NPD Reports Age Matters When It Comes to Makeup

Major Makeup Shift begins at Age 35

Port Washington, NY, November 25, 2008 – According to a new report, The Makeup In-Depth Consumer Report from The NPD Group, Inc., a leading market research company, as a woman ages, there is a critical shift in her makeup usage and buying habits. The key age group where the shift starts is 35 to 44 years old. During this age, women begin to use color more on their face and lips and less color on their eyes. By the time a woman is 35 years old she has flipped her preferences from lip gloss to lipstick and from foundation toward blush.

Percent of Makeup Products Used in Past 12 Months

18-24 Years Old 35-44 Years Old
Lip Gloss 75% 57%
Lipstick 29% 69%
Blush 47% 71%

Source: Makeup In-Depth Consumer Report

Concerns about aging play a key role here, as women approach 40 there is much greater attention placed on anti-aging. In the eye category for example, women start using less eye shadow and less eye liner when they hit 45 years old. This may be attributable to concerns about wrinkles around the eye; therefore, many women will avoid adding color to the area. Nearly 80 percent of women between 18 to 24 years old use eye shadow and eye liner. Usage begins to drop as women near 40 and by the time they reach 55 years old only 68 percent of women use eye shadow and 54 percent use eye liner. Mascara usage remains high no matter what age; nearly nine in ten women ages 18 to 54 use mascara.

“Consumers are increasingly independent in their product and brand choices.  Less than one out-of-five makeup users say that they usually buy all from the same brand.  But, IF they believe a brand or product works for them, almost 60 percent say they will stick with that brand or product.  That tells us that the consumer is not as fickle as we sometimes think.  They will buy and even come back, BUT we have to earn the right to their dollar,” said Karen Grant, vice president and global beauty industry analyst.

By the age of 35, women have a more involved daily regimen, with 42 percent of these women telling NPD they use five or more products in a typical day. Younger women, ages 18 to 24, wear fewer makeup products in a typical day, with only 28 percent using five or more different products as part of her normal daily routine.

“Additionally, there is opportunity to convert a significant number of women into heavier makeup usage.  Almost one-third of women who use makeup are light or infrequent users, with about 20 percent using only one to two products on a typical day.  This speaks to the need to educate, excite, and engage consumers into this category.  During tough economic times, consumers want affordable items, but they still want and need things that make them feel good.  On both fronts, makeup works - as the most economically priced beauty category, makeup is the arena women can come to play and invest in themselves for little more than the price of a good lunch,” ended Grant.

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Dora Brunette

The NPD Group, Inc.
900 West Shore Road
Port Washington, NY 11050

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