“Before, you wouldn’t have caught me picking up a pint of milk without my face on,” says Charlie, who works for a training business.

But then the pandemic struck and now she just doesn’t wear as much as she used to, even to work.

“I was stuck at home furloughed with two kids, my husband was away, so I spent a lot of time outside without make-up on, and realised no one cares,” she explains.

Charlie feels the pandemic has given her the confidence to embrace a more natural look. And it seems she’s not alone.

The use of cosmetics was already declining before 2020, but a survey of 10,000 British women by market research firm Kantar has revealed big changes to post-lockdown beauty routines.

Make-up purchases and frequency of wearing products has dropped steeply in the last two years, by almost a third, it suggests.

Colleagues of Charlie’s at Rhino Safety, on the outskirts of Sandbach in Cheshire, agree.

Director Cate Walter admits she splurges on getting her nails and eyebrows done. But her daily regime is minimal; a bit of blusher and maybe mascara for a day in the office.

“I just don’t want to look ill,” she jokes.

Although the business has a relaxed feel, Cate says she has definitely noticed a change since staff started working remotely.

“You do not need to spend as much time on your appearance, especially as you’re potentially only seen from the waist up anyway,” she says, adding that being fully made-up is not something she, nor many clients, expect.

“I’m not going to expect you to be in a full face of make-up and a suit when you’re essentially sat at your kitchen table,” she says.

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