Trends come and go, of course, but as we celebrate National Lipstick Day today (July 29) we can revel in the fact that the beauty industry creates lipsticks in a seemingly endless array of lip hues at all price points—from drug store options that sell for less than price of a grande latte at Starbucks to haute brands touting SKUs priced around $35 a pop.
Both mass and prestige lip sectors seem to be faring well. In multi-outlets, lipstick sales surged 12.43%, according to IRI’s data for the 52 weeks ended July 12. And in the prestige sector, NPD reported that Q1 2015 lipliner sales skyrocketed 25%.
At Happi, we’re loving the colors offered in the Rodial Glamsticks line, which is infused with cocoa butter and vitamin E, and can be found online at Planet Beauty.
It’s become imperative for cosmetic formulators to craft products with benefits beyond color. According to Mintel, 47% of lip cosmetic users rank long-wearing as important, slightly less than the 48% who cite moisturizing or hydrating as their most sought after attribute.
While no one knows just how long any trend will last, functionality will hold steady among lip make-up users—regardless of color and format trends. According to Mintel’s data, more than half (55%) of women report regular usage of lip makeup, with use being fairly evenly dispersed across lipstick (37%) and lip gloss (29%).
And let’s not forget the role lip color, specifically glosses and balms, play as a “gateway” product. My 12-year daughter’s dresser top is cluttered with various tubes and orbs of lip balm and gloss. And she has a friend who owns close to 200 lip products from the likes of brands such as Maybelline Baby Lips.
Buying lip balm is a right of passage for girls—but that's quite an investment in the category for a 12 year old.
As expected, these tweens are vocal about their newfound interest in lip color. My daughter’s Instagram account is flooded with her own and many of her peers' beauty reviews. (If you are curious, most lip products, by the way, seem get a 10 out of 10).
Or take “sassyclassy,” a 13-year old from Oceanside, CA who chimed in on Maybelline’s page with this review: “The Baby Lips in the color Cherry Me is my absolute favorite. This lip balm is so moisturizing. You do not need to add chapstick before. THIS IS MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE LIP PRODUCT!!!!! This is a definite must have.”
It’s not exactly the same as Leonard Lauder’s famous Lipstick Index—in which the beauty business guru contends that women substitute lipstick for more expensive purchases when the economy heads south—but is anyone tracking lip balm sales and usage among tweens as an indicator of future purchasing habits or the future health of the lip color category in general? Maybe we can call it the Gloss Gauge….