Sales of U.S. prestige beauty products reached $4.3 billion in Q2, a 2 percent increase over 2018, according to The NPD Group.

Breaking that down, the skin care category grew by 7 percent, fragrance grew by 2 percent and hair care sales grew 21 percent. Makeup, the industry’s largest category based on sales, declined 4 percent.

“Total beauty performance in the second quarter was positive across most categories, with hair and skin care posting the strongest gains. Fragrance, while positive, slowed its growth from earlier this year. Makeup was the only outlier, continuing to post declines that began during the first quarter of 2019,” said Larissa Jensen, Beauty Industry Analyst, The NPD Group. “With this continued decline in makeup, and softening performance in fragrance, it’s becoming increasingly important to identify trends leading to areas of growth in the beauty industry.”

Although it experienced a decline, makeup sales reached $1.7 billion in 2018. The consumer’s preference for a natural look continues to impact sales, with positive performance in tinted moisturizer and lip gloss, as well as steady performance from concealer and eyebrow makeup. Primers and setting sprays have been growth drivers in the makeup category (+78 percent and +6 percent, respectively). In short, areas of growth tend to be related to extra steps and finishing touches, versus the core makeup categories. False eyelashes continued their positive growth trend, up +18 percent, a bright spot in an otherwise challenged makeup category.

Skin care sales netted $1.4 billion for the quarter. Notably, facial masks are declining, possibly as a result of the number of skin care brands delivering advanced technology in core products and a potential desire to simplify their routines. Targeted treatments comprise many of the fastest growth segments in skin care, with growth in brighteners, acne treatments and exfoliators all up over 15 percent.

Fragrance sales totaled $834 million, with stronger concentrations driving overall fragrance performance, with continued gains in eau de parfums (+8 percent) and perfumes (+31 percent). The introduction of men’s parfum concentrations is driving growth for men’s fragrances. In general, men want stronger and longer-lasting scents, and they are willing to pay a premium for them. Designer and artisanal fragrances continue to experience dollar growth; however, the allure and interest in artisanal is increasing (+12 percent) while interest in designer fragrances is softer (+2 percent).

Hair sales grew to $217 million. Prestige hair care continues to grow in the double-digits driven by explosive growth happening in specialized treatment and color products, both up double-digits in dollars. NPD notes that consumers may be more interested in the overall care and health of their hair versus spending on style aids. Other prestige haircare products such as bond-builders and leave-in treatments are up +41 percent year-over-year.

“We anticipate the second half of 2019 to experience growth across most categories, yet the makeup category will likely continue to struggle through the end of the year. As category performances ebb and flow, brands should consider that reacting to changes quickly will make their path to success easier,” added Larissa.