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“Makeup is easy to downsize because there is far less brand loyalty,” says Wendy Lewis, president of the New York-based Global Aesthetics Consultancy. Women are more likely to spend money on high-end skin-care brands that make age-reversing serums and eye creams, she adds, but when it comes to cosmetics such as lip gloss and eye shadow, they are stepping back from the department store counter and into the bright lights of the drugstore. “There was a time when you wouldn’t be caught dead buying in a drugstore,” says Lewis. “That stigma is gone. There is a reverse chic of buying ‘masstige’ brands” — which offer luxurious touches or cutting-edge features at mass-market prices. Indeed, the drugstore cosmetic market has been shining, despite declining sales in the beauty industry as a whole. Total makeup sales dipped 2% nationwide in 2008 compared to 2007, according to a joint study by market research firms NPD Group and Information Resources. But the same study found that while department store sales of cosmetics dropped 4%, the food, drug and mass merchandiser channel (excluding Wal-Mart) actually saw a 1% increase. Beaglehole tests Colour Riche nurturing and protective lipcolour by L'Oréal
Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times
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