Lipstick brightens segment with bold sales

The lip segment is on the upswing with the shining star proving, once again, to be lip color. Lipstick continues to be the darling of the segment much to the detriment of lip gloss and lip treatments.

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

“In the United States, lips are keeping in step with the nail color trend this year. Consumers are responding to the new options and innovations in beauty, and what better way than with some bold lips that make a statement,” stated Karen Grant, VP and senior global industry analyst with research firm the NPD Group.

In the U.S. prestige beauty industry, the attention to lip color has resulted in double-digit gains for the lip segment. NPD reported that the overall lip segment in prestige climbed 11% for the 12 months ended August 2013, generating $665 million. Lip color, in particular, enjoyed a 16% boost. NPD noted that this trend is playing out within the United Kingdom as well.

“U.S. consumers are clearly willing to invest a little more in products that will deliver the look they want, and it goes beyond just lipstick, carrying over to liner, application tools and all-in-one products. Throughout Europe, sales of lip products are outperforming relative units sold, especially in lip color, so this is a phenomenon across the pond as well,” Grant stated.

The focus on lip color also is evident in the U.S. mass market. According to data provided by IRI, a Chicago-based market research firm, the overall lip category posted a 2.5% gain for the 52 weeks ended Sept. 8 at U.S. multi-outlets. Lipstick is no doubt driving that gain as sales rose nearly 7%.

The focus on lip color also is helping to lift sales of lip liner, which rose nearly 0.6% during the same period, according to IRI.

Meanwhile, sales of lip gloss dropped about 5%, and sales of lip treatments plummeted nearly 28% during that same period, according to IRI.

Manufacturers are helping bolster growth of lip color by developing products that promise longer wear and moisturizing benefits — two benefits that are important to today’s beauty shoppers.

Research firm Euromonitor International noted in its July 2013 U.S. beauty and personal care report, “Beauty editors continued to tout lipstick as providing glamour, while advances in lipstick technology also have led to lighter weight and more comfortable lipsticks.”

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