Some 20,786 new products were launched in the category in 2004, with lip colour cosmetics making up the largest group, with around 8,500 launches, according to Mintel's Global New Products Database.
And the growth is continuing apace, with Mintel reporting strong activity in the body, eye and facial colour cosmetics categories all expected to make 2005 another record year for launches.
"Companies are typically offering more varied colour options in theirnew make-up lines, and are diversifying their offer with productstargeting specific age groups and occasions," said David Jago, director of GNPD Consulting.
"However, the increase in activity is also attributable to the growing number of new products thatprovide a more sophisticated solution, including 2-in-1 products andskin-adapting cosmetics," he added.
North America has been the most active market, representing 53 per cent of all new products in the category during 2004. In Europe, where demand for colour cosmetics is considerably lower, new launches represented 22 per cent of the market, the figures show.
One trend that has permeated the category has been the evolution of flavoured cosmetics. Edible body colour cosmetics were a big part of this trend, with the vast majority of launches occurring in February, most probably to coincide with Valentine's Day, Mintel says.
As well as flavour, fragrance has also been penetrating some unusual categories. Mintel noted that there has been a number of perfumed nail varnish launches, including sweet, fruity and food fragranced varieties.
Personalised make-up is also growing, including two-tone products that allow users to mix and match, according to skin tones and individual looks.
"Products that can be customised are ideal for consumers unable to findproducts which instantly match their natural complexion. These productsmay be particularly useful during the summer months when darkeningshades are needed for tanning skins," explained Jago.
On-the-go cosmetics have also played a big part in recent launches, with two-in-one compacts, smaller nail varnish pots and two-in-one liquid foundations formats that combine concealers all aimed at meeting increasing requirements for portability and functionality.
As has been well documented in recent years, the rise of botanicals and natural cosmetics has also impacted this category. Products aimed at soothing skin or clearing up blemishes are now playing an increasingly important part in the colour cosmetic category.
"A good example of a natural ingredient appearing in the colourcosmetics market is green tea, which has been used for generations as abeneficial and traditional skin-caring ingredient in Asia," said Jago.