Colour cosmetics falls somewhere between a nice treat and an absolute must-have, depending on the differing priorities of Lithuanian women. While spending was subdued during the economic crisis, sales picked up noticeably during the latter stages of the review period and continued to grow in 2014. Companies capitalised on growing consumer demand, introducing new formulae, adding benefits so that products no longer delivered just beauty, but also health. Finally, there is always room for one more colour in the handbags of most shoppers, who were happy to indulge after seeing new products launched.
Having the strongest brand name and deepest pockets when it comes to advertising budgets undoubtedly helped L’Oréal to maintain its leading position in colour cosmetics over the review period and its standing only improved in 2014, reaching a 33% value share. The multinational offered only a few brands, although numerous extensions meant that its products were impossible to miss in stores. L’Oréal’s products also benefited from the rising affluence of Lithuanians, as aspiring shoppers could now afford its products, which was not the case during the recession. Lastly, L’Oréal has much to gain from the current focus on technical innovation. Even though its competitors would not like to admit it, beyond the façade of brand image lies strong R&D capabilities which serves demanding users.
The future performance of colour cosmetics hinges mainly on the economic prospects of the country. Most women would gladly purchase another colour of nail polish, for example, provided it is not beyond their financial means. An avalanche of new products will only accelerate growth or soften the slowdown if the economy again experiences some bumpy years.