Prestige beauty sales in the UK are bucking the trend of the country’s cost-of-living crisis, as consumers continue to splurge on high-end cosmetics despite rising inflation and economic uncertainty. According to e-tailer Escentual, sales of prestige beauty products in the UK saw a significant increase of 19.5% in July compared to the same period last year, based on data from market research firm NPD.

Rakesh Aggarwal, CEO and founder of Escentual, highlighted an interesting consumer behavior known as the “lipstick effect.” This phenomenon refers to consumers reducing spending on some luxuries but still indulging in affordable luxury beauty items. Contrary to expectations, UK consumers are exhibiting this behavior, as sales across all categories of luxury cosmetics demonstrated an upward trend in July.

Breaking down the numbers further, fragrance sales saw the highest growth, experiencing a 21.5% increase compared to July 2021. Skincare sales followed closely behind with an 18.4% rise, while makeup and haircare sales also saw notable increases of 17.3% and 13.7% respectively. Fragrance sales alone accounted for 54% of the overall gains in the prestige beauty market, witnessing an impressive surge of 186.8%. Other beauty products that performed well include setting sprays, which saw a staggering growth of 59.2%, blusher with a 35.9% increase, lip color with a 32.8% increase, and bronzer with a 19.1% rise.

These figures indicate that despite the challenging economic climate, UK consumers are still willing to invest in luxury beauty items. The demand for prestige beauty products remains strong, suggesting that the cost-of-living crisis has not significantly impacted this particular sector. As we continue to navigate through uncertain times, it will be intriguing to observe whether this trend of consumer spending on luxury beauty persists, and how the market evolves in the coming months.

Useful links:
NPD Group UK Reports