Critical Mass: 2012 Beauty Trends

The buzz for spring includes rich colors and improved formulations to satisfy shoppers trading down from prestige.

A glittery shadow from Wet ‘n Wild

NEW YORK — Consumers might be focused on nabbing holiday deals, but the nation’s retailers are scurrying to put final touches on spring beauty plans.

This story first appeared in the December 16, 2011 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Buyers said spring is looking bright and filled with innovations that should keep mass market beauty sales on the rise, on trend with color cosmetics’ 8 percent growth rate year-to-date over last year.

Indeed, pruning stock keeping units has subsided and retailers are looking for new products as planograms get reset for the New Year.

The buzz for spring includes rich colors and improved formulations to satisfy shoppers trading down from prestige. “We are seeing some of the freshest ideas in quite some time,” said one buyer.

Wet ‘n’ Wild, for one, has aimed to improve presence at stores with “a great deal more product innovation,” said Brian Talbot, vice president of marketing for Wet ‘n’ Wild and Black Radiance at Markwins International. In the past few years, Wet ‘n’ Wild has overhauled its look on shelves without raising price points.

The Markwins’ division hopes to keep lip sales puckering with the addition of MegaShield Lip Color with SPF and a new Juicy SPF 15 Lip Balm. In nail color, the MegaLast franchise will be boosted by new and improved nail formulas. In eyes, consumer demand for single options has resulted in Color Icon Shimmer Singles, priced at $1.99. For less than $5, the company now offers an 8-Color Icon collection.

Coty’s Rimmel has expanded on the success of its eye products, especially mascaras, with more department-store style mascara launches. Sales of mascara in food, drug and mass (excluding Wal-Mart) rose nearly 6 percent for the 52-week period ended October 2. For spring 2012, Rimmel will keep the momentum going following launches such as Sexy Lash and Glam’Eyes going with Volume Flash ScandalEyes Mascara. This is Rimmel’s biggest lash brush to-date, which the company said helps to create supersized lashes.

Buyers said they are most enthusiastic about Sally Hansen’s new Gem Crush Nail Color. The collection offers high-intensity glitter priced at $6.95 with all the right hues for spring, from pinks and corals to an explosion of blues and purples. Sally Hansen will also introduce the next generation of its Diamond Strength Nails: Diamond Strength no chip nail color and Diamond Flash fast dry top coat.