Recession Proof Nail Polish?

By Jill Simon
October 26, 2011 • 1 comment(s)
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Over the past several years, we have seen our economy take dramatic dips and dives. From staggering foreclosures across the country to rising unemployment, people are understandably cautious. We hear time and time again that in addition to creating jobs, people need to budge a little bit and put some money back into the economy. In other words, shop. Spend money. The economy needs to thrive for businesses to start hiring.

That’s certainly easier said than done. It feels as though everyone, even those of us who feel secure in our jobs, have tightened our belts and wants to feel like we are on solid financial ground in case the worst happens.

So is there any industry that’s not currently hurting? A new study says yes – nail polish. A recently released study from market research firm NPD Group shows that sales of nail polish are up 65% since 2008. And this isn’t the first time that a beauty product has been considered “recession-proof.” Lipstick has a history of seeing sales increases during times of financial turmoil. Leonard Lauder, of the Estee Lauder cosmetics company, even coined the phrase “lipstick index.” Apparently lipstick sales shot up during the Great Depression and increased again in 2001.

So what are your thoughts on this? Do you think sales of small beauty items, like nail polish, benefit from a struggling economy? Or do you think this is all coincidence?

I tend to agree with the study. I have certainly toned down my spending in the last few years and continue to be conservative with my wallet. I don’t indulge in professional manis/pedis much anymore except for a very special occasion. But my stash of nail polish has definitely grown at a much quicker rate than normal. Now, I’m a self-proclaimed beauty junkie, but treating myself to a new color of nail polish or eye shadow or lip gloss is such a treat, especially when I’m limiting my spending on shoes and clothes and purses. And I love that I can pop into Target, Ulta or even Walgreens and buy a new “beauty pick-me-up” for around $5-8.

Others could argue that the increase in nail polish sales has nothing to do with the economy. It’s definitely a valid point that nail polish trends are just a bigger deal now and we are bombarded with new colors and treatments through magazines, websites and television shows.

Either way, I know that I will continue to be proof of this study. I love my little beauty treat as much as I love treating myself to a tall, non-fat pumpkin spice latte (hooray for fall and Starbucks), but freshly polished nails last a lot longer than that yummy latte. And I appreciate all the little treats I can afford.

For Jill Simonton, fashion is not simply a past-time. You can trust Glass Heel's resident style guru to give you the best fashion tips and tricks (and save you money too) in her columns here on Glass Heel and on her blog, Classically Chic.

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Anonymous's picture

I always look forward to your articles!