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Time to ‘feel pretty again’: People are buying more lipstick and makeup as their masks come off

Time to 'feel pretty again': People are buying more lipstick and makeup as their masks come off


Time to ‘feel pretty again’: People are buying more lipstick and makeup as their masks come off

New CDC rules: Vaccinated people can ditch masks in most indoor placesThe CDC announced new guidelines on wearing masks inside for people who are fully vaccinated.Staff Video, USA TODAYThe first 100 “Ulta Beauty at Target” locations will open in August at select Target stores.Kohl’s kicks off a partnership with Sephora that will roll out to 200 stores and online this fall.JCPenney announced plans for JCPenney Beauty, which will launch in select stores and online in October.As face masks come off, many people are putting makeup back on.Mask restrictions have lifted in many parts of the country, though some places, including Los Angeles County, the most populated county in the U.S., are reinstating them due to a recent surge in new COVID-19 cases. Discarding masks in many settings is reason enough for some consumers to don colorful lipsticks and sparkly eyeshadow.Kelsey-Marie Mohammed, a 30-year-old content creator from New York City, started spending more on makeup as restrictions began to lift, returning to wearing red lipstick and purchasing beauty products from Sephora such as new eyeshadow, colorful eye pencils, blush and more.►Two-toned lips for summer?: How to create a perfect ombré lip (because TikTok made us do it)►Ulta Beauty must-have products: 20 beauty products people are obsessed with at Ulta”What was once not a necessity for me, has now become a necessity,” Mohammed told USA TODAY. “Since more people are getting vaccinated and restrictions are lifting, beauty products have become a must for me because I am motivated to play with my makeup looks and finally take my mask down.”And her interest in a revamped look has led to higher spending.”I feel like since I didn’t spend much during the pandemic; it’s time for a refresh and I really want to invest in higher-end products that will make me feel good when applying/wearing and add a bit of luxury to my life,” Mohammed said. Terran Cross, 29, a registered dental assistant from Natchitoches, Louisianna, said she, too, is spending more on makeup. On her last shopping trip, she spent around $200 on makeup, doubling her typical spend of $80 to $100.”It’s so refreshing to feel ‘pretty’ again,” she told USA TODAY. “When I feel pretty, my days are better, my mood is very pleasant, and I just feel good overall. Sometimes the reflection in the mirror will inspire those positive thoughts and affirmations.”Cross and Mohammed aren’t the only shoppers spending or planning to spend more on cosmetics.According to Klarna’s 2021 Reopening Insights Report, which surveyed more than 6,292 shoppers ages 18 and up in June 2021, nearly three out of four shoppers planned to spend more on makeup as they discard their masks.”With more opportunities to get out and gather in person, nearly three-quarters (74%) of shoppers plan to spend more money on makeup than they did throughout lockdown,” the report reads.Phil Rist, executive vice president of Prosper Insights and Analytics, confirmed the spending-on-appearance trend.”As offices open back up and entertainment venues open back up, spending on ‘looking good’ is increasing above pre-pandemic levels,” Rist told USA TODAY.Prosper’s monthly U.S. survey of more than 7,500 adults shows the 90-day spending outlook for health and beauty products is up year over year.Mia Weinand, spokesperson for the National Retail Federation, highlighted that the June Prosper survey, which the NRF partners on, shows that shoppers’ intent to make future health and beauty purchases has been on the rise since the start of the year and “is nearly back to pre-pandemic levels.”TikTok trends inspire desire for new makeupMohammed said that some of the products she’s buying come from trends she’s noticed on social media.”I’m obsessed with experimenting with color on my eyes now and rhinestones for my eyelids and face,” she said, noting that new love came from Gen Z TikTok videos posted during the pandemic.Meredith Renee Wilshere, 24, a content specialist from New York, is also expanding her palette as restrictions lift.”I am for sure buying more cosmetics – especially in categories that I didn’t think I needed or even wore before,” she said, pointing to colorful eyeshadow and bold lipsticks. “I’ve even considered false lashes. When I go out, I want to show out and have more dramatic makeup looks than before, and my Sephora and Ulta receipts have showed that.”Some though, are buying more after not shopping for makeup for some time. Linda Shortman tweeted that while she “did not miss” the products she ran out of during the pandemic, she’s now spending on cosmetics again.”Have not worn makeup for over a year,” Shortman wrote. “Now have to remind myself that people will see my face.”►17 of our favorite:Black women-owned brands, from Clare Paint to Mented Cosmetics►Check these out: 10 gender-inclusive beauty brands to support’The Allure Store’ opens first locationAllure, a publication that specializes in beauty, opened a brick-and-mortar store dubbed “The Allure Store” earlier this month in New York City’s SoHo neighborhood. Michelle Lee, editor-in-chief of Allure, told USA TODAY that Allure chose to open a physical location in New York City because people come to them for help with what to buy. But the opening is two-fold, it also comes as people are ready to step out into the world again.”We are just leaving one of the darkest times of our lifetimes, and we are ready to live again,” Lee said. “We are ready to put makeup on and go for drinks with friends and celebrate our lives that we have newfound appreciation for.”And Allure has noticed strong beauty sales across the industry, Lee said.And that trend isn’t new; it predates the pandemic. A 2020 McKinsey report considering how the beauty industry might evolve during the pandemic shows an increase in beauty industry sales over the 15 years prior. “Now that lockdown restrictions are easing, people are really eager to get out and do things – and, as a result, foot traffic for beauty retailers is way up,” Lee said. Ulta coming to Target, Sephora to Kohl’sTarget, too, is focusing on a new beauty initiative. At more than 100 locations across the nation and online in August, the company plans to roll out “Ulta Beauty at Target,” according to a statement from the company Wednesday. The company expects the experiential shops to reach 800 stores in the coming years.”Ulta Beauty at Target reflects our commitment to drive the industry forward and keep our guests meaningfully engaged,” said Kecia Steelman, chief operating officer, Ulta Beauty. On an earnings call in May, Macy’s Inc. chairman and CEO Jeffrey Gennette said that the company is also planning to focus more on beauty.”With immersive categories, beauty is one category where we are doubling down. We are building out experiences that will enhance our makeup, skin care and fragrance businesses, including virtual try-on,” Gennette said.Kohl’s announced a partnership with Sephora in December with the two companies unveiling the first 200 “Sephora at Kohl’s” locations earlier this year. The companies plan to bring the “immersive in-store beauty experience” to the first stores by fall and Kohl’s also plans to start selling Sephora’s products online. By 2023, there could be more than 850 “Sephora at Kohl’s” locations.Not to be outdone, JCPenney also announced plans this week for JCPenney Beauty, which will launch in select stores and online in October. The retailer, which emerged from bankruptcy in December 2020, said the in-store and online experience will reflect “customers’ beauty wants and needs, no matter their age, gender, race, skin tone, hair type, beauty regime, or budget.”A nationwide store rollout will begin in fall 2022, with the expansion continuing through 2023.Contributing: Kelly Tyko, USA TODAY

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