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I walked into a department store the Saturday after Halloween to be greeted by Mariah Carey Christmas songs and a full display of holiday merchandise flooding the aisles. With over a week until Thanksgiving, the holiday season is already in high gear. Given the huge success of the U.S. beauty market last holiday, what can we expect from this one?

If the momentum we have witnessed throughout this year continues into the last quarter, Holiday 2018 stands to be even bigger and better than last year. As brands and retailers continue to expand their beauty holiday offerings to encompass each category in a bigger way, all of beauty stands to reap the benefits.

Skincare, specifically, should have a great holiday, as I expect the strong growth we have seen all year to continue. Skincare sets tend to perform well during the holiday season, influenced by the generally promotional fourth quarter. I expect sales of skincare face masks and minis will be strong, as their low price-point and fun packaging encourages the add-on gift purchase. 

In a similar fashion, mini or travel-sized makeup products have experienced double-digit gains throughout 2018, and I anticipate this performance will spill over into holiday. These products are highly giftable, given their price and fun holiday packaging. Additionally, given what we saw last holiday, I expect party favorites like false lashes and lip gloss/color to have another great fourth quarter.

In fragrance, I expect home scents will experience a solid holiday season. NPD’s Scentiments data shows that over 80 percent of consumers use home scents, so they make for great gifts – whether for oneself or others. Another driver for fragrance during this holiday will be new brands. With more than a third of full year fragrance sales happening in December, most fragrance manufacturers wait until the second half or last quarter of the year to introduce a new scent. The success of new launches during holiday can make or break the category, but given the robust performance seen so far in 2018, I anticipate fragrance will end the year very positively.

As we step into another holiday season, one thing feels certain: 2018 will deliver solid growth for the U.S. prestige beauty industry once again.



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