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Markets & trends

US lip cosmetics market set to reach $1.4 billion this year

Sales of lip cosmetics (lip balms, lipsticks, lip glosses, etc.) grew by 9% between 2012 and 2014. The segment is the one that posts the fastest grow within the whole U.S. colour cosmetics market, Mintel reports.

After experiencing a 2% decline from 2011-2013, the US lip cosmetics segment posted gains of nearly 9% between 2012 and 2014, with sales poised to reach nearly 1.4 billion U.S. dollars (1.06 billion euros) this year [1], according to new research from Mintel.

While lip cosmetics still account for the smallest percentage of total colour cosmetics sales, it is currently the strongest performing segment in terms of growth, compared to 6.4% growth for the facial cosmetics market ($4.8 billion) and 4.2% gains for eye makeup ($3.4 billion) during that same time period.

High penetration rates

Lip cosmetics are used by the vast majority of US women, with nearly nine out of 10 (87%) reporting usage. Lip balm has the highest overall penetration, with 60% of women using it, followed by lipstick at 58%, although there is a definite generation gap. The 18-24 demographic uses lip balm to lipstick to the tune of 72% vs 50%, while the over 65 senior set uses lipstick over lip balm 82% vs 45%. Of those who use lip cosmetics, 67% look for moisturizing/hydrating claims while 61% seek out long-lasting lip wear and almost half (48%) are swayed by lip softening properties.

Lip cosmetics have the highest overall reported use among colour cosmetics. Lip balm, lipstick, and lip gloss all have similar rates of penetration, suggesting that many women rely on a suite of lip products depending on the occasion or desired look,” says Shannon Romanowski, beauty and personal care analyst at Mintel.

Mass brands dominate

For lip cosmetics as for other colour cosmetic products, users strongly rely on mass brands. However, prestige brands are gaining ground in the segment of facial products. “Forty-four per cent of highlighter/illuminator users purchase from a prestige brand compared to only 24% of lip gloss users who bought prestige,” points the market research firm.

Facial cosmetics, in general, are viewed as higher-risk purchases - women want to be sure that products are appropriate for their skin type and tone and therefore rely on in-store samples and consultants for guidance. On the other hand, users of lip cosmetics, especially lip balm, are more inclined to purchase from budget brands in comparison to users of facial and eye cosmetics. Lip products are likely perceived as low-risk purchases. Ultimately, retailers are challenged to help women navigate the sometimes overwhelming colour cosmetics category, especially when it comes to higher-risk-and higher-priced purchases such as facial cosmetics,” Shannon adds.


[1“Color Cosmetics - US - July 2014,” Mintel

© 2014 - Brazil Beauty News -

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