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Amid inflation, consumer spending in this category hasn’t slowed…

Economic uncertainty hasn’t caused beauty sales to slow.

Call it the “lipstick effect.”

Despite inflation putting pressure on shoppers’ wallets, spending on beauty hasn’t slowed, according to new data from Inmar Intelligence. The data platform company’s research revealed that the number of shoppers who spent $500-plus on beauty products jumped more than 10% in the past year.

The lipstick effect — a phrase coined by Estee Lauder’s Leonard Lauder to describe the theory that consumers will spend on small indulgences and affordable luxuries during recessions and economic downturns — is more apparent than ever now, noted Inmar Intelligence. The company said that retailers should take note of what’s driving consumers to frequent the beauty aisles.

Some key findings from Inmar Intelligence’s consumer survey of 1,000 respondents are below:

  • Shoppers are spending more on beauty. The number of respondents that spent $500-plus  on beauty products jumped from 24% to 36.5% in the past year.

Additionally, the number of respondents that spent $1000-plus on beauty products in the past nearly doubled, increasing from 4.5% to 7.3%.

  • The biggest drivers of increased spending are ‘boosting self-esteem’ and ‘receiving a larger paycheck.’ Twenty-four percent of consumers reported that spending more on beauty was motivated by a conscious effort to boost self-esteem and confidence. Eighteen percent reported spending more on beauty due to an increase in income.
  • For savings, shoppers are turning to loyalty programs and incentives instead of holding back. In response to inflation, 26% of respondents signed up for loyalty programs to take advantage of financial rewards for beauty spending, and 29% were intentional about seeking coupons and deals to save money. 

Only 10% of respondents cut out certain beauty products to save money due to inflation. Nail care ranked as the primary spend category that was cut out (41.3%) compared to makeup (28.7%), hair care (15.57%), and skin care (14.4%).

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