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Beautiful Tuesdays : Get Ready for the Lipstick Effect

What could lipstick possibly have to do with economic indicators? A lot, according to The Lipstick Effect. Huh? Does that refer to to matte vs. cream, or maybe, lip sheer over lip stain? Not quite.

Kisses for the Economy
The Lipstick Effect aka the Leading Lipstick Indicator says that consumers will indulge in less-expensive feel-good items in uncertain economic times. Historically, lipstick sales increase during economic or political turbulence. For example, lipstick sales doubled in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.

Personally, I’ve always been able to justify a new lipstick or lip gloss during my own (frequent) times of economic uncertainty.

Makeup mogul Leonard Lauder, former CEO and current board chairman of Estee Lauder, originally coined the “Leading Lipstick Indicator” because sales of his lipstick consistently increased during tough economic times.

Crunch Time
I may be slow when it comes to economics, but there’s no denying the fact that we’re experiencing major economic unrest. The Fed keeps slashing interest rates and pumping money into the economy, which will lead to inflation. Unemployment is up and people are spending less. Consumers are spending less and unemployment is up. Plus, credit is tight and house prices are falling.

What’s Your Plan?
Given the gloomy economic outlook, how will you tighten your financial belt? Do you plan on going spring clothes shopping? I plan on sticking with the essentials — and a maybe a new lipstick, or five.

Photo via Sonny Vandevelde

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15 comments for “Beautiful Tuesdays : Get Ready for the Lipstick Effect”

  1. Hallo und willkommen!!! :-)

    I hope you are ok and there is no great jet lag!! cheers!!

    Posted by Mer | March 25, 2008, 5:11 am
  2. According to my financial planner aka The Hubster, we will be in this slump until the first of the 2009. I am a reformed conspicuous consumer, so I am always looking for deals. Great post on beautynomics.

    Posted by Girl-Woman | March 25, 2008, 7:35 am
  3. Shop during sale, don’t pay no mind to ins and outs, and of course, 5 mid-range lipsticks kinda do the trick too.

    Posted by Lynn | March 25, 2008, 8:03 am
  4. I usually can justify a lipstick or lip gloss too, but lately I’ve been looking at the growing collection and realizing that a lipstick here and a lip gloss there all adds up! So I’m taking an extended break from buying.

    Posted by Jeanne | March 25, 2008, 8:03 am
  5. Hey Jennine.
    It is really cool to be able to follow your life through your blog!! Welcome to Europe!!
    I hope you gonna have Fun!
    And I am amazed by the Lipstick effect!! I will never think about it as an economic indicator !!!
    Just continue what you are doing, it is cool to see you everyday ;-)

    Posted by Audrey | March 25, 2008, 11:10 am
  6. oh my… i know, my lipstick and gloss spending goes in waves… for a while they seemed to dissapeared, i panicked and now i have millions.

    kezia is the writer of the beautiful tuesdays, she does such great job, because i’m so clueless when it comes to beauty!

    Posted by jennine | March 25, 2008, 12:10 pm
  7. I’m trying to slow down as well.

    So far it’s not working out that well. But given our tax bill this year, I don’t think I’ll have much of a choice.


    Posted by Poochie | March 25, 2008, 1:25 pm
  8. hm never heard of this indicator but it’s pretty telling
    something about lipstick/lipgloss makes me happy in a way, say a new eyeshadow does not. No matter how much makeup I have I somehow make room for a new lip product ever so often.
    My answer to a tight budget is keeping an eye out for good sales.
    My favorites are
    online sales at http://www.activeendeavors.com
    sample sales in the LA fashion district
    shoes at amazon.com
    boutique sales around the LA area
    No matter what it’s hard to stop shopping so the best I can do is shop smart.

    Posted by Alice | March 25, 2008, 3:13 pm
  9. i hear you on the happy effect of lipstick/lipgloss. although whenever i bring a new one home, i realize it’s pretty much the same color as all the other ones i already have! good ’smart shopping’ tips! :-)

    Posted by kezia | March 25, 2008, 7:06 pm
  10. that’s weird, lisptcik sales increased after 9/11? Well, i guess everyone needed a feel-good thing.
    Love the photo

    Posted by Skyla | March 26, 2008, 7:07 am
  11. I have cut back on all non-necessity items. But that could be because i bought a house not because of the economy. But i will say that this is the first year that i have even given a thought to the economy…aww to be a grown up.

    Posted by punky | March 28, 2008, 7:48 am
  12. That actually makes more sense then I thought it would. Very interesting, but I find myself doing that. (It’s eye shadow for me though.) When I’m poor (which is often) and I need a fashion pick me up the easiest thing to rationalize is make-up.

    Posted by Christina | March 28, 2008, 11:41 am
  13. Hello! That’s a very interesting post… makes sense! I never wear lipstick though, but glosses, oh yeah baby. I would say that my pick-me-up beauty buy would be those little NYC Nail polishes. Right now, I’m looking for hot orange.

    Posted by SpandexPony | April 7, 2008, 5:21 am
  14. [...] the dominance of black in in upcoming seasons are indicators of recession, or the need for more classic pieces to build a more sustainable wardrobe. Berlin based Reality [...]

    Posted by Reality Studio | Conversation AW08 | THE COVETED | April 25, 2008, 4:12 am
  15. [...] Should be interesting to see how they do in this stormy economic climate. Umbrella, anyone? Perhaps they’ll do just fine if people treat themselves to little “feel-good” beauty splurges, like lipstick, while they put off buying that new big-screen TV (check out Kezia’s article on “The Lipstick Effect”). [...]

    Posted by Time for a Beauty 360? | THE COVETED | November 20, 2008, 8:06 am

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