Total retail sales in the UK color cosmetics (make-up) market are estimated to reach $1.85 billion in 2010,
an increase of 2.2% over 2009. Growth in market demand is forecast to be modest over the next 3 years
as a result of the slow recovery from recession. Over the forecast period (2010 to 2013), retail sales of
color cosmetics are expected to increase in value by around 4.3% to reach $1.93 billion in 2013. Imports
represent approximately 70% of the market.
The UK market is supplied mainly by mass-produced brands which, according to industry estimates,
represent approximately 65% of the total color cosmetics market. Trends show that in 2009 the demand
for premium color cosmetics slowed, while the demand for mass-produced products grew. The UK color
cosmetics market is mature, and key competitive factors for selling cosmetics in the UK include quality,
price, and product innovation.
The increasing UK population aged 65 and over offers potential for U.S. exporters of anti-aging
cosmetics. In addition, opportunities also exist for U.S. exporters of color cosmetic ranges geared toward
teenagers. The UK’s ethnic population is growing significantly. In 2007 10% of the UK population was
from a non-white ethnic group, the largest of these groups being Asian. By 2011, the ethnic population is
forecast to reach 12% of the total population. Demand for medium-priced ethnic cosmetics (for women of
color) is increasing and is a best prospect for U.S. exporters.
This report covers the following segments which comprise color cosmetics:
Facial make-up -- foundations, blushes and powder
Eye make-up -- eye shadows and liners, kohl and mascara
Lip products -- lipsticks, glosses and lip pencils
Nail products -- nail varnishes and glosses.
Market Demand and Data
UK market demand for color cosmetics was valued at $1.81 billion at the retail level in 2009 and is
estimated to reach $1.85 billion in 2010. This market growth is largely supplied by mass-market brands.
While these products have performed better than higher-priced products during the recent economic
downtown of 2008/mid 2010, demand for cosmetics as a whole is largely immune from shifts in the
Growth in market demand is forecast to be modest over the next three years as a result of the slow
recovery from recession. Over the forecast period (2010 to 2013), retail sales of color cosmetics are
expected to increase in value by around 4.3% to reach $1.93 billion in 2013.
Several demographic trends in the UK offer potential for U.S. exporters. First, growth in market demand
will be driven by an increase in the growing population. In general, the UK population is ageing with the
proportion under age 16 declining while those over 65 are increasing. A substantial market exists for
products geared towards the ageing consumer. This segment has a desire for products that can reverse the ravages of time and they control the necessary levels of disposable income to purchase these usually
Second, there are now approximately 13.8 million jobs in the UK filled by women. Working women are
more likely to keep duplicate products in their handbag or place of work and, probably, to apply them
Third, there is increased demand for color cosmetics specifically designed for the rapidly growing number
of ethnic consumers. Currently, there are only three dedicated ethnic make-up brands available
nationwide: Fashion Fair, Iman and Sleek MakeUP. Bobbi Brown, Perscriptives, Aveda, and MAC offer
ranges for ethnic groups, while Lancôme, Estée Lauder, Helena Rubenstein and Clinique provide darker
shades for Asian and black skin tones. Mass market alternatives are very few.
Finally, UK consumers increasingly want more sophisticated products to offer multiple benefits such as
moisturization, UV protection, ageing treatment, long-lasting effects, ease of use, and convenience. Also,
cosmetic products that include natural and organic ingredients such as plant extracts, and vitamin E are
rising in popularity. Mineral make-up remains a popular choice with almost every major brand offering a
variation on the mineral foundation theme. Across all demographic groups demand will also increase for
those products that contain milder, natural and organic ingredients.