CivicScience has tracked changes in how consumers are using beauty and cosmetics products over the years. Even prior to the pandemic, women were starting to wear makeup less frequently as the focus shifted to skincare. That’s not to say that makeup does not still have a strong demand from consumers. The latest data find that 52% of the U.S. adult population wears makeup at least occasionally, while 29% wear it daily or weekly. However, there are some noticeable changes happening when it comes to makeup wearing habits.

One trend that stands out can be seen in the charts below. The percentage of U.S. adult women who wear makeup frequently, meaning daily to weekly, has fallen by 20% since 2019. A growing percentage of women are transitioning to wearing makeup on a monthly or occasional basis, while the percentage of women who say they never wear makeup has largely remained steady over the years.

Join the Conversation: How often do you wear makeup?

On the other hand, makeup wearing among U.S. adult men is rapidly rising. While the majority of men don’t report wearing makeup, the number of those who report using it daily or weekly has tripled from 2022. Those who use makeup monthly or occasionally has also more than doubled within that time frame.

Times have changed and makeup is no longer exclusively marketed to women. The male color cosmetics market is a quickly developing division of the beauty industry, bringing in billions of dollars and only expected to grow. Emerging makeup brands such as NuNorm are being marketed to men, while many other cosmetics brands have positioned themselves as gender neutral.

Drilling down further shows how significantly makeup wearing differs across generations. While Gen Z women (18-24) are the least likely to be daily or weekly makeup users among female age groups, Gen Z men are the most likely among male age groups to be daily or weekly users. In fact, there is only an eight-point difference in frequent wear between Gen Z women and men.

More than one-quarter of younger Millennial men in the 25-34 age group report wearing makeup at least weekly. Overall, strong percentages of both Gen Z and young Millennial men have experience with makeup use.

Take Our Poll: How often do you watch makeup tutorials on YouTube or TikTok?

Additional data yield a variety of interesting differences in consumer behavior and preference between people who wear makeup and those who wear it infrequently or not at all. For one, daily or weekly users are somewhat more likely than monthly to occasional users – and much more likely than non-users – to say they regularly adjust their lifestyle to help the environment. That goes for both men and women makeup users, which could translate to the kinds of makeup and cosmetic products they’re interested in purchasing.

The shifts in makeup wearing among different consumer segments, particularly women and men, are one indicator of how beauty preferences are changing in the mind of the consumer. For more forward-looking beauty industry insights, including how consumers are spending, be sure to check out CivicScience’s most recent webinar, The U.S. Beauty Buyer, and our new monthly report, Pulse of the U.S. Beauty Buyer.

To learn how CivicScience can help your brand turn consumer data and insights into high-performing ad campaigns, get in touch.