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Here’s what the experts say are the cosmetics category's hottest trends:
Lip and eye color huge segments: "Growth in the lip and eye segments continues to be really strong," says Brian Talbot, VP of marketing for City of Industry, Calif.-based Markwins International Corp. Ashley Sellers, a spokeswoman for London-based Euromonitor International, notes that advances in lipstick technology have led to lighter-weight, more comfortable lipsticks. "Beauty editors continue to tout lipstick as providing glamour," she points out.
Wet 'n Wild's Megaslicks Balm Stain, offering a new technology and new delivery system and retailing for $2.99, has been a hit for Markwins. This spring, Los Angeles-based Milani Cosmetics launched a lip collection that includes gloss stains, regular glosses, a clear lip liner/primer, and some new shades in its Color Statement range of lipsticks.
Eye products, including eyeliners, mascaras, shadow and brow shapers, have been booming since the cat-eye and smoky-eye looks have become more fashionable.
Nail category active: Nail art, according to Sellers, is currently popular among fashionistas as clothing designers and manicurists work together to create a coordinated look. "At the same time, new technologies such as nail polish strips, at-home gel nail polishes and magnetic polishes created excitement for nail polishes," she says. "In turn, sales of color cosmetics grew by 5 percent in 2012, a higher sales gain than the category's 3 percent compound annual growth rate for the review period."
Sellers cites Coty's Sally Hansen nail polish strips, which are actually nail polish applied to a flexible polymer, as a top seller despite a price tag of up to $9.99. Gel nail polishes, which had previously only been available at salons, debuted with the launch of SensatioNail two years ago. Gels continue to perform well.
Primers grow in importance: Jennifer Norman, VP of marketing at Simi Valley, Calif.-based Derma E, says that the look of perfectly flawless skin is currently having a major impact on the cosmetics market. "Consumers are buying into the convenience of all-in-one products, and they are driven to find meaningful value propositions at more affordable prices," she observes. "We see products like multibenefit 'alphabet' creams, primers and radiance boosters experiencing major growth."
Derma E recently launched its B Crème in two shades, blending advanced skin care ingredients such as peptides, stem cells, antioxidants and SPF 25 with color-correcting coverage.
While primers have been in the upscale market for some time, their presence in the mass market is increasing steadily as new products enter the market. "Primers have also become available for the eye area," Sellers notes, "and increasingly incorporate moisturization and sun protection."
Ready, Reset, Go
Phoenix-based Sprouts Farmers Market has recently implemented a chain-wide cosmetics category reset. "We aligned and expanded cosmetics across the chain, based on what we saw as our best top categories, and narrowed them down to the top three cosmetic lines that now exist in every store," notes company spokeswoman Megan Dean. "We absolutely anticipate more growth due to these lines appealing to a broader range of consumers."
All of the chain's new and remodeled stores feature the new in-line format. "The clean format invites consumers in and allows them to be hands-on with the products," says Dean. "They can test our products in the store, and they also have access to knowledgeable staff that provide insight to help them make their purchase."