Jul 27, 20203 min read

New Klarna report reveals five unexpected COVID beauty trends.

by Jane Henderson

The coronavirus pandemic has fundamentally changed the way we live, work and shop. While we know a lot about how COVID has shaped fashion trends over the past 4 months (hello tie dye sweatsuits and Zoom appropriate work tops), less has been said about how COVID is shaping consumers’ approach to beauty.

To help us find the answer, we turned to data from the Klarna app, analyzing the top 50 wish listed beauty items in the US between March and June this year*. The Klarna app’s wish list feature lets shoppers save items they’re coveting. As well as acting as a virtual (shareable and price drop alerting) shopping list, analyzing wish listed items gives us unprecedented insight into what shoppers want now and will be buying next.

Here are the top 5 trends our analysis revealed:

The eyes have it

Masks have become an essential accessory in 2020. As well as helping protect our health, our data shows that they’re also reshaping beauty. With the lower portion of faces covered whenever they leave the house, shoppers are focusing more on what is visible: eyes. Mascaras, concealers, eyeshadow palettes, and brow gels and tints accounted for half of the top 10 wish listed beauty items and more than one third of the top 50.

Skincare as beauty

Masks, serums, sunscreens and peels stood out as wish list toppers, representing almost 20% of the beauty top 50. This indicates that shoppers have been using extended time at home to invest in the health of their skin and foster that natural glow at home. With salons closed in many parts of the country in response to the pandemic, many shoppers are turning to at-home and DIY treatments.

Made to last

Primers, longwear foundation and setting mists made frequent appearances in the beauty top 50, indicating that shoppers are also looking for ways to help their looks last longer. We believe this is to better withstand the fabric from masks and face coverings as well as increasing summer temperatures.

Time to experiment

Quarantine provided time for many to take on new hobbies and, for many beauty lovers, to try out new beauty looks and techniques. Bold eyeshadow palettes, body glimmers and brush collections made their mark in the beauty top 50 indicating a new found appetite for pushing beauty boundaries. Inspiration for these heightened looks has not been lacking – celebrities have been rocking neon eye shadow looks and bringing back body glitter since March, while TikTok’s “Pass The Brush” challenge has put brushes and experimental beauty centerstage.

Lip love

While lips may have a little less air time these days, they’re getting no less beauty love from shoppers. Our data shows that shoppers are looking to care for their lips with masks, scrubs and balms. Lip masks have long been a celeb favorite both while preparing for events and as a part of their everyday beauty routine — and now, shoppers are seeking the same soft pouts. Our data shows that shoppers are also looking for lip looks that, like their make up, will last (matte lipsticks and lip pencils), or will complement bolder eye looks (glosses).

One clear underlying trend was cost consciousness – more than 80% of the top wish listed beauty items were under $50, indicating that, even when planning future beauty purchases, shoppers are keeping budget in mind.

Ready to try these trends yourself? Download the Klarna app and explore our beauty trends wish list, or even create your own.

*We analysed the top wish listed items from top beauty brands between March and June 2020.

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