Makeup sales have notably decreased in 2019, which is unexpected for many but welcomed all the same. The heavy contouring and bold-eye looks of Instagram represent a world far removed from the reality of the larger society. Most people you see out and about opt for natural looks or wear no makeup at all. However, the popularity of impeccable styling within media often creates insecurity among those who want to fit in.
TV, movies, magazines and other media sources have a crafty way of making people desire things they don't need. These outlets uphold global beauty standards by selling them to viewers in pretty packaging. It's easy to let these messages slip by and influence your mindset — but this year, consumers are pushing back against it. While the U.S. makeup industry is only one of many influential channels, its decline is more beneficial than you think.
The Makeup Industry Is Free-Falling
Recognizable names in the makeup industry have seen a significant decline within the market. L'Oreal was unable to meet its second-quarter goals because of a purchasing decrease from its U.S. costumers. Eighteen of the 20 biggest makeup brands experienced a drop in sales this year, with Urban Decay declining by 19 percent and Anastasia seeing a 24 percent drop. Lessened participation from American consumers spells trouble for small and large companies alike.
The decline of luxury makeup brands also comes from a widespread realization that many cheaper alternatives include the same ingredients for lower prices.
Though companies tout their original and ground-breaking formulas, many beauty experts know the substances are mostly similar.
Additionally, some people have left the shelves alone in favor of whipping up their own makeup. Homemade versions of commercial products have boomed in an era of DIY sustainability.
While this phenomenon is bad news for brands, it's promising for consumers who recognize the beauty industry's disadvantages. While a glittery eyeshadow or two is fun to indulge in, the beauty industry's societal impact isn't always positive. Unsustainable formulas and processing methods harm the environment by contributing to resource depletion. Plastic packaging is often difficult to recycle, which leads it to sit in landfills or end up in the ocean. And most of all — makeup brands don't do the best job of decrying restrictive beauty standards.
An Uptick in Skincare
Skincare has risen in response to the decrease in makeup sales. The skincare industry grew by 13 percent in 2018 and accounted for 60 percent of the beauty industry's revenue — a stark contrast to the 1 percent growth makeup displayed. Consumers showed a preference for all-natural products, in particular. Vegan, organic and cruelty-free brands come to the forefront of beauty as people recognize the need for sustainability.
Beauty lovers are showing more interest in healing their skin rather than covering it up.
The makeup industry has long sustained itself on convincing its consumers their skin is flawed and unappealing. While many brands have turned away from this marketing strategy, the societal impact is already prevalent. Both teens and adults often feel afraid to leave the house without makeup or believe they're unattractive without it.
The skincare movement on social media has refocused attention on healing the face and body instead of covering its flaws. People find it more gratifying to care for their skin rather than hide it away — and it's ultimately healthier. Many skincare brands also focus on environmental health in addition to personal health. Their products are eco-friendly, and their packaging is sustainable. True Botanicals, for example, uses cruelty-free and toxin-free formulas by banning more than 5,000 chemicals in their products.
Makeup, on the other hand, hasn't always had the most environmentalist reputation. Squalene, glycerin and cochineal dye are only a few examples of beauty ingredients that come from animals. The harvesting of palm oil — a staple in many formulas — accelerates deforestation and uproots native creatures like orangutans.
Better Beauty Standards
A drop in makeup sales means more people realize they look beautiful without lipsticks, eyeshadows, and foundations.
Harmful beauty standards reinforce low self-esteem and can even create body dysmorphia for those who don't fit the mold. They might turn to makeup, surgery or other methods to achieve their dream look — the look society says they should have.
Changing your appearance can be refreshing and even therapeutic, but only if you do so for yourself instead of trying to please others.
It's hard to avoid toxic messages when the entire world appears to uphold them. Companies market anti-aging creams and youth serums to young women, setting them up early for years of stress over wrinkles and sagging.
The attention — or lack thereof — you get from friends and strangers might persuade you into wearing a full face every day even though you'd prefer otherwise. However, the decline in makeup sales shows people are gradually opting out of these societal beliefs.
A Beauty Revolution
The decline in makeup sales benefits both the environment and global beauty standards. More people are taking control of what they put in and on their bodies. People want holistic wellness — physical, mental, and emotional.
They're eliminating things that threaten any or all of these three dimensions to achieve peace of mind. If that means leaving the foundations and lipsticks on the shelf, so be it.