According to Reuters, tough economic times are boosting the sales of beauty products and designer jeans as women focus on looking good and attracting a partner. Dario Pignatelli / Bloomberg
According to Reuters, tough economic times are boosting the sales of beauty products and designer jeans as women focus on looking good and attracting a partner. Dario Pignatelli / Bloomberg

When money is tight, lipstick helps women gloss over the gloom



There's nothing like a financial crisis to bring out the "lipstick effect" in women, a phenomenon that has been kicking around, apparently, since the Great Depression.

According to Reuters, tough economic times are boosting the sales of beauty products and designer jeans as women focus on looking good and attracting a partner.

Researchers at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, in the United States, have found that a downturn in the economy has a positive effect on the beauty industry, in what has been dubbed the "lipstick effect", and that price is not an issue, Reuters said.

"Although both men and women downsize consumer spending in response to recession cues, there is an exception to this, and this is beauty products," Sarah Hill, an assistant professor of social psychology at the university, told Reuters.

"Women have an increased desire to purchase these products in response to recession cues. Even though they are closing their purse string for other things, they are wanting to splurge on things that can make them attractive," she added.

A downturn in the economy has been linked to an upswing in beauty sales since the Great Depression, according to Ms Hill, whose research is published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

Figures from NPD Group, a market research company, support her findings. NPD's numbers show that skincare, make-up and fragrance sales increased 11 per cent in the US last year compared with 2010.

China, Mexico and Argentina also had double-digit rises in beauty-product sales last year, while sales increased 9 per cent in Britain and 3 per cent in France, Reuters reported.

In a series of experiments, Ms Hill and her team examined how and why economic recessions influence women's consumer behaviour. They used real-world spending data and asked consumers whether they would buy a series of products after giving them recession cues.

They found that men did not want to buy anything (typical), while women also showed no interest in products that did not enhance their attractiveness.

"But we did find that there is this robust lipstick effect," Ms Hill said.

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Floor-to-ceiling windows, chairs by the French designer Philippe Starck, four-poster beds and a short walk from the Louis Vuitton store on London's Bond Street.

These are no ordinary student digs.

Apartments for rent in London's most exclusive neighbourhoods have traditionally been the preserve of bankers, reports Reuters. But as the potency of the financial sector wanes, such accommodations are increasingly let to children of the international super-rich studying at the city's universities.

"I chose the place and then asked my parents whether it was all right," said Sumiro, a 21-year-old Indonesian student who will be living alone in the £895-a-week (Dh5,097) two-bedroom apartment with the Starck chairs when he starts university in September.

Unlike the stereotypical British students who squeeze into cramped flats and shop in budget stores, the offspring of the super-rich exhibit a taste for luxury furnishings, in-house gyms and cleaners who visit twice a week.

"They're looking for a hotel room," Naomi Heaton, the chief executive of London Central Portfolio, told Reuters.

"Many of them would have experienced a fairly sophisticated lifestyle, travelling around the world business class. Their requirements are similar to that of corporate tenants."

According to Knight Frank, prices for the most sought-after central London properties have risen about 44 per cent in the past three years, more than twice the increase across the capital as a whole.

But the biggest surprise?

"The wealth underpinning the student market is stronger than the wealth underpinning the corporate tenant market," Ms Heaton said.

Company profile

Company name: Fasset
Started: 2019
Founders: Mohammad Raafi Hossain, Daniel Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech
Initial investment: $2.45 million
Current number of staff: 86
Investment stage: Pre-series B
Investors: Investcorp, Liberty City Ventures, Fatima Gobi Ventures, Primal Capital, Wealthwell Ventures, FHS Capital, VN2 Capital, local family offices

'Cheb Khaled'

Artist: Khaled
Label: Believe
Rating: 4/5

The five pillars of Islam

1. Fasting

2. Prayer

3. Hajj

4. Shahada

5. Zakat

KEY DATES IN AMAZON'S HISTORY

July 5, 1994: Jeff Bezos founds Cadabra Inc, which would later be renamed to Amazon.com, because his lawyer misheard the name as 'cadaver'. In its earliest days, the bookstore operated out of a rented garage in Bellevue, Washington

July 16, 1995: Amazon formally opens as an online bookseller. Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought becomes the first item sold on Amazon

1997: Amazon goes public at $18 a share, which has grown about 1,000 per cent at present. Its highest closing price was $197.85 on June 27, 2024

1998: Amazon acquires IMDb, its first major acquisition. It also starts selling CDs and DVDs

2000: Amazon Marketplace opens, allowing people to sell items on the website

2002: Amazon forms what would become Amazon Web Services, opening the Amazon.com platform to all developers. The cloud unit would follow in 2006

2003: Amazon turns in an annual profit of $75 million, the first time it ended a year in the black

2005: Amazon Prime is introduced, its first-ever subscription service that offered US customers free two-day shipping for $79 a year

2006: Amazon Unbox is unveiled, the company's video service that would later morph into Amazon Instant Video and, ultimately, Amazon Video

2007: Amazon's first hardware product, the Kindle e-reader, is introduced; the Fire TV and Fire Phone would come in 2014. Grocery service Amazon Fresh is also started

2009: Amazon introduces Amazon Basics, its in-house label for a variety of products

2010: The foundations for Amazon Studios were laid. Its first original streaming content debuted in 2013

2011: The Amazon Appstore for Google's Android is launched. It is still unavailable on Apple's iOS

2014: The Amazon Echo is launched, a speaker that acts as a personal digital assistant powered by Alexa

2017: Amazon acquires Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, its biggest acquisition

2018: Amazon's market cap briefly crosses the $1 trillion mark, making it, at the time, only the third company to achieve that milestone

360Vuz PROFILE

Date started: January 2017
Founder: Khaled Zaatarah 
Based: Dubai and Los Angeles
Sector: Technology 
Size: 21 employees
Funding: $7 million 
Investors: Shorooq Partners, KBW Ventures, Vision Ventures, Hala Ventures, 500Startups, Plug and Play, Magnus Olsson, Samih Toukan, Jonathan Labin

UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
Western Region Asia Cup T20 Qualifier

Sun Feb 23 – Thu Feb 27, Al Amerat, Oman

The two finalists advance to the Asia qualifier in Malaysia in August

 

Group A

Bahrain, Maldives, Oman, Qatar

Group B

UAE, Iran, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia

 

UAE group fixtures

Sunday Feb 23, 9.30am, v Iran

Monday Feb 25, 1pm, v Kuwait

Tuesday Feb 26, 9.30am, v Saudi

 

UAE squad

Ahmed Raza, Rohan Mustafa, Alishan Sharafu, Ansh Tandon, Vriitya Aravind, Junaid Siddique, Waheed Ahmed, Karthik Meiyappan, Basil Hameed, Mohammed Usman, Mohammed Ayaz, Zahoor Khan, Chirag Suri, Sultan Ahmed

Company Profile

Name: HyveGeo
Started: 2023
Founders: Abdulaziz bin Redha, Dr Samsurin Welch, Eva Morales and Dr Harjit Singh
Based: Cambridge and Dubai
Number of employees: 8
Industry: Sustainability & Environment
Funding: $200,000 plus undisclosed grant
Investors: Venture capital and government

BUNDESLIGA FIXTURES

Friday Stuttgart v Cologne (Kick-off 10.30pm UAE)

Saturday RB Leipzig v Hertha Berlin (5.30pm)

Mainz v Borussia Monchengladbach (5.30pm)

Bayern Munich v Eintracht Frankfurt (5.30pm)

Union Berlin v SC Freiburg (5.30pm)

Borussia Dortmund v Schalke (5.30pm)

Sunday Wolfsburg v Arminia (6.30pm)

Werder Bremen v Hoffenheim (9pm)

Bayer Leverkusen v Augsburg (11.30pm)

UNSC Elections 2022-23

Seats open:

  • Two for Africa Group
  • One for Asia-Pacific Group (traditionally Arab state or Tunisia)
  • One for Latin America and Caribbean Group
  • One for Eastern Europe Group

Countries so far running: 

  • UAE
  • Albania 
  • Brazil 
Dengue fever symptoms

High fever (40°C/104°F)
Severe headache
Pain behind the eyes
Muscle and joint pains
Nausea
Vomiting
Swollen glands
Rash