Prestige beauty was the fastest-growing industry segment, across more than $4 trillion in U.S. general merchandise consumer spending tracked by The NPD Group. Furthermore, prestige beauty was the only industry across discretionary retail and consumer packaged goods (CPG) categories to experience unit sales growth in 2022.

According to NPD, U.S. prestige beauty sales revenue grew 15%, year over year, reaching $27.1 billion in 2022. All prestige beauty categories grew by double digits, with makeup rising 18%, skin care growing 12%, fragrance increasing 11%, and hair products up 22%.

“In more ways than one, the prestige beauty industry had an epic year,” says Larissa Jensen, Beauty Industry Advisor at NPD. “Regardless of whether consumer confidence was up or down, growth in the prestige beauty market remained strong. The factors supporting this phenomenon — including increased spending from higher income consumers, the redefinition of wellness emphasizing mental health, and an increase in socialization — will continue to fuel positive performance this year.”

Makeup contributed the most sales revenue gains of all the prestige beauty categories. Lip was the fastest-growing segment in makeup, with sales surpassing pre-pandemic 2019 levels by double-digits. Lip gloss outperformed lipstick, compared to both 2021 and 2019.

Fragrance was a standout category in its own right. Building on stellar performance as the industry’s fastest-growing category in 2021, the fragrance market not only maintained this elevated level but continued to grow, led by both higher fragrance concentrations such as eau de parfums and parfums, and higher-end artisanal fragrance juices.

In skin care, body products grew at more than three-times the rate of facial products. Hair was the smallest, yet fastest-growing, beauty category, led by masks and targeted treatments. Interestingly, hair care ranked among the fastest-growing segments in the prestige beauty market, whereas it landed among the top decliners in the mass channel.

Beauty products overall experienced consistent revenue growth across both the mass and prestige markets, up 11% when combined; however, only prestige unit demand remained strong. The prestige beauty market also experienced a greater shift back to stores in 2022, with year-over-year brick-and-mortar retail share growing, while online sales share increased in the mass market.

“Looking at the industry holistically, inclusive of the prestige and mass markets, the future outlook for overall beauty is a positive one,” says Larissa. “In an industry steeped in emotion, consumers have demonstrated they are willing to continue to spend on beauty products. Beauty brings joy, which is a universal aspiration and will drive our industry’s resiliency in 2023.”

Be the first to hear a complete analysis for end-of-year sales, full-year performance, and 2023 beauty predictions by attending CEW’s State of the Beauty Industry 2023 Report virtual event, featuring The NPD Group, Mintel, Iced Media, Nielsen IQ, Spate, and Google on February 9.