Less in the wallet does not mean that we prioritize away our exterior. On the contrary, new figures show that Swedes consume significantly more lipstick in the current recession.

"When we have a recession, the vast majority of people get a worse personal economy, but this does not mean that our longing for renewal or consumption automatically decreases and then the products that are a little cheaper – but perhaps give a little luxury and renewal in everyday life become a little more sought after. Then it can be, for example, a lipstick that gives such an effect, says fashion historian Emma Severinsson to SVT Kultur nyheterna and continues:

"You may not be able to afford an expensive dress, and then it brings a little more joy than a cheaper lipstick.

Increased significantly last year

According to statistics from the industry organization Cosmetics and Hygiene Companies, sales of exclusive lip products have increased in Sweden by 29% in 2022. Beauty giant Lyko sees the same development where lipstick sales increased by 83 percent from the turn of the year to March 23 this year, compared to the same period in 2022.

– We have already sold 50,000 lipsticks this year and we see a clear trend towards more expensive lipsticks, writes Tom Thörnblom, communications and sustainability manager at Lyko, in an email to SVT and continues:

– Several exclusive lipsticks have trended on social media during the period, which probably strengthens the theory of "the lipstick effect".

Red in tough times

The lipstick effect is a popular historical term coined with the recession of the 1930s when the consumption of clothes went down, while the consumption of cosmetics went up. At the same time, the consumption of second hand went up, and the same trends can be seen today, explains Emma Severinsson.

And when it comes to lips, it's a color that signals recession in particular:

"Red lips are almost consistent in economic shifts, because it is also very prominent," says Emma Severinsson.