Bargain reports and analytics

Irish people’s cosmetics preferences

PicodiJuly 3, 2020

The first mentions of make-up date back to ancient Egypt. Even then, people used the prototype of eyeliner, and both men and women wore make-up. Since that time, cosmetics and the perception of make-up itself have diametrically changed. Nowadays, trends come and go every season, and the preferences of Irish women are constantly evolving.

How much money do Irish people spend on cosmetics yearly? Which factors determine the purchase of cosmetics? How do men and women feel about eco cosmetics? And how do we compare to other countries? analysis team answered these and other questions related to the cosmetics market.

Beauty has its price

Which cosmetics do Irish women prefer?

Irish women’s’ toiletry bags are quite spacious — on average, they contain as many as 22 beauty products. It is no wonder that a typical Irish woman spends around €393 in a year on cosmetics. On the other hand, among these 22 cosmetics, only 12 are in regular use. It could be explained by the fact that 50 per cent of the surveyed women buy cosmetics when they are discounted, in reserve. 19 per cent buy cosmetics when they run out and 31 per cent whenever they feel like it.

How do Irish women choose their cosmetics? Most of the surveyed women (56 per cent) chose price as a major factor determining the purchase. Ingredients are crucial for 54 per cent of the surveyed respondents, and 40 per cent chose the brand of the cosmetic. Less important are friends’ opinions (18 per cent) and influencers’ recommendations (16 per cent).

Considering the fact that most of the respondents consider price as the most important consideration, it is not surprising that only 14 per cent of women prefer premium cosmetics, more expensive than the regular ones. 68 per cent allow themselves to buy such cosmetics occasionally, and 18 per cent don’t buy them at all. Price is also the decisive factor for choosing between regular and eco cosmetics, which became quite popular in recent years. The majority of the surveyed women (66 per cent) declared that they pick green cosmetics only when the price is reasonable. 23 per cent always buy eco cosmetics, and 11 per cent don’t have any interest in the ecological aspect of beauty products.

Mirror, mirror on the wall…

The most popular beauty products in Ireland

For many women, make-up is an integral part of the morning routine. However, 4 per cent of the surveyed Irish women do not wear make-up at all. Among those who do, less than one-third wears it daily. 68 per cent does make-up sometimes, and 4 per cent does it only for special occasions.

How much time do Irish women usually spend in front of the mirror? Among the women aged 18 to 50, 48 per cent spend 5 to 15 minutes on make-up, and 13 per cent less than 5 minutes. 39 per cent of surveyed Irish women take much more time doing make-up — as much as half an hour.

An average women’s make-up bag contains many products, including some of the same kind. Statistically, Irish women own 8 lipsticks, 3 lip liners, 3 blushes, 4 mascaras, 7 eyeshadows, and 8 fingernail polishes.

Through the looking glass

Cosmetics in Ireland compared to other countries

In Ireland, the most popular beauty products are mascara, foundation, powder, concealer, and lipstick, and women spend around €393 a year on cosmetics. How about our neighbours?

The British spend more than the Irish — €448. Their favourite cosmetics, besides lipstick, foundation and mascara, are eyebrow pencil and eyeliner.

Surprisingly, German women spend much less, around €197 a year. With €351 spent on cosmetics each year, women in the United States are ahead, but still behind the Irish.

Men vs cosmetics

How men buy cosmetics?

How do men feel about cosmetics? First of all, they spend much less money on cosmetics than women — €210 a year, which is close to just half of the average woman’s beauty budget. They also own fewer beauty products (11 pieces), although they only 4 use regularly. What is interesting, only 59 per cent of the surveyed men buy cosmetics by themselves — the remaining 41 per cent admits that it is mom or partner who buys cosmetics for them.

As opposed to Irish women, men usually buy cosmetics when they run out (60 per cent). 24 per cent buy cosmetics when they are discounted, and 16 per cent when they feel like buying. Same as women, the main factor determining the choice for men is the price — 38 per cent. Still, the brand is also important (36 per cent), as well as ingredients (35 per cent).

Irish men are also less likely to buy premium cosmetics — 44 per cent claim that they never buy them and 36 per cent do only occasionally. When it comes to eco cosmetics, almost half of the surveyed men declared that they do not care about their ecological aspect. 45 per cent buy such cosmetics when the price is reasonable, and 12 per cent prefer eco products no matter what.


This report was based on survey results conducted among 9300 people in 44 countries in June 2020.

Public Use

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