Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Lipstick: 9/11, credit crunch and the Eva Braun test

Weird I know but apparently when there’s any kind of national crisis people start buying more lipstick, a theory once propounded by “Professor” Leonard Lauder, the chairman of, er, Estée Lauder Companies.
“After the terrorist attacks of 2001 deflated the economy, Mr Lauder noticed that his company was selling more lipstick than usual. He hypothesized that lipstick purchases are a way to gauge the economy. When it’s shaky, he said, sales increase as women boost their mood with inexpensive lipstick purchases instead of $500 slingbacks,” reported the New York Times back in May.

I hope Gordon Brown knows about the Lipstick Endogenous Decline Thingy: perhaps Ruth Kelly walked out on him to spend more time with her lipstick.

Now an email pops into my inbox titled Credit Crunch Beauty on behalf of Tesco: “It's well regarded that the trend for red lips in the 1940s was a reaction against economic downturn and a means for boosting morale - but it seems that even in the modern day, we could be turning back to lipstick as a means of guilt-free indulgence.”

Can this be true? In my experience, most women and all trannies wear lipstick whatever the economic weather. The streets are a blur of carmine gashes and dashes, sometimes true to nature’s lip contours, sometimes not. It would be interesting to study before and after pictures of Eva Braun; before disaster was inevitable and after realisation. If lippie is evident in the after pics and not in the before then the idea’s sold on me.

However, should you bother to read the New York Times piece in all its fill-space lengthiness you will halt at this: “Lipstick sales for the first 12 weeks of this year ending March 23 (2008) don’t validate the lipstick theory. Sales of lipstick in supermarkets and drugstores have decreased 3.3 percent compared with the same time period in 2007, according to Information Resources Inc …”

Nice try Leonard Lauder.


stella polari said...

Is it your lipstick I see on the sherry glasses ?

Madame Arcati said...

I don't tipple sherry, too sweet

Anonymous said...

I thought this was a spoof then I realised this is serious. And hysterical.

Anonymous said...

I think Mr. Lauder got that theory from a movie I saw on TV when I was a child (or very young). He probably saw it also and, his mother being in the cosmetics industry, he must have made a note to use later.

I can’t remember the whole story, but I could bet Marilyn Monroe was in it, and it was about a bunch of wives (four or five) that where friends. I though it would be about the war and being thrifty in those times and doing your part to help the cause in anyway possible – I think that is what the conversation was about -, but looking into Marilyn’s filmography, the only title I can think could have the scene is “We're Not Married!” (1952) – I’m not going to watch it to verify (I love Marilyn and the movie must have been cute, but I’m not that interested in confirming it – maybe it was just some other blond playing dumb). Like I said: I saw it eons ago.

The friends are talking about finding ways to save money or be thrifty or something to that effect and “Marilyn” says she has something to “confess” – she is addicted to buying lipstick, and she does it when she feels nervous or unhappy … -. The others tell her that its nothing to be ashamed of, but she insists in showing them her collection and sharing the lipsticks with them, because it would make her feel less wasteful (?). She brings out something like a SHOEBOX full of lipstick and the other girls look at one another in amazement and reassure her it is fine and they will all help to make good use of the stash…

I know what you are thinking, but the scene stuck with me through the years, because it was a cute joke. I still think it was Marilyn…