Survey: Consumers Prefer In-person Beauty Shopping and Free Samples

Attest's US Beauty & Grooming Report 2022 indicates that U.S. consumers prefer in-person shopping over online shopping for beauty and grooming products.
Attest's US Beauty & Grooming Report 2022 indicates that U.S. consumers prefer in-person shopping over online shopping for beauty and grooming products.

The US Beauty & Grooming Report 2022 consumer survey conducted by Attest indicates that Americans are spending less time and money on beauty routines in favor of minimalism and DIY beauty, a possible result of the COVID-19 pandemic, creating new opportunities for at-home treatments.

The survey data also indicates that American consumers still prefer to shop in person and are more swayed by free samples than influencer testimonials. However, an outlier group in the survey, dubbed “Highly Invested in Beauty and Grooming” by Attest, throw off the trends by spending significantly more across every major segment in beauty.

Related: Ulta, Olaplex Top Teens' Beauty Favorites

Minimalism and DIY Beauty

Per the report, 45% of respondents spend 15 minutes or less on beauty and grooming every day and 31% spend up to 30 minutes on their daily routine. Most women reported not needing more than 30 minutes and men are most likely to spend less than 15 minutes on their daily routine. Only 11% spend 45 minutes and 5% spend more than an hour a day on their beauty routine.

It is most common for consumers to spend between $26 and $50 per month on beauty and grooming products. Of respondents, 24% only spend $10 to $25 a month on products. Most men use no more than three products daily and most women use between four and six. The smallest group, 8.5% of respondents, use 10 or more products daily.

With consumers spending less, DIY treatments are becoming increasingly popular. The report indicates that 85% of respondents carry out beauty and grooming treatments at home, with a face mask or facial being used by 39%, the most common treatment identified. A third of respondents are cutting and coloring their hair at home and 45% of men said they give themselves DIY haircuts.

According to Attest, 12% of the overall sample of respondents would qualify as consumers that are highly invested in beauty and grooming, with 55% being male and 45% being female. That consumer group spends at least $100 per month on beauty and grooming and 45 minutes on daily routines, throwing off trends about higher prices and minimalism. Millennials are most likely to be highly invested consumers who over-index for shopping weekly across every segment, including makeup, haircare, skincare, fragrance and shaving.

Clean Beauty and Social Media

Respondents of the survey prefer in-person shopping over ecommerce, specifically in department stores for makeup, skin care and fragrance and supermarkets for hair care and shaving. Per the report, 63% of women and 37% of men shop in a discount store for beauty products.

The data suggests consumers are more concerned with clean formulations than sustainable packaging. Of respondents, 52% take a brand’s use of natural or clean ingredients into consideration when making a purchase, while 26% consider the brand’s environmental credentials.

Despite TikTok taking over beauty trends, this survey found that influencer testimonial on a product is the least persuasive method to consumer purchase, while product samples are the most popular way to get a consumer to buy a new product. Sampling ranks higher than friend recommendations, special offers or promotions and advertising.

Despite not feeling swayed by influencers, consumers are still actively engaging with beauty online, with 54% saying they interact with or follow beauty brands on social media. Instagram is the preferred platform for Gen Z, while Facebook dominates every other generation.


To compile the data for the US Beauty & Grooming Report 2022, Attest surveyed 2,000 nationally representative working-age consumers based in the United States.

Jeremy King, CEO and Founder of Attest, said, “The Attest research highlights how the majority of Americans are taking a ‘less is more’ approach to their daily beauty and grooming regimes. Most consumers simply don’t want to take too much time on managing their appearance or spend that much money on it either. Conversely, however, Americans are also increasingly ready to take matters into their own hands when it comes to their appearance, with 85% of people now carrying out some form of DIY treatment at home.”

King continued, “Going against the ecommerce grain, shopping for beauty and grooming products still remains very much an in-store experience for Americans. The data also shows that the public wants focused messaging on the ‘clean’, natural ingredients of products, but also wishes to be able to sample the goods before committing to a purchase. This, along with consumers’ focus on a more stripped back care regime, has implications for brands in the hyper-competitive beauty and grooming industry.”

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