At a time when medical professionals can't get enough PPE, children can't go to school, and thousands of people are furloughed or have lost their jobs, beauty products are not high up on the list of things we need to be focusing on or worrying about. That being said, in this strange and scary time — where nothing feels normal and everything seems out of whack — beauty products can bring some solace or offer a brief form of escapism.
People have long turned to beauty and personal-care products to feel better or bring a sense of normalcy during times of crisis, a phenomenon referred to as the "lipstick effect." Cosmetic sales boomed after the 2008 financial crisis when people, still wanting to feel and look good despite economic hardship, invested in makeup, which was considered a more affordable luxury than clothes, travel, and jewellery. Similarly, during World War II, when cosmetics were in extremely short supply (they were basically nonexistent) and beauty companies used all their resources to make personal-care products for the troops, British women still wanted to look and feel glamorous. They would ration their makeup to ensure they had enough for special occasions, and when that ran out, they'd get creative, using household items like beetroot as a lip stain or boot polish as mascara (the latter of which turned out to be very, very dangerous).
People have long turned to beauty and personal-care products to feel better or bring a sense of normalcy during times of crisis, a phenomenon referred to as the "lipstick effect."
The POPSUGAR editors and I definitely experienced the lipstick effect while being on lockdown here in the UK, turning to the products in our medicine cabinets and makeup bags to boost our moods and and try to feel "normal" for half a minute. Even as we continue to work from home for the next several weeks (or months, but who knows at this point), we still spritz our favourite perfume in the morning or brush up our brows before sitting down to our desk/kitchen tables, and we're all indulging ourselves a little, with foot masks (yes, they exist!), face massages, or a microneedling sessions before bed.
As editors, we know how lucky we are to have some of these beauty products at our disposal, but to experience the lipstick effect, you don't even need products. You could run yourself a hot bath, ask your partner or flatmate (if that wouldn't be awkward, that is) for a neck massage, or whip up a DIY hair mask in your kitchen.
You could also experience the lipstick effect by just cleaning out your makeup bag. A lot of the beauty items we're highlighting here are things us editors have owned for a while, makeup and skin-care items we're now either using more than ever or breaking out for the first time in months. This list isn't meant to get you to open your wallet but rather to get you inspired on how you can experience a bit of beauty escapism yourself. It can be as simple as putting on some lipstick and mascara before dinner — just hold the boot polish, please.