The Great Debate UK

Glossy or matte? Women in the recession


Glenda Stone- Glenda Stone is chief executive and founder of Aurora, a recruitment advertising and market intelligence company, and co-chairs the UK Women’s Enterprise Taskforce established by Prime Minister Gordon Brown. The opinions expressed are her own.-

A theory once proposed by Estée Lauder Companies chairman, Leonard Lauder, was that in times of economic downfall women purchase more lipstick.

Referred to globally as the “Lipstick Index”, the theory asserts that in times of economic distress women substitute expensive fashion items for less expensive grooming and “feel good” items such as lipstick.

Estée Lauder observed this phenomenon following the Sept. 11, attacks in 2001. It has also been touted by such iconic beauty houses as Yves Saint Laurent and Chanel. Even Bobby Brown launched their 10 shades of lipstick range in 1991 right in the middle of a big recession.