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Bold Brows: Eyebrow Makeup Big in Eye Makeup Says NPD Group

Posted: July 2, 2014

A 28% increase in prestige eyebrow makeup dollar sales led the overall growth within total U.S. prestige eye makeup in the 12 months ending March 2014, reports The NPD Group. This increase is in sharp contrast to the total U.S. prestige makeup market’s 3% growth during the same time period.

Sales of eyebrow products have increased by double digits over the past three years, and now represent $122 million and 11% of total U.S. prestige eye makeup sales. However, less than 80% of prestige retail stores are currently selling brow makeup.

“The trend toward defined eyes continues to fuel prestige eye makeup sales nationwide,” said Karen Grant, vice president and global beauty industry analyst, The NPD Group, Inc. “Further investigation into NPD’s Geo-Level information uncovers regional opportunities for increased distribution and growth in brow makeup, particularly in southern markets within the U.S.”

While the West is the largest region in terms of U.S. prestige eyebrow makeup sales, there is potential for additional growth in the South where just 70% of prestige stores are selling brow makeup products. In addition, the southern region, which accounts for nearly a third of all U.S. prestige eye brow makeup sales, is not performing as strongly when compared to the total market.

According to The NPD Group’s BeautyTrends Geo-Level, for April 2013-March 2014 dollar sales, prestige eyebrow makeup performance increased 28% in the western U.S. since last year, and that section of the country has 33% of the category’s dollar share. The South increased its dollar sales for the prestige eyebrow makeup by 24% in the last year, and it has 31% of the dollar share. The Northeast saw a 29% increase in the category last year, while it holds 22% of the dollar share; and the Central region, which was 14% of the dollar share of the prestige eyebrow makeup category, saw an increase of 19% since last year.

Among the top 10 cities in the U.S. selling prestige eyebrow makeup, Houston is an area of opportunity for the industry. Just 57% of Houston stores sold prestige brow makeup in the 12 months ending March 2014. These stores experienced 23% growth in dollar sales due in part to a 5-percentage point increase in the number of stores selling prestige eyebrow makeup.

“It is becoming increasingly critical to understand the winning brands and products at a local level, and Houston is a good example of the potential opportunity of increased product distribution,” said Grant. “In the eyebrow market, for example, while MAC and Clinique are among the top sellers, it is niche brand Anastasia Cosmetics that ranks No. 1 in three of the four U.S. regions and Benefit Cosmetics that ranks among the top three brands in the West. Despite differing geographic market dynamics, the right brand distribution will help influence purchase behavior, and ultimately drive sales.”