Forget lipstick, depressed consumers embrace the ‘foundation effect’

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Cosmetics

New market research suggests that depressed consumers are shying away from a lipstick treat, opting instead for shampoo, skincare products or foundation.

Estee Lauder chief Leonard Lauder claimed that in times of trouble or strife, women will go to the color cosmetics counter and treat themselves to a relatively inexpensive lipstick as a means of cheering themselves up.

Lipstick effect born out of 9/11

Lauder made this claim just after the fateful 9/11, when sales of lipsticks in the ensuing weeks more than doubled.

However, the current economic crisis facing the world seems to have betrayed this theory, with the latest research showing that there is still plenty of potential in cosmetics, but not in lipstick.

Move over lipstick, here comes foundation

In fact, Mintel’s survey results found that lipstick could be one of the personal care products that women may spend less on, an indication that Lauder’s lipstick theory is by no means set in stone.

But that is not the story for all products in the color cosmetics category, suggesting there is still some mileage for company’s operating there.

A recent survey by market researcher TNS Worldpanel found that sales of foundation in the UK rose by 23.5 percent during February, while sales of lipsticks fell by 5.7 percent during the same period, the UK newspaper Daily Telegraph stated in an article.

Surveys suggest foundation bonanza

Likewise, research from US-based market researcher Kline & Group revealed that for the whole of 2008 sales of foundation rose by 5.8 percent, while liquid foundation rose by 2.5 percent.

Backing these figures up, more than 60 percent of the consumers questioned in the Mintel survey said that they were most likely to spend the same or more on foundation.

Although it does not have quite the same ring to it, the survey findings could herald the dawning of the ‘foundation effect’.

Related topics Market Trends

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