New York (CNN) – The pandemic kept lips out of sight due to the use of masks and isolation orders. That consequently hurt lipstick sales in 2020.
But makeup marketers say the fate of this cosmetic staple is starting to change as more people get vaccinated and the pace of social interactions picks up.
According to the latest figures from market research firm IRI, which tracks data from retail outlets, lipstick sales reached $ 34.2 million in the four weeks ending April 18, 80% more than in the same period of the previous year. However, they did not reach pre-pandemic levels, which exceeded $ 40 million.
Walmart, the nation’s largest retail chain, told CNN Business in an email that lipstick is the top-performing product across all cosmetic segments, and lipstick sales stood out in their last trimester which ended on April 30.
The retailer said shoppers were showing a strong preference for long-wear, smudge-proof lipsticks that don’t rub off as easily under a mask. More recently, Walmart said customers are choosing bright colors like purples or blues, as well as trendy browns, in what it called an “opportunity for customers to once again express their uniqueness.”
The recent change in the mask use guide could benefit companies.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) they said last week that fully vaccinated people do not have to wear masks or practice physical distancing indoors or outdoors except when in healthcare settings, on public transportation, in schools, or in other areas where governments require the use of masks
A large cosmetics company sees a resurgence in the use of makeup.
“We’ve been preparing for this makeup renaissance for the past six months,” said Sam Cheow, global director of makeup innovation, portfolio and product development for The Estée Lauder Companies. Cheow said she expects to see bright shades like orange, bright pink, magenta and purple on her lips heading into summer.
And since not all lipsticks are the same, Cheow says the texture that has come back the most is “satin.” “Satin lipsticks are on the rise now,” she said, referring to pencils with thick shades, high coverage, and a bit of shine.
“As places keep opening up and we get out, lipstick is like instant gratification, a boost we haven’t had in the last 12 months and we miss,” she said.