During the Great Depression sales of make-up rose whilst sales of pretty much everything else dropped, a phenomenon known as the lipstick effect. When the current recession began, several magazines and newspapers predicted a repeat of this trend, using it as an excuse to recommend a few tubes.
One major difference between this recession and the Great Depression is that clothing is a lot cheaper now. I wonder how many people are actually buying make-up instead of clothes these days – I’d imagine that quite a lot just buy fewer items of clothing now that lipstick and clothes are pretty close in price. I find that I come across enough nice charity shop clothes whilst volunteering to keep myself warm and entertained, so the only items of clothing I’ve bought new instead of from charity/vintage shops for months and months have been hosiery and socks. Most recently I got a couple of pairs of tights from M&S and three pairs of socks from Sock Dreams as I needed long socks that fit my big feet for work (way overdue for a review).
I bought hardly any make-up over the last academic year as I was self-financing my MA*, but over Christmas, I had a temporary full-time job**, and I went a little crazy. I didn’t buy any lipstick. But I bought three GOSH brushes, and two eyeliners and an liquid eyeshadow from Bourjois in the Superdrug 3-for-2 sale, the Sleek Graphite palette (basically, a must have for anyone in the UK who likes to dress/do their make-up on the dark side, especially as it’s £4.87), and I placed THREE orders to Aromaleigh. Yes, really, THREE. Within 35 days. I am going to review them properly in their own post, but the short version: amazing.
Right now, I would much rather spend £18 on 24 eyeshadow samples plus shipping than on one or two items of clothing. I love the possibilities that make-up brings. I adore the glittery powders and soft brushes. I find hours of entertainment out of making my eyelashes lilac and my eyebrows pink, sprinkling my cheeks with gold, staining my lips with Benetint, and doing all kinds of wonderful things on my eyelids. I like that when I do my make-up in the morning I’ll be re-enchanted every time I pass a mirror and check out my work. I like it when I finally master a trick I’ve been trying to get right for ages or discover a new technique. Even if I have to wear dull clothes that day for some reason I can always have sparkly eyeshadow!
I stayed in all day today but made up for it by doing this in the morning. I have finally learnt how to take make-up photos in which my eye make-up actually shows up. Three things I’ve discovered I need, in case you’re interested:
- A camera with “super macro”
- To be standing facing a window when the sun is up
- To raise my eyebrows, yes, I look like someone’s just stood on my foot, but if I didn’t do it you wouldn’t be able to see anything above the crease.
Eyeshadow: Aromaleigh tangled tinsel (Holiday Blast collection, discontinued) on upper lids, morphing moon (Les Papillons collection) in crease, not so silent night (Holiday Blast collection, discontinued) on outer corner of crease and lower lids
Mascara: Rimmel 100% Waterproof Mascara in Black Black over Natural Collection (Boots) clear mascara – I usually put this on under mascara and somehow it’s less clumpy.
Foundation and concealer by Lily Lolo
I seem to have phases of preferring either make-up, clothes, or accessories, right now I’m going through yet another make-up renaissance, and have forbidden myself from obtaining any more make-up until I use some of it up, but I don’t know how long I will hold out as I really really really want to try the Aromaleigh Rocks! and Bête Noire ranges, and I absolutely have to get a full-size of aqua nightmare because it is my favourite eyeshadow in the whole world.
Have you contributed to the lipstick/eyeshadow effect? Or have your shopping habits remained the same since the recession began?
*Why this blog has been quiet from 2008-2009 **Why this blog has been quiet since I finished my MA