Leonard Lauder, heir to the American company Estée Lauder, once introduced the lipstick index. The law is: the worse the economy is, the better lipstick sells. Lauder based his claim on sales data from the Great Depression of 1929. The following theory was supposed to be behind the mechanism: in times of economic oppression, women could not afford more luxury purchases, so they bought what was still on the budget: lipstick.
However, this law does not work in times of pandemic crisis. The economy is going through a huge slump, and lipstick is selling worse than ever. The index, in principle, did not fully work in other contemporary crises, but it is still a frequently referenced concept.
Today, however, the obligatory mask may be to blame. It covers the lips and therefore makes the lipstick pointless. In this way, lipstick sales fell 49 percent this year on the world market, and lip gloss by 32 percent.
Foundations also sell badly. But the mascara spreads like hot cakes. In some countries, sales increased by 150 percent.
"We could now talk about the mascara index," Lauder recently joked.