For the first time in a decade, makeup has taken over as the top prestige beauty category in the U.S. according to leading consumer and retail information provider The NPD Group.
In 2006, prestige makeup sold $3.1 billion and now makes up the largest dollar share of the prestige beauty industry, toppling fragrance, with 37 percent of sales.
In the last decade, since NPD has been tracking the industry, the dollar share in the prestige beauty industry has shifted, and makeup has increased 66 percent over 1997's dollar volume.
Prestige fragrance generated $2.9 billion in 2006 and now makes up 35 percent of beauty dollars, down from 45 percent in 1997. Prestige makeup went from 30 percent of sales in 1997 to 37 percent in 2006.
NPD saw consistent performance in cosmetics across nearly all the segments. The largest growth areas were the Face and Eye segments.
Representing almost half of total makeup dollars, the Face segment saw a gain of three percent to $1.4 billion due primarily to new product launches.
"The latest trend bringing excitement into the Face segment is mineral makeup. The recent popularity of mineral makeup illustrates that natural ingredients are resonating with consumers and have broad appeal," said Karen Grant, senior beauty industry analyst, The NPD Group.
"Green beauty is reflecting changing world beliefs. We see natural ingredients as being part of a lifestyle, rather than just a trend. I believe this is just the tip of the iceberg and we will see significant activity in this area," said Grant.
The Eye segment, which makes up about 30 percent of the makeup category, grew by four percent to $875 million. Gift Sets, a much smaller, but important segment of the makeup category, saw the strongest growth in 2006 with sales up 37 percent to $99 million.