By Diane Ako
Have you heard of the lipstick index? It's a term coined a decade ago by Estee Lauder chairman emeritus Leonard Lauder, which refers to the increase in lipstick sales in reaction to a recession. In 2001, lipstick sales soared as the economy declined. The theory is that it's a small luxury to consumers who otherwise have to cut back on many expenses.
We're in another rough economic patch (to say the least!) and, according to an October issue of Time magazine, lipstick sales are up 14%. "Nail polish, which more recently has become a bellwether to economic turbulence, has risen an even more disturbing 54%," says the article. It's prompted Lauder to dub nail polish the "heir to lipstick" in this recession.
I myself have been enjoying nail polish for a few years now, since Olivia was old enough to be interested. She is very girly and loves makeup. I did, too, as a child and teen, but then became disinterested as an adult too busy to remove chipped polish every few days.
Now, however, I have about 20 bottles (yes, my collection's grown since I last blogged about it), and several sheets of nail appliques. I even bought skull design press-on nails for Halloween, but I never used them. Olivia and I put on nail polish frequently. It's fun to do together.
None of my polish purchases have to do with the recession. I also don't buy lipstick when anxious about money. If I had to name a small decadence, it would be buying dessert at a cafe or restaurant rather than buying a whole carton from the grocery store, which is cheaper. Food... I'm so predictable.
Oh, I also enjoy designer toiletries. I really love the scents at Lanikai Bath & Body. I particularly like supporting local businesses, so I go there now and then and buy a $6 bar of soap if I want to have a pick-me-up.
If you're a woman, does the lipstick/nail polish index apply to you? Or for everyone- what small thing do you treat yourself to when stressed about money?
Also reach me via DianeAko.com