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Cosmetics market remains recession-proof

New research from Mintel, which studied colour cosmetics and make-up, has shown just how recession-proof the sector is. UK retail sales of colour cosmetics performed strongly in 2011, with market value up by over 8% from 2010 to reach sales of £1.38 billion.


Cosmetics market remains recession-proof

Growth is expected to continue - albeit at a slower pace - into 2012 and beyond, to achieve an estimated market worth £1.44 billion in 2012.

Vivienne Rudd, head of beauty and personal care insight at Mintel, said: "The market turned in a dynamic performance in comparison to other beauty categories like haircare and bodycare. Furthermore, continued active new product development, an expanding consumer base and fashion trends were additional supporting factors behind the value growth. Prestige brands outperformed mass market brands, with many women favouring premium-positioned products at the expense of the mid-priced segment.

"Confidence is becoming something of a luxury in the current economic climate yet, eight out of ten British women feel more confident when wearing make-up. More than just a lipstick or a cover-up, make-up has become the recession’s war paint. In effect women are using make-up to put on a brave face. Sales in the market have continued to grow and will continue to do so for as long as the market delivers the feel-good factor even if the economy cannot."

While all core sectors (face, eyes, lips and nails) managed growth, nail make-up posted double-digit growth (£221 million in 2011 from £179 million in 2010). However, face colour cosmetics remained the largest of the four, accounting for 38% of total market value at £526 million. The remainder of the sales were made up of "eyes" valued at £410 million (accounting for 30% of total sales), "lips" valued at £224 million (accounting for 16% of sector sales) and "nails" worth £221 million - accounting for 15% of the market.

Although accounting for the smallest number of sales, nail make-up was the real star performer of the UK colour cosmetics market in 2011, posting double-digit growth to reach a value of £221 million. The research showed that users of nail varnish have risen from 52% of women in 2007 to 61% in 2011.

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