2022 Luxury Cosmetics Trends. Declining Cosmetics Subcategories

2022 Luxury Cosmetics Trends. Declining Cosmetics Subcategories

As the pandemic takes a backseat and our lives return to a sense of normalcy, our obsession with a number of pandemic-favorite luxury cosmetics products should follow suit. As people get out more and spend less time at home, they’ll be forced to consolidate their beauty routines and eliminate unnecessary or time-consuming products. 

The team here at Simporter used our White Space AI tool to analyze over 4M data points to forecast which luxury cosmetics subcategories will decline in 2022. So, where do we predict performance to decline? 

The bulk of negative growth rate is going to be seen across products used for at-home self-care, such as Cleansers, Eye Creams, Makeup Removers, etc. Overall, consumer interest will be shifting back to pre-COVID-19 norms. Brands looking to stay ahead of the curve should note these subcategory shifts as they fill their new product development pipelines for 2022 and beyond. 

Let’s dig into the data!

Here’s a breakdown of the luxury cosmetics subcategories our team predicts will be on the decline in 2022. 

The graphic below breaks down the 9 subcategories we believe possess the lowest potential for growth in 2022. Subcategory opportunity scores are determined by looking at both share of voice (a leading indicator of market share) as well as year-over-year growth rate.


cosmetics - cleansers

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Cleansers performed well relative to other luxury cosmetics products, but 2022 is shaping up to look much different. Cleansers have a considerable share of voice at 5.50 percent, but our team predicts this subcategory will experience a 34.62 percent decline as it moves to the peripheral of consumer conversations. 

Consumers have loved cleansers like this Charlotte Tilbury Cleansing Balm because they keep the skin hydrated and prevent the build-up of dead skin cells. However, as many return to pre-pandemic routines, Cleansers will struggle to compete with other all-in-one and multipurpose skincare categories, which are more well-suited for an on-the-go lifestyle.

Eye Cream

cosmetics - eye cream

We predict Eye Cream will see the largest decline in 2022, with a 75.10 percent negative growth rate. Eyes and eye creams such as this one from Clé De Peau Beauté were all the rage during the pandemic with masks covering most of our faces, but we predict that as the world normalizes, these products will lose relevance in the marketplace. While the subcategory holds a small market share compared to industry giants like Cleaners and Moisturizers, its negative potential remains high. 

Eye Cream falls under the broader Eyes category, which we predict will see a considerable decline next year (Check out our blog on declining cosmetics categories here). Consumers in 2022 will be looking for solutions that address multiple needs over niche products like Eye Cream. 

Makeup Remover

cosmetics - makeup remover

Makeup Remover has a 0.56 percent share of voice and our team predicts to see 73.75 percent negative growth in this subcategory next year. With the second-largest predicted decline on our list, Makeup Removers - even high-quality ones such as this - won’t hold as much weight in 2022. As people trade in heavier makeup routines and use fewer products in general, they won’t need as much Makeup Remover. 


cosmetics - eyeliner

Our team predicts 2022 is going to be a tough year for Eyeliner. Consumers will be ready to swap their eyeliner for subtler eyeshadow palettes and sticks that help them achieve a more natural look. Gen Z in particular favors a more natural color palette and now that they have increased buying power (in addition to the other factors highlighted above), the 59.95 percent expected negative growth rate isn’t too surprising.

Eyeliner, like other eye-focused products, will have a harder time dominating consumer conversations in 2022. Want to learn more about our 2022 Eye category predictions? Read our blog here.


cosmetics - moisturizer

With the largest market share at 9.66 percent, Moisturizers account for more market share than the other 8 subcategories combined. However, 2022 isn’t looking so good for Moisturizers with a predicted 11.20 percent negative growth rate. 

While Moisturizers will certainly still be a top consumer focus, the subcategory will lose the footing it once had as consumers look for ways to consolidate and simplify their beauty routine. As people look to get more done with fewer products, consumers will opt for Tinted Moisturizers (like this one from Charlotte Tilbury) or other multipurpose moisturizing-focused products. 

Setting Spray

cosmetics - setting spray

We predict the Setting Spray subcategory to see 17.83 percent negative growth. Setting Sprays are liquid-based products designed to prolong the life of your makeup so it stays fresh all day. With a small share of voice at .41 percent, we predict this to only get smaller in 2022.

Consumers will adopt simpler beauty routines and focus on skincare over makeup products. So, they’ll be happy to ditch Setting Sprays as they look for ways to reduce their daily beauty routines and get more bang for their buck. Set it? Looking a bit more like “forget it”.

Lip Gloss

cosmetics - lip gloss

Lips spiked in popularity when masks came off mid-2021, so it’s only natural to expect lip-related subcategories to rank at the top of the list in 2022. However, our team predicts Lip Glosses will see a 30.18 percent decline next year as consumers opt for subtler, simpler lip styles and lipsticks. 

While glosses like this Tom Ford Gloss come in both High Shine and Satin finishes, consumers will be looking for more matte finishes that can carry them from morning until night. Consumers are more increasingly focused on simple aesthetics, so glosses are slowing down despite their recent popularity.

Hand Cream

cosmetics - hand cream

Hand Creams take the penultimate spot on our list for 2022. Expected to see a 21.74 percent decline, Hand Creams like this one from L’Occitane will not be able to compete with other general or multipurpose skincare products. To some consumers, buying a hand cream specifically doesn’t make much sense if you can find alternative lotions that moisturize both your hands and other parts of your body.

Yet again, we’re seeing the new dominant trend of consumers looking for all-in-one solutions over niche, specialized products. While this subcategory certainly isn’t going away anytime soon, its expected performance in 2022 reinforces the idea that manufacturers should be producing and promoting products that act as the solution to multiple problems, not just one.

Lip Balm

cosmetics - lip balm

Lip Balm in cosmetics category, the utilitarian cousin of Lip Gloss, isn’t expected to perform as well in 2022. Lip Balms are chapstick-like products that help ease the pain caused by chapped or dry lips. Products can come untinted or tinted, like this Lancôme Lip Balm

While consumers will adopt a less is more mindset when it comes to their new beauty routines, they still want to stand out and look good. Instead of grabbing Lip Balm, consumers will purchase Lipsticks and other lip products that don’t require as many reapplications. At the end of the day, consumers will be looking for lip products that help them maintain a fresh-faced look from morning to night. 

Bottom line for 2022

Consumers in 2022 are going to behave in different ways than what we’re used to seeing, especially in comparison to last year during such a unique time in the economy. High-impact products that help consumers achieve flawless looks with less time and effort are going to continue to grow and scale, while those that require niche applications are going to see sharp declines in popularity. Life is getting back to normal for most of us, so the companies that make the quickest pivots moving into the new year will likely see the most success across the board.
For more insights on luxury cosmetics trends, check out our recent webinar here. If you’re ready to see Simporter AI in action and learn what it can do for you, request a demo on our website.

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