Falling in line: Lip color sales continue rise

Bright orange. Seductive red. Shiny. Matte. Regardless of what lip color you fancy, the bottom line is that lip color is hot — red hot.

(For the full category review, including sales data, click here.)

Taking its cue from fashion runways and keeping in line with the nail color trend, the lip color segment continues to enjoy an upswing in sales, according to recent data provided by IRI. For the 52 weeks ended Dec. 1, 2013, at U.S. multi-outlets, sales of lip color rose 7.6% to reach $503.7 million. The rise in lip color sales also is helping to fuel sales of lip liner, which rose 2.2% to $47.5 million during the same period.

Expect the trend to continue for 2014.

Responding to the demand, manufacturers are increasingly churning out lip colors that tout moisturizing benefits, long-wearing formulas and bright, vibrant shades. And several manufacturers at mass are taking a page from the prestige beauty market and developing chubby sticks.

“Women are embracing a more comprehensive approach in beauty and investing in the face that stares back at them in the mirror. The regimen starts with complexion perfection, including age specialist skin care, which is complemented by defined and enhanced eyes, and completed by colorful play with their lips,” said Karen Grant, VP and global industry analyst for The NPD Group.

NPD Group, which tracks prestige beauty in U.S. department stores, found that the lip segment was among the strongest of performers in makeup during the third quarter, with sales climbing 5%.

Hot shades? While a sexy, bold, red lip color is always great for a night out in the city, don’t be surprised to see a lot of beauty mavens sporting nude shades or orange. In fact, nude and orange shades are the rage in Europe, and the trend is now making headway in the United States.

Another shade to watch is radiant orchid — Pantone’s color of the year for 2014. With rosy undertones that radiate on the skin, this purple shade permeated the runways during the spring 2014 fashion shows.

“This multifaceted hue is seductive when combined with red and pairs well with its sister shades of lavender, purple and pink, which provides an assortment of lipstick and blush options. Radiant orchid’s exuberance also acts as a brilliant finishing touch to nails,” Pantone stated.

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