The most recent study by the analysts reported prestige beauty sales as mixed in some of the biggest markets in 2012 and that while the US and UK posted strong gains, results in France, Italy and Spain were not found to have been as illustrious.
While the US prestige beauty industry posted a 7 per cent gain in 2012, generating $10.2 billion, up from an 11 per cent increase in 2011, challenging economic conditions are noted as having contributed to sales declines across many European countries.
"The UK, driven by strong sales in makeup was the only category to experience an overall growth of 2 per cent throughout Europe, with face, eye, lip and nail representing 92 per cent of the European prestige beauty business."
Across the continent, skin care sales were found to be down by 2 per cent in overall category performance with some pockets of growth in the face, body and sun segments.
The market reseaercher found fragrances to be down by 1 per cent overall, comprised of juices, ancillaries and gift sets. Whilst sales in France were noted as falling by 1 per cent to $3.5 (€2.6) billion as skin care sales were flat, and makeup and fragrance sales each declined 1 per cent.
Elsewhere, sales in Italy were highlighted as declining by 4 per cent, led by a 6 per cent decline in skin care sales and a 3 per cent drop for fragrances, with makeup sales described simply as being "flat."
Next, NPD described the troubled Spanish market as falling by 6 per cent last year, due to a 9 per cent decline in makeup, a 7 per cent decline in skin care and a 6 per cent decline in fragrance sales.
"UK sales jumped 5 per cent as sales rose for skin care (5%), makeup (11%) ad fragrance (3%)."
Decent results for the US
While it wasn't great news for Europe, the US on the other hand seen growth which amounted to $3.4 (€2.5) billion due to primarily being driven by skin care, makeup had the second highest gains generating $3.8 (€2.9) billion in sales, followed by fragrance at $2.9 (€2.2) billion.
However, its not all doom and gloom for the EU as, according to NPD senior analyst Karen Grant; “Premium-priced products remain one of the brightest spots in beauty and will continue to carve out market share across all categories and geographies in the New Year."