Makeup makes a comeback in Middle East market as pandemic

While Epidemic style saw people in pajamas and their hair in a bun, 2021 is more about mascara and lip liner — and makeup sales in the multi-billion dollar Middle East market are beginning to improve.

For women in the region – and especially in the Gulf Arab states – makeup is one of their biggest expenses, providing an opportunity for expression even to those who cover their hair and part of their face with a black veil. .

Following a pandemic sales decline, analysts now predict the Middle East makeup market will grow by 5% over the next five years, even as sales continue to slow in parts of the world, such as in Western Europe and North America.

Drawing on those trends, Dubai – the dazzling city state that is part of the United Arab Emirates – is hosting many events and celebrities. Among them was Mario Dedivanovic, known for his makeup looks on Kim Kardashian, who hosted a talk on the future of beauty over the weekend. With over 9 million followers, Dedivanovic is currently one of the most influential makeup artists on the scene.

Women, wearing designer shoes and bags without masks and wearing the latest makeup trends, gathered at the Mirdiff City Center mall to listen to them.

Dedovanovic said Dubai is on par with global beauty hubs.

“Dubai is such a cosmopolitan city. Everywhere in the world, you know, everybody knows about Dubai,” Dedovanovic told the Associated Press. He added that makeup artists in Dubai “are doing everything at the same pace as … Paris and Milan and Being done in London.”

According to market research group Euromonitor International, the makeup industry in the Middle East was valued at $4 billion even during the pandemic. But the pandemic hit it hard with work from home and cancellation of many social events like weddings. Job losses related to the pandemic also meant less disposable income, and spending was more focused on necessities.

Globally, the makeup industry declined 16% in 2020, Euromonitor said, with a 10% drop in the Middle East slightly less drastic.
Aamna Abbas, beauty and fashion consultant at Euromonitor, said the lockdown period was shorter in some regions of the Middle East, including the United Arab Emirates. Once the markets reopen, “we see a quick recovery,” she said.

As people returned to the offices, socialized more, and attended events, sales of makeup began to improve. Euromonitor said that sales of makeup in the Middle East should increase by 6% to 8% this year.

Abbas said growth has been faster than expected, even though the market is unlikely to return to pre-pandemic levels until 2022 or 2023. He added that “recovery is still on”.

Online shopping is also becoming increasingly important and so is the use of social media. After 2020, more women turned to buying their favorite shades of lipstick or foundation online, many times aided by an augmented reality feature where they could see what they would look like wearing a specific color.

As part of a growing reliance on online shopping, women in the Gulf follow celebrities, influencers and makeup brands on social media to learn about trends and beauty tips. Dubai-based Iraqi-American beauty magnate Huda Kattan has made a billion dollar business here.

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