I’m not sure who coined the phrase, but an economic indicator known as the Lipstick Index has long held that purchases of color cosmetics were inversely correlated to economic health, and that in bad economic times, women skipped big-ticket luxuries in favor of little treats like lipsticks and gloss.
Well, chalk this up as another example of just how bad the global recession is, but the Lipstick Index no longer applies.
In both 2007 and 2008, sales of premium color cosmetics were down in all major markets worldwide, with the exception of Latin America, where overall makeup and beauty sales have done all right. Moreover, the global rate of decline doubled between 2007 and 2008 (from 2-4%).
What’s it mean?
Probably that this particular recession, now in its 19th month, is worse than the average downturn, something most people already knew. Since 1854, the US has gone through 32 cycles of economic expansion and contraction, with each period of contraction lasting an average of 17 months. And that’s including the 10-12 years of the Great Depression, which kinda throws the whole curve out of whack.
It may also mean more unemployment (and the anxiety that comes with uncertainty in the job market), as businesses continue cutting costs by laying off more workers; more consolidation among companies in the beauty industry; and, hopefully, lower prices.
Do you think makeup and beauty prices are falling? I tried to think of some big lines that have dropped their prices lately and couldn’t come up with a single one.
Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,
P.S. Just a reminder, but MAC is holding a much-needed Friends & Family Sale June 16-18. It’s online only, and the coupon code is SUMO, which is good for 25% off purchases made through maccosmetics.com (valid in the US and Canada).