Palin Pitbull Moms or Not, Lipstick Barometer Is Real

10 11 2008


November 7, 2008

As the economy crumbles, the Lipstick Index — that frivolous financial barometer that says cosmetics sales rise in direct relation to free-falling finances — has jumped. Sales in the last few months are up 40 percent.

Here are 41 of fall’s most popular pick-me-ups, from $1.99 to over $50.

What do women want when they aren’t allowed to want too much? Traditional lipsticks in more-sheer neutral shades; the bright reds of days gone by have been replaced by pinky browns and rosy taupes.

Maybe blended tones, away from in-your-face-with-my-face reds, is a good sign of our readiness to come together culturally and politically as a blended but no less beautiful people? OTOH, if this barometer works that way, what does it say about us that women choose to be most polarized, screaming look-at-me-I’m-blazing-hot-and-sexy, when they’re allowed to want everything? There’s a lot missing from this as satisfying power of story.

And I wonder if this lipstick barometer thing works online, comparing frequency of choosing regular smiley icons to the lipsticked ones?
(But they’re equally free, right? Hmmm. . .)




11 responses

10 11 2008

remember the monica lewinsky scandal practically everyone was in line at Sephora. why do we keep doing this madness…by the way do you know where I can find “Trailer Park Red” lipstick maybe it would in the next scandal.

10 11 2008

And how does this relate to skirt length?


10 11 2008

So Nance, tell us what’s happening with your own personal lipstick and hemlines?

(I’m assuming that like me, you seldom spend time thinking about or wearing either?)

10 11 2008
Nance Confer

Exactly. But I’m not a good gauge of the fashion scene. 🙂

I let my hair grow out this past year. From one inch to not quite shoulder length. Fascinating, huh?

I’m not sure it had anything to do with the economy though. . .


12 11 2008
Crimson Wife

Or maybe their makeup cases are full of bright shades and so they’re looking for something a bit different when indulging in a quick bit of “retail therapy”?

I think the most recent lipstick I bought was in a plum shade because it’s fall and many of my long sleeve shirts are purple.

12 11 2008

Ooh, hadn’t thought of that — so maybe the cyclical nature of the fashion and cosmetics industry, where we’re always looking for something fresh and different than what we’ve already got a bunch of at home, is what drives the economic indicators, instead of the other way around?

Bwah-ha-ha — the power!

14 11 2008
Crimson Wife

Out of curiosity, I flipped through the 10/08 issue of Glamour at my OB’s office this morning to see what lipsticks they were trying to convince gullible women to buy. All of them were vivid shades, including a vampish red. Paired with gray eye shadow.

I also learned that slouchy ankle boots are “in” this year.

Isn’t it wonderful to know what the big media corporations wanted women to focus on right during the home stretch of the recent election?

14 11 2008

GREY eye shadow, and slouchy ankle boots?

Looks like I’ll be a fashion don’t again this year . . .

20 11 2008

How to dress for the holiday recession:

Chins up, people. Hem lengths too. . .

That may sound like a flippant approach to the subject of party dressing, given the serious troubles facing the nation and the economy at this moment, reflected in the devastating sales numbers coming from retailers since September. But dressing up can still have an emotionally uplifting effect, even if most people are doing their shopping in their own closets.

. . .“The people who are not affected by this economy are the young people who didn’t have an I.R.A. or money invested in the stock market, so they are seeing things in a different way,” Ms. Unger said. “They’re buying things just for going out. And they are mostly buying short dresses, in 99 percent of the cases, because they are really fun and they can go a lot of places.”

Also, you can still see their cute shoes.

20 11 2008
Crimson Wife

I don’t know too many twentysomethings who can afford $1500 dresses, $200 cashmere tights, and $720 sandals like those in the NYT article these days. The ones I know who might’ve spent that kind of cash a couple of years ago have either already got laid off or are worried that they’ll get caught up in the next round of cuts…

22 11 2008

David Brooks:

Recessions breed pessimism. That’s why birthrates tend to drop and suicide rates tend to rise. That’s why hemlines go down. Tamar Lewin of The New York Times reported on studies that show that the women selected to be Playboy Playmates of the Year tend to look more mature during recessions — older, heavier, more reassuring — though I have not verified this personally.


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