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Indie Beauty Brands See Major Growth in the Prestige Market

Indie beauty brands are growing at the fastest rate within the U.S. prestige beauty market.

Established beauty brands better watch out. Niche and indie companies are having their heyday.

According to The NPD Group’s U.S. Prestige Beauty Total Measured Market retail sales tracking service, niche and indie brands are growing at the fastest rate within the U.S. prestige market.

“Consumers have a heightened interest in a personalized approach to beauty and in their choice of beauty products,” said Karen Grant, global beauty industry analyst at The NPD Group. “This is opening the door to brands that have a specific, fine-tuned beauty focus, whether it be eyebrow expertise or targeted solutions for specialized skin concerns, rather than more generalized expertise in a broader category, like makeup or skin care.”

The NPD Group reported that the top five growth prestige beauty brands based on dollar sales were Anastasia Beverly Hills Cosmetics, IT Cosmetics, Too Faced Cosmetics, Nars and Tarte. And the top five growth brands online include Anastasia Beverly Hills, Kiehl’s, Tarte, Nars and Too Faced Cosmetics.

“In large part, the rise and success of the more niche, boutique style brands can be attributed to the online environment, which has given these brands a louder voice and broader reach,” added Grant.

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Overall, the industry grew 7 percent in the first half of 2015, compared with 4 percent during the same period in 2014. Prestige makeup growth continues to exceed its skin-care and fragrance counterparts with sales of $3.1 billion within the total market. Online specifically is where skin care holds court with sales of $355.8 million.

“While brick-and-mortar is still the major channel for prestige beauty product sales, online and other Total Measured Market channels such as midtier are providing new and smaller brands a platform to tell their unique stories and engage with a meaningful base of consumers,” noted Grant. “This is creating entirely new opportunities, a new view of the competition, and is altering the dynamics within the industry.”