Prestige beauty turned in a stellar performance in the U.S. in 2012, increasing 7 percent to $10.2 billion. Elsewhere, though, as figures provided by The NPD Group show, the picture wasn’t quite as rosy.

“There are two realities,” says NPD’s vice president and global industry analyst, Karen Grant. “The U.S. reality and everyone else.” Although the U.K. had positive results, posting growth of 5 percent, sales in France, Italy and Spain were down. Of course, such figures make sense in light of the economic woes of each country, but their portent hits closer to home. “While we talk about the U.S. doing well, it is a cautionary tale to watch, because we’re beginning to see some slowdown here,” says Grant. “We saw it in the second half and heading into 2013. We’re still positive, but the results in Europe indicate that we might start to feel some of that headwind coming our way. We are going to have to work hard to keep this growth going.”

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