Were you amongst the 350+ Senior Execs who attended sales tracking company NPD’s “Hot off the Press” event at the Plaza Hotel in New York City last week?

Looking at 2011 year-end results for prestige skincare, makeup, and fragrance, the annual event was a great success. Mintel’s Beauty & Personal Care team partnered with NPD for the first time, providing attendees with the latest information on recent success stories in the industry such as the much talked about BB Cream phenomena. In case you have missed it, here are some key take-aways:

1. In the U.S., U.K., and China, prestige beauty (i.e. products mainly sold in department stores) is enjoying one of the most robust sales periods ever.

2. The total U.S. prestige beauty industry showed an increase of 11% in USD sales in 2011 vs. 2010. This compares to only 4% growth the year before.

3. Skincare was the fastest growing category with 14% year on year growth in the USA.

5. In the more mature European market growth was more tempered but nevertheless prestige beauty managed to flourish thanks to brand media investment, bigger in-store animation, and price promotions.

6. In the US, there was a downward trend in mass fragrances (-5%) but overall the mass market showed the best performance in three years. Nevertheless growth rates in the mass beauty market were significantly lower than in the prestige segment with Colour Cosmetics up by 2%, Skincare by 3% and Hair Care by 5%.

7. Kao brands showed impressive growth in the mass market categories.

8. Looking ahead, blended products such as BB Creams will become their own category.

9. The US beauty market is expected to continue to grow (but at a slightly slower rate).

10. Europe is fragile but the prestige beauty segment will remain positive.

For more information, please email beauty@mintel.com.