$34.2 million. That amount was spent four weeks this spring (last two weeks of March through the first two weeks of April), JUST ON LIPSTICK! That figure represents an 80 percent + increase in sales over the same period in 2020. As we adjusted last year to drastic lifestyle modifications at home, work and school, the cosmetic industry perhaps accurately measured prevailing moods. Analysis, both economic and psychological, exists for all sorts of industries when millions experience trauma. Example – lipstick sales surged after 9/11. Ponder that for a minute.
Without mulling it over too much, it is simpler to understand the dip then resurgence of lipstick use as pandemic protocols prevailed then eased. At first I slipped into a ‘doesn’t matter’ attitude with a mask covering my bare-lips smile when I could manage one. My eyes enjoyed extra attention until constantly fogged-up glasses made me give up on that makeup routine, too.
Except, that is, when I joined any gathering via Zoom. I put as much effort into applying makeup as I did searching for perfect camera angles and lighting to camouflage my fuller face and extra chins, going overboard to appear on screen as my pre-pandemic self without evidence I was doing that. I was in denial for sure as I struggled to maintain that pretense, reminding myself to plant that smile on my unmasked Zoom presence.
I don’t need reminders to smile these days, and I enjoy, as does my columnist cohort Becky, renewing the ‘have lipstick, will travel’ routines again. My wish is that we also witness a similar spike in overt expressions of kindness. We’ve experienced harsh reminders that losses happen and often without warning; time offers no guarantees. Share kindness and smiles – with or without lipstick – to spread much-needed hope and encouragement to those around.