What Your Beauty Shopper Craves Under the Tree

Makeup BrushesImage from: Nixx Photography / Shutterstock

It’s that time of year where the ladies of the house are not only looking for something shiny but something to help add some shine to themselves!  Year after year we try to think of the best gifts to give the beauty lover in our life – and sometimes we just end up getting a gift certificate (which will prove out to not be such a bad idea after all).

Understanding how the marketplace has evolved over the past year is the first step in understanding how beauty sites are garnering market share and becoming a larger chunk of the web.

I focused in on growth over the last 1 year for the big 3 online shops focusing on multi brand beauty products and tools:

As you can see the beauty space is growing, and for Ulta and Beauty.com retailers, at an astonishing rate:

With growth in the space we would have to assume that this beauty-full gift giving season is only going to be bigger and better than the last.  With rates increasing into October, if the trend continues, this year will be the biggest holiday year yet for online beauty stores.  As search is one of the best ways to research beauty products I thought I’d take a look to see what the hottest brands and presents may be from a search referral perspective

When looking at the top 50 search referrals to Sephora, Ulta and Beauty.com, combined over the past few weeks, an interesting number one term makes it way to the top.  The number one product term lands itself at 10% with 1 in 10 search referrals to the beauty sites studied above, coming from the term “bare minerals”.  Furthermore, 4% of search referrals came from the parent brand Bare Escentuals.  This is an interesting trend since this is a product sold by our 3 sites of interest but a product that is owned and sold by Bare Escentuals – suggesting that users are going to more than just the BE.com branded site for product information/price comparison. This is sure to be one of the hottest beauty items for the make-up guru you know!

Perfumes that are likely to be a hit are (The perfumes below represent a portion of the top 50 product referrals to 3 sites of interest):

  • Happy by Clinique
  • Fahrenheit by Dior
  • Light Blue by Dolce and Gabbana
  • Coco Mademoiselle Chanel


Make-Up Brands that are hot on the consideration set are (The brands below represent a portion of the top 50 product referrals to 3 sites of interest):

  • Bobbi Brown
  • Make Up Forever
  • Murad
  • Josie Maron
  • MAC
  • Laura Mercier


While the list that comprises the Top 50 list is long, the most compelling story is how varied the top terms are.  Everything from OPI Nail Polish to Liquid Eyeshadow and Argan Oil made the cut – a true mix of both branded and non-branded products.  This leaves me with my last piece of advice, if you are still unsure of what to get – the gift card is more than acceptable as searchers are all across the board just like the beauty shopper.

About Pashmeena Hilal:
Pashmeena Hilal is a Senior Associate at Compete. Pashmeena does competitive analytics, POV's and surveys for the retail division of Compete. Before Compete Pashmeena was an agency account manager at Carat and Studiocom.