Given that cosmetics, skin care, and hair care are “low-ticket indulgences,” consumers are placing a higher priority on wellbeing.
The woman who was staring back at Emily Dubrovsky on the Zoom screen was difficult for her to identify as herself. Particularly in the area surrounding her eyes and mouth, they were minor details that no one else would see. The 39-year-old wasn’t terrified of getting older, but she decided to take action last year after coming to that understanding.
The Minnetonka, Minnesota, graphic designer began with skin care and makeup, looking for simple, uncluttered names like Jones Road and Ilia. She purchased an eye cream from Ursa Major to hydrate her beneath the eyes, a concealer/foundation stick from Merit Beauty, and a blending brush to mask her fine wrinkles.
Since then, Dubrovsky has spent over $1,000 on cosmetics in past year.
Nearly three times what she spent the year before, and “absolutely worth it. “She claimed that making a small investment in oneself would have a tremendous impact on her family, her self-esteem, and her overall outlook on life.
The emotion is a reflection of a subtle but important shift in the beauty industry, which experts claim has become linked with wellbeing. Now that consumers are being forced to make other cuts due to inflation, purchasing moisturizer and lipstick counts as self-care and is becoming more and more accepted as a necessity.
According to Kendra Bracken-Ferguson, founder and CEO of BrainTrust Founders Studio, an incubator for Black-owned beauty and wellness businesses, it’s a type of escapism.
She lamented that there was “so much division and so much conflict” in the globe. You get to experience these moments of pure excitement and fun while applying eye shadow and a bright lip color. It provides you with a truly intriguing means of just expressing yourself. and it’s not difficult.
It’s the sensation Hilda Davis, 73, experiences after applying oil to her hair and pressing balm into her skin. The retired Houston psychologist has been a devoted EssenceTree customer for 17 years. She credits the holistic and organic skin care line with helping her get through the recent years, which she describes as having been “immensely stressful, distressing, and full of uncertainty.”
However, she feels instantaneously at ease merely by inhaling the aroma of a brand-new bottle of body oil.
“It has a familiar feel. ‘Ah, I’m fine,’ I say. I’ll be fine, she continued. “It feels familiar. It merely makes me aware that some things haven’t changed.
The beauty business has adopted the idea that consumers gain comfort and confidence from their beauty routine. It also creates habits: According to market research firm Circana, sales of mass market beauty and cosmetics in the United States, which are mostly found in supermarkets and drugstores, reached $30 billion last year, an increase of 4% from 2021.
Prestige brands like Armani, Charlotte Tilbury, and Fenty that are available in department and specialized beauty stores generated an additional $27 billion in sales. Sales increased by 15% over the previous year, with double-digit increases in sales for cosmetics, skin care, fragrance, and hair products.
One of the industry pioneers in the beauty industry is Ulta Beauty. The fourth quarter of 2022 saw an increase in total quarterly sales of over 18%. Both fiscal year revenue and net income set new milestones for the corporation, surpassing $10 billion and $1 billion respectively. According to a company spokesperson, Ulta launched roughly 48 new locations during that time period. Data from analytics startup Placer.ai shows that in the first quarter of 2023, foot traffic increased by 16.5 percent compared to the same period last year.
According to R.J. Hottovy, head of analytical research at Placer.ai, “Ulta’s success is more than just a ‘rising tide lifting all boats kind of situation.” They’ve taken a lot of steps to better target their audience, which has improved the whole experience.
“We’re seeing that there’s a permanent shift — it’s not just a fad to shop according to your values and to really think about self-care,” claimed Bracken-Ferguson. When you stop to think about it, health and beauty are essentially the only categories that affect everyone, regardless of their identity, appearance, or place of residence.