Color Cosmetics Market Is Increasingly Vibrant

By Katie Middleweek, Editor, European Cosmetic Markets | November 9, 2009

It has been a dynamic and successful year for the color cosmetics industry in the Big 5 countries. Each recorded an increase in value terms proving that no financial strains will dampen customer’s appetite for bright and innovative cosmetics. The future of color cosmetics would seem to be bright and if the amount of new launches is anything to go by, it is positively glowing.

It is a well known fact that French women, and now sometimes men too, have a voracious appetite for all cosmetics. Many of the best known companies in the industry are French after all. So it makes sense then that, according to Mintel, France’s cosmetic market remains one of the most dynamic sectors in the country. It grew to an estimated $1.9 billion in 2008, a rise of 3%. Facial cosmetics account for the largest market share at 36%, with eye makeup next at 33%. Foundation sales alone were worth $448.3 million and mascara sales totalled an impressive $345.4 million. The lip sector was the only sector to record a decline in value sales, slipping by 2% in 2008.

One new trend which cannot be ignored is that of facial primers which have seen a resurgence in light of the new focus on eye products. YSL Beauté (L’Oréal) extended its Top Secrets skin priming line recently with the launch of two products. Instant Wake-up Patches are said to soothe and refresh the eye area, helping to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, while preparing the skin for makeup. The patches contain a draining complex including arnica and lavender water and can even be used over makeup. Re-Plumping Concentrate Lip & Contour Shaper meanwhile, is said to moisturize and boost lip volume before lipstick application and contains hyalufix, which helps stimulate the production of hyaluronic acid.

Experts in Experimentation

German women are keen as mustard when it comes to trying out new colors and the financial crisis didn’t stop them parting with their euros for cosmetics in the past year.

Figures from IRI Germany show that the country’s color cosmetics market is growing slowly but surely—it totalled $816.6 million in the first six months of 2009, an increase of 1.3%. There was more good news when it came to volume sales as these also increased by 1.8% to more than 92 million units. The eye category is the biggest in the sector, holding a 37.3% share and the facial category is second at 34.9%. Mascara sales were $171.3 million in 2009, up a healthy 4.2%.

Art Deco remains Germany’s most popular cosmetics brand and this year it rolled out a raft of new products. New to market this January was the Art Deco Beauty Pop Colour Collection, inspired by the South American pop artist Romero Britto. The range features exotic, vibrant colors such as bright greens, blues and yellows to reflect South American joie de vivre. Britto donates a portion of the products to charitable foundations, and in Germany 10% of sales goes to Best Buddies Deutschland, a charity for mentally disabled adults and children. Art Deco also launched four new nail care products this year—Nail Repair Serum, Rillenfüller (ridge filler), Nail Power Serum and Nail Bleaching Star.

Climbing Steadily

The Italian color cosmetics market grew 2.9% in 2008 to $1.58 billion, according to data from industry trade body Unipro. Nail products performed particularly well, putting on 6.8% to nearly $263 million. Facial cosmetics were not far behind, also posting an impressive growth of 5.3% to $475 million, making it the largest sub-sector. Eye products grew 5.1% last year, reaching $373 million, which was far more impressive than the year before when it inched up by only a tiny 0.8%.

On the subject of eye products, Italian favorite Deborah launched its new Eyebrow Collection, which features four products in limited edition colors with a long-lasting formulation. The kit features Eyebrow Marker, available in two shades of brown; Eyebrow Mascara to fix and color; 2in1 Eyebrow Pencil with tweezers that allow precise definition; and Matita Sopracciglia 24 ore, an eye pencil with brush that thickens brows.

Color Reigns Supreme

The Spanish color cosmetics market has increased in volume and value too.

According to IRI Spain, cosmetic sales in 2008 totalled $696.7 million in value terms and 51.8 million units in volume terms, respective increases of 2.1% and 1.9% over the previous year. All sub-sectors posted positive growth with the exception of lipsticks, which declined a surprising 4% in value and 3.5% in volume terms, going somewhat against the theory that in times of financial crisis women purchase lipsticks to make themselves feel good.

However, there has been a notable rise in mineral-based cosmetics sales, especially in facial lines. In year-on-year sales, the powder segment rose 17.3% to nearly $38.2 million. This has been reflected in the products that have been selling like hot cakes. L’Oréal Paris launched mineral-based makeup in the spring of 2007 and Maybelline, Max Factor and Bourjois soon followed. One of the latest mineral-based products in Spain’s mass market channel is Astor’s (Coty) Mineral Match 16H which combines gold, platinum and silver and a bio-active mixture of seven essential mineral for flawless looking skin. The line has been flying off Spanish shelves since its launch this summer.

An Appetite for Color

In the UK, the lipstick theory was clearly in evidence as cosmetics sales in the past year have increased by 8.4%, according to data from TNS Worldpanel. The market is now worth $956.3 million, well above figures posted in 2008. Facial products held the biggest piece of the pie at 41.4%, up 14%. Eye products were next with a 38.6% market share, with an impressive 9% year-on-year increase.

In terms of new products, there has been much innovation, particularly in the eye category. Urban Decay has been particularly noticeable with its new Cream Shadows range. The products come in 12 shades and are said to give the eyes a shimmering effect. Maybelline New York launched its Eyestudio Quads range, which includes six new palettes with multiple shades.

In these financial times, it is rare for all Big 5 countries to have made gains in a market—which just goes to show what a popular sector the color market is. Manufacturers have responded to this continuing appetite with gusto, rolling out new products at a rate of knots. A rosy hued future for the Big 5 looks to be in the cards.
About the Author
Katie Middleweek, is editor of European Cosmetic Markets. European Cosmetic Markets is published monthly by HPCi Media Limited. It provides in-depth data and analysis of the European cosmetics and toiletries market. For subscription details contact HPCi Media Limited, Tel: (44) 20 7549 8626, Fax: (44) 20 7549 8622.