The Growth Of The Beauty Industry In Film And TV Through The Pandemic


Film and TV struggled during the pandemic across every department with disruptive declines across production and drops end-to-end in revenues. 

One industry that was seemingly immune from the pandemic was the beauty industry, the backbone of all make-up departments.

From January 2020 to December 2021, the beauty industry saw a 1.1% growth hike according to Local Data Company (LDC). This was ultimately due to a fast amount of adaptability and innovation across e-commerce and social media. As a result, the increased inward investment into products across the sector has led to more cutting-edge works in film and TV make-up departments worldwide.

One of the areas that have specifically grown due to restrictions on-set is mask-wearing makeup. 

Key quote

One of the pioneers in this technology, Siew Piu Yi, CEO of Ms Pui Yi Cosmetics, said on the innovation: “The industry needs to be as close to consumers as possible in this current time that we live in. Innovating with new products and procedures as well as making sure that they’re efficient and cost-effective is paramount.” 

“Yes, we want to create alluring and special moments with consumers, but in the case of a lot of industries – film and T.V. in this instance – the application is crucial for the completion of projects whilst sticking to COVID rules on set or in the workplace.”


Outbreaks happening on set lead to devastating consequences and potential shutdowns, making following the rules not optional. In larger productions groups were created, called pods. Each pod had a separate entrance, bathroom and dining facilities, a specific check-in area, swab tests and temperature checks. This is all to limit risk across production. 

The main pod always consisted of the cast, and also crew, that had to be close to them. No group had to be closer than hair and makeup who were given extra PPE, including visors, to minimize risk to key talent and cast specifically. 

Efficiency in makeup departments became even more paramount with extensive searching for best-in-class products in areas such as tattoo cover-up and application as well as prosthetics. 

The recent innovation in this area has prompted more calls for increased investment into areas such as digital try-on technology to make the process of development smoother. 

French firm L’Oréal is betting heavily in this area with a string of investments in AI and data that may assist it in being more of a heavyweight in entertainment makeup departments.

“L’Oréal’s exceptional growth, driven by superior innovations, as well as rigorous cost control, has enabled us to invest extensively in our brands and increase their appeal, while at the same time delivering record operating profit and an operating margin up 50 basis points”, said CEO Nicolas Hieronimus.

In the not too distant future, we will begin to see massive growth in the film and TV makeup sector, leading to numerous state-of-the-art developments to streamline and modernize processes.