The US often acts as a canary in a coal mine for Australia’s beauty fortunes. As the world’s largest single cosmetics market, its impact on global trends is huge.

Prestige beauty took a major hit in most major markets during the Covid-19 pandemic. The tide has truly turned during the important third quarter of the year, with US prestige beauty sales reaching US$4.9 billion, reports The NPD Group – an increase of 25 per cent over the same period last year.

Makeup was strongly on the comeback trail in advance of the pre-Christmas period, with sales surging 24 per cent in  Q3 to US$1.7 billion. Hot categories which experienced double-digit growth included lipstick, lip gloss, blush, bronzer, highlighter and tinted moisturiser.

Fragrance sales also suffered during the coronavirus crisis, but surged back in the US during the third quarter. Revenues reached US$1.1 billion – an increase of 36 per cent over the same period in 2020 and 38 per cent above 2019 pre-pandemic sales.

Prestige skincare continued to outperform and recorded growth of 14 per cent to US$1.4 billion. Eye treatments and serums were the standout categories.

Hair styling was back with a vengeance during Q3. Driven by styling sprays, gels and hair masks, prestige haircare sales soared 36 per cent year-on-year to US$619.4 million.

According to NPD’s 2021 Holiday Purchase Intentions Report, beauty ranks among the top 10 physical goods US consumers plan to buy in the run-up to Christmas.

Today, amid many uncertainties, we are seeing glimmers of normal life return which is helping the beauty industry to experience growth across all its categories, notes Larissa Jensen, beauty industry advisor, The NPD Group. “Fragrance has emerged as the brightest star and is experiencing unprecedented growth against both 2020 and 2019. With the holiday season upon us, we can expect this momentum to continue through the fourth quarter”.

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