THE ECONOMICS OF MAKEUP

there’s this current trend with the term “the power of makeup” – ironically enough the main purpose of this trend is to show how makeup can alter your look and enhance what you have while hide what you find to be your least favorite facial qualities. when i say ironically i mean it’s ironic to me personally, i’m not so sure if any of you know, but i currently hold a bachelor’s degree in marketing/market research as well as an associate’s degree in economics and accounting; this fall i plan on getting my masters in international business and international economics, i don’t say this to sound fancy because honestly, business just happened to be something i found out i really liked, i say this to explain that when i see a sector of the economy, i usually think about the fiscal beings behind it, so when i hear the power of makeup, i personally hear the power makeup has on the economy no matter a recession, depression, or economic surge; makeup is one of the few business that somehow can pass through any financial hardships unscathed.

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the proper terminology is most likely “the lipstick effect” – defined as the theory that when facing an economic crisis consumers will be more willing to buy less costly luxury goods. instead of buying expensive bags and shoes, people will buy expensive lipstick. now, simply because the wording suggests that they will fork over more money for lipstick over eye shadow, foundation, or blush – doesn’t mean that that’s all one will buy; it means that instead of buy a hundred dollar item a $20 item will be purchased instead; why? we’re currently still in the midst of the “great recession” a term coined simply because wall street as well as economist refuse to admit that our past few years mirror that of the great depression, and still more and more beauty brands are being created, while more and more beauty brands continue to release new permanent and limited edition products and selling, continuously, at a profit.

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while brands like apple®, sears®, jcpenney®, samsung®, wendy’s®, mcdonalds® and other brick and mortar or print to paper companies are seeing a decline in sales and overall revenue, stores like sephora®, ulta® and more are seeing an increase in profit as well as consumer interactions. ¿por que? some say that the wave of youtuber “influencers” and bloggers help drive this specific market – what specific market? the specialty retailer market, and to be more specific makeup retailer market; answer this question for me: where was the last store you bought a makeup product? sephora, ulta, a beauty specific store? i can say without hesitation, i will look on sephora for a specific brand product first, and then look other places as well. with the addition of the “sephora exclusive” or “ulta exclusive” products, this also leads the way for these two stores to make a name for themselves in the beauty world. as most companies are losing consumers and consumer interaction, these types of companies are continuing to grow and evolve.

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so why, in a time where we are marching for women’s rights, healthcare, higher minimum wage, and basically everything thing in the world does makeup seem to be untouched? well socially, makeup is becoming more and more widely accepted, for men, women and others whose genders lean somewhere in between. makeup is now seen more as an expression of art and happiness in a time where we constantly open our web browser to some negative news. makeup, no matter how trivial, is proving to be something that everyone can find joy in. even meme makers with the eyebrows and take her swimming on the first date memes found their niche in the makeup world.

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but the question still remains – how has this surge in makeup today become so dominate – well social media rings a bell! the current fascination – something i don’t understand – with looking flawless or wanted to be like that person who doesn’t even look like that with the millions of followers, or the current pop culture obsession has created this flood of wants and needs and this want and need flood has spilt over into the beauty world; but how is this different from decades ago that this current impact is so forceful – well now we have such a saturated market that no matter the beauty preference you can find your niche. you like drag queen makeup, there’s a makeup company and youtube personality for you, like the more natural everyday makeup? there’s one for you, you like creating different looks? well there’s a few for you. you have your fingertips in every single available aesthetic and social media has helped bring that forward. on any brands’ social media you can see an over-the-top look where you know hours of work was involved – or you can see an everyday look that you can identify with. having all of these avenues available to you has helped expand the makeup world while simultaneously bringing it closer together.

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so how does this help the economy? because we buy it; we want something to make us feel pretty, nice, enhance what we love and hide what we want. we want to be the best us in this day and age and makeup can help us achieve that. makeup is the longest trend ever at this point, and that is because makeup has continued to evolve. we now hold makeup brands accountable for who they use in their marketing and advertising, how they create their products, where they make their products, the faces behind the products, owners and ceo’s. we all hold them to a standard where we also understand the strength of our dollar. you see less and less companies participating in animal testing, this creates an open market for animal activist to now use makeup; we see companies coming out with more skin color ranges, opening up a market where beings on complete opposite sides of the color spectrum can now participate in makeup; we see companies engaging with their consumers and making them feel more like a partnership rather than a business to consumer relationship. this is how makeup has managed to stay relevant and continues to grow – because when someone sees a sector of a sector not being wooed, they can now attach themselves to that demographic and if they are successful more will follow creating new and exciting practices.

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there’s also the practice of finding something in your price range: let’s be honest, not everyone can afford a $40 foundation or a $30 blush or a brush set worth hundreds of dollars – this opens up another sector of the makeup economy – dupes. brands like makeup revolution®, kiko®, milani®, n.y.x® all create products for the lower price tag and usually of fairly good quality as well. while charlotte tilbury®, tom ford®, lorac®, becca®, wayne gross®, estee lauder® all have their niche market – so do lower price brands, opening up the waves of business and opportunity.

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but wait! there’s more! the makeup sector – thanks to the fact that we’re sticking products on our face for hours a day opens up the economic possibilities to another beauty sector – skincare. while i love makeup it can be tiresome to the skin, so now you need to buy products that can get rid of that pimple you angered because you put makeup on it, you can buy a moisturizer because you need to add hydration to your skin after drying it out through removing your makeup, you buy mask to keep your skin looking youthful and smooth for future makeup application and long term beauty, because while makeup is a billion dollar business, nearly 8 billion to be exact, skincare is a whole other animal pushing the 121 billion dollar mark!

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to explain more and add a personal touch – let me explain to you how i buy makeup – there are a few factors i apply to my purchasing method.

  1. do i need it, will it last and is this brand reliable – i think this is a question nearly every person before they buy their makeup asks themselves.
  2. is this brand my race and skin color friendly – while it is painful that i still need to ask this question in 2017, i do nonetheless, while a brand may not carry foundation in my skin tone, or concealer or bronzer or contour – but they do have a blush i like, or lipstick or brush sets – guess what? i’m still not going to buy it. it’s not about denying myself something i want – the market is saturated enough to where i can find it elsewhere, but why would i support a business who doesn’t support me and who i am.
  3. is this brand ethically to my standards – i try to be as economically, socially and environmentally conscience as possible whenever i buy anything. i will not shame a brand and continue to comment on their social media platform that i will never buy from them again, but i will make a note to myself that this is not a brand for me and then find another that aligns with my views. there a few brands i simply refuse to buy from and that’s fine with me.
  4. where is this brand available – i do, seldom, order from a brands’ website. i have seen horror stories of returns, damaged property, or terrible customer service that just turns my stomach when thinking about – this is someone spending their money on a product that is making your business successful. i have expectations of how i will be treated – especially since i will usually choose a higher end brand – i expect higher end price tag treatment. i prefer beautylish – who in my opinion has the best customer service out there, sephora and sometimes ulta over mac – we all know why mac! – i will order from becca online without hesitation as i’ve yet to have an issue with them, same with the balm – but to stay away from any possible issues, i always find it easier to order from a bigger store that can handle big orders and is used to dealing with consumers directly.

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everyone has the list that they go through to spend their funds on anything – this is mine for makeup – if three of my four boxes are checked, well i’ve just helped the economy. per usual i hope you all enjoyed this post or at least the pictures! thanks for reading and good days (or nights) to you all!

magazine used was nylon magazine april 2017 issue

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