Why some women spend more on looks in a recession?
During an economic downturn, women are more likely to spend more on their looks then in more prosperous times. This anticipated phenomenon is labeled the “lipstick effect”. This is because the cosmetics industry, including Botox and fillers, are actually rising in popularity. The theory is that women are making themselves more attractive to grab the attention of more financially secure wealthy suitors.
Sarah Hill, researcher of “The lipstick effect,” noted that L’Oreal saw its sales grow 5.3 percent in 2008, the heart of the most recent recession. One reason Hill notes for the existence of the effect is that during “periods of scarcity,” women see a decline of the availability of quality mates. Hill states that because unemployment and low returns on investments occur at a higher rate during recessions, a recession may signal to women that financially secure men are becoming relatively scarce.
While some of you may think this is ridiculous and superficial, Hill has tested this theory out using four separate experiments and all have said that yes, the effect in fact does exist. Women do increase their desire to buy products such as lipstick, designer jeans, high-heels, and perfume.