COVID-19 has changed a lot of things. (Contender for the understatement of the year?)
Run your finger a fair way down that list of things and eventually you’ll hit what I want to talk about today: makeup.
If you need a refresher of what that is, well, I won’t blame you. Like many, mine has been gathering dust alongside my high heels and passport. Oh, and bra.
But as things (slowly) open up and get more social, more and more of us are slowly creeping back towards our makeup collection - with one major difference. Masks.
How to do a smokey eye. Post continues below.
Is this the end of 'The Lipstick Effect'?
You’ve probably heard of the lipstick effect. It refers to the sales of small luxuries (like lipstick) in times of economic downturn.
While spending on big ticket items drop, history has shown that consumers still tend to buy these smaller, more affordable items during difficult times as a 'treat' to forget about their financial problems.
(Just ask my postman.)
In fact, some say that an increase in sales of small luxuries like lipsticks can actually indicate an oncoming recession or period of diminished consumer confidence.
Reportedly coined by Estée Lauder chairman Leonard Lauder in 2001, market research firm Kline found some evidence for 'the lipstick effect' through four recessions from 1973 to 2001.
Lipstick has always been a powerful tool.
Let's rewind even further.
During the Second World War, lipstick wasn't just an adornment but actually considered part of a woman's patriotic duty.
'War paint' in every sense of the word, according to Bustle a swipe of red lipstick was considered a morale booster for both the women at home and men on the front - as well as a pointed statement to Hitler who hated women wearing makeup.