Bargain reports and analytics

Americans’ 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 American women are constantly evolving.

How much money do Americans 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 American women prefer?

American women’s’ toiletry bags are quite spacious — on average, they contain as many as 24 beauty products. It is no wonder that a typical British woman spends around $396 in a year on cosmetics. On the other hand, among these 24 cosmetics, only 11 are in regular use. It could be explained by the fact that 36 percent of the surveyed women buy cosmetics when they are discounted, in reserve. 25 percent buy cosmetics when they run out and 39 percent whenever they feel like it.

How do American women choose their cosmetics? Most of the surveyed women (66 percent) chose price as a major factor determining the purchase. Brand of the cosmetic is crucial for 56 percent of the surveyed respondents, and 38 percent chose ingredients. Less important are influencers’ recommendations (22 percent) or friends’ opinions (13 percent).

Considering the fact that most of the respondents consider price as the most important factor, it is not surprising that only 33 percent of women prefer premium cosmetics, more expensive than the regular ones. 43 percent allow themselves to buy such cosmetics occasionally, and 24 percent 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 (61 percent) declared that they pick green cosmetics only when the price is reasonable. 30 percent always buy eco cosmetics, and 9 percent don’t have any interest in the ecological aspect of beauty products.

Mirror, mirror on the wall…

The most popular beauty products in the US

For many women, make-up is an integral part of the morning routine. However, 11 per cent of the surveyed American women do not wear make-up at all. Among those who do, 39 percent wears it daily. 51 percent does make-up sometimes, and 10 percent does it only for special occasions.

How much time do American women usually spend in front of the mirror? Among the women aged 18 to 50, 49 percent spend 5 to 15 minutes on make-up, and 17 percent less than 5 minutes. One-third of surveyed American 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, American women own 7 lipsticks, 4 lip liners, 4 blushes, 4 mascaras, 7 eyeshadows, and 7 fingernail polishes.

Through the looking glass

Cosmetics in the US compared to other countries

In the United States, the most popular beauty products are lipstick, mascara, eyebrow pencil, blush and foundation, and women spend around $396 a year on cosmetics. How about our neighbours?

Although their favorite cosmetics are the same as Americans, Canadians spend less money on cosmetics — $311.

Australian women spend much more, around $405 a year. With $505 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 — $205 a year, which is close to just half of the average woman’s beauty budget. They also own fewer beauty products (8 pieces), although they only 4 use regularly. What is interesting, only 71 percent of the surveyed men buy cosmetics by themselves — the remaining 29 percent admits that it is mom or partner who buys cosmetics for them.

As opposed to American women, men usually buy cosmetics when they run out (51 percent). 35 percent buy cosmetics when they are discounted, and 14 percent when they feel like buying. Same as women, the main factor determining the choice for men is the price — 64 percent. Still, the brand is also important (60 percent), as well as ingredients (29 percent).

American men are also less likely to buy premium cosmetics — 33 percent claim that they never buy them and 39 percent do only occasionally. When it comes to eco cosmetics, 43 percent of the surveyed men declared that they do not care about their ecological aspect. 41 percent buy such cosmetics when the price is reasonable, and 16 percent 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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