03
Mar
09

lipstick economy

lipstickOK….I’ve got to say something about this. It was reported in the news today that lipstick sales increase during economic downturns. Analysts and economists glibly call it the “leading lipstick indicator,” or the “lipstick effect”: When everyone else is begging for bailouts, they’ve noticed, cosmetic companies see sales soar.  Apparently, the same was true back in the late 1930s.

Some of the suggested explainations made little sense to me. Does anyone have a theory? I mean, I don’t really care about lipstick. But why is this news? And if it is important to economic indicators — what does it mean? Just wondering. Obviously, not much else on my mind today.

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3 Responses to “lipstick economy”


  1. March 3, 2009 at 11:38 pm

    I have heard the same thing. My interpretation is that during an economic downtown, women can’t justify spending or just aren’t able to spend the huge amounts of money on “beauty maintenance” that they usually do. But they still want to be able to spend some money on themselves and still have the desire to make an effort in order to feel beautiful. So…they spend less money overall but buy more lower-cost items. So perhaps they stop getting their hair colored at an expensive salon each month, but they can still afford to make it out to Walgreens for box hair dye and some new lipstick.

  2. 2 flossyglam
    March 4, 2009 at 10:27 pm

    I agree with Bethany. Traditionally lipstick has been quite a staple in American women’s makeup regimen (although I question if it is still, with the younger generation being far more into lip balms and glosses–but maybe those are considered “lipstick” too for economic calculations?) as it’s relatively inexpensive for the statement making looks it creates.

  3. April 9, 2009 at 8:45 pm

    Lipstick. Romance novels. Both items are selling well right now. I agree with Bethany and flossyglam. It’s nice to think that during difficult times, beauty and love inhabit our thoughts.


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re: the random-ness

Husband. Father. Senior Pastor of Parkview Community Church in Glen Ellyn, IL.

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