Although economists have not declared that we are in a recession, the consumers have responded by cutting back. Some segments of the luxury market are doing very well. The segment known as small indulgences, mood boosters, and soothing extravagances are alive and well. Among women, cosmetics and skin care reigns, also known as the lipstick effect. The skin care industry is up 2% for the first two quarters of this year, and sales of premium cosmetic products (over a $150) have climbed 21%.
The business of beauty is recession proof. Recently one of the premier cosmetic companies unveiled a skin care cream that retails for a $1000. Sales are brisk at Neiman Marcus, Beverly Hills. 37 jars were sold the first day. The cream contains platinum as part of its formula. This precious metal supposedly creates a bond with the skin’s DNA. It could be argued that at this price, it is less expensive than a surgical procedure.
Men on the other hand splurge on neckties. And instead of skin care, men are buying state of the art electronic gadgets such as flat-panel television sets and video game systems. Perhaps some of them are even using their mate’s rejuvenating creams.