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The Lipstick Effect Means Good News for Your Esthetician Practice


With much of the country starting to reopen after weeks of stay-at-home orders, you might be wondering how the economic downturn will affect your business. Though people may be spending less, there’s good news for the beauty and skincare industry as many clients are more than ready to schedule appointments.


The Lipstick Effect


In past seasons of economic decline, sales numbers for small luxuries like lipstick have actually increased. Leonard Lauder, the former chairman of Estée Lauder, was the first to coin the term “lipstick effect” for this unexpected phenomenon.


It actually makes a lot of sense when you think about it. Even when tightening up budgets, people still make room for some indulgences just to make life enjoyable. 


While in the past it was growing lipstick sales, the covid-19 version leans more toward eye makeup and skincare because obviously you can’t see anyone’s lips when we’re all wearing masks!


How the Medspa Industry Could Change


While some people are hesitant to jump back into skincare treatments due to health concerns, many are more than ready to get back on their esthetician’s schedule. With the assurance of proper sanitization and safety protocols, many of your clients will be happy to resume their regular treatments.


In the case of neuromodulators (aka Botox) and many other facial injectables, both the provider and the client can wear masks which helps with comfort levels. The popularity of facial injectables grew 163% between 2000 and 2018 so it’s unlikely to see too much of a decline.


In fact, non-invasive treatments like neuromodulators and other injectables could see a rise in popularity as people are hesitant to jump into elective cosmetic surgery due to worries about virus spread. Doctors are also taking more caution in what procedures they take on, wanting to ensure the safety of their patients, themselves, and their staff.


The Return of the Natural Look


One of the unexpected effects of staying at home with providers unable to offer treatments is that many people have gotten comfortable with a more natural look. It doesn’t feel as necessary to wear a full face of makeup when you’re not seeing anyone.


While clients may still seek neuromodulators and other services that slow the aging process, they might be looking for a more subtle result. The plumped-up lips and accentuated cheeks may not be as popular.


Even with a more natural appearance in mind, clients still want their skin to look its best. While retail beauty stores have seen lower makeup sales over the past few months, sales of skincare products have been steady.


You can continue to serve clients by steering them toward high-quality skincare products and treatments that will benefit them the most based on specific skin concerns. Some people may have to cut back on treatments so giving them the most bang for their buck will build trust and keep them coming back.


The Bottom Line


While the downward turn of the economy these past few months can be nervewracking, the signs point to clients who are excited to get back to treatments. Especially as we re-enter society, more and more people will be interested in ways to look and feel their best.


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