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Some call it extreme narcissism, for others, it is just a bit of fun. For Estee Lauder, the selfie is a trend that has helped drive a rise in make-up sales.

Cosmetics was the fastest growing division for the company for the full-year to 30 June, with turnover up 9%. The owner of brands such as Clinique, MAC and Bobbi Brown, said there has been a “shift in consumer preferences”.

The upshot is that the snap-happy want to be camera ready at all times. That impulse helped Estee Lauder’s sales to rise by 4% to a total of $11.2bn for the year.

The company said that there has been strong demand for lipsticks and foundation, with a particular growth spurt in Britain. MAC, Bobbi Brown and Smashbox, which it acquired in 2010, all reported double digit sales growth.

A spokeswoman for Estee Lauder, told the BBC: “Everyone is taking photos now and make-up can allow you to transform yourself according to the mood.”

This shift, however, may not be good news for the traditional department store make-up lady.

Women and men are now more likely to go online to get make-up tips from how-to beauty “vlogs” made by self-made YouTube stars who boast millions and millions of subscribers. Estee Lauder itself tapped up Lilly Singh to be the face of Smashbox. She brings with her nine million subscribers.

Estee Lauder’s spokeswoman said: “In the past, beauty advisors in department stores were the sole means of getting educated on products and benefits. Consumers now have many more choices in terms of how they interact and learn.”

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