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Plumped Up Sales

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The prestige beauty market in the United States is plumping up more than lips and wrinkles: It’s boosting the bottom line at department and specialty stores, too.

According to market research conducted by The NPD Group, total U.S. prestige beauty sales rose 11 percent to $9.5 billion in 2011. In addition, the results were achieved with all beauty categories, including fragrance, skincare and makeup, surpassing pre-recession levels.

“In the 15 years that NPD has been tracking the prestige beauty industry, we have never seen growth like this -- especially across all categories,” says vice president and senior global industry analyst Karen Grant.

Prestige skincare led the category with growth of 14 percent in dollars and 9 percent in units, as women and men scooped up their share on anti-aging products. Since 2000, anti-aging facial skincare has grown 16 dollar share points to account for 63 percent of prestige facial skincare ($1.5 billion).

Higher-ticket makeup posted its second year of increases in both dollars (9 percent) and units (6 percent), marking the first time in 15 years that all makeup segments grew in both dollars and units. Among the products that propelled the growth: eye shadow (14 percent); lip color (13 percent); and the nail category had the largest performance increase, with dollars up 67 percent and units up 88 percent.