An indicator based on the theory that a consumer turns to less-expensive indulgences, such as lipstick, when she (or he) feels less than confident about the future. Therefore, lipstick sales tend to increase during times of economic uncertainty or a recession.
This theory is also applied in medical industry.
"The Lipstick Theory: When a woman who is battling cancer starts to put on lipstick, she is on the road to recovery."
- William Cahan, M.D., Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center