Lipstick sales down almost 11% due to mask-wearing, will we stop wearing it?

USA Today has a story with quotes from beauty aficionados and experts about what mask-wearing means for the future of lipstick. I just wanted to cover a frivolous AF story and you know I love talking about makeup. As a lipstick-wearer, I’ve noticed that I have to be more conscious of whether I put it on when I’m going out, because it will smudge on some of my masks. I have some cone-like masks I can wear lipstick under which are also more protective, but my cloth masks will mess up my lipstick. Either way, no one is going to see my lipstick so why bother? However I’ve also noticed more women on Instagram and Twitter wearing full faces of makeup, including lipstick, just because they have nowhere else to show off their makeup. Lipstick sales are of course down and some may find that sad but we still have reasons to wear it, they’re just different.

Now we’re contemplating another unhappy consequence of coronavirus: the possibility that face masks will wipe away the simple joys of lipstick for the foreseeable future.

Perish the thought, say lipstick lovers and cosmetic makers, nervously eyeing sales figures expected to fall this year, maybe as much as 11% according to one market prediction.

Lipstick fan Maya Allen, 27, the digital beauty editor for Marie Claire, whose lipstick collection tops 200, says there’s no doubt the pandemic in general and face masks in particular have stymied the impulse to buy and adorn ourselves in lip color. But she’s not giving up on her favorite product.

“I don’t want to believe that the idea of lipsticks is fading into the background, not while women are still putting on their lipstick when they’re on a Zoom date,” Allen says. “Not now, when women are using beauty products as escapism and to resume a sense of normalcy.”

Indeed, lipstick has long been a reliable, legal and cheap mood lifter. Can we survive this new plague era without it?

“A little lipstick can add spark to your life, and especially in these days of the pandemic, we can use a boost anywhere we can get it,” says Victoria Stiles, a Washington D.C. hair and makeup artist for TV and special events.

[From USA Today]

The article goes on to recommend more transfer-resistant lipsticks which don’t smudge as much. I’m still wearing makeup including a little lipstick every day because I don’t feel prepared for the day until I put it on and also because I have so many more video calls now. I talk to so many more people now than I did pre-lockdown, and I could have a video call at any time. Plus I’ll put on full makeup for a Zoom date just like I would for a normal date. Someone is staring at my face for an hour or more and I don’t feel like myself without makeup. As a side note, I have always bought cheaper lipstick because I thought it didn’t matter as much. Sephora gave me a sample of Bite Beauty crayon in one of my orders and now I’m hooked on Bite lipstick and have more expensive taste in lipstick. That’s why they send you so many samples! That’s it, I’m going to buy more Bite beauty crayons because those definitely last and don’t smudge.

Photos credit: Ekaterina Bolovtsova, Bestbe models, Daria Rem via Pexels



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33 Responses to “Lipstick sales down almost 11% due to mask-wearing, will we stop wearing it?”

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  1. Astrid says:

    I never wore lipstick before the virus because it never looked good on me. I was always chewing and licking it off. I do admire women who really rock the red look and wish I could pull it off

    • lucy2 says:

      Same here. No matter what color I put on, it always looks weird and super fake on me. I almost never wear it, so masks are no big change for me.

  2. Nicole says:

    My lips are perpetually dry and I sometimes are in zoom meetings where I have to look “professional”. Lipstick, concealer, and brow pencils are my go to. I will not be losing lipstick anytime soon.

    • Adrianna says:

      I don’t know why this is an issue at all. I use lip stains that add the color I want to my lips and they leave nothing on the masks. I gave up on actual lipsticks years ago as they were gone within half an hour of application. I love lip color. Without it, I look pale and washed out. With it, I look like I’m alive.

  3. lola says:

    I stopped using foundation, blush, and lipstick.
    I still use mascara and do my eyebrows though. Covid kinda made me stop caring about make up, and I started accepting my face without primer and foundation

    • FHMom says:

      Same. I don’t see the point. OTOH, I’ve started wearing mascara which I ever wear unless I’m going some place special. These days it’s eyelid primer, eye shadow and mascara. My brows can go to hell.

    • E.B. Mann says:

      Yay, you!! Womankind is doomed to servitude ‘til every last one of drops the paint job & learns to love herself FOR REAL. Side bennie—an end to the Kardashian Domination.

  4. Betsy says:

    I just wear it around the house and when I’m gardening! I’m a big Revlon Super Lustrous fan: Smoky Rose, Rose Velvet, Pink Pearl, Secret Club. Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk Intense: I don’t need the “intense” so I just dab it on and it looks a treat. It’s getting so old and I probably shouldn’t wear it but Estée Lauder Plum Fizz is gorgeous, a clear magenta berry, and I want their Wilder colored lipstick. Besame uses some horrific dye that turns my lips gross hot pink so I gave those away, but the Maybelline “For Me” collection is soundly great. Jordana’s Rock n Rose lipliner is my fave, and Rimmel is bringing back the Cappuccino lipliner! Yes, I like lipstick, too.

    I don’t wear it on grocery shopping days for my dumb mask though. I sure wish makeup companies would get wise and offer masks in our favorite lipstick colors.

    • Ocean Girl says:

      I loved Smoky Rose, but it would turn almost orange on me after a bit.

      I have always loved lipstick, and it cheers me up just to wear it around the house. I started young, getting my Mom’s little Avon sample lipsticks.

      Another fun idea would be masks with lips on them! Color them in with your favorite lip color!

      Stay safe everyone. Our lipsticks will once again see the light of day!

  5. Kasia says:

    In Poland we only have to wear masks in closed spaces, such as public transport and shops. So it still makes sense to wear lipstick because you only put on your mask from time to time.

  6. AMM says:

    I’m not doing video calls and the mask covers half my face when I’m running errands, so I’ve been just about makeup free for months. I did seriously amp up my skincare routine now that I’m spending less time and money on my makeup, and my skin has never looked better. If I ever bite the bullet and get my lashes tinted, I may not go back to makeup at all once this is all over. I’ve even been posting pics all over social media without any makeup on, which I have never done in the ten years I’ve had social media. It feels so amazing.

  7. paranormalgirl says:

    I usually do a bit of e.l.f. hydrating concealer on my problem spots (redness mostly), tap that in, then blend it out, use my Laura Mercier powder to set and/or bake (if needed), a little bronzer, maybe a bit of highlighter, do my brows (e.l.f. brow lifting pencil and Benefit Gimme Brow), and usually use e.l.f. tinted lip oil. It takes me less than 5 minutes and I’m good for the day. The lip oil keeps my lips shiny, hydrated, and gives a bit of color. I’ll never give up on lipstick of some sort.

  8. SomeChick says:

    I do a smoky eye for zoom because otherwise it looks like I don’t have any!

    For lippy, I like Matte Colorstay from Maybelline. It does. Not. Budge. (Once it dries.) Oil will remove it but even eating pizza hardly any comes off. I’ve had it last overnight before, and it doesn’t come off on the pillow. It’s about $8 and there are a bunch of colors.

    • Celebitchy says:

      Ooh I’m going to put Maybelline Matte Colorstay on the Amazon post this week! Plus I will buy it for myself.

    • LadyMTL says:

      Maybelline’s Superstay Matte Ink is pretty transfer-proof as well, though I’ve never slept with it on so can’t claim it’s as good as their Colorstay, haha. I generally tend to avoid mattes because I have dry lips, but for some reason Maybelline is the one exception to that rule.

    • Seeker542 says:

      I can attest to this. I just got one of the Matte SuperStay Ink crayons and my wrist is stained from having a swatch on it for maybe ten seconds! Maybelline was/is having a BOGO sale at Ulta this week, too. (I’m excited to try the longwear matte foundation.)

    • CuriousCole says:

      Another shoutout for Maybelline SuperStay Matte Ink! It is fully kiss proof and barely budges even after other romantic activities. Liquid lipstick is not something you can just put on in a hurry though, it requires attention while applying. Once it’s completely dry I put on Burt’s Bees lip balm and I’ve never had a dry lips issue after that.
      For my fellow red lip lovers: Pioneer is a cooler red but still fairly true and Dancer is a warmer, brighter red.

    • PixiePaperdroll says:

      I am here for this! I actually splurged on a Fenty red only to find that it came off fairly easily but that Maybelline Matte is for life! I have yet to a find a food that can defeat it but it still comes off with micellar water.

  9. Kelly says:

    I have used a lip stain from Sephora for years. Put it on and let it set and it goes matte and won’t come off for love nor money. And presumably masks.

  10. Lady Luna says:

    Dose of Colors just had a sale two weekends ago and I got two lipsticks. I like to wear them during my zoom meetings.

  11. Rachel says:

    It’s such habit! I do it every time I’m on my way out. Lipgloss, uggh! I now just wipe it off and put some chapstick on! :-)

  12. Case says:

    I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve gone to put lipstick on and then realized it’s not necessary. Mascara and lipstick are my only makeup must-haves.

    I actually just went through and got rid of a lot of old makeup last week. A time like this really shows you what you need and what you should stop holding on to!


    The inside of my mask is always lipstick stained between washes. But it’s more like lip balms, lip pencils, lip glosses. For some reason I still associate traditional lipsticks with old ladies even though I’m nearing 30.

  14. Sof says:

    My lips get super pale in winter which makes me look ill, so lipstick is the only makeup item I actually wear when I leave the house. I dab a bit and I’m ready to go. I never buy the longwear/liquid type because I don’t think I’m up to the removing process, everytime I see videos of women taking those lipsticks off, it looks painful!
    Of all the potential things the “new normal” seem to change forever… I don’t see makeup going away.

  15. Swack says:

    Don’t wear lipstick myself but my daughter has stopped wearing it because of having to wear a mask. Make up sales in general are probably down.

  16. Faye G says:

    I have never been much of a lipstick wearer, clear gloss is the only thing I use these days. I’m still salty about NARS discontinuing the only lip color I ever loved a few years ago but that’s another story!
    I actually don’t mind wearing masks, it saves me from having to do face make up and I usually focus on my eyes anyway. I am lazier now with make up than I used to be

    • Betsy says:

      If you still have a stub to send them, Three Custom Color makes dupes. I’ve never tried it, but oh how I am tempted to buy some of the oldies they list in their duped collection.

  17. Mina_Esq says:

    I will always wear lipstick! I have a very fair olive complexion with grayish undertone and desperately need the colour to boost my look and appear less sickly. I Put it on in the morning and wear around the house, and also under the mask when I go out. People may not see it, but I KNOW.

  18. Seeker542 says:

    I think I’ve only worn makeup 6 or 7 times since mid-March when lockdown started. I too am a lipstick lover and it’s been bumming me out I don’t have many occasions to play with makeup in general. I also have an eyeshadow palette I bought 4 months ago and still haven’t used yet. I don’t think I’ve worn any sort of lip color either, don’t want to stain the masks I’ve made, although I did acquire two new ones recently that I didn’t “need” but they were extras and morale boosters.

    Bite Beauty is one of my absolute favorite lip brands! I haven’t gotten anything yet since they relaunched their product line, but their lip crayons stayed.

  19. Bee says:

    I’ve started wearing lipstick occasionally now we’re going out to eat and so I take off my mask. Lipcote is the answer. (Been using it for about 40 years for weddings, etc., just not too often as it can be very drying. Not sure I’ve seen it here in the US but sure it’s available online.)

  20. Anners says:

    One of my favourite experiences was going to the Bite Lip Lab and creating my own personal colour (was an orange-y red and smelled like mangoes). So much fun! If you get the chance, go!

  21. CityGirl says:

    I’ve been wearing Revlon ColorStay overtime lip color for years. I can’t even think without it being on and as soon as I’m up and brush my teeth it’s the nextthing I do. I May do nothing else but I’ll always wear my Revlon ColorStay.