Prestige Skincare’s Growth Outpaces Makeup in Q2 – Beauty Highlights from NPD Group


In the second quarter of 2017, sales of U.S. prestige beauty products were $4.2 billion, a 4 percent increase from Q2 2016.  

  • Prestige skincare growth outpaced makeup, making this the headline story for Q2. Every major segment in skincare grew, and at a higher rate than last year, while makeup’s growth has slowed.
  • Another callout is the hint of a comeback starting to be seen in the nail market. A reversal of the negative trend happening for quite some time, the nail segment showed growth in the second quarter. All areas of the nail market experienced sales increases: base/top coats (+13 percent), nail care (+6 percent), and color (+1 percent). While total nail sales are still down -1 percent year-to-date (January-June), this is a notable slowdown compared to the -6 percent decline at this time last year.    
  • Men’s fragrance juice sales grew faster than women’s. Men’s, comprising just over one-third of the total market, grew by +4 percent while women’s sales increased by +1 percent for the quarter.

“Skincare’s accelerated growth is being driven by newer brands and products that are capturing greater market share. This is a continued trend as we have seen a lot of excitement and innovation in skincare coming from smaller, more limitedly distributed players, which resonate with the consumer desire for discovery and uniqueness,” said Larissa Jensen, executive director and beauty industry analyst, The NPD Group. “Makeup’s slowdown in performance has been observed since 2016, and amplified in 2017 by fewer launches, a struggling lip segment, and softening average prices. Despite this, there are areas of growth in the category, like palettes and sets, which may help fuel greater gains for the remainder of the year, as cost conscious consumers continue to seek out value.”

Larissa Jensen, Executive Director, Beauty Industry Analyst at The NPD Group, is an expert in the prestige skincare, makeup, and fragrance categories. She travels globally to lend her knowledge of the U.S. market to the beauty industry, which includes the evaluation of new business opportunities for top beauty manufacturers around the world.

Larissa shares her expert insights and analysis on The NPD Group Blog and with major media outlets covering the industry. She has delivered keynotes and trend presentations at established beauty events and conferences including HBA Global Expo and The Society of Cosmetic Chemists.

Larissa joined NPD in 2005 following her marketing roles at The Estée Lauder Companies, Inc. and L’Oréal USA. Larissa earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Communications from Ithaca College, and a Master of Professional Studies degree in Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing and Management from The Fashion Institute of Technology.

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