‘Lipstick effect’ returns to South Korea as color cosmetics sales boom amidst economic downturn

‘Lipstick effect’ returns to South Korea as color cosmetics sales boom amidst economic downturn

South Korean health and beauty retailer Olive Young has reported a color cosmetics sales rise of 35 percent for 2018 despite an overall economic downturn, according to a report by Pulse News.

It was the first time color cosmetics such as lipstick, foundation and mascara topped the charts over the usual favorite, skin care. Based on analysis of purchase data from Olive Young stores, reports also found that hair care hair care grew 22 percent.

The figures highlight the return of the so-called ‘lipstick effect’ where consumers treat themselves to small luxuries in the face of unstable financial times while putting on hold larger purchases. Consumers in the region are feeling the pinch as Korea experienced a bleak employment market, weak consumer spending, as well as a contraction in corporate investment last year.

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