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Prestige make-up kisses the recession goodbye as sales increase

By Andrew MCDOUGALL , 29-Jan-2013
Last updated on 29-Jan-2013 at 12:38 GMT

Prestige make-up kisses the recession goodbye as sales increase

Sales of prestige make-up have recorded double-digit growth in value sales year-on-year, beating the recession as products are viewed as affordable luxury.

The total beauty market, which also includes fragrance and skin care, grew 5 per cent in annual sales in 2012, but make-up sales grew more than twice as fast at 11 per cent, according to the NPD Group.

One of the reasons for the growth of make-up is because it is the more affordable category within overall prestige beauty, with the average sales price of a product in the fragrance category is €37.22; in skin care it’s €31.88; and in make-up is under €25.

Affordable indulgence

“With the average price of a make-up product a good deal more affordable than other prestige beauty items, it really is an affordable indulgence,” explains June Jensen, director for NPD Group Beauty UK.

“Continuing to buy prestige beauty products that provide a little bit of luxury is a trend we’ve seen throughout the current challenging economy and is consistent with the ethos behind the original Lipstick Index.”

Coined by Leonard Lauder, chairman at Estee Lauder during the 2001 recession, the ‘Lipstick Index’ suggests that sales of lip colour tend to buck economic performance as women regard lipstick as an affordable luxury in comparison to other items such as designer clothing and shoes.

Category boost

According the most recent NPD Group analysis, the prestige make up-category, including lipstick, has increased in sales.

“The difference is it’s not just lips anymore, it applies right across the make-up category, something we can see in the strong sales performance in make-up across the year, and in particular in December,” continues Jensen.

“With the strong sales of gift sets last month, many women will have delighted in receiving prestige Make up for Christmas.”

NPD states that all main make-up segments experienced a surge in value sales for the year ending December 2012, with eye brow make-up topping the list, followed by make-up sets, nail make-up, foundation, blush, mascara, and powder and lip make-up.

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