Is it curtains for contouring as Brit’s embrace glass skin?

Make-up sales decline as consumers opt for skincare to achieve a natural look

London: 30th May 2018:  The sale of prestige skincare in the UK reported an increase of 6% whilst make-up sales declined by 2% in the 3-month period January 2018 to March 2018 according to The NPD Group, a global information company. The total UK market for prestige skincare was valued at £594 million in 2017 whilst prestige make-up was valued at £835 million in 2017.    

Skincare sales up, make-up sales down

Prestige make-up sales have reported double digit growth for the past two years, whilst the skincare market has remained relatively flat. In 2016 make-up sales grew 11% versus skincare which increased by 3%. In 2017 make-up sales began to stall whilst growth in the skincare market accelerated with both sectors increasing sales by 6%. The trend has continued into 2018 where make-up sales have declined and skincare sales have increased.

Helen Duxbury, Senior Account Manager, NPD UK Beauty says: “The increase in skincare sales and decline in make-up sales is a complex story. There was a post-Brexit boost in prestige beauty with global shoppers flocking to the UK to purchase designer beauty brands and make-up really benefitted from this trend. It’s also important to remember that there was a social media frenzy around contouring and pronounced, heavy make-up styles on Instagram popularised by Kim Kardashian. However, we are now seeing the K-Beauty trend for ‘glass skin’ take hold and as a result skincare sales are improving dramatically, especially cleansers, masks, and serums.”

The end of contouring?

The dramatic contouring effect appears to be declining in popularity as catwalk models adopt a more natural make-up look and this is reflected in the sales of prestige make-up. In the period January 2018 to end of March 2018, sales of bronzer declined by 5% and blusher by 10% compared to the same period in 2017. There are also some positive stories in make-up where all other face products increased 19% driven by highlighting products and primers which are linked to the recent trends for glowing skin and natural make-up.

K-Beauty trend: ‘glass skin’

The K-Beauty trend for glass skin which emerged in the UK in 2017 saw social media influencers and the beauty press declare a smooth, flawless, pore-less looking complexion as the ultimate in skincare perfection. Achieved through a regime of skincare, rather than masking skin with make-up, has led to an increase in high-performance skincare that delivers these results. The sale of anti-ageing skincare and moisturisers grew 10% in the UK in the period January 2018 to end of March 2018 whilst cleansers grew 2%, toners grew 15% and the sale of serums increased by 12%.

Helen Duxbury, Senior Account Manager, NPD UK Beauty concludes: “We have seen a definite shift in the purchasing behaviour of beauty consumers, who seem to be moving away from make-up products that create a defined, chiseled look to their make-up. The trend now is more towards natural enhancements and certainly the K-Beauty trend for ‘glass skin’ is increasing in popularity especially with the increase in sales of cleansers, toners and serums which are so crucial to this regime.”

Press Contact

Lucy Green
Greenfields Communications
07817 698366

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