Gone are the days in which lipstick played a leading role in daily beauty routines. In a world where masks have rightfully become the norm, lipstick is simply no longer as prevalent, as they can be sticky or smear (and often times both). Economists and beauty experts have long touted the longevity of lipstick, but as the world adjusts to the new COVID-19 standards, the future of lip products remains unclear.
In the midst of global economic struggle, lipstick has often remained recession-proof. As The Guardian explains, lipstick is the one product that consumers will gravitative towards, even in the midst of economic uncertainty. The phenomenon, dubbed "the lipstick effect," dates back to the Great Depression. During a time when many major purchases were put on hold, cosmetic purchases, specifically lipstick, continued to rise.
However, the lipstick effect has been largely impacted by the recent prevalence of face masks, Fortune notes. "It used to be when the economy hit a lull lipstick sales went up," Kerry E. Yates beauty expert and CEO of Colour Collective told NYLON. "Unfortunately, the advent of face masks has made wearing lipstick a bit difficult. The beautiful colour inevitably rubs off on your mask and worst case it smears across your face. As a result of these negative effects lipstick sales have fallen."
Yet, even as the world adjusts their altered makeup routines, beauty experts told NYLON that it's not time to throw away your favorite lip product just yet. Yates theorized that other lip products have grown in popularity, saying, "The desire to care and color our lips has not necessarily changed; the product format type is just different. Instead of gummy glosses or creamy colors people are turning to non-transferrable lip stains and tinted lip balms."
It's impossible to predict when face masks may no longer be a daily necessity, but Desiree Rogers, CEO of Black Opal Beauty, told NYLON that lipstick comes with unique staying power. "People will never walk away from lipstick," Rogers said. "There is something so powerful and sensual about a colored lip." Claudia Soare, President of Anastasia Beverly Hills, agreed, telling NYLON, "I definitely see lipstick coming back once we aren’t wearing masks. Lipstick always helps give you confidence and completes the overall look."
Like Soare, celebrity makeup artist Marni Burton-Gabor predicted that once masks are less prevalent, lipstick will make an immediate comeback. "It will be the first thing people put on," she said.
Although it may seem impractical to wear a product that could rub off on your mask, Soare, like Yates, pointed out that it is possible to find stains and lipsticks that are transfer-proof. Burton-Gabor, also suggested utilizing lip liners, advising NYLON, "Transfer the liner color onto your index finger and then use your finger to pat the color softly onto your lips. This is a trick I do on set a lot for fashion catalogs or for a long day of shooting. Then sometimes, I add a tiny bit of balm over the lip, which is also a great product to take care of our lips under our masks. Another trick is using a light translucent powder, and dusting it over your lips to really seal it in."
Ultimately, only time will tell when, and if, lipstick does make its grand return day-in and day-out. Until then, the makeup experts suggested turning the focus of your beauty routine elsewhere. "Right now, the trend is more natural, but everyone still wants to look and feel pretty," Soare said. "You can express yourself through makeup by focusing above the mask, and try playing up your eyes and brows." Yates also suggested trying out bold eyeshadow colors that you'd normally shy away from. "Now is the time to try blues, greens, violets with a complementary color," she said. "Instead of applying the eyeshadow the standard way with the core shade blended into the crease, add the core color along the corners and then take the complimentary color and really play up your eyes."
If all else fails, and you're in dire need of a lipstick moment, you could always listen to Rogers, and debut a brand new lipstick during your next virtual meetup.