Treatments among hottest lip products


Lip color is the sexy part of the category — especially the onslaught of dark hues and glossy finishes dominating the market. But the real growth right now is in treatments. Whether it’s the drying effect of the new matte finishes or just abuse from the weather, lips are in need of moisturizing.

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The proof? Lip treatment sales make the “hot” list, with sales blossoming almost 60% for the 52-week period ended May 15 across multi-outlets, according to IRI. Almost every brand in the top 10 by volume exhibited increases, paced by 300% growth of NYX. While some of that is chalked up to gains in distribution, much of the expansion is greater exposure of the brand. E.l.f. Studio was another big gainer in lip treatment as consumers trade up to the more luxurious e.l.f. Studio offer versus the entry e.l.f. price points.

Another secret gem is Miss Spa, which brings the concept of masks to lips. Walgreens is among the locations where this mask, which delivers softer lips in 20 minutes, is sold for $1 per pack.

Private label lip treatments also packed a punch, gaining almost 11%.

According to NPD’s Karen Grant, global beauty analyst, products that prepare the skin for beauty applications, such as primers and treatments, are performing well. Consumers, especially millennials, like to do everything they can to grab the perfect selfie, and that includes a primed lip to maximize wear.

Once lips are prepped, consumers are flocking to the bevy of choices, especially matte formulations. After years of dull growth, lipsticks are plumping up — most recently, 12%. For those who can’t score Kylie Jenner’s LipKit — which originally sold out in minutes but has been restocked to better levels now — there are options from NYX and Revlon’s  Ultra HD Matte. Also, Maybelline’s Color Sensational Matte attracted new users with a 182% sales spike. Lip liners also benefitted from such styles as those donned by Jenner, with a 12% climb in sales. Kylie Jenner’s original kits come with a liner, which completes the look.

Retailers are puckering up with fresh hues — including black and navy — for the second half of the year. There’s just enough sparkle in the colors to avoid being classified as the Goth look of the 1990s.

Drug stores might face the fiercest competition in lip from one of their own brands. NYX has a huge lip presence in its own stores and currently is opening in major markets. There are about 12 new units in top-shelf shopping centers. A focal point is a lip wall with hundreds of choices.

Sephora also is giving a one-two punch with a lip component of its Virtual Artist app. Users can swipe through 3,000 shades.

Gloss sales are suffering, squeezing out a tiny gain. But retailers aren’t worried since the business is cyclical, and they assume glosses will roar back.

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