Beauty Store Business magazine - January, 2020

NPD Highlights: Beauty Holiday 2015 Outlook

The U.S. prestige beauty industry has entered a phase of renewed growth, which has put the industry in a healthy position heading into the 2015 holiday season. Overall dollar sales are up 8% (January through September) compared to this time in 2014 (according to the NPD Group's "U.S. Prestige Beauty Total Measured Market"); and more consumers plan on purchasing beauty products this holiday season compared to last year (according to NPD Group's "Holiday Purchase Intentions Survey 2015").

“What’s driving the industry today has changed; fragrance sales are dynamic in core components, like juices, while gift sets are becoming less prominent. On the other hand, the lines continue to blur between makeup and skin care as consumers look for immediate results through makeup and rediscover smaller primary-care categories in skin care. We’re seeing positive performance, but in a way that’s different than what we’re used to,” said Karen Grant, global beauty industry analyst for The NPD Group. “Given the robust growth the industry has had throughout the year, all indications are that we can be optimistic in expecting a bright holiday season for beauty.”

More specifically:

  • Straight Up Juice – Fragrance/perfume is the driver behind the uptick in planned beauty purchases, and continues to be the top beauty category for holiday, rounding out the “Top 5” list across all industries. While gift sets have been drivers of performance in the past, it is "juices" that are invigorating sales heading into the holidays.
  • Spotlight on Makeup – With sales up 13%, makeup continues to see the strongest growth within the beauty industry. The face, lip and eye segments are all experiencing double-digit increases. With trends such as contouring and strobing becoming more mainstream, emphasis on definition, color and immediacy in results continues to ramp up makeup sales. The holidays will likely bode well for makeup sales as many beauty consumers continue to prioritize and place emphasis on this category.


  • Smaller is Bigger in Skincare – While the overall prestige skincare industry appears to be somewhat softened by makeup, it is skincare’s smaller categories that are outperforming its larger ones. Products including masks, oils and lip treatments are experiencing double-digit growth. At the same time, consumer awareness of smaller, niche prestige brands has increased (according to NPD Group's "Women's Facial Skincare Consumer Report 2015). It is these smaller segments that will continue to stand out during the holiday season.

 [Image: Getty Images/Westend61]