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Putting the Color in Cosmetics Sales

By: Diana Dodson
Posted: March 5, 2008, from the March 2008 issue of GCI Magazine.
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Global color cosmetics sales reached $36.8 billion in 2007, according to Euromonitor International’s provisional 2008 data, representing an approximate 5% rise on the 2006 figure (in USD fixed exchange rate, current terms). While a seemingly healthy increase, cosmetics and toiletries are typically strong performers within the FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods) market, and, compared to other beauty categories, color cosmetics lag behind the average. In fact, Euromonitor International’s provisional figures suggest only the commoditized bath and shower category and depilatories, which faces stiff salon competition in many markets, recorded lower growth in 2007.

Category Leaders
Eye makeup, worth $10.1 billion, was the engine of dynamism in the global color cosmetics market during 2002–2006, and enjoyed a further year of category-leading growth of 6% in 2007, according to provisional Euromonitor International data. Dramatic, smoky eyes combined with nude lips, the “mod” look, dominated makeup trends across Western markets and continues to propel the sector. In addition, mascara is an important focus for innovation within the wider category. Meanwhile, facial makeup, which at $13.2 billion is the largest color cosmetics sector, showed the weakest performance in 2007. Not even a growing demand for blusher and bronzers was enough to offset the slowdown in the maturing foundation market.

Within the $10.1 billion lip products sector, lip gloss has been the champion of growth, with year-on-year increases of 9% between 2002–2006—approximately twice the level achieved by lipstick. Followers of the mod trend often opt for a sheer, glossy finish over the heavy matte coverage of a lipstick. In 2007, however, the market saw a resurgence in lipstick sales, and emerging markets are behind this growth.

Far from saturated and with large populations and dynamic economies, Eastern Europe and Latin America are propelling sales across the lip products sector. Since the mod look holds less sway in these regions, lipstick has become an important beneficiary of this growth. To a lesser extent, the Western markets are also contributing to a lipstick revival. In its latest incarnation, the mod trend calls for brighter, bolder lip colors, and some makeup firms are poised to tap into this new demand—PPR’s YSL Beauté, for example, launched Lip Twins, a lipstick/gloss duo, in early 2007.