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Leading Lipstick Indicator

What is 'Leading Lipstick Indicator'

An indicator based on the theory that a consumer turns to less expensive indulgences, such as lipstick, when she (or he) feels less than confident about the future. Therefore, lipstick sales tend to increase during times of economic uncertainty or a recession.


Also known as the "lipstick effect."

Explaining 'Leading Lipstick Indicator'

This term was coined by Leonard Lauder (chairman of Estee Lauder), who consistently found that during tough economic times, his lipstick sales went up. Believe it or not, the indicator has been quite a reliable signal of consumer attitudes over the years. For example, in the months following the September 11 terrorist attacks, lipstick sales doubled.


Further Reading


Governing lipitor and lipstick: capacity, sequencing, and power in international pharmaceutical and cosmetics regulation
www.tandfonline.com [PDF]
… Governing lipitor and lipstick: Capacity, sequencing, and power in international pharmaceutical and cosmetics … institutions existed, we should expect domestic regulatory agencies to play leading roles in … in data on the location of research expenditures, a key indicator as much …

Theory and empirical research on cultural consumption in China: lipstick effectTheory and empirical research on cultural consumption in China: lipstick effect
dl6.globalstf.org [PDF]
… Governing lipitor and lipstick: Capacity, sequencing, and power in international pharmaceutical and cosmetics … institutions existed, we should expect domestic regulatory agencies to play leading roles in … in data on the location of research expenditures, a key indicator as much …

Social and psychological determinants of consumption: Evidence for the lipstick effect during the Great RecessionSocial and psychological determinants of consumption: Evidence for the lipstick effect during the Great Recession
www.sciencedirect.com [PDF]
… Governing lipitor and lipstick: Capacity, sequencing, and power in international pharmaceutical and cosmetics … institutions existed, we should expect domestic regulatory agencies to play leading roles in … in data on the location of research expenditures, a key indicator as much …

The existential cost of economic insecurity: Threatened financial security undercuts meaningThe existential cost of economic insecurity: Threatened financial security undercuts meaning
www.tandfonline.com [PDF]
… Governing lipitor and lipstick: Capacity, sequencing, and power in international pharmaceutical and cosmetics … institutions existed, we should expect domestic regulatory agencies to play leading roles in … in data on the location of research expenditures, a key indicator as much …

Prioritization of sustainability indicators for promoting the circular economy: The case of developing countriesPrioritization of sustainability indicators for promoting the circular economy: The case of developing countries
www.sciencedirect.com [PDF]
… Governing lipitor and lipstick: Capacity, sequencing, and power in international pharmaceutical and cosmetics … institutions existed, we should expect domestic regulatory agencies to play leading roles in … in data on the location of research expenditures, a key indicator as much …

A “dirty” approach to efficient revenue forecastingA “dirty” approach to efficient revenue forecasting
jpna.org [PDF]
… Governing lipitor and lipstick: Capacity, sequencing, and power in international pharmaceutical and cosmetics … institutions existed, we should expect domestic regulatory agencies to play leading roles in … in data on the location of research expenditures, a key indicator as much …

Testosterone and domain-specific risk: Digit ratios (2D: 4D and rel2) as predictors of recreational, financial, and social risk-taking behaviorsTestosterone and domain-specific risk: Digit ratios (2D: 4D and rel2) as predictors of recreational, financial, and social risk-taking behaviors
www.sciencedirect.com [PDF]
… Governing lipitor and lipstick: Capacity, sequencing, and power in international pharmaceutical and cosmetics … institutions existed, we should expect domestic regulatory agencies to play leading roles in … in data on the location of research expenditures, a key indicator as much …


Q&A About Leading Lipstick Indicator


Are there other factors that affect lipstick sales?

Yes, these include celebrity-designed brands and interest in makeup among young women.

Why was it coined?

It was coined because lipstick sales tend to be inversely correlated with economic health.

What is the term for increased sales of cosmetics during a recession?

The term is "lipstick index."

What does this term mean?

This term means that consumers turn to cheaper luxuries when they feel uncertain about their financial situation.

Who coined the term "lipstick index"?

Leonard Lauder, chairman of Estee Lauder Companies.

When was this term coined?

Leonard Lauder (chairman of Estee Lauder), who consistently found that during tough economic times, his lipstick sales went up. Believe it or not, the indicator has been quite a reliable signal of consumer attitudes over the years. For example, in the months following September 11 terrorist attacks, lipstick sales doubled.

What is the Leading Lipstick Indicator?

The Leading Lipstick Indicator is an indicator based on the theory that a consumer turns to less expensive indulgences, such as lipstick, when she (or he) feels less than confident about the future. Therefore, lipstick sales tend to increase during times of economic uncertainty or a recession.

How does this indicator work?

This indicator works by tracking sales of lipstick and other luxury items during periods of economic uncertainty.

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