Many people were unable to visit their hair stylists, estheticians, hair clips or nail technicians for much of this year and began creating their own beauty routines. Haircuts and home dyeing were booming. Online shopping was the focus.
“As we saw this manifesto in beauty, it was hair color, nail care special, facial scrubs and facial devices that tighten your skin,” said Larissa Jensen, vice president and beauty industry consultant at NPD Group, a research firm. “Consumers brought the spa into their homes.”
And the longer people spent on video conferencing, the more they saw flaws on their own faces, leading to a demand for skin care products that began in June, Ms. Jensen said.
Kate Oldham, senior vice president of Beauty, Jewelry and Household Products at Saks Fifth Avenue, said, “Spending so much time at home has made an exciting change in our customers’ shopping habits. While certain elements of this shift are understandable, such as the rise in candles and home fragrances, others were more surprising. For example, we saw a dramatic increase in sales in our fragrance category, which has been constant since the beginning of the pandemic and shows no signs of slowing. “
Monica Arnaudo, Ulta’s chief merchandising officer, noted that certain beauty product sales coincided with different chapters of the pandemic.
“What they are doing now is that because they are taking more time and adding more steps to their routine, the other areas that customers rely on are serums,” said Ms. Arnaudo. “Anti-aging, lightening, or vitamin C serums are likely to sell because many are now saving time because they can’t commute.”
Below are some of this year’s beauty highlights.
Jumbo shampoo and conditioner
In March, when hair appointments were abruptly canceled, Ulta’s customers were hoarding cleaning products in a pandemic prep panic.
“Very early on, we saw a lot of traction in what we call people who stock up on their beauty essentials,” said Ms. Arnaudo. “From March to April our guests stocked up on shampoo, conditioner and hand sanitizer that we couldn’t keep in stock.”
Bath and body care
As the weeks passed, the stress of working from home or being out of work became more pressing. People tried to take care of themselves more to allay their fears with blisters and lotions.
“Sixty-three percent of our beauty lovers associate beauty and wellness with real fighting stress,” said Ms. Arnaudo. “All of our bathing and body categories were deleted when people leaned into taking care of themselves.”
Nata Divr, Senior Vice President and General Business Manager, Beauty at Macy’s, said, “What we started to see in mid-April was a shift towards more self-care. We saw that some trending ingredients like vitamin C were really good for us. We think about just people wanting to freshen up, and vitamin C makes you look really energetic and fresh. “
Masks and serums
As people had more time to spare, many decided to do something about the faces that were spending so much time staring into computer cameras. In May, facial products were selling briskly at Ulta, Saks Fifth Avenue and Macy’s.
“Masking was good,” said Ms. Divr.
Because people have more time at home, Ms. Arnaudo said of customers, they add steps to their routine. “Another area they rely on is serums,” she said. “Anti-aging, whitening, or vitamin C.”
Eye make up
In June, retailers found their customers buying makeup again. This time, they only wanted it for the part of their face that is visible when wearing masks.
“The reality is, when it came to makeup, people thought differently about it because of face covering,” Ms. Arnaudo said. “We saw a lot of traction along the forehead on all of the products: eyelashes, mascaras, and eye shadow.”
“The make-up has not recovered since June, when the shops started to open,” said Ms. Jensen. “It’s a depressive category – but the eyes were the best. Lipsticks were the biggest burden. “(So much for the discredited but often cited” lipstick index “as an economic indicator.)
Fragrances and room fragrances
Fragrance sales at Macy’s rose in June, Ms. Divr said, likely because of Father’s Day. But perhaps surprisingly, they stayed calm as people seek the emotion, comfort, and nostalgia that the smell evokes. “It was a category that we all in the industry were really curious about because it was a category that was strong throughout the pandemic,” she said.
Ms. Jensen said other gains in this category are more predictable, such as reed diffusers and other room enhancements. “Candles burned, no pun intended.” She said. “I don’t know about you, but I’ve become a candle fanatic in the last few months!” (We run the candle fan club.)
For those who set their hair coloring appointments for the year in January, nine months meant no reckoning with their roots. Some were brave enough to do it themselves and follow the directions on the back of a box of hair dye, and brands like Madison Reed and eSalon were ready to meet the demand.
Ms. Jensen believes this could be a trend that is surviving the pandemic. “Hair dyes continue to do well,” she said. “Some people think, ‘You know what? It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. I don’t have to walk that much and I can save some money. ‘“
Money better spent in.
Hands and feet
At the beginning of the pandemic, nail technicians began posting tutorials on how to remove gel nail polish, a stable substance that must be removed by polishing the nail and soaking it in acetone. Then came the foot shells. And the pressure nails.
“Customers got interested in nail care because they obviously did their job own manicures and pedicures, ”said Ms. Arnaudo, adding that 69 percent of Ulta customers in a survey said they do their own nails.
At home facial devices that offer treatments such as microdermabrasion, dermaplaning, and microcurrent facials saw sales grow.
On Saks Fifth Avenue, two of the best-selling facial devices were the Dermaflash Dermapore Pore Extractor & Serum Infuser, a device that supposedly clogs pores and allows skin care products to penetrate deeper, and the NuFace Trinity Facial Toning Device Set, a device that stimulates the skin Skin with a soft micro-current to tighten it.
“The trend towards self-care, combined with a lack of personal service, helped advance skin care and home treatment tools such as NuFace and Dermaflash,” said Ms. Oldham.
Ms. Jensen said, “Facial devices that tighten your skin like dermaplaning are popular because consumers can’t get into the spa.”
As if we needed to be reminded.