Recently, we’ve swapped the lipstick for the mask as one of our staple handbag items. But they’re going to have to get along; both are here to stay, and they’re going to navigate the pandemic together.
The sales in lipsticks took a global dive last year, given we’ve been locked indoors and had almost(!) given up on our appearance. However as the world begins to re-emerge from their lounge rooms, lipstick sales saw an increase of 80% between March and April 2021 following research released from IRI reporting US$34.2 million in sales through tracking retail data.
It’s fair to say that many of us began squinting at the screen during a Zoom meeting to analyse our appearance, and have probably then reached for the lipstick stash thereafter. We couldn’t bear the thought of having our employers and colleagues seeing us in that state again. So as we fell into our WFH slump, lipsticks were in many ways our saviour to add some sass in our day or that extra sprinkle of confidence needed for those online meetings.
Sam Cheow of Estée Lauder has been preparing for this “renaissance” over the past few months. The global head of makeup innovation, portfolio and product development declared that “lipstick is like an instant gratification, a pick-me-up that we haven’t had in the last 12 months and we miss it.”
In what was referred to as the “lipstick index” following the 2008 recession, this method focused on the spending habits of Americans in which they would splurge a small amount on personal items whilst cutting back on major spending. Although this method didn’t include the use of masks, it does refer to the comparisons of cosmetic sales during a time of lengthy periods at home.
Many of us continue to wear lipstick as an act of defiance as we have somewhat been forced to strip back, and somehow a tracksuit became our latest accessory. Elizabeth Arden famously handed out her lipsticks to suffragettes marching down New York’s Fifth Avenue for women’s voting rights in 1912, or was the finishing touch as the Flapper’s emerged to celebrate following the Spanish Flu.
In 2021, I’m sure we’ve all experienced that moment after peeling our mask off to find a giant lipstick imprint, and you shudder after just arriving at your destination.
So how do we conquer this without having to ditch our beloved? We've come up with a couple of simple solutions below:
- If wearing a creamy matte lipstick, blot your lips with a tissue straight after applying the lipstick, then brush a small amount of translucent powder over the top. This will prevent your lipstick from transferring to your mask.
- Opt for a non-sticky gloss with minimal pigment. If your lips do touch your mask they wont leave a ghastly print.
If you’re ready to re-enter the world lipstick in hand, we recommend these mask friendly Lou Lou Lips shades:
• Billy Lipstick (creamy matte)
• Our Gloss Balm Trio (non-sticky gloss with minimal stickiness)
• Our Best Sellers bundle (because we love variety, right?)
Mask or no mask, we hope you’ve now perfected your pandemic pout! 💋
Monique O'Leary is a freelance writer from Melbourne. You can find out more about Monique and her work here.