The theory assumes that, in a crisis or when consumer trust in the economy is low, people will buy goods that have less impact on their available funds. Women buy lipstick and men spend money on items like gadgets rather than new cars. After the 9/11 attacks on the US sales of lipstick doubled. Recent sales figures from some of the world’s big cosmetic companies – L’Oréal, Beiersdorf and Shiseido – bear out the theory. In the first half of the year L’Oréal sales were up 5.3 per cent. The theory was first identified in the Great Depression. Between 1929 and 1933 industrial production in the US halved but sales of cosmetics rose.
“Lipstick Effect” Reaffirms Pouty Economic Times23 12 2008