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Role of make-up in the context of Covid-19?


Oriflame Research and Development Ltd, Bray Business Park, Kilruddery, Co.Wicklow, Ireland


Covid-19 has had a significant impact on both make-up sales and traditional business set-up. With virtual meetings becoming the new norm, a pilot exploratory investigation was conducted to probe the relevancy of make-up whilst working from home via online platforms. An eye-tracking device was used to record the time viewed (seconds), fixation (frequency) and revisits (frequency) of the audience on models wearing make-up or not, during video calls. Results showed that an increase in gaze can be conveyed by a webcam whilst wearing make-up, which can lead to heightened attentiveness from the audience. 

The application of lip colour seemed to catch the attention of the gaze earlier and to divert audience attention downwards from higher areas of the face. Opportunities to revamp claims for colour cosmetic products following the impact of Covid-19 is also discussed.


Covid-19 has changed the way we live our lives and the beauty industry is no exception to its impact. With consumers spending more time at home than ever before, many large cosmetic companies are reporting a huge decline in sales  (1). 

The habit of applying make-up before a busy day has substantially reduced, as more people work from home with less critical need to look professional. Going out in public frequently involves wearing a face mask, a not very appealing adornment, and lip products have lost their “raison d’être,” as the lower half of the face is covered (2). Even applying foundation is becoming more redundant, as imperfections are less visible to the eye of the others and transfer to face masks is cumbersome.


As consumers stockpile essentials to get them through the Covid-19 crisis, the reality is that make-up and beauty products are simply not on the list. This was clearly outlined by the shift in sales observed at Amazon and the purchase intent of consumers surveyed in several markets (4). Job lo ...

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