Lip cosmetics poised for growth


According to new research from global market research firm Mintel, the lip cosmetics segment posted gains of nearly 9 percent between 2012 and 2014, with sales poised to reach nearly $1.4 billion this year. While the lip cosmetics segment still accounts for the smallest percentage of total color cosmetics sales, it is currently the strongest-performing segment in terms of growth, compared to 6.4 percent ($4.8 billion) growth for the facial cosmetics market and 4.2 percent ($3.4 billion) gains for eye makeup during that same time period.

With the growth of own-brand beauty items picking up steam — store brand foundation, eye shadow and makeup remover lotion/gel all made Store Brands' 2014 Movers and Shakers* list this year, posting dollar and units sales gains of 5 percent or more and reaching $5 million or more in sales for the 52 weeks ending May 18 — lip cosmetics could spell opportunity for retailers.

Bold lip colors continue to be the on-point trend, Mintel noted, with nearly one third (32 percent) of lip product users age 18 to 24 looking for intense lip colors, compared to less than 20 percent of respondents aged 25 and up. The trend-driven and cyclical nature of the category has elevated the status of lip makeup, making it a “must have” item for many women.

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

“Lip cosmetics have the highest overall reported use among color cosmetics," said Shannon Romanowski, beauty and personal care analyst at Mintel. "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.

"The addition of skincare benefits, including moisturizing and softening, also provide some added functional benefits," she added. "Sales of lip products are on the rise, as more women may be returning to the segment.”


*The 2014 Movers and Shakers special report, based on data from Chicago-based market research firm Information Resources Inc., will be published in the September issue of Store Brands.