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‘Lipstick effect’: Brits turn to cosmetics amid cost-of-living crisis

Sophie Smith
17 July 2023

Despite the cost-of-living crisis, new data from comparison site Idealo has revealed that Brits are continuing to splurge on small luxuries such as cosmetics. 

The data supports the 'lipstick effect', which describes how during times of financial crisis people tend to spend more money on small luxuries to bring them comfort.

The study found that Brits are spending £6.4 billion per year on cosmetics. Although, this is 7% less than 2020, when spending hit £6.9 billion.

Londoners are currently spending the most on beauty products at £983.6 million per year, followed by households in the South East at £892 million and West Midlands at £653.5 million.

Meanwhile, Northern Ireland spends the least on cosmetics at just £171.9 million per year on average.

Looking at product demand, Idealo revealed that interest for lipsticks has risen by 1,006% since September 2021.

Other beauty products have also seen an increase in interest from consumers, with demand for lip gloss increasing by 1,154%, mascara by 1,229%, and lip liner by 1,667%.

Based on current spending patterns, the UK is predicted to spend 11% less on cosmetics by 2030.

However, some regions of the country are actually set to increase their spending on beauty products, with the West Midlands predicted to spend an additional £260 million. Those in the South East, Yorkshire, South West and East of the country are also expected to increase their spending.

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