Welcome to Klarna’s Beauty Report!
This dedicated Beauty Report examines global consumer trends for the beauty category in Spain, Italy, and France and how shopper values and expectations are shifting.
The world of beauty is indeed changing.While the pandemic has made trying make-up on, or testing products in a store difficult at times, in general, interest in beauty hasn’t lessened and indeed is increased in many ways.
Today’s strong-willed beauty audiences are approaching the category with an increased focus on sustainability and helping the planet. Inclusivity and beauty-representation are also top of mind for consumers. Consumers are demanding more representation and options from beauty companies and are seeking brands to align with their social values as well.
We set out to unveil interesting insights about what consumers across Europe, in all age groups, men and women, really think about beauty.
This representative study was conducted in February 2022 in collaboration with research agency Dynata with more than 4,000 participants from 3 countries (Spain, Italy, and France), including 3,000 women.
3,000 female respondents
Although the COVID-19 pandemic has thrown the category for a loop at times, the beauty industry is still playing a major role in our bathroom cupboards. From skincare products, to make up, or hair styling and nail polish—there’s a never-ending amount of beauty and self-care choices awaiting shoppers.
Beauty categories most spent on.
Among all the beauty categories available overall, skincare is by far the category where beauty shoppers spend the most on, followed closely by makeup, and body & bath products. Among the generations, older shoppers are most likely to buy skincare products, while younger generations invest much more equally on makeup and skincare.
1 in 2
Baby Boomers in each country are spending the most on skincare products, making it their top beauty category.
3 in 10
Millennials spend the most equally on skincare and makeup categories.
“Feel good” beauty.
The reasons behind purchasing a beauty product today revolve around the concept of feeling good and pampering oneself. Beauty is now even more closely tied to notions of wellness.
is the most essential factor for the French (51%), while for Italians (16%) and Spaniards (20%) it is significantly lower.
in their own skin is far more important to Italians (33%) and Spaniards (39%) than the French (20%).
Increased usage of skincare products.
The usage of skincare products is higher than makeup products on average. The pandemic has pushed many consumers to adapt their lifestyles, and their needs have changed as their daily routine has been disrupted. Older generations, on a weekly basis, tend to use skincare items more than their younger counterparts.
- Skincare products are prioritised over makeup products as on average 90% of beauty shoppers use them at least once a week.
- Baby Boomers in France use skincare products the most among other generations.
Top trending beauty techniques.
One thing is clear in 2022: People are ready to wear makeup again. While emerging makeup trends at the beginning of each year are not unusual, this year, as pandemic restrictions ease more worldwide and people return to offices and social activities the numbers are particularly striking. What have young generations been most keen on trying out lately?
is the most popular makeup technique among Spanish (72%) and French Millennials (63%).
is favorite makeup technique for Italians (40%) with over 50% of Gen Zers and Millennials trying it.
Skincare tools are part of beauty routines.
When it comes to skincare, we talk a lot about beauty essentials (moisturizers, serums. Cleaners, etc.), but a new category has taken on higher importance in the daily routine: skincare tools.
From jade rollers to cleansing gadgets, there are plenty of ways to enhance one’s skin with the use of facial tools. But which skincare tools are the most popular and recently used among beauty shoppers?
- The large majority of Spanish and Italian beauty shoppers have already used a skincare tool in their beauty routine.
- Gen Z is the generation using at-home skincare tools the most compared to others
- The facial cleasing brush is the most popular tool in all three countries, although facial toning device is more used in Italy (35%), and LED masks in Spain (30%).
Top sources of inspiration for beauty trends.
Nowadays beauty trends and inspirations can be easily shared through a large spectrum of content (from user-generated content to brand advertising or movies). How and where are women getting inspired and encouraged to try beauty trends? Here’s the top sources of beauty trends inspirations:
- 2 in 5 beauty shoppers in France, Italy and Spain have been encouraged to try new beauty trends by their friends and acquaintances andare the most prevalent sources of inspiration for beauty trends.
- Ratings and reviews are important drivers of inspirations for people in Spain (29%) and Italy (31%), while the numbers are a bit lower for the French (17%).
- 3 in 5 Gen Zers have been inspired to try new beauty trends thanks to social media (TikTok, Instagram, YouTube…)
Beauty tutorials have traction.
Share of female beauty shoppers who often look at beauty tutorials (Youtube hauls and Videos) from social influencers
of French beauty shoppers
of Italian beauty shoppers
of Spanish beauty shoppers
Covid impact on beauty habits.
The ways women are shopping for beauty products are constantly evolving—but the pandemic has amplified the process. It turns out beauty habits are being simplified, with the concepts of “self-love” and body positivity gaining traction.
Beauty routines are simplified.
The belief that skincare doesn’t have to be intimidating or complex is also gaining popularity, with many beauty users opting for more functional, simpler routines. Instead of adding dozens of products in their daily routine, the tendency now is to cut it to basic few steps that do the job. Although consumers now feel more comfortable venturing out of their homes, the need for a simpler beauty routine has been accelerated.
are being prioritized over makeup products in all 3 countries since the pandemic happened.
are the ones spending more time on their beauty routine.
Personalization is the expectation.
Despite beauty routines being simplified, today’s beauty shoppers are seeking innovation and technology from the beauty market. Personalized skincare recommendations and custom-made services are among the main services beauty shoppers would be interested in using in the future.
- Personalized skincare recommendations and custom-made products are the main interests of beauty shoppers.
- Italian and Spanish beauty shoppers would be interested in using augmented reality apps to try on makeup.
Importance of self care.
The Covid pandemic has impacted beauty shopping and beauty habits. Results show people are cutting back on makeup use, and are making self-care a priority. As people are spending more time at home, they may have more time to devote to more thoroughly caring for their skin.
Among female respondents who decided to shorten their beauty routine since the COVID-pandemic, 1 in 4 state it’s because they only focus on self-care.
- Wanting a more natural look is the most common reason for wearing less makeup in France and Spain
- In Italy, the main reason behind wearing less makeup is to spend more time at home
Self-love and body positivity.
Consumers took lockdown as an opportunity to take time for themselves. The notion of building and maintaining a healthy lifestyle has taken on more importance as shoppers adjusted to homebody lifestyles—consumers from all generations have placed health and wellness at the top of mind
- 7 in 10 beauty shoppers prioritize health rather than appearance.
- Italian Gen Zers are the most willing to prioritize looking good over feeling good. French Millennials also stand out.
Factors such as price, brand and quality still matter in beauty shoppers’ purchasing decisions. However, today’s beauty shoppers seek out brands and products aligning with their values, with the environment and sustainability as top concerns leading more people to seek out eco-friendly products.
Beauty values and interests.
Consumers also have unique personalities and purposes and feel empowered to choose their own beauty values and interests. Younger generations feel very connected to the concept of “clean beauty”, and the idea of “natural looks” is also prominent across generations.
- Natural look stands out to be the top beauty aspiration among beauty shoppers.
- More is more – Italians are less than half as likely as Spaniards to describe their beauty values as “less is more”
Natural look and clean beauty are winners.
“Clean beauty” and “organic makeup” are now much more than buzzwords. Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of not only the potential toxicity and pollution of beauty products, but also the category’s long-lasting negative impact on the environment.
- 3 in 4 French beauty shoppers use natural and organic products
- The majority of Spanish and French beauty shoppers use natural and organic products to reduce environmental issues (47%).
- Half of Italians (47%) care about products not being on animals.
Sustainability is top of mind for beauty shoppers.
For many, the state of the environment is a growing concern and consumers from all generations seem particularly eager to adopt more ecologically conscious behaviors, and are actively seeking transparency from beauty brands.
- 4 in 5 female beauty shoppers in all 3 countries surveyed think beauty brands should be more transparent about their sustainability credentials
- The large majority of beauty shoppers are reading packaging more carefully when purchasing a beauty product.
Refillable beauty products.
The concept of refillable products has circled the beauty industry for the past several years. Now, more consumers are striving to take a sustainable approach to their beauty-buying habits and reduce waste by swapping out single-use products for refillable products.
- If given the chance, over 7 in 10 beauty shoppers would be interested in using refilling products to save packaging waste.
- Gen Zers in Italy and Spain express the most interest in refilling packaging, whereas in France, the Millennials are the most interested.
That’s it for this time!
The insights in Klarna’s Money Management Pulse is updated on a quarterly basis, so stay tuned for future updates.
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