Lipstick and Playboy Economics

If history is any indication, you may want to stock up on your favorite lipstick before every tube is sold out, and go ahead, splurge on that cupcake — curves are coming back in vogue. Since our recent economic crisis, people are once again talking about the Leading Lipstick Indicator, a surprisingly reliable theory that suggests consumers turn to inexpensive little treats, like lipstick, when they start freaking out about the future. For example, after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, lipstick sales doubled. The term was coined by Leonard Lauder (chairman of Estee Lauder), “who consistently found that during tough economic times, his lipstick sales went up.” Hmm…Sephora has been unusually crowded lately (last time I was there, I couldn’t find an available mirror to save my look, I mean life). In another recent study, researchers investigated how social and economic factors affect beauty standards. They studied facial and body characteristics of Playboy Playmates of the Year from 1960-2000 and discovered that those with a little bit cushion for the pushin’ are more popular when times are hard: “…when social and economic conditions were difficult, older, heavier, taller Playboy Playmates of the Year with larger waists, smaller eyes, larger waist-to-hip ratios, smaller bust-to-waist ratios, and smaller body mass index values were selected.”

So, there you go: voluptuous, red-lipped pin-up girls are coming back in style. At least that’s one upside to our crappy economy. [via Population Statistic, The Huffington Post, NYTimes]