Based on retail sales, chain beauty store Ulta Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrance was one of the leading health and beauty retailer in the U.S. In 2019, Ulta generated approximately 7.4 billion U.S. dollars in retail sales. In that year, Sephora’s retail sales reached a total of 5.9 billion U.S. dollars. In recent years, e-commerce has played a greater role in the U.S. cosmetics industry. The share of online health and personal care sales as a percentage of total retail e-commerce sales was projected to increase from seven percent in 2017 to 8.6 percent in 2024. In the first quarter of 2018, Amazon's cosmetics category sales increased 20 percent compared to the previous year.
Within the cosmetics category in the U.S., eye cosmetics was the most profitable segment. In 2020, about 1.96 billion U.S. dollars were generated from sales of eye cosmetics in the U.S. Facial cosmetics was the second most profitable segment, with sales revenue of 1.9 billion U.S. dollars. Of the eye cosmetic industry, mascara was the leading product in the U.S. The segment also included eye liners, eye shadows, eyebrow makeup and eye combos. Besides the eye cosmetic segment, lipstick was also a profitable segment within the cosmetic industry in the U.S., generating 647.31 million U.S. dollars in revenue for the lip cosmetics category.
Given the size of the cosmetics market in the United States, consumers are faced with nearly unlimited options in terms of which brands to purchase, with several brands standing out as among the most popular. According to a 2019 survey, on social media, Huda Beauty had the highest user engagement with 246.37 million actions. Ranked second was Kylie Cosmetics which accounted for 215.24 million cross-platform actions.