The Lipstick Index


wealthymattersRecessions mean that Ferraris stay in showrooms and designer dresses on shop racks, but lipstick bucks the trend: in hard times, women buy more of it, as it is an affordable indulgence. That, at least, is the idea behind the “lipstick index”, a term coined by Leonard Lauder, the chairman of Estée Lauder, a cosmetics firm, in the 2001 recession. Believers in the theory trace the phenomenon back to the Depression, when cosmetic sales increased by 25%, despite the convulsing economy. But reliable historical sales figures are hard to find.

The growing popularity of lipstick in India seems to bear out this hypothesis.

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