Eye make-up, skincare products enjoy sales boost during pandemic
Sales of eye products enjoy an uptick while lipsticks and blushers take a hit
Despite a "significant decline" in sales of make-up products in general - lipsticks and blushers suffered the biggest drop of more than 60 per cent - due to the pandemic, department store chain OG reported an uptick when it came to eye products such as eyebrow pencils, mascaras, eye serums, eye creams and eye masks.
Face masks are a big reason why.
An OG spokesman told The New Paper: "A key reason is the requirement to wear a mask when out of the home. This means apart from the eyes and forehead, the cheeks and lips don't need make-up.
"Another deterrent is the ban on testers (as) those who have not used the product before, or for new colours, they can't test the effect."
OG's sale of skincare products has increased by 40 per cent, "contributed mainly by customers who return to replenish their depleted supply of daily use skincare".
Ms Karen Ong, regional managing director of Luxasia, an omnichannel partner to more than 120 luxury beauty brands in Asia Pacific, said: "As an industry, we see a change in how consumers using cosmetics are moving towards a clean, simple style, with maybe less products but of a higher quality.
"For many PMEBs (professionals, managers, executives and businessmen), this continues to be a work necessity, not a luxury. It is part of personal branding and a professional image - this does not change. (So) people are far from ditching make-up entirely.
"We are seeing many holding back the dollar until they spot a desirable upgrade to a prestige product or are tempted by a good promotional deal."
She said Luxasia's cosmetic brands have seen a "modest bounceback" of 30 per cent to 80 per cent of retail footfall and sales.
While eye make-up has outperformed other categories, consumers are also getting products featuring a lighter coverage with non-comedogenic formulations, which are not likely to cause clogged pores and sebum build-up while wearing masks.
Sales of skincare products have seen a better recovery of up to 80 per cent, "with some customers upgrading their skincare regimen to ensure that their skin is well adapted for prolonged mask usage", and investing more in effective make-up removers or toners, deep-cleansing facial washes and detoxifying facial products such as non-clogging creams and sebum-clearing facial masks.
According to BHG, all its five department stores have seen a 40 per cent to 130 per cent jump in sales, with cosmetics one of the top sales categories, rising by eight per cent in the first weekend of phase two, compared with the same period last year.
Its spokesman said: "The relative strong performance is most likely due to pent-up demand during circuit breaker, but nevertheless is encouraging considering the safe management measures in place and the lack of marketing promotional activities."
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A Guardian spokesman also reported an increase in sales of skincare products, as people spending more time at home has led to "a rise in self-care pampering where they have more time to experiment with different products and use them more regularly".
They are also looking to "manage skin issues" such as dryness, sensitive skin and acne that arise from prolonged wearing of masks.