Beauty and the Millennial Spending Beast

By Julie Fink
Posted On Jan 28, 2016
Beauty and the Millennial Spending Beast

Everybody knows that the millennial generation is shaped by the digital age, the economic recession and the Kardashians. Ok, just kidding about the Kardashians, I haven’t found statistical proof of it (yet). It isn’t just the Facebook frenzy that makes this towering 70 million plus generation stand alone. It’s our priorities, attitudes and spending.

In the beauty category alone, Millennial shoppers:

  • Spend over 25% more than average US shoppers on such products as body scrubbers, shampoo, conditioner, styling gels or mousses, and suntan products
  • Spend 20% more on cosmetics
  • Enjoy the ritual of putting on makeup 65% more than women in general who only enjoy it 45% of the time
  • 75% of millennial women spend money on makeup because it makes them feel good

This one is a shocker: Over a lifetime an average millennial will spend $15,000 on makeup products. If that $215 (average per year) went into a standard retirement plan (like a traditional IRA), instead of into makeup), it would yield around $100,000 at age 70. Whatevs.

You can guarantee that our mother’s didn’t spend nearly as much as us on this ‘stuff’ and our grandmothers certainly didn’t. Let’s paint a picture, shall we: Victoria Secret was founded in 1977. Pre-Vicky era, my grandmother only had three bras and 10 pair of underwear (I know this because I called her and asked, reluctantly). As opposed to my Vicky binge drawer with upwards of 50 pair of panties and about 15 bras – that does not include sports bras, don’t get me started.

You can’t compare Baby Boomers or Gen Xer’s to our Millennial spending power with a multi-billion-dollar beauty price tag. We trend, we read up on blogs, we buy, we review. We take no pampering prisoners.


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