Although volume sales shrank in most categories, the market grew by 3 per cent in value overall with increasing prices pushing the region higher.
The market research firm says that growth in facial make-up was boosted by the introduction of BB creams, which were brought onto the market by most companies last year.
Other colour cosmetics such as lipstick and nail polishes were highlighted as good performers, with lipstick being the only product brand to boast growth in sales volume, at 1 per cent.
Facial make-ups are seen as “everyday essentials” by Irish women and are thus resistant to customer financial constraints, with overall value increasing by 5 per cent in 2012.
Foundation and concealers continued to sell well despite the economic hard times, with one trend being for consumers to buy a high-value premium product and make it last a long time.
Powders were the exception to the general growth due to being seen as “non-essential” products, and reported significant volume shrinkage.
BB creams brighten up the market
BB (blemish balm) creams were a significant trend, and contributed to the growth of the facial make-up sector.
BB creams marketed in Ireland are formulated differently from those produced elsewhere: many Irish people are very fair in complexion, which means that the market for whitening and brightening creams is not strong.
Instead, most of creams marketed in Ireland offer 24-hour hydration in a foundation/tinted moisturizer hybrid.
International and multinational companies continue to be the biggest retailers in Ireland, with domestic producers mostly being small and confined to niche areas.
Despite the high growth reported in 2012 the future outlook for the market is not so rosy, with an anticipated CAGR of just 1 percent over the predicted period.
This is both because the increases described are coming back from a falling market, and because consumers are expected to continue to make savings by buying cheaper brands. Mass market brands predominate, making up 78 per cent of the total market.