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Here's Why Amazon Hasn't Crushed Makeup Retailers Yet

Despite the widespread retail doldrums, specialty makeup retailers like Ulta Beauty Inc. (ULTA) and Sally Beauty Holdings Inc. (SBH) are able to balance both selling in bricks-and-mortar locations and expanding their online presence.

In 2016, the U.S. prestige makeup category grew 12%, according to NDP Group data, while the U.S. mass makeup category grew 5%, according to Nielsen data. According to estimates by Jefferies LLC analyst Stephanie Wissink, members of the Generation Z and Millennial generations, all those under the age of 35, are price-conscious shoppers who prefer new products and "seek frequent change," with "upgrade cycles" occurring every two years. They also regularly use more individual products than Baby Boomers and Gen Xers.

"The rate of shopping outpaced the rate of regimen change, which skewed slightly higher toward quarterly," Wissink wrote in June, citing a proprietary survey. "This is a signal of the micro-trend...