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Birchbox Reveals Holiday Beauty Behavior

Posted: December 10, 2012

Birchbox released its Winter 2012 Birchbox Beauty Pulse Survey Holiday Edition, which polled more than 3,000 women across the U.S. to discover information on their holiday plans, including budgets, buying habits and more.

When asked “Do you generally wear more makeup during the holidays?” 62% of respondents said yes, and nearly half of them (43%) noted red as “What lip color are you most excited to wear this holiday season?” (Dark red lipstick was elected by 23% of respondents and 20% cherry red, while 21% chose nude, 17% light pink, 10% clear balm and 9% magenta.) Additionally, mani/pedis ranked as No. 1 as “favorite beauty service splurges during the holidays,” with massages, facials, blow outs and makeup applications rounding out the top five, respectively.

Surveying the respondents’ holiday shopping and gifting habits, 66% said they were likely to give friends a beauty or grooming gift this holiday season, while 56% said their mom were a target for this type of gift and 42% indicated a sibling could expect beauty and grooming gifts. Additionally, 45% said they were “likely” to give someone a beauty or spa service (manicure, massage, etc.) as a present, while 11% clocked in at “extremely likely,” and 59% of respondents noted that they are more likely to buy a gift that donates part of its proceeds. Also, 62% elected for “a few” when asked “When you are holiday gift shopping, how many purchases do you (honestly) keep for yourself?” Meanwhile, 22% said they keep none for themselves, while 15% keep “some” and a greedy 1% keep all of them.

The survey also showed a few gaps when gifting certain types of beauty products versus what people like to receive. When shopping for and receiving beauty product gifts, 71% of respondents noted that they like to give body beauty products for the holidays, while just 59% noted that they liked receiving them. Fifty-three percent noted that they like to give nail products as gifts while 52% like to receive these gifts, and 52% like to gift makeup product while 68% like to receive them. For fragrance gifts, 51% like giving them and 63% like receiving them; skin care gifts see 31% liking to give them to the 44% that like to receive them. Twenty percent like to give hair care products as gifts while 36% like to receive them, and, exhibiting the biggest opportunity gap, 17% like to give beauty tool gifts while 41% like to receive them (at 24% chasm).

Additionally, the Birchbox research found 84% of respondents like to buy gifts online, and the most popular holiday budget range was $251–500 (37%) followed by $501–1,000 and $101–250 (both 23%), $1,000+ (10%) and $0–100 (7%). As 50% of people said they anticipate buying for an average of six to 10 people, that approximates to about $56 spent on gifts for each person. And as indicated by those seeking to buy and receive beauty gifts this year, that means a lot of opportunity for beauty brands.