Sales of U.S. prestige beauty products reached $4.2 billion in Q3, a 1 percent increase over 2018, according to The NPD Group.

Breaking that down, the skin care category grew by 7 percent, fragrance grew by 3 percent and hair care sales grew 17 percent. While makeup still accounts for the largest portion of dollar sales within prestige beauty, the category declined 7 percent, after already experiencing a 4 percent decline in Q2.

“Makeup continued its decline in Q3 and the category will likely end the year with negative performance, even as we anticipate a stronger Q4 versus last year. Skin care dollar growth is the strongest of the beauty categories, and yet growth has begun to soften from the double-digit success it experienced in 2018. This is something we’ll be watching in anticipation of the next pendulum swing between makeup and skin care.,” said Larissa Jensen, Beauty Industry Analyst, The NPD Group.

The “no-makeup makeup” trend slightly helped boost sales of tinted moisturizer and lip gloss in Q3. Nail care and nail base/top coats also saw an increase. However, lipstick, concealer, primers, applicators and nail color all declined. Additionally, makeup remover products declined 4 percent. In skin care, core products including facial moisturizers and cleansers were notable performers, as were lip treatments and exfoliators – which both grew double digits. Facial skincare products targeted at brightening, acne, and anti-aging all saw growth: brightening specialists (+20 percent), acne treatments (+19 percent), and age specialists (+6 percent).

Heading into the holiday season, false eyelashes (+27 percent) continue to perform well and this is poised to continue in Q4 as consumers complete their holiday party looks. Skin care sets grew +5 percent in Q3 and are typically hot items for holiday as consumers seek discounts through bundles and an opportunity to self-gift. In fragrance, new brand and item launches in Q3 gave a lift to the category, and new launch activity will likely help drive fragrance sales in Q4 as well – particularly in women’s. In men’s fragrance, eau de parfum juice sales grew +25 percent as men are gravitating more towards stronger concentrations – a trend to keep an eye on during the holidays.

“Fragrance is poised for a strong Q4, as launch activity ramps up and excitement sets in for holiday. The last few months of the year are critical for fragrance, making up 44% of annual volume,” said Larissa.


Source: The NPD Group/ U.S. Prestige Beauty Total Measured Market, July-September 2019 vs. 2018