lipstick effect

lipstick effect
During a recession, the tendency for consumers to purchase small, comforting items such as lipstick rather than large luxury items.
Example Citation:
If you've been following domestic news in recent weeks, you've probably heard about the "lipstick effect." As described in such outlets as NBC, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal, the idea is that, during a recession, women substitute small, feel-good items like lipstick for more expensive items like clothing and jewelry. And indeed, between August and October, lipstick sales were up 11 percent over the same period last year.
— Norm Scheiber, "Replacement Killers," The New Republic, January 7, 2002
Earliest Citation:
Lipstick sales are red hot. So why is no one smiling?
The reason is that women traditionally turn to lipstick when they cut back on life's other luxuries. They see lipstick, which sells for as little as $1.99 at a supermarket to $20-plus at a department store, as a reasonable indulgence and pick-me-up when they feel they can't afford a whole new outfit. "When lipstick sales go up, people don't want to buy dresses," says Leonard Lauder, chairman of Estee Lauder Cos. Lauder's Leading Lipstick Index tracks lipstick sales across Estee Lauder's many brands, which account for sales of about half of all prestige cosmetics in the United States and include Stila, Origins, Bobbi Brown, MAC and Prescriptives. Since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the index is up broadly, says Lauder. The index also climbed during past recessions, such as in 1990. . . . Other cosmetic items don't tend to benefit from the lipstick effect.
— Emily Nelson, "Rising Lipstick Sales May Mean Pouting Economy," The Wall Street Journal, November 26, 2001
Related Words: Categories:
Psychologically it is very interesting, as you would expect women to rather resign from shopping than shop for a smaller items. Good news for retailers though, some money is being pumped to market anyway.

New words. 2013.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Lipstick Effect — A theory that states that during periods of recession or economic downturn, consumers will eschew purchases of big ticket luxury items and seek material solace in smaller indulgences, such as premium lipstick. Also known as the leading lipstick… …   Investment dictionary

  • lipstick effect — /ˈlɪpstɪk əfɛkt/ (say lipstik uhfekt) noun a pattern of spending in an economic downturn in which people indulge more often in small luxuries because they have made the decision to forego large purchases. {from the reported tendency of women to… …  

  • lipstick indicator — n. The tendency for lipstick sales to increase prior to and during a recession. Example Citation: You re not imagining it: Shopping can contribute to your psychological health in times of stress, says Dr. Jane Greer, a New York psychologist.… …   New words

  • lipstick lesbian — n. A lesbian who is beautiful, stylish, or markedly feminine. Also: lipstick. adj. lipstick lesbianism n. Example Citations: There are many L words depicted in Showtime s newest drama The L Word. It s set in Los Angeles. It explores loving… …   New words

  • Lipstick feminism — also referred to as stiletto feminism or slut feminism [ qa3693/is 200505/ai n14801820/pg 1] is a branch of feminism in which it is not seen as contradictory to both be a feminist and to put on a show to… …   Wikipedia

  • Lipstick on a pig — To put lipstick on a pig is a rhetorical expression, used to convey the message that making superficial or cosmetic changes is a futile attempt to disguise the true nature of a product. [ [… …   Wikipedia

  • lipstick — makeup make up , make up make up (m[=a]k [u^]p ), n. 1. 1. The way in which the parts of anything are put together. [1913 Webster] The unthinking masses are necessarily teleological in their mental make up. L. F. Ward. [1913 Webster] 2. The… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Goldilocks effect — (GOHL.dee.loks uh.fekt) n. When something succeeds or prospers because it is neither too big nor too small. Example Citation: Size does matter. Up to a certain point, the more widgets you produce, the cheaper each widget becomes. But you no… …   New words

  • poverty effect — n. A reduction in consumer spending based on a perception of relative poverty caused by the decreasing value of stock market portfolios. Example Citation: Some economists are already talking about a poverty effect caused by sinking stock prices.… …   New words

  • snob effect — n. The desire to purchase something only because it is extremely expensive or extremely rare; the tendency for demand to increase along with the price of an item whenever that item is perceived to improve the social status of the consumer.… …   New words

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