Sales of prestige beauty products totaled $767 million for May 2012 in U.S. department stores, an increase of 10% over the time period last year. Fragrance, representing 29% of prestige beauty dollars, grew 9% to $219 million. Skin care, which represents 33% of sales, grew 12% to $256 million or 33% of prestige sales, and makeup, which represents the lion’s share of prestige beauty business at 38%, generated $289 million on 8% sales gains.

All categories posted gains this month, compared to the declines posted in April. Year-to-date (January thru May) 2012 sales of total prestige beauty equaled $3.8 billion, an increase of 10% versus January thru May 2011. Looking at the individual categories’ year-to-date dollar performance, fragrance increased 9%, makeup increased 8%, and skincare posted a 13% increase.