Lips Kiss

“Make-up is emitting a healthy glow. Recent launches in the lip and nail categories are adding even more colour to the category.”

What we have seen:

  • A flurry of activity in the nail varnish category, including colours with funky finishes.

  • Prominent prestige brands, including Dior and Chanel, introduced new lipsticks line-ups in early 2011, which will likely add a further jolt of adrenaline to the category.

  • Average spending trends by age group within the category offer some surprises.

Figure 1: Colour cosmetics launches, UK, Q1 2010 – Q1 2011Lip Colour Launches

Lip colour launches by far lead the way in terms of product launch numbers, followed by eye colour and nail varnish. The three categories – along with blush – tend to have similar launch patterns as new hues for lips, eyes and cheeks are often launched at the same time as part of seasonal colour collections.

While face colour cosmetics, such as foundations and fluid illuminators, have proved to be strong performers throughout the recession, NPD activity falls far behind more colour-oriented makeup items. This again reflects the prevalence of seasonal colour collections – while women may like to add a new lipstick to her retinue to update her look in line with fashion, they’re likely to be more loyal to the shade and type of foundation they use. Therefore launch activity in that arena is more limited.

Meanwhile, excitement about BB Creams, which have made their mark in Asia for several years, is starting to bubble in the UK. The part-make-up, part-treatment product, which is in some ways similar to tinted moisturisers with extra blemish-masking properties, could bring animation to face colour products in coming months.

The lip colour category is likely to benefit from a number of recent heavyweight launches. They include:

  • Chanel Rouge Coco Shine, 18 shades of semi-sheer lipsticks

  • Dior Addict (relaunch), 33 shades

  • Estee Lauder Pure Color Lipsticks, 45 shades

  • Lancome L’Absolu Nu, lightweight lipsticks

More information will be contained in Mintel’s report Colour Cosmetics – UK – August 2011.

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