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Prestige Color Sales Burn Bright

January 10, 2012

Color cosmetics sales in prestige outlets continue to flourish. During the first 10 months of 2011, total prestige makeup dollar sales in US department stores rose 8% to $2.8 billion, according to market research company The NPD Group, Inc. During that time, unit sales grew 5% to nearly 117 million units. October was the tenth month of dollar growth and the ninth month of unit growth for the year.

Within prestige color, sales of eye products, like these from Estée Lauder, showed dramatic increases, according to NPD Group.

In the first 10 months of the year, all prestige makeup segments posted dollar growth: Total Nail, up 59%; Total Eye and All Other Color, each up 10%; Total Sets, up 9%; Total Lip, up 8%; and Total Face, up 7%.

According to NPD, the big winners in the face segment were concealer and foundation, while eyes showed dramatic increases in the eyeshadow, eyebrow and mascara categories. In lip, it was lipcolor that stole dollars away from lipgloss and liner (each declining -1% in sales). Lipcolor outperformed the category’s dollar performance of 8%, with an increase of 12%. The nail segment was a winner all around, showing 50+ dollar increases for both nail enamel and top/base coats.

In addition, eyeshadow palette sales came on strong, with the trend of dramatic eyes this season. In the first 10 months, eyeshadow consisting of five or more palettes grew triple digits in dollar sales, compared to the same time last year. Quad palettes grew double-digits.

“In makeup, while neutral tones and face products led in the past, across countries we see strong gains in color categories of lip and nail color and a new focus on eye and eye definition with growth in eye pencil and brow products,” said Karen Grant, vice president and senior global industry analyst, The NPD Group, Inc. “In makeup, the joy of color is seen with more than half of the top 25 new products—and seven of the top 10—being from an eye or lip category.”

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