Prestige makeup sales on upswing, NPD says

PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y. Prestige makeup in U.S. department stores is on the rise, marking the first time in two years that the prestige makeup industry has shown a positive trend, according to market research firm the NPD Group.

Dollar sales increased 2% to $2 billion year-to-date through August 2010, compared with the same period in 2009. August 2010 was the fourth consecutive month of positive dollar and unit sales.

"While 2% may not seem like a huge sales increase, it is noteworthy because this is the first time in two years that the prestige market industry is showing a positive trend. We first began to see prestige makeup decline in 2008, before the recession, and if you were to look at where the prestige market industry was just one year ago, in 2009, you would be seeing a 7% decline, compared [with] 2008 figures," stated Karen Grant, VP and global industry analyst for The NPD Group. "Women continue to tell us that they want to enhance the way they look and to feel more confident and feminine. Experimenting with color is one of the ways they do that without spending a fortune."

Face and nails were the standout segments, outperforming the total makeup category in the first eight months of the year. Face, the largest segment with 49% dollar share of makeup, grew 3% in dollar volume, versus last year.

Concealer (up 6%), foundation (up 3%) and blush (up 2%) helped drive category growth. The nail segment, the smallest makeup segment with only 1% dollar share, grew a double-digit 31% year-to-date (January through August) 2010, compared with the same time last year.

Both the lip and eye segments showed positive growth as well, 2% and 1%, respectively. The subsegments driving growth in the lip and eye categories were lip color (up 8%) and eye liner (up 3%).

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