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The beauty industry as known, is taking a hit when it comes to the makeup department.

One of the more predictable effects of the Covid-19 pandemic is that, as a result of lockdown after lockdown, India was plunged into an economic recession. Global recessions are unfortunately nothing new, the Second World War, the 1980s, 2008 and our present day.

Grownups today are well accustomed to tightening their belts and indulging the other euphemisms that accompany depleting bank balances. Nevertheless. It is human tendency to treat oneself.

Since the Great Depression of the 1930s, sales of cosmetics have flourished while previously profitable industries, like construction and manufacturing, suffer losses during times of recession. This is called the ‘lipstick effect‘, a term coined in the early 2000s by former Estée Lauder chairman Leonard Lauder.

The lipstick effect is a theory that, when facing an economic distress, consumers will not be willing to buy expensive luxury goods. For example, consumers would choose to purchase a lipstick from the brands that they usually shop clothes from. The underlying belief is that people still want to treat themselves during a recession, even if they are small luxuries.

During the global economic recession of 2008, L’Oreal reported a sales growth in cosmetics. Nonetheless, like most traditional ways of conducting business, it is  no longer possible to rely on the lipstick effect to act as a barometer of consumer confidence in times of crisis.

The lipstick effect did not predict the Covid-19 pandemic coming. The closure of nightclubs and social venues, working from home, and mandatory mask-wearing was the trifecta that rang the death knell for  the lipstick effect. .

THE BEAUTY INDUSTRY: THE IMPACT OF COVID-19Aside from flaunting flawless eyebrows for an online class or an expertly blended smokey eye for virtual parties, higher eye-makeup sales during lockdown can be credited to the open approach to experimentation.

For those who savor in the physical store experience — or did, at least — the joy of the beauty hall lies in the capacity to discover new brands, experiment textures, test colours and sample scents. Though, coronavirus restrictions mean that is no longer possible.

Shopping with makeup obsessed friends often results in becoming a walking conceptual art piece, after they sacrificed all available space on their own wrists to swatch numerous  lip shades.

Usually the department stores, the retail sector, are against change, but department store brands are fighting back with innovative new ways of sales. While the uptake on these virtual eye-makeup experiences were initially slow, consumer attitude gradually changed. In fact, people seemed to grow to enjoy them, unlike many of the alterations it  has come to merely tolerate it. John Lewis and Charlotte Tilbury broke the Guinness World Records’ title for the UK’s largest beauty masterclass after 10,000 people signed up.

The beauty industry does not know what the future holds. It may get back to makeup layering on lipstick, but for the time being masks remain a requirement and there is no way of getting around that. As for the ‘lipstick effect’, Leonard Lauder’s century-old theory may be better dubbed the ‘mascara effect’ for the Covid-19 era. The beauty trend forecasting of 2022 have definitely taken a turn with expectionations to achieving sustainable lifestyle.