//Nada Al-Muzaini//

All makeup shops and makeup applications have witnessed the decline within the makeup industry in Kuwait. Since early 2021 we have seen the market’s tremendous drop since the demand for new products had decreased in the past since the beginning of the pandemic caused by Covid-19. The makeup industry usually generates a lot of cash in Kuwait and worldwide which accounts to many jobs and livelihood of many. (1)
The article will look at the effects of the COVID-19 on the beauty industry within the early 2021. In addition, we interviewed almost 220 women in Kuwait asking about their makeup habits and how it changed in the past year (since COVID in early 2020).

Following is the market value for women’s cosmetics in 2016 across the GCC. Kuwait can be seen to be placed at 4th position, whereas Saudi takes the lead.

When broken down into product categories, fragrances (36.16%), color cosmetics (26.51%) and skincare (17.69%) accounted for the largest proportions of the GCC’s women’s cosmetics market. Country Market Value (USD bn).

In addition, AlQabas, 2016(2) “a study, conducted by AlQabas daily, showed that between 205,000 and 230,000 Kuwaiti women spend KD 350 to 400 per month on beauty which adds up their total spending to KD 980 million a year” and this showed that before COVID-19 the demand within the makeup industry grew tremendously.

However, since early 2020 the makeup industry got a big hit from COVID-19 since it was on Full lockdown and no delivery was accepted. Even, after the partial lockdown was introduced in some countries there was a lot of restrictions within makeup industry(3) such as not allowing consumers to try samples in the store and allowing a certain number of people coming to the store. Even after many restrictions in Kuwait we saw a drop in the makeup industry especially for new products where consumers cannot try sampling the products therefore, they wouldn’t buy the products as they would only buy something they know previously.

Even during the lockdown many local stores in Kuwait switched from in-store shopping to an online platform (website, Business WhatsApp and Instagram) where they would sell their products online (as this is less costly by having online store rather than having an actual shop). Coming late to the game by operating online (having a online website)are Al-Shaya company launching beauty website called the Beauty Edit by oct 2020(4) and Sephora – Kuwait branch operating online by Early 2021(5) even though both shops had What’s App service.

In order to understand how the market was operating in the Q2 of 2021, we have conducted a survey and asked the interviewees about their makeup habits.

We currently interviewed almost 220 personal, where we asked questions about the makeup industry in 2021 in Kuwait especially with COVID-19, since the makeup industry got affected a lot and the demand on the makeup has decreased in the past year. We interviewed females from the age of 15-45 years old, however most of the interviews were between the age of 15-25 years old (120 from 220) and we interviewed Kuwaiti and Non-Kuwaiti women. Most of the interviews have an income between 200-400 KD.

We asked our interviewees on how they are dealing with the lockdown in Kuwait and most answered (44%) that they are ok and they are trying to survive, as the situation was temporary and others answered (35%) that the situations is very bad and are bored. In addition, we also asked them if they are buying makeup now? 55% said yes and 45% said no. In addition, we asked why they are not buying makeup and the answers were because of the following reasons; they are not going out (45%), they already stocked makeup (40%) and lastly, there are no weddings and gatherings now like before (42%).

However, most candidates said they prefer to buy makeup from local stores (73%) and others said they would prefer to buy makeup products from international brands (27%) due to fact that maybe the local stores sell the expensive products, do not trust the brand, can’t sample the product at the store due to restrictions, maybe the local shops carry fake products rather than authentic products, and many more. In addition, to gain trust of the products local shops need to do a lot marketing such as explaining their concept more, showing why the price is expensive, demonstrating more about the products by showing tutorials and providing customers feedback as this will gain the trust of the consumer. Moreover, interviewees informed us they would prefer coming to the store (70%) rather than buying the product online (30%).

We also asked our candidates on which digital marketing they prefer, they answered they prefer Instagram ads (70%), to be part of online application such as Boutiqaat, Brandatt, Adasat etc (40%), influencer ads (20%) and others (18%). Additionally, we asked If they like to see local stores collaborating by providing discount priced boxes and 90% said yes and only 10% said no. Also, most interviewees liked companies to give special coupons such as special coupons for their birthdays, for second purchase, for first time purchase etc, and they said that they prefer the company send them exclusive deals before announcing it to the public and be part of a loyalty program.

Most of the interviewees said that they like to support the local market however, companies need to be transparent with their consumer so they would gain their trust of the companies’ products and service. Also, the companies should promote the products and services individually such as their media platforms and not on a third party as an influencer.

In this modern era, a beauty company needs to have clean, natural and transparent beauty products as this will be a unique approach for the company(6). Similarly, companies need to be more engaging with their customers as 28% of the interviewees said they prefer that the companies send them promotions on their the WhatsApp and promote any new offers through the company’s social media accounts (50%). As companies need to engage with their followers on their social media platforms and understand the consumers trends and demands(7). Moreover, companies need to promote new digital solutions for their consumers.

1Gerstell, Emily, et al. How COVID-19 Is Changing the World of Beauty. May 2020,
2AlQabas. “Kuwaiti Women Spend KD 989 Million Annually On Beauty, Cosmetics And Fitness Products.” 30 Mar. 2016, Accessed 12 May 2021.
3Handley, Lucy. “DIY Treatments And A Digital Pivot — Here’s How The Beauty Industry Coped With The Coronavirus”. CNBC.Com, 2021, Accessed 12 May 2021.
42021, Accessed 12 May 2021.
6“8 Beauty ECommerce Trends That Will Define the Industry In 2021 [Free Guide].” Yieldify, 28 Jan. 2021,
7Decker, Kimberely J. “How COVID-19 Hit the Beauty Market.” Nutritional Outlook, 11 Jan. 2021,

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