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Andrea Felsted

The Lipstick Index Has a Luxury Twist

Sales of premium beauty products are outpacing core luxury goods.

The "lipstick index" is back, and this time it's gone upmarket.

The term was coined by Leonard Lauder -- then-chairman of Estee Lauder -- during the 2001 recession. He noted that in the autumn of that year lipstick sales rose, indicating that women facing an uncertain environment turn to beauty products as an affordable indulgence while they cut back on more-expensive items.