74% of Makeup Users Open to Affordable ‘Dupes,’ Mintel Says

According to new Mintel research, 74% of makeup users agree that affordable makeup products work just as well as premium ones, suggesting a makeup culture favorable toward ‘dupes,’ or cheaper products that are similar to more expensive products in terms of performance, ingredients and/or appearance.
 With this rise in popularity of ‘dupes,’ a third of makeup consumers ages 18-24 (33%) and 25-34 (35%) say they have purchased a makeup ‘dupe’ because of something they saw on social media.

Makeup Users are More Willing to Spend

‘Dupes’ aside, 41% of those who believe affordable and premium products are comparable in efficacy also say they prefer to buy premium makeup, no matter the price.
Mintel research reveals that more U.S. makeup users report higher than average willingness to spend on makeup products than lower than average willingness to spend, reflecting a nuanced conception of value and a critical opportunity for cosmetics brands moving forward.

The Color Cosmetics Market Exhibits Strong Growth

After rebounding with 9% growth in retail sales in 2022, the color cosmetics market continues to exhibit strong growth; however, inflation accounts for much of this. By the end of 2023, total retail sales of the U.S. color cosmetics market are estimated to increase by 10% and exceed $13.6 million.
With many consumers returning to pre-pandemic, in-person activities, demand for innovation—especially in the facial and lip cosmetic segments—is expected to boost total market sales this year. Over the next five years, however, the market is expected to level off, growing 9% to reach $14.9 million by 2028.

Predictions for the Future

Joan Li, Senior Beauty and Personal Care Analyst at Mintel, says: “In today’s cost-conscious environment, value is the name of the game. Persistently low consumer confidence continues to drive cost-conscious shopping behaviors, including the popularity of dupes, with social media playing a big role. This is especially true among younger consumer groups, which are more likely to be influenced by and take inspiration from social media.”
She adds, “While the ‘lipstick effect’—in which color cosmetics are viewed as an affordable luxury during times of financial uncertainty—protected the category from high inflation’s threat to discretionary spending, looking ahead, the color cosmetics market is expected to level off.”
Mintel’s research forecasts that growth will slow due to headwinds from continued trade-down behaviors, the mainstay of work-from-home and hybrid lifestyles, and competing growth in beauty-adjacent categories like ingestible and skincare.

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