Factor Over-50s Women Into Your Business Plans

Women over 50 are now the biggest buyers of beauty products in the UK, a rise attributed to the use of mature brand ambassadors including actresses Helen Mirren and Jane Fonda.

According to recent market research by British internet cosmetics retailer Escentual, described as the “Amazon of online beauty” by MoneyWeek, women over 45 account for 58.14 per cent of the beauty market, while the over-60s are behind a quarter of all beauty sales in Britain – more than double that of a decade ago.

These are important insights for all aesthetics businesses in the Western world – overlook the over 50s at your peril!

Jessica Lange, 66

The 45-54 age group now spends $4,300 a year on beauty products – up 4.1 per cent on previous years.

The 55-64 age group now spends $4,200 a year which, at an increase of 4.9 percent, makes it the UK beauty industry’s biggest growth area.

The boom has been attributed to cosmetics giants such as L’Oreal and NARS taking on older stars to sell their products.

“The peak age for women to take care of their beauty is now 49 – this is the tipping point age when many women realise they have to try harder to keep their looks,” says Escentual.com beauty director Emma Leslie. “Back in the 2000s the peak spending age would have been around the late 30s.

“Much of this shift is also down to the use of older brand beauty ambassadors such as Helen Mirren and Tilda Swinton, but women over 50 now tend to have more active social and work lives and so are more inclined to make sure they keep their looks.

Dame Helen Mirren, 70

“They are much more likely nowadays to pay for premium products to help maintain a more youthful appearance.”

In the past year, beauty brands have chosen to use ambassadors such as screen veterans Dame Helen Mirren, 70, and Jane Fonda, 77, who both promote L’Oreal Age Perfect day cream.
Tilda Swinton, 54, is the brand ambassador for NARS, while Charlotte Rampling, 69, and 66-year-old Jessica Lange have been picked to promote Marc Jacobs beauty.

But while older women are spending more on cosmetics, according to the survey, the young are splurging less.

The 19-24 age group now spend $3,380 a year on cosmetics (a fall of 12 per cent), the 25-34 age group spend $3,930 (a fall of five per cent) and among 35-there has been just a slight increase of 1.2 per cent to $4,190 a year.

Charlotte Rampling, 66

The Escentual.com market research also found that younger women tend to buy cheaper brands than more mature women.

Dame Helen Mirren, who said she was “surprised” yet “flattered” to have been picked to model for L’Oreal, spoke of her obsession with makeup.

“I love makeup,” she says. “I’m often seen prowling the aisles of various chemists all over the world looking for a new lipstick or a new mascara, so to become a spokesperson for a major cosmetics firm is very exciting.

“I think L’Oreal’s slogan `Because I’m worth it’ really strikes a chord with women. Self-esteem is such a hugely important thing and it’s so difficult for all of us.”

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