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Eyebrow tinting, leg waxing and root touch-ups are increasingly being done in homes around the country rather than salons or spas as Australians balance the cost-of-living pressures with beauty regimes.
Just as inflation has affected everything from rents to grocery bills and insurance costs, it has also increased the price of beauty services, driving more people to do it themselves.
Beauty routines like eyebrow tinting are increasingly being done at home as the cost of living rises.Credit: iStock
The cost of hairdressing and personal grooming services rose 7.1 per cent in the year to June, Australian Bureau of Statistics consumer price index figures show.
The bureau said inflation was driven by higher wages, utilities and supply costs, and those price increases were broad-based and occurred across several services including men’s and women’s haircuts, colouring services and personal grooming.
Dan Ferguson, chief marketing officer of Australia’s largest online-only beauty retailer Adore Beauty, said the pandemic lockdowns forced many people to figure out how to maintain beauty regimes at home, and that trend was continuing.
“We first saw this really take off during COVID-19 when many consumers looked for ways to maintain their skincare and haircare routines from home,” he said.
“Now, with the consumer very focused on value and convenience, there is a new cohort of consumers browsing these DIY products who are motivated by time-saving and money-saving considerations.”
That’s been aided by the increasing availability of treatments that were once only available in spas or salons such as LED light therapy, eyebrow tinting kits and at-home gel manicure sets.
Supermarket giant Woolworths has noticed this trend, and the company’s commercial director for everyday needs, James Hepworth, said it had expanded beauty offerings as a result.
That expansion has included increasing the range of therapeutic skin treatments often seen in pharmacies, including eye and concentrated face serums. Sales of face masks are also up since winter, he said.
“We’ve also seen an uptick in at-home treatments such as eyebrow dye kits in the past year, which indicates customers may be swapping a salon for an at-home treatment,” Hepworth said.
“We’ve seen an increase in sales across hair toners, root touch-up products and hair treatments, indicating customers are looking to extend the time between visits for professional services to treat at home.”
The supermarket has also expanded its affordable cosmetics range, influenced by social media’s focus on dupes of high-end brands.
There is also an appetite for dupes at Priceline, with the pharmacy chain’s head of beauty, Jenna Edebohls, saying sales growth for e.l.f brand products nearly quadrupling in the six months to June this year compared with the same period last year, and sales for Milani growing 10 times over the same period.
Edebohls said year-on-year sales growth was also strong in categories such as skincare (up by 13 per cent), tanning (up 15 per cent) and sun care (up 33 per cent).
“We’re seeing customers shop more frequently across categories like nail colour, brows, hair removal, and tanning, as consumers reconsider how often they can afford to use salon services,” she said.
Ferguson said that while there was growing demand for value in daily essentials such as moisturiser and cleanser, shoppers often return to certain products and prioritise that spend over new clothing or dining out.
“We see our customers continuing to invest strongly in speciality products such as face serums and haircare, especially during sales periods,” he said.
“As a category, skincare offers a very broad spectrum of price points, but we find that once a customer finds a product that works for their skin, they tend to be loyal to that product, which we see in our returning customers’ purchasing behaviour.”
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