New stats reveal where we were spending our money in 2014

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According to global information company The NPD Group , prestige beauty sales in the UK ended 2014 showing a year on year growth for the second year running to a total market value of £2.3 billion.

The biggest winner was makeup, sales of which were up by 9.7% compared to fragrance (down by -1.5%) and skincare (down by -0.2%), its success being particularly prevalent during the Christmas period.

Furthermore, makeup was the only category in 2014 to show any growth as a result of new launches. According to June Jensen, Director, UK Beauty for The NPD Group, “Beauty is an industry where consumers are willing to spend. While there is brand loyalty, consumers are always on the hunt for products that will perform better and are willing to add to their routine if a new product proves worthwhile. This makes innovation a key driver of growth.”

When it comes to where shoppers are going to get their beauty fixes, online continues to drive sales growth especially in the realm of skincare, despite a slowing of its growth since 2013. Online sales in 2014 represented 7.6% of value weight for prestige beauty – up +28.9% since 2013. The main contributors to online UK sales of prestige beauty products and fragrances in 2014 were fragrance juices, face skincare, fragrance gift sets and face makeup.

The year’s biggest successes? New launch-wise, Daisy Dream  ruled the roost in the fragrance category, Clinique Smart Custom Serum  in skincare and Benefit Gimme Brow in makeup. As far as the product lines to watch out for, the fasting growing existing ones were Boss Hugo Boss for fragrance, Clinique For Men Protect for skincare and Lauder Double Wear Foundation  for makeup.

Across the pond, the US prestige beauty market took in $11.2 billion in 2014 (a growth of 3%), with makeup again coming out on top with 6% and fragrance (2%) and skincare (1%) coming behind it.

One stat particularly stood out though: despite the promising figures, the number of women shopping for these items had actually reduced. Speaking to , NPD beauty analyst Karen Grant observed that this may be because people are finding happiness associated with beauty products elsewhere.

“This ‘elsewhere’ is in other products and services, as well as experiences,” she says. “Consumers today are not just pursuing ‘products for me,’ so much as they are seeking ‘experiences for us.’

“It stands to reason that health and wellness is becoming a greater part of the beauty consumer’s consideration,” she added. “Also, we do know that health and wellness is of greater concerns to women aged 45+ and that those women tend to be the most engaged in the beauty category. “Specifically, we see that the beauty consumer is less likely to cut her spending on a wide range of products, services and experiences. Less are cutting products such as apparel and personal electronics, services such as beauty treatments, and experiences such as vacations, dining out and entertainment.”

Photography: Billie Scheepers