Beauty Industry Apocalypse: Is Your Favorite Makeup Brand Doomed?

The beauty industry has been a hot topic lately, with many claiming it’s on the decline. But is this true? To find out, I dived deep into consumer research and gathered all the facts. Let’s explore what’s happening and why things might not be as they seem.

Beauty Stores Are Still Buzzing

Despite claims that the beauty industry is dying, stores like Sephora and Ulta are bustling with customers. Lines often stretch into different aisles, making it hard to believe that people aren’t buying beauty products. This observation alone challenges the idea that the industry is declining.

What the Data Says

I pulled data from a market research company called Circana. Their first-quarter 2024 beauty industry report reveals some surprising trends:

  1. High-End Makeup: Prestige beauty products are up by 5% this year, while drugstore makeup is down by 5%.
  2. Skincare: Prestige skincare saw a 10% increase, and mass-market skincare grew by 4%.
  3. Hair Care: High-end hair products increased by 11%, with a modest 1% rise in mass-market hair care.
  4. Fragrance: Prestige fragrances skyrocketed by 133%, though mass-market fragrances dropped by 2%.

These numbers show that while some areas are struggling, others are thriving.

Changing Beauty Trends

In 2016, full-glam makeup was the norm. People wore full-coverage foundation, sculpted their faces, and applied multiple shades of eyeshadow. But in 2020, the pandemic changed everything. Working from home and mask-wearing led to a shift toward simpler makeup routines.

Now, the trend is low-maintenance beauty. Tinted lip balms and lip oils are the hottest products, with sales up 26% in the first quarter of this year. People prefer products that are easy to use and quick to apply.

Why High-End Beauty Is Thriving

Despite economic challenges, people are still buying high-end beauty products. Here are some reasons why:

  1. Perceived Value: Drugstore products have become more expensive. Consumers often think, “If I’m going to spend this much, I might as well buy something high-end.”
  2. Buying Less, Buying Better: People are buying fewer products but opting for higher quality. Instead of purchasing many drugstore items, they choose one or two prestigious products.
  3. TikTok Influence: Viral trends on TikTok are driving sales of high-end beauty. Young people, especially teens and young adults, flock to Sephora to buy the latest must-have items they see on social media.

A Shift in Makeup Preferences

Even makeup preferences are changing. Eyeshadow palettes, once popular, aren’t getting the same attention. People now favor simple, one-and-done eyeshadows over complex palettes. Brands are releasing more lip products, reflecting the surge in tinted balm and lip oil popularity.

The Rise of Skincare

Skincare is another area seeing significant growth. Both high-end and mass-market skincare products are doing well. Body sprays, included in skincare data, are top sellers, showing that consumers are expanding their beauty routines beyond just their faces.

Emotional Connection to Beauty

The beauty industry is more than just products; it’s about how these products make us feel. The right makeup can boost confidence and create a sense of normalcy, especially in challenging times. High-end products often come with a sense of luxury and self-care that drugstore products might not provide.


The beauty industry is far from dying. While some segments are struggling, others are booming. High-end beauty products are thriving, driven by changing consumer preferences and the influence of social media. The trend toward simpler, more efficient beauty routines is reshaping the market.

The industry’s future lies in adapting to these new trends and continuing to innovate. So, next time you hear that the beauty industry is in decline, remember that it’s more complex than it seems. Beauty is evolving, not disappearing.

Submit comment!