Recessionista Diaries: Affordable Luxuries

Recessionista Diaries: Affordable Luxuries

British women buy more make-up than anyone. In fact, a new survey shows British women would spend their last £10 (about $14) on a tube of lipstick, ahead of food, clothing, and other daily essentials, suggesting that this type of purchase gives women a cheap shopping fix, especially in a tough economy. Even during times of recession, all women seem the find money to splurge – particularly on little things like makeup.

Lipstick: An affordable luxury

Lipstick: An affordable luxury

This shopping behavior, dubbed the Lipstick Effect, has become more common in recent decades with the ebb and flow of the economy. The term suggests that during times of recession, women who can’t afford typical expensive luxuries, like jewelry or designer handbags, will opt for less expensive ones like lipstick or nail polish, all to make them feel glamorous and boost their mood during times when many people are feeling the inevitable squeeze in their pocketbooks.

Ladies, our humble salaries may not afford us a Kate Spade bag or another pair of Jimmy Choos, but we’ll be damned if we can’t buy a $10 lipstick at Ulta. I mean, a girl’s gotta shop, right? If your shopaholic personality is waking up to a recessionista reality, try indulging in a few of these harmless pick-me-ups. They can provide an instant mood boost for a girl on any budget.

For less than $15 you can afford the following luxuries:

  • Under $15 – 
    • Victoria’s Secret underwear
    • A luxurious hand towel in whatever color makes you happy
    • Comfy slippers
    • A bouquet of flowers
    • Fancy bar soaps
  • Under $10 – 
    • A rockin’ hot lipstick from Sephora
    • Paperback romance novel
    • OPI nail polish
    • Jeweled hair clips
    • Tin of gourmet tea or box of candy
    • A decent Chardonnay at Trader Joe’s
  • Under $5 – 
    • Travel size Bath and Body Works hand cream or body wash
    • Scented candles
    • One wine glass from Crate and Barrel
  • Under $3 – 
    • Tall Starbucks latte
    • Magazine
    • Cool notebook
    • Pair of argyle socks
  • Under $1 – 
    • Your new favorite song downloaded from itunes
    • Shower loofah

Obviously, all of these things are those you do not have to have. But, satisfying your urge to splurge with these petits luxes may help you through the hard times. And, as Estée Lauder famously said :

“When things are bad, if a woman has a new perfume and a little lipstick, she feels like a queen.”

Cheers! I’m on off to buy a new lipstick…


  1. I really enjoy your work. It is fun and very interesting.

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