The prestige beauty industry—that's the expensive,
marquee stuff y'all—gussied itself up in 2007, according to a report from NPD Group, Port Washington, N.Y.
The category grew 2% overall to $8.9 billion in sales for 2007. Leading that charge were the makeup and skincare categories, where sales rose 4% to $3.4 billion and $2.5 billion, respectively. Makeup still leads in market share, now at 38% of the total beauty biz, just ahead of fragrance, which controls 33% of sales, and skincare, which gets 28% of the cut at $1.2 billion in sales.
And growth in a prestige market despite The Recession! Though, we can't say we're surprised, because, after all, even in the worst of times we'll plunk down the cash to prevent the world from seeing our wrinkly, blemished, pale faces, or smelling our "natural" scent. And hey, if it's got a designer name on the box, all the better! If we're not paying more than $100 for the goods, we usually chalk it up to a normal indulgence, especially when it lasts for a year (Happy Valentine's Day to our very dresser-top fave Prada Amber Pour Homme!).
Seems NPD's senior beauty analyst, Karen Grant, agrees.
"During challenging economic times in 2007, the prestige beauty industry managed to rise above the negatives," said Grant in the report. "Women and men are still willing to spend money on products that make them look and feel better."
However what did surprise us were the rankings of the top fragrances, for both male and female shoppers (keep in mind that females actually buy a greater percentage of men's fragrance than men do):
OK, ok, Beautiful isn't a surprise, nor is Chanel No. 5, those fragrances are so classic they're a lock for the top spots. Coco Mademoiselle is an interesting one, since we were sure that everyone was like sooo over their current ad girl, Keira Knightley, but it's obvs just us who thinks she just a poor-man's version of Penelope Cruz with a perma-pout. And Cashmere Mist? We have to think some of those sales were a case of mistaken identity. We've never touched the stuff but the bottle looks like an exotic sex toy.
But the real shocker was No. 1: Acqua di Gio. Seriously!? Acqua di Gio!? We thought that fragrance was hot like, four years ago when we were having our Año Español and all the boys (including us) were awash in that sweet, citrus-y smell. But that was four years ago!
"It's just an easy fragrance, a good juice that easy and likable and that no one is going to hate you for gifting," Grant told us, admitting even she had been surprised that the fragrance had stayed on top for the past several years. "Men can wear it to work and to the club, and women like it, which you know is the number one factor for the guys. It isn't overpowering and its versatile. They've hit on a formula that is working on both the mass and prestige levels."
Grant also told us that a new ad campaign, by parent L'Oréal's agency Publicis, that offered new imagery for the popular fragrance, was well timed to continue the momentum of the brand last year, swapping out male model Larry Scott with Lars Burmeister (pictured above, with product), and bowing a new TV campaign, which you can view, to your water-dripping-on-abs delight, below.