More Lipsticks During Hard Times? Well, Not So Much

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The recession has taken another beauty casualty: lipstick.

I know. I know. We've long believed lipstick sales go up during tough times because women usually see ruby red lips or pale pink kissers as affordable, yet quick pick-me ups.

But according to NPD Market Group, prestige lipgloss sales have declined 3 percent, lipstick is down 7 percent and total lip color is down 6 percent. Also NPD reports eyeshadow and blush sales have gone down too. Mascara sales, on the other hand, have gone up. While foundation sales have remained even. Generally, overall makeup sales are down, while skin care is up. This is the first time prestige makeup sales - makeup sold only in department stores - have ever gone down since the Long Island based market research company began tracking lipstick sales 10 years ago.

Of course trends are at play as we are paying more attention to long lashes, while fashionable lips are simply pouty and red. (We know how long our favorite red lipstick lasts and as long as it's in production we are good to go.)  But I think the answer is more economically based: We just can't afford to pay for frills anymore. We'd rather spend good money on skin care so we don't have to wear makeup, and a good haircut that doesn't require daily muss or fuss.

How has this recession affected your beauty spending? Are you becoming a frugalista?

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