Is it curtains for contouring as Brit’s embrace glass skin?

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The sale of prestige skincare in the UK reported an increase of 6% whilst make-up sales declined by 2% in the 3-month period January 2018 to March 2018 according to The NPD Group, a global information company. The total UK market for prestige skincare was valued at £594 million in 2017 whilst prestige make-up was valued at £835 million in 2017.

Skincare sales up, make-up sales down

Prestige make-up sales have reported double digit growth for the past two years, whilst the skincare market has remained relatively flat. In 2016 make-up sales grew 11% versus skincare which increased by 3%. In 2017 make-up sales began to stall whilst growth in the skincare market accelerated with both sectors increasing sales by 6%. The trend has continued into 2018 where make-up sales have declined and skincare sales have increased.

Helen Duxbury, senior account manager, NPD UK Beauty says: “The increase in skincare sales and decline in make-up sales is a complex story. There was a post-Brexit boost in prestige beauty with global shoppers flocking to the UK to purchase designer beauty brands and make-up really benefitted from this trend. It’s also important to remember that there was a social media frenzy around contouring and pronounced, heavy make-up styles on Instagram popularised by Kim Kardashian. However, we are now seeing the K-Beauty trend for ‘glass skin’ take hold and as a result skincare sales are improving dramatically, especially cleansers, masks, and serums.”

The end of contouring?

The dramatic contouring effect appears to be declining in popularity as catwalk models adopt a more natural make-up look and this is reflected in the sales of prestige make-up. In the period January 2018 to end of March 2018, sales of bronzer declined by 5% and blusher by 10% compared to the same period in 2017. There are also some positive stories in make-up where all other face products increased 19% driven by highlighting products and primers which are linked to the recent trends for glowing skin and natural make-up.

K-Beauty trend: ‘glass skin’

The K-Beauty trend for glass skin which emerged in the UK in 2017 saw social media influencers and the beauty press declare a smooth, flawless, pore-less looking complexion as the ultimate in skincare perfection. Achieved through a regime of skincare, rather than masking skin with make-up, has led to an increase in high-performance skincare that delivers these results. The sale of anti-ageing skincare and moisturisers grew 10% in the UK in the period January 2018 to end of March 2018 whilst cleansers grew 2%, toners grew 15% and the sale of serums increased by 12%.

Helen Duxbury, senior account manager, NPD UK Beauty concludes: “We have seen a definite shift in the purchasing behaviour of beauty consumers, who seem to be moving away from make-up products that create a defined, chiseled look to their make-up. The trend now is more towards natural enhancements and certainly the K-Beauty trend for ‘glass skin’ is increasing in popularity especially with the increase in sales of cleansers, toners and serums which are so crucial to this regime.”