In the first quarter of 2019, sales of U.S. prestige beauty products were $4.1 billion, a 1 percent increase over Q1 2018.

“The big story for the first quarter is that, as we predicted, growth in beauty, and in each category, is softer compared to Q1 of 2018,” said Larissa Jensen, beauty industry analyst, The NPD Group.  “Despite the slowdown, there remain pockets of growth and opportunities, even in a declining category like makeup. Identifying and winning in those areas will lead to success.”

Makeup sales declined 4 percent to $1.8 billion in the first quarter. Despite this, various segments in the category experienced growth. Setting sprays and tinted moisturizers were the fastest growing segments within face makeup, 19 and 11 percent, respectively. Lip color sales declined by 8 percent, while lip gloss grew by 4 percent. The positive trend within eye makeup continues with eyebrow makeup growing 6 percent and false eyelashes up 18 percent.

Sales of skin care grew 5 percent to $1.4 billion. Notably, both the men’s and women’s skin care markets grew by 5 percent. Natural brands accounted for 27 percent of Q1 skincare sales and collectively grew by 8 percent in the quarter.  Sunscreen have been popular this quarter, with sales growing by 22 percent, and self-tanner sales by 20 percent.

Fragrance sales grew 4 percent to $748.2 million. Women’s sales increased by 4 percent and men’s by 6 percent. Fragrance gift sets grew by 5 percent, an acceleration of growth compared to Q1 2018. Sales of home scents were down despite a 14 percent growth of diffuser sales which could not offset declines in candles.

Sales of hair care grew 14 percent to $175.8 million. All segments within hair were on the plus side during the quarter, including daily rinse shampoo and conditioner, dry shampoo, masks, and other hair care. Hair styling product sales grew by 6 percent, with hair gel seeing the fastest growth at 26 percent. Hair color sales were flat for the quarter.

“Much of the growth happening in the first quarter should continue through at least the first half of the year, even as overall performance softens. While some challenges may lie ahead, 2019 remains an exciting time for our industry. Listening to the consumer, maintaining a pulse on category trends, being open to change and adjusting in real time is what will drive success in today’s fast paced environment,” said Jensen.


Source: The NPD Group, Inc. / U.S. Prestige Beauty Total Measured Market, January-March 2019 vs. 2018