Women’s day puts lining on cosmetics sector rebound

The approach of March 8 - Women's Day in Russia – puts the focus on women’s gifts with flowers, candy and cosmetics popular, as the business of adding to the beauty of Russian women hots up.

In 2008, the volume of perfume and cosmetic sales in Russia was worth $9.6 billion dollars.

Anastasia Kornyushina, Client Service Manager, TNS Russia says that while money spent on beauty salons has gone down during the crisis, purchases of products for home use has increased.

“Right now 86% of our Russian women use cosmetics. That's 27 million people. If we look at what is popular, more women are using mascara – normally black, and lipstick. And fewer are using eyeshadow and eyeliner – that's usually done for special occasions.”

Research shows only 15% of Russian women have decreased their spending on cosmetics during the financial downturn. More – 20% – say they've increased spending. And 30% say their make-up expenditure has remained the same.

Over the past ten years, it's estimated that over 13% more women in Russia have started using cosmetics. And while the products available in shops are abundant, what's interesting to note, is that the most popular brands are ones that are sold through independent sales forces.

Consultants offering products from Avon and Oriflame catalogs have seen sales growth as customers shift down to the mass-market segment.

Some experts say that the market has a lot of room for growth, predicting Russia to see 5% growth in 2010 .

It's something market players like Mats Palmquist, Senior Vice President CIS & Baltics, for Oriflame are hoping to cash in on.

“We see the cosmetics market as such is very strong also during this kind of crisis and therefore we are prepared for a second wave. But we see that there's big competition going on now in Russia. Everyone wants to be here.”

And everyone wants to look her best. So even though spending trend easily change, the gift of beauty is one that is in reach.