Consumers switch to beauty dupes amid cost of living crisis

The cost of living crisis is forcing women to swap their luxury beauty products for dupes, according to new research, with a warning that prestige brands need to prove that their products provide value for money.

Mintel's British Lifestyles Report 2023 tracks spending across major consumer markets in the UK including beauty and personal care. Results show that current financial concerns are having a disproportionately negative financial impact on women; just under half (45%) of women feel financially worse off compared to a year ago against just over a third (35%) of men.

Concern is driving a more cautious approach toward future spending with half (51%) of women expecting to cut back on non-essential spending in response to rising prices.

One of these cutbacks comes in relation to beauty and personal care products, with seven in ten (69%) women who use make-up either having used or are interested in trying cheaper versions or copies of premium make-up products.

Commenting, Francesca Smith, Senior Consumer and  Lifestyles Analyst at Mintel, says:

“The income squeeze has resulted in many savvy behaviours which we think will stick in the long-term, mainly where consumers have experienced financial benefits first-hand.”

She adds:

“‘Dupe' culture is prominent within the beauty and personal care market, with dupe products often going viral on TikTok and other social media platforms. Young women are well-versed in spotting and promoting dupes and believe quality does not have to be sacrificed for a lower price…Prestige brands will need to prove the value and quality of their products to combat the threat of dupe innovations.”