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Lip Lock: Sales are Up 7 Percent


PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y.—Pucker up because according to beauty market research conducted by The NPD Group Inc., year-to-date—January through April 2011—the total prestige lip segment grew7 percent to $185.2 million in U.S. department stores and 4 percent in units to 9.8 million. But lip color “out-glossed" the rest with an increase of 11 percent in dollars ($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 (30 percent). Annual 2010 results were the first time since 2002 that lip color saw a unit increase—8 percent—the highest increase since 1998.

The top five best selling lip colors from January 2011 to April 2011, according to dollar sold:

  1. Mac Lipstick
  2. Lancome L’Absolu Rouge
  3. Clinique Long Last Soft Shine Lipstick
  4. Lauder Pure Color Lipstick New
  5. Chanel Rouge Coco Shine

“What is particularly noteworthy of the trend in lip color is 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 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 as well as 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."

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