The LipStick Effect and Frugal Living

lipstick The lipstick effect can be a help or a hinderance to your commitment to frugal living. Find out what the lipstick effect is and how to deal with it.

What is the lipstick effect?

The term came about because of our most recent world war. At that time, money was very tight, and people could not spend much money on luxury items. This is similar to today’s situation and our difficult economy. Almost everyone is trying to save money and live frugally.

An interesting phenomena occurs during times of economic hardship. Specifically during the war years, sales of lipsticks soared. Women at that time needed a little luxury in their lives and it was easy to justify spending a small amount on a lipstick or two.

Today, we are seeing some of this same phenomena taking place, although a little bit differently. Discount stores such as dollar stores and Wal-mart are seeing very good sales in comparison to the rest of retail. Thrift stores and second-hand shops are also doing well.

The lipstick effect can work to your advantage. If you treat yourself to a little something here and there within a budget you may be less likely to feel deprived and go out and blow your budget. Reward yourself for not eating out during the month with a $5 movie from the discount rack, for example.

But the downside to the lipstick effect is that it is still possible to overbuy, especially in this day and age where credit is more easily attained, and there are all sorts of “inexpensive” products. Spending $50 is a dollar store is still spending $50, even if you can get 50 items for it instead of one or two more expensive items.

What are your favorite “lipstick effect” items to buy?

Click here for more articles by Mary Ann Romans.

Are Recession Bargain Hunters Making It Harder to Be Frugal?

The Recession and Garage Sales

Recession Giving Birth to More Frugals

Getting Out Lipstick Stains

Stretch Your Makeup

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About Mary Ann Romans

Mary Ann Romans is a freelance writer, online content manager, wife and mother of three children. She lives in Pennsylvania in the middle of the woods but close enough to Target and Home Depot. The author of many magazine, newspaper and online articles, Mary Ann enjoys writing about almost any subject. "Writing gives me the opportunity to both learn interesting information, and to interact with wonderful people." Mary Ann has written more than 5,000 blogs for since she started back in December 2006. Contact her at maromans AT or visit her personal blog