Daily Insights

The Holiday Spirit Runs Dry

By: Victoria Mauriello | Mar 02, 2020

With 59% of holiday consumer spending happening online, brands are eager to win sales. 

According to Beauty US & Europe: Holiday, one strategy beauty brands enact are limited edition, holiday-themed shades, products and sets on e-tailers. Beauty brands Too Faced Cosmetics, Dermalogica, and Tarte follow this strategy. Too Faced created specialized gingerbread packaging for its Better Than Sex travel size mascara, Tarte created two new exclusive shades for its Chrome for The Holidays Set, and Dermalogica packaged its skin care products into an exclusive holiday-trio. But across the United Kingdom and the United States, specialty retailers like Ulta, Sephora, and Feelunique quickly discounted these holiday lines as soon as the holiday season ended. On December 26, 2019, Tarte’s “Chrome for The Holidays” Set and Too Faced Cosmetics’ “Better Than Sex” Mascara Ornament prices dropped 26% on Sephora and 30% on Ulta, respectively. Similarly, in the UK, Dermalogica’s “Holiday Ultimate Cleanse & Glow Trio” Gift Set retailed for 18% less on Feelunique during the post-holiday period. 

Discounting is greater on these holiday exclusive products than on other similar, non-holiday versions of products that the brands offer. During the same period, on average, a single Tarte Chrome Paint Shadow Pot shade retailed for 16% more than Tarte’s holiday exclusive set, a set four times the size with four shade options. Too Faced Cosmetics’ travel-size “Better Than Sex Mascara” cost 30% more on average on Ulta for the same product without holiday packaging. Buying each piece separately of Dermalogica’s “Holiday Ultimate Cleanse & Glow Trio” Gift Set cost 79% more on average on Feelunique than the bundled holiday set during the post-holiday period. Although gifting pages on retailers see sustained traffic during the holidays, non-holiday pages still retain the highest share of traffic across regions, seeing 56%, 80% and 82% of traffic on Sephora US, Marionnaud and Feelunique, respectively. As discounting is greatest on holiday exclusive-lines after the holidays close, brands should consider promoting the products, shades, and packaging they already distribute on retailers, rather than creating new holiday-exclusives.