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According to beauty market research conducted by The NPD Group, Inc., year-to-date, January through April 2011, the total prestige lip segment, which includes lip color, lip liner, lip gloss and lip applicators, grew by 7% to $185.2 million in U.S. department stores and 4% in units to 9.8 million. The real star of the segment though was lip color, with an increase of 11% in dollars, representing $92.1 million, compared to January through April 2010.
After almost a decade of declining sales, lip color began to show growth again last year. Since February 2010, lip color has experienced 15 months of steady dollar growth, with seven of those months posting double-digit increases, including April 2011, which marked 30% growth. Annual 2010 results were the first time since 2002 that lip color saw a unit increase, 8%, the highest increase since 1998.
According to The NPD Group’s BeautyTrends, the top five best-selling lip color products for January through April 2011, according to dollars sold, were:
“What is particularly noteworthy of the trend in lip color is that we are seeing these significant increases in sales at a time when overall usage of lip color appeared to be dropping off. Coming out of the recession, it seems that the consumers thirst for color and play was reawakened,” said Karen Grant, vice president and senior global industry analyst, The NPD Group. “In 2010, we saw the preference for rich and retro colors, and in 2011 we are seeing new neutrals come to the fore. As the fashion industry increasingly features bold as well as understated lip statements on the runway and in advertisements, lip color appears to be getting its groove back.”