It’s All in the Eyes: How Eye Makeup Habits are Shifting

More than ever, the eyes are truly the window to the soul, as people of the world don face masks. This is reflected in recent eye makeup sale trends.

Eye Makeup Sales

Multiple reports have shown an increased share of sales for eye makeup including eye shadows, mascara, eyeliners and eyebrow products. According to a study by Kantar, sales of eye makeup grew by 204% between April to June 2020. In China, the first country to experience the COVID outbreak, this shift to eye makeup was an early trend. Asian online shopping giant Alibaba reported a 40% increase of eyeliners and eye shadows from January to March 2020.

Makeup Tutorials

Influencers were quick to capitalise on this trend with tutorials for bold eye makeup and “mask makeup” popping up. This was especially prevalent across Youtube and TikTok. In fact, videos with the hashtag #MaskMakeup on TikTok garnered over 53 million views.

The Luxury of Lipstick

NPD analysts reported a drop of 2% in lip makeup sales from pre-lockdown to post-lockdown. However, Amazon experienced a purported 15% drop in sales of lip care and lip colour products. These figures are unsurprising. With many nations forced to wear a mask at all times, the lip area is totally covered at all times, rendering lip products fairly useless. Additionally, lipstick is often viewed as a luxury. With people working from home, wearing lip makeup seems unnecessary to many. 

Cosmetics Sales Trends

In addition to eye makeup, skincare sales have remained high. The closure of beauticians meant home treatments for many and new skincare regimes. Also the advent of “mask acne” has seen many taking their cleansing routines more seriously. In general, the beauty and cosmetics sector has remained fairly resilient in the wake of the pandemic. Although, McKinsey & Company estimates a 20-30% decline in the $500 billion global beauty market. 

Niqab and Hijab-wearing Cultures

The current beauty trends of the Western world mimic what has been happening in Arabic countries for decades. Eye makeup sales in niqab and hijab-wearing cultures are consistently high. Women in these cultures often use their eyes as a way to express themselves and their personal style. This includes high sales of fake eyelashes, coloured contact lenses and bright eyeshadows. Now that the Western world is covering their mouths, many are catching onto this trend.