Eye Makeup Sees Greatest Growth in Color Cosmetics

While the color cosmetics market has only enjoyed meager growth in recent years, eye makeup sales are more than making up for flat and declining lip and foundation makeup purchases, according to Mintel. Since 2004, eye makeup sales have increased 38%, compared to just an 11% increase in the color cosmetics market overall.

Mascara is one of the fastest-growing segments in color cosmetics, as 65% of respondents report using it. Eye shadow and eye liner aren’t far behind … 63% of women surveyed use shadow and 62% use liner. Brow pencils are somewhat less popular, but still enjoy solid market penetration with 38% of women reporting usage.

“The focus is now on more dramatic eyes,” says Kat Fay, senior beauty analyst at Mintel. “Mascara products are offering everything from serums to invigorate your natural lashes, to iridescent particles that reflect light to bring out a woman’s natural eye color. Retailers’ offerings seem to be working, as women report using mascara almost five times a week.”

While eye makeup leads the pack in sales, other segments of the market are still viable. Lipstick and lip gloss are the most popular color cosmetic products, with 76% of survey respondents. Some 22% use a lip pencil, 9% use a lip stain and just 7% use a compact lip color. Women report using lipstick and lip gloss six times a week, suggesting that these products are a daily staple.

“Incidence of lipstick or lip gloss usage increases with age,” adds Fay. “As women get older, lip color is a relatively easy way to brighten up the face without having to put on a face full of makeup.”

While four out of five women report using makeup, only 31% state their makeup buying behavior hasn’t changed as a result of the economy. Fay suggests retailers highlight innovative ingredients in their products or utilize environmentally friendly packaging to attract consumers and jump-start the stalling beauty market.

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