Local Beauty E-commerce Website on Beauty Consumption Habits in the COVID Era Across the Middle East


Regional beauty e-commerce site prides itself on having its finger on the pulse, be it the must have brands, the in-demand product categories or what’s set to create waves in the industry in the 6-18 months to come.  What is for sure is that after living in lockdown and the COVID era, the “new normal” will look quite different when it comes to consuming beauty.   After reporting a 75% growth in 2020, Neelam Keswani, Founder and CEO at shares her insights on beauty consumption habits in 2020 and as we go into the new year.

Eight months into the global Pandemic the way customers buy beauty has changed and continues to alter quite significantly. The global beauty industry which comprises of skincare, colour cosmetics, haircare, fragrances and personal care has, like the majority of industries, been shaken by the COVID-19 crisis.  

Here are the beauty consumption habits that we have seen develop in the region during 2020:

·      WFH Essentials and the decline of colour cosmetics

Much has been reported already about the decline in colour cosmetics as a result of COVID-19 and WFH.  With increasing work from home options and distance learning, sales of coloured cosmetics have been hit hard, especially lipstick where we saw sales decline by 40%, higher than the global figures. According to a recent study by McKinsey, even when consumers do return to work, many will continue to wear masks, further slowing make-up’s recovery.

·      The rise in mask make-up!

What is to be noted, is as women are back to work, the demand for lipsticks might have dropped, but above the mask make-up has seen a huge spike. Coloured lenses and coloured liners to add more drama to the eye area have seen a huge uptake. As a result of this, has increased their offerings in these categories to cater for demand.

·      Product Substitution

As mass redundancies and salary reductions were seen in every sector, consumers began to watch every dirham they spent and product substitution has been increasingly happening – so, customers who previously purchased a hyaluronic acid serum worth AED 500 were opting for the same serum in a lower price point. There was a lot of conscious buying too and as a business saw a major shift purchase from single items to routine care kits too.

·      Salon results at home

With limited in person beauty services, social distancing and mask wearing requirements, customers have changed their spending habits. With the majority of us having extra time on our hands, customers are gravitating towards products that give them the salon results right at home.   Sales of skincare, nailcare and hair care products soared 300% at and they even saw customers trying 13 step Korean skincare routines during full lockdown – who usually has time for that?!

·      Move to holistic beauty

Being a stressful time for all during the lockdown, a lot of videos floated about Holistic Wellness or Aromatherapy wellness. saw sales of diffusers, incense sticks and pillow sprays soar 700% as consumers wanted to help calm their minds, improve sleep patterns or even get more energy.  This trend continues, even long after full lockdown as we adapt to the “new normal” and the worries and concerns that come with that. also received many requests from customers to bring health and nutrition categories to the site, which have now been added.

·      Everyone is searching for meaning

This can apply to many things in 2020, but the beauty industry has also been affected by consumers wanting meaningful experiences and to spend their money with those they see as being ethical and giving back. A lot of companies dedicated to responding to supporting charity and organizations across the world with cash and products, and we also saw the majority of the large corporates manufacturing rubbing alcohol and sanitizer which was the need of the hour.  NPD, which tracks consumer spending and point-of-sale data, recorded that sales of hand soap were up 800 percent from March 16th, as countries went into lockdown.

·      Grooming was one of the most popular search terms

With more time at home, the women weren’t the only ones paying attention to their beauty regimes as saw “men’s grooming” trend in their search reports and are now looking to add a dedicated section to the site.

So, as 2020 comes to a close, continues to go through a significant phase of growth and have significant expansion plans in their sight.   As a business one of the most significant differences ending the year is a change of focus from geographical expansion to vertical expansion with the recent addition of the health and nutrition section and the soon to launch men’s grooming section, and eventually a holistic wellness section as well.

About was founded in February 2015 after founder Neelam Keswani became frustrated at not being able to find the beauty and make-up brands she loved in the region. Combining Neelam’s love for makeup and her business acumen, offers a fast and fun experience, with the world’s leading beauty and cosmetic brands available at just a click and delivered speedily to consumer’s doorsteps. Now leading the way for e-commerce in the beauty sector in the region, the site has continued to go from strength to strength, with over 300 brands and 10,000 SKUs including cult, niche and much-loved brands The Ordinary, Drunk Elephant, Glow Recipe, Elf, Tata Harper and many more. With over 1 million monthly unique users, 70% of these being repeat customers, already has a firm plan for growth and expansion in its sights. For more information visit or keep up-to-date with their latest news at @Glamazle.