Year In Review: Face Cosmetics

by Shastri Mahadeo

2 Minutes

The following insights are powered by Nielsen in partnership with Unioncrate, an artificial intelligence demand planning platform that combines consumer behavior and historical shipment data to predict sales and inventory with up to 91.6% SKU-level accuracy.


Welcome to Day 10 of Unioncrate’s Year In Review, digging into the face cosmetics category and its 24.3% drop in 2020 so far vs. the same period in 2019.

Face Cosmetics

Face makeup and cosmetic brush against a black background [Unioncrate]
  • Foundation sales dropped 28% in the 40 weeks since March, with decreases as low as 45.4% in the 4-week period ended 4/18.
  • Zoom meetings and virtual hangouts made complexion issues no big deal, so it was easier for concealer fanatics to skip this step and go barefaced instead. The category decreased 15.5% during the pandemic, giving skin some much-needed breathing time. 
  • It wasn’t all bad news for the category. While blush went down 26.4% in the past 40-week period, some of its subcategories saw very strong growth: liquid blush grew 98.2% and cream blush increased 107.7%.

All Highlight, No Contour

  • Despite a drop in makeup sales, clean beauty brands including Kosas and Saie raked in major investments and reported over-performance in sales by as high as 200%, a clear sign that shoppers are going towards products that make them look good while still being good for them.
  • Actress and pop superstar Selena Gomez had one of the most talked about 2020 releases in the makeup world, launching her Rare Beauty collection online and in Sephora.
  • Glossier clearly got the memo that cream blush is in and took the opportunity to add two new shades to their iconic Cloud Paint line, making at-home makeup experimentation a little more exciting.
  • Danish high-end beauty brand Kjaer Weis proved that elegant and sustainable can go hand-in-hand, introducing Red Edition packaging that is fully recyclable and compostable but fits the luxury look.

Up Next: Ice Cream

About Unioncrate

Unioncrate is an AI-powered Supply Chain Planning Platform that gives CPG brands the technology they need to compete and win in a rapidly changing consumer landscape. Our automated demand and supply forecasts deliver unmatched accuracy, collaborative visibility, and actionable intelligence, simplifying a manual-heavy process and slashing hours from your week.

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