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Daphne Guinness Explains Why Lipstick Sales Are No Longer an Indicator of Economic Health

Daphne GuinnessIf we're going to talk about fashion, we should talk about how it costs money to buy clothing and cosmetics. Typically, women spend more money on clothing and cosmetics when they have more money to spend. Duh. And since our economy is not super-cool right now, plenty of experts are devoting their days to measuring what women are and aren't buying, and using those numbers as an indicator of whether we'll be seeing better, more monied times ahead, or if we should expect the slump to get even slumpier.

Some of the indicators that economists have traditionally used are now defunct, replaced by new measures. Higher lipstick sales used to correlate with consumer pessimism: lipstick is one of the cheaper luxuries available on the market, and so women buy more of it when tighter budgets force them to deprive themselves of higher ticket items, like handbags and ball gowns. But economists are finding that lipstick sales aren't really an indicator of anything anymore, and nail polish sales are now a better way of measuring economic health and consumer confidence. Higher sales of varnish seem to correlate highly with a miserable economy, and apparently women are buying heaps and heaps of nail polish right now. We may as well be painting our nails more often than eating food. FASHION.

But in a recent interview, Daphne Guinness revealed an eccentric beauty secret that might do more to explain why nail polish sales are a) so awesome right now and b) more useful as economic indicators than lipstick. It's because the style icon (and probably others too!) uses nail polish as lipstick. I totally did this whenever I messed around with makeup as a kid, but don't anymore, mostly because it seems a little painful and possibly toxic. But poisoning yourself slowly seems like a small price to pay for delighting everyone around you with your extraordinary and eccentric personality and befuddling stodgy economists and beauty companies.

In that vein, here are some other lipstick substitutes for the troubled times we live in:

  • Beets
  • Sandpaper
  • Raspberries
  • Cherry slurpees
  • Jell-O or Kool-Aid mix
  • Zombie paint
  • Red lollipops
  • Cream blush
  • Markers
  • Blood

Image via WeNewYork

[via NYTimes, MTV Style]