Expert's Opinion

Read My Lips

By Kat Fay, Mintel | August 23, 2010

Lipstick and lipgloss are still the most popular color cosmetics, explains Mintel’s Kat Fay.

Eye makeup purchases may lead the pack in sales, but other segments of the market are the clear favorites. Lipstick and lipgloss are the most popular color cosmetic products with 76% of survey respondents. Lipstick and lipgloss provide moisture, a quick bright boost to the lips, and can be easily carried around and reapplied anywhere, making it the cosmetic of choice for many women.

Not surprisingly, incidence of lipstick or lipgloss usage increases with age, mostly because as women get older, lip color is a relatively easy way to brighten up the face without having to put on a face full of makeup. Some 22% of women use a lip pencil, 9% use a lipstain and just 7% use a compact lip color. Women report using lipstick and lipgloss six times a week, suggesting that these products are a daily staple. How many times have you left the house with nothing more on your face than lipgloss/lipstick and a smile?

For most women, makeup routines become habit, yet there are methods that may convince some to try a new product. One third of respondents surveyed claim that an in-store sample or consultation would most convince them to try a new product, and those ages 45-54 are most likely to say this method would convince them to try something new. Women who love cosmetics love to try new things if they’re offered free samples or a complimentary professional makeup application. Just about one quarter of respondents would consider a recommendation from a family member or a friend to be convincing enough to try a new makeup product. Most ladies enjoy swapping lipstick or eyeshadow with friends and trust their opinions about which new product to try.

Fifty-five percent of women surveyed report that they enjoy wearing makeup. Applying makeup is hardly the chore many would believe and often provides makeup users with a quick ego or mood boost. If you look good on the outside, you’ll feel good on the inside. While four out of five women report using makeup, only 31% state that their makeup buying behavior hasn’t changed as a result of the economy. Ladies are trading down to less expensive brands, wearing their makeup less often to conserve or only buying makeup on sale to save money. Retailers would be wise to highlight innovative ingredients in their products or utilize environmentally-friendly packaging to attract consumers and jumpstart the stalling beauty market.

About the Author

For more than six years, Kat Fay has been analyzing trends for Mintel’s Reports team.As a senior consumer research analyst, her key areas of research include lifestyle reports that focus on health, weight control, eating habits and nutrition, along with the health and beauty sector.Some of her recent reports include Organic Foods, Weddings in a Recession, Spending Power of Baby Boomers, and Anti-Aging Skincare.

Prior to joining Mintel, Fay has held past positions as English department researcher for St. Xavier University in Chicago and editor of an online current events news publication. Her commentary and analysis has been featured in a several national consumer and trade publications, including The Wall Street Journal, The Chicago Tribune, Supermarket News and The New York Times.

Fay holds her M.A. in English from St. Xavier University, where she is currently serving on the university’s steering committee to integrate the English and Business degree program.

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