’ emotional needs through new and existing products, which is especially welcomed at a time when spending power continues to be squeezed,” added Jensen.

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