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Swedes’ cosmetics preferences

kasia.kobylkajuli 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 Swedish women are constantly evolving.

How much money do Swedes 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? Picodi.com analysis team answered these and other questions related to the cosmetics market.

Beauty has its price

Which cosmetics do Swedish women prefer?

Swedish women’s’ toiletry bags are quite spacious — on average, they contain as many as 26 beauty products. It is no wonder that a typical Swedish woman spends around 2 350 kr in a year on cosmetics. On the other hand, among these 26 cosmetics, only 11 are in regular use. It could be explained by the fact that 37 per cent of the surveyed women buy cosmetics when they are discounted, in reserve. 37 per cent buy cosmetics when they run out and 26 per cent whenever they feel like it.

How do Swedish women choose their cosmetics? Most of the surveyed women (66 per cent) chose price as a major factor determining the purchase. Brand of the cosmetic is crucial for 44 per cent of the surveyed respondents, and 42 per cent chose ingredients. Less important are influencers’ recommendations (23 per cent) or friends’ opinions (16 per cent).

Considering the fact that most of the respondents consider price as the most important factor, it is not surprising that only 25 per cent of women prefer premium cosmetics, more expensive than the regular ones. 47 per cent allow themselves to buy such cosmetics occasionally, and 28 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 (58 per cent) declared that they pick green cosmetics only when the price is reasonable. 29 per cent always buy eco cosmetics, and 13 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 Sweden

For many women, make-up is an integral part of the morning routine. However, 14 per cent of the surveyed Swedish women do not wear make-up at all. Among those who do, 44 per cent wear it daily. 48 per cent does make-up sometimes, and 8 per cent does it only for special occasions.

How much time do Swedish women usually spend in front of the mirror? Among the women aged 18 to 50, 52 per cent spend 5 to 15 minutes on make-up, and 16 per cent less than 5 minutes. One-third of surveyed Swedish 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, Swedish women own 6 lipsticks, 4 lip liners, 3 blushes, 3 mascaras, 6 eyeshadows, and 6 fingernail polishes.

Through the looking glass

Cosmetics in Sweden compared to other countries

In Sweden, the most popular beauty products are mascara, eyebrow pencil, lipstick, foundation, and concealer, and women spend around 225€ a year on cosmetics. How about our neighbours?

Finns spend more than Swedes — 352€. Their favourite cosmetics, besides mascara, eyebrow pencil, foundation and lipstick, is eyeliner.

American women spend a similar amount, around 351€ a year. However, with 448€ spent on cosmetics each year, women in the United Kingdom are far ahead.

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 — 1 100 kr a year, which is close to just half of the average woman’s beauty budget. They also own fewer beauty products (7 pieces), although they only 4 use regularly. What is interesting, only 60 per cent of the surveyed men buy cosmetics by themselves — the remaining 40 per cent admits that it is mom or partner who buys cosmetics for them.

As opposed to Swedish women, the majority of men usually buy cosmetics when they run out (60 per cent). 31 per cent buy cosmetics when they are discounted, and 9 per cent when they feel like buying. The main factor determining the choice for men is the brand — 55 per cent. Still, the price is also important (52 per cent), as well as their own preferences (31 per cent).

Swedish men are also less likely to buy premium cosmetics — 34 per cent claim that they never buy them and 24 per cent do only occasionally. When it comes to eco cosmetics, half of the surveyed men declared that they do not care about their ecological aspect. 37 per cent buy such cosmetics when the price is reasonable, and 13 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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