By now, you may have heard about the Financial Times April 11th article which declared that the famed Lipstick Index of 2001, which measures economic activity by monitoring lipstick sales (i.e. crashing stocks + unemployment = more women buying lip color), has now been replaced with the Foundation Index for the current gloomy times. According to FT, sales of foundation increased in 2008 while sales of lipstick actually fell.
The theory behind the Lipstick Index, which could also be applied to the new Foundation Index, is that women are more likely to spend money on a makeup product such as lipstick or foundation rather than splurge on clothing or other luxury items.
Now, there could be a theory behind the theory that comes from...astrology?! That's right, one of my favorite astrology blogs, Wall Street Weather, poses an explanation for the Foundation Index:
"Foundation’s growing popularity is reflected in the planetary cycles of Saturn in Virgo (Sep 2007-Jul 2010)* and Pluto in Capricorn (2008-2024), as Saturn and Capricorn rule the skin. These planetary energies demand more from a beauty product than a mere pick me up. They need to provide value and a natural yet polished appearance since these energies relate to work and professional reputation.
Saturn rules time and Virgo efficiency. Foundations at all brands and price points have become multitaskers, saving money by eliminating the need to purchase multiple products. Today’s foundations contain sunscreen, moisturizers, and ingredients that claim to correct uneven skin tone. The foundation trend will continue under Saturn in Libra (October 2009 - April 2010, Jul 2010- Oct 2012) as Saturn in this Venus-ruled sign values a radiant looking complexion."
What do you think? Do you believe in astrology? Think its a plausible explanation? There has been a noticeable shift from lip gloss and bronzers on the fashion runways to a very natural, bare-skinned look during the past few seasons which is telling and fits well with the explanation. I'd also be interested in learning whether sales of skincare products have also increased in addition to foundation.
If in fact the astrological explanation is true, we're looking at a major beauty trend of perfect, glowy looking skin for the next few years which will no doubt bring in additional innovations in facial makeup and skincare!