The NPD Group Reports Prestige Makeup Sales Shine

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Face and Nail Categories are Biggest Standouts in Makeup

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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

Sales for prestige makeup in U.S. department stores continue on a positive trend. August 2010 was the fourth consecutive month of positive dollar and unit sales. Dollar sales increased two percent to $2 billion, year-to-date through August 2010, compared to the same time period in 2009, according to leading market research company, The NPD Group, Inc., which reports on beauty industry trends.

“While two percent may not seem like a huge sales increase, it is noteworthy because this is the first time in two years that the prestige makeup 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 makeup industry was just one year ago, in 2009, you would be seeing a seven percent decline, compared to 2008 figures,” said Karen Grant, vice president and global industry analyst, 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,” said Grant.

Face and Nails were standout segments, outperforming the total makeup category in the first eight months of the year. Face, the largest segment with 49 percent dollar share of makeup, grew 3 percent in dollar volume, versus last year. Concealer (+6%), Foundation (+3%), and Blush (+2%) helped lead the way for Face category growth. The Nail segment, the smallest makeup segment, with only one percent dollar share, grew a double-digit 31 percent year-to-date (Jan thru Aug.) 2010, compared to the same time last year.

Both the Lip and Eye segments showed positive growth as well, two and one percent, respectively. The sub-segments driving growth in the Lip and Eye categories were Lip Color (+8%) and Eye Liner (+3%).

“The growth areas in prestige makeup reflect the changing preferences with women. Products that enhance already great skin or provide a natural look are driving sales in face products. Complementing the natural look in face products are the rich color products for lips and nails. For many women, these color categories like lip color are quite new and a place to play, experiment, and indulge without breaking the bank,” ended Grant.

About The NPD Group, Inc.
The NPD Group is the leading provider of reliable and comprehensive consumer and retail information for a wide range of industries. Today, more than 1,800 manufacturers, retailers, and service companies rely on NPD to help them drive critical business decisions at the global, national, and local market levels. NPD helps our clients to identify new business opportunities and guide product development, marketing, sales, merchandising, and other functions. Information is available for the following industry sectors: automotive, beauty, commercial technology, consumer technology, entertainment, fashion, food and beverage, foodservice, home, office supplies, software, sports, toys, and wireless. For more information, contact us, visit, or follow us Twitter at

For more information:
Dora Brunette
Dora.brunette(at)npd(dot)com, 516-625-6190     


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