NPD: Prestige makeup sales rise throughout year; nail segment takes spotlight

PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y. — Prestige makeup sales experienced growth during the first 10 months of the year, with the nail segment coming out a winner all around with a $50-plus increase in both nail enamel and top/base coats, according to beauty market research conducted by the NPD Group.

During the first 10 months of 2011 (January to October) total prestige makeup dollar sales in U.S. department stores were $2.8 million, an increase of 8% in dollars, compared with the same time last year. Units grew 5% with almost 117 million units sold. October was the 10th month of dollar growth and the ninth month of unit growth for the year.

In the first 10 months of the year, all prestige makeup segments saw dollar growth: total nail up 59%, total eye and all other color each up 10%, total sets up 9%, total lip up 8% and total face up 7%.

The big winners in the face segment were concealer and foundation, while eyes showed dramatic increases in the eyeshadow, eyebrow and mascara categories. In lip, it was lip color that stole the dollars away from lip gloss and liner. Lip color outperformed the category’s dollar performance of 8%, with an increase of 12%.

In addition, eyeshadow palette sales came on strong, with the trend of dramatic eyes this season. In the first 10 months, eyeshadow consisting of five or more palettes grew triple digits in dollar sales, compared with the same time last year. Quad palettes grew double digits.

“In makeup, while neutral tones and face products led in the past, across countries we see strong gains in color categories of lip and nail color and a new focus on eyeshadow and eye definition with growth in eye pencil and brow products,” stated Karen Grant, VP and senior global industry analyst for the NPD Group. “In makeup, the joy of color is seen with more than half of the top 25 new products (and seven of the top 10) being from an eye or lip category.”

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