Lipstick as economic indicator MAY 07 2008
Ms. Stein's rationale for buying lipstick echoes a theory once proposed by Leonard Lauder, the chairman of Estee Lauder Companies. After the terrorist attacks of 2001 deflated the economy, Mr. Lauder noticed that his company was selling more lipstick than usual. He hypothesized that lipstick purchases are a way to gauge the economy. When it's shaky, he said, sales increase as women boost their mood with inexpensive lipstick purchases instead of $500 slingbacks.