The beauty industry is booming at an all-time high, with a market value of $97.3 billion in the United States. However, one classic cosmetic staple is facing a crisis: mascara. 

While consumers are opting for more convenient methods of making the lashes look full, newer makeup brands, like Rihanna's Fenty Beauty, Kylie Jenner's Kyle Cosmetics, and Lady Gaga's Haus Laboratories, have also picked up on this decline in mascara sales as all three brands lacked mascara in their initial product launches. 

So what is the cause of this seismic shift in cosmetics and what are people buying instead?

Celebrity makeup artist Randall Mahnke-Tang told CNN Business, "It's all about false lashes and lash extensions now. Celebrities love them, but even the girl at the grocery store checkout is wearing a full set of lashes every day. Do-it-yourself false lashes that are made to be glued to the lash line, are available at most drug stores for less than $10."

This cheaper alternative can give wearers a more dramatic look, something that's also been fueled by Instagram trends. While mascara sales have fallen by 7% since 2016 overall, false lashes (and related application products) have grown by a whopping 82% since 2016. Beauty gurus and brand strategists have certainly taken notice and are trying to cater towards their shifting customers' tastes.

Of course, a huge portion of the makeup influence is coming from Kim Kardashian. She routinely uses false lashes to help create her iconic looks for social media. And the person applying her lashes, renowned makeup artist Mario Dedivanovic, has some thoughts on the trend. He told CNN Business, "Mascara will never die, but lash extensions are just an easier lifestyle choice for women right now. My own sister gets lash extensions and you're not supposed to use mascara with them."

Have no fear though, mascara is still widely available for consumers who enjoy more traditional makeup routines. Despite social media and celebrity trends, there are still numerous consumers who wouldn't want to change long-standing cosmetic routines. This development seems to be the start of what could be a major industry shift, but we will be there to report on whatever updates arrive as a result.

Do you prefer mascara or false lashes? Let us know in the comments!

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