The Estée Lauder Cos. and e.l.f. Beauty’s outlooks for 2023 couldn’t look more different: the cosmetics giant reduced its fiscal year forecasted sales in November, citing lacklustre demand in China, among other factors. On the same day, e.l.f. Beauty raised its outlook, reporting a 15th consecutive quarter of growth.Both companies report fresh results this week, and between them we should get a reasonably complete snapshot of how the industry as a whole is faring.Estée Lauder, which mostly sells prestige products, relies on China for one-third of its sales. It’s in the same boat as many luxury fashion brands, in that it needs Chinese consumers to quickly resume shopping now that the country has lifted its Zero Covid policy. Will CEO Fabrizio Freda echo LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault, who last week said he was “optimistic for the Chinese market”?E.l.f. is almost entirely dependent on the US for sales, and operates on the lower end of the market. It could benefit from some of the same forces holding back Estée Lauder: in an economic downturn, the brand’s $3 lip lacquer and $7 concealer look more appealing.Where both companies overlap is their dependence on skin care to power through the current period of uncertainty. For Estée Lauder, the category makes up a majority of sales, and also saw the biggest decline last year, including a 14 percent drop in revenue in the quarter ending in September. Both established brands, including Estée Lauder itself, and newer ones, like Dr.Jart+, acquired in 2019, have slumped (though others, including La Mer and The Ordinary, are thriving).Last June, e.l.f. Beauty launched a new brand, e.l.f. Skin, which mostly sells existing products but signals the company’s ambitions. The brand’s cosmetics are wildly popular with Gen-Z thanks to its creative use of TikTok. Now, the company is learning in real time whether those same tactics will carry over to a category where it’s historically had a smaller presence. The success of e.l.f. Skin will determine whether the company can transition from a hot makeup brand into a diversified beauty conglomerate; in other words, a budget Estée Lauder.What Else to Watch For This WeekMondayHermès’ lawsuit accusing Metabirkin of trademark infringement goes to trial in New YorkTuesdayEurozone reports fourth-quarter GDPWednesdayBlack History Month begins (US)Copenhagen International Fashion Fair beginsMarni shows in TokyoE.l.f. Beauty reports quarterly resultsEurozone reports January inflation, unemploymentThursdayEstée Lauder Cos reports quarterly resultsMarc Jacobs shows in New YorkFridayUS reports employment data for JanuaryThe Week Ahead wants to hear from you! Send tips, suggestions, complaints and compliments to firstname.lastname@example.org.