Long and voluminous are words we often see in the latest mascara ads, and these ads work! Beautiful lashes are a big part of women's lives, and I realized that as well,when I had an hysterical client call because here lashes were falling out! She was willing to pay whatever cost for a miracle in a tube that I could suggest, to get her lashes back. Whether women are trying to grow longer lashes, or trying to enhance them, lashes are the new accessory, or is it cosmetic!
WWD said, Sales of false eyelashes for the 52-week period ended Feb. 20 in food, drug and mass (including Wal-Mart) grew 6.2 percent to almost $44 million, according to Nielsen data. That’s during a period when many beauty categories were flat.
Sales for eyelash growth simulators, which includes mass and prescription brands, are harder to peg, but they are growing at high double digits, buyers said, en route to what many claim will easily flutter into a $1 billion category.
Prescription items include Latisse, while over-the-counter options include RapidLash and L’Oréal’s successful Lash Serum. Additionally, lash growers are available via direct marketing and a smattering of specialty or department stores. One buyer called L’Oréal’s collection a “smash” that will add millions to the chain’s business.
For retailers, the growth of both artificial lashes and lash boosters is eye opening. Some larger retailers say they can sell $4 million to $5 million worth of artificial eyelashes alone.
David Woolf of American International Industries, a leader in the eyelash business, said that while some women may want to try serums, there are those who prefer artificial lashes. Some are going to fake eyelashes, because they are reusable, safe, reasonable priced and can provide different looks for different moods. In particular, false lashes are a good value, retailers added, versus the price tag of $120 for Latisse.
Woolf says, “Eyelashes are the fashion cosmetics of today,” said Woolf. “Why do most retailers look at lashes as an accessory instead of a cosmetic? Retailers need to realize eyelashes are a cosmetic and that this is a category that has shown double-digit growth year after year."
Beyond traditional full lashes, there is growth from single lashes, as well as “half-lashes.” YouTube and other social media sites are helping women learn how to use false lashes, retailers said.
—Kelley Epps-Woods, Second City Style Beauty Editor