Not made-up and nowhere to go

Personal hygiene grabs market share as fragrances and make up decline in Latin America.

Prior to the pandemic, “no makeup makeup”, was already an emerging trend and the decision point for purchasing beauty products was already shifting online. These trends have been accelerated by lockdowns restrictions, Zoom calls and the prevalence of face masks. Traditional makeup sales have plummeted as the focus has shifted to skincare and personal hygiene and in the absence of beauty advisors in shops, purchasing decisions are being made online.

A country manager at L’Oreal told us, “We see the same trend playing out across Ecuador, Colombia, Bolivia and Central America: decreased total consumption levels with an underlying shift from makeup to skincare and personal hygiene.” A consumption specialist at Kantar in Peru reported the same trend in her country, “Personal hygiene has increased the most [across the region], with fragrances leading the decline, followed by makeup.”

“Personal hygiene has increased the most, with fragrances leading the decline, followed by makeup.”

Consumption specialist at Kantar, Peru.

A marketing director at L’Oreal was able to give us a more granular insight, “Eye makeup has remained strong, lips and nails really suffered and complexion products were somewhere in between the two.”

Product development strategies are also changing as a result of the pandemic according to the sales executive at Yanbal, “We are investing in new products such as antibacterial shampoo, antibacterial body cream and others.” A sales executive at Yanbal reported that their catalogue had already changed to acknowledge this trend, “Personal care has grown so much that our catalogue is now focussed on this segment with less jewellery and makeup.”

Looking further out, these trends are not expected to be permanent, “We anticipate makeup recovering as countries emerge from lockdown and people go out more,” predicted the Yanbal executive, “Colombia, Ecuador and Chile have already recovered faster than Peru as the quarantines were less strict. We will only see a full recovery when the entire population has a vaccine, hopefully in 2021.”

“We are investing in new products such as antibacterial shampoo, antibacterial body cream and others.”

Regarding sales channels, makeup is widely distributed through department stores, boutiques and beauty advisors – all have been closed during lockdown. Businesses have tried to turn to technology to counteract these effects with limited success according to the L’Oreal marketing director, “We have virtual try-on technology and the new consumer is more digitised but it is not the same!”

Sales executive at Yanbal.

Like many industries, trends in consumer behaviour have been accelerated by the pandemic but the big question remains, will it persist? With well-placed sources across the industry, we can provide the earliest insights.

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