Prestige Beauty Grew 16 Percent in Q2

Inflation is no match for prestige beauty.

According to data from the NPD Group, prestige beauty sales in the U.S. grew 16 percent to $6 billion in the second quarter, driven by double-digit growth across categories.

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Despite macroeconomic pressures, the beauty consumer is more engaged than ever, said Larissa Jensen, vice president, beauty, the NPD Group. “The higher-income consumer is growing, we know from census information that the cohort of incomes over $100,000 per year has been growing in size over time,” she said. “The majority of our shopper base, about 47 percent of shoppers for prestige beauty, make over $100,000 per year.”

That consumer, Jensen continued, “is more engaged, and better able to indulge because of inflationary pressure and recession fears. They’re not feeling those pressures as much as the lower-income consumers right now. Having to pay more for your groceries hurts everybody, but it really hurts the lower-income consumer more.”

To that end, usage rates for makeup, skin care, fragrance and hair care are 67 percent, 76 percent, 78 percent and 96 percent, respectively.

Makeup made up one third of sales, crossing the $2 billion mark for the quarter, up 18 percent from the same period last year. Although dollar sales are still lower than before the pandemic, unit sales beat 2019’s second quarter by 1 percent. Lipstick revenues increased 28 percent year-over-year.

“Makeup is firing on all cylinders,” Jensen said. “There’s the creative, colorful side of the category, and then the one that just enhances how you look.…When you look at both sides of the makeup coin, both are very successful.”

Fragrance is still on an upward trajectory, and grew 13 percent over last year. Prices increased 6 percent — double the rate of overall beauty — a

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