Years ago, when I was home from college for Christmas break, I remember taking my closet apart one night searching for my favorite “going out” sweater to wear to a party. I knew I never brought it up to school, so it had to be there – except it wasn’t. Aggravated and annoyed, I ended up wearing something else. The next morning, my sister walked into my room to ask me a question and she’s wearing—you guessed it—my favorite sweater. And damn if she looked better in it than I did.
As any woman with a sister knows, whether you like it or not, sisters will borrow from your closet. In the world of beauty, makeup and skincare are no different. Moisturizers with a tint, foundation with sun protection, and colored lip balms are all proof of how these sister categories borrow from each other. But what happens when one sister outshines the other, helped in part by what she borrows? Kind of like when she looks better in your clothes than you do. But I digress.
Consider this. The gap in dollars between prestige makeup and skincare sales has widened. While both categories have grown in volume every year since 2013, makeup has grown at three to four times the rate of skincare, resulting in a gap in dollars of over $1.5 billion in 2015. This is three times larger than the gap between the categories two years ago. So yes makeup is doing well, but it appears to be succeeding at the expense of skincare.
Consumers continue to search for instant gratification and makeup delivers on that need. Add to that an expanded range of skincare benefits (serum foundations, primer oils) and skincare trends (star ingredient, natural products), and the evidence is clear that in addition to fun and play, makeup can also deliver on a multitude of more serious skincare needs.
While this may be dispiriting news for skincare, this is excellent news for consumers. There is no doubt that the sisterly bond that ties makeup and skincare is both important and beneficial to all beauty users, and will continue to drive the sales of both categories for years to come.
Source: The NPD Group, Inc. / U.S. Prestige Beauty Total Measured Market