NPD Reports on the Return to Lip Color

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Positive Lip Color Sales Adds to the Rediscovery of Makeup

According to beauty market research conducted by The NPD Group, Inc., a leading market research company, year-to-date, January through April 2011, the total prestige lip segment* grew by +7 percent to $185.2 million in U.S. department stores and +4 percent in units to 9.8 million. The real star of the segment though was lip color, with an increase of 11 percent in dollars ($92.1 million), compared to January through April ‘10.

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 ’11 (+30%). Annual 2010 results were the first time since 2002 that lip color saw a unit increase, +8 percent, the highest increase since 1998.

Top Five Best Selling Lip Color
January thru April 2011 *
#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
Source: The NPD Group / BeautyTrends®
*According to dollars sold

“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 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,” ended Grant.

*Lip segment, includes lip color, lip liner, lip gloss, and lip applicators.

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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