Austerity Chic: Part 1

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To cultivate excitement, optimism and opportunity during an economic downturn explore mini-indulgences, recession pick-me-ups and affordable luxuries that extend beyond the fading "lipstick effect".

Face and skin care (cleansers, toners, moisturizers and creams) products feed the desire to nurture yourself and are the fastest growing category for luxury consumers- seeing a 34% increase year over year reported WWD. Most beauty brands offer complementary samples (Kiehl’s, Nordstrom, Bergdorf Goodman) or frequent buyer programs (Sephora,, 

  • According to a recent study from TNS Worldpanel, the sales of foundation in the U.K. rose 23.5% over the month of February, as sales of lipstick slid 5.7% during the same period. 
  • In a study recently released by Mintel this week, over 60% of women surveyed in the U.S., France and the U.K., said that they spend more or the same on foundation, while only 3% of women said that they purchased lipstick to lift their spirits. 
  • Pedicures provide an affordable seasonal indulgence at home and the product costs are easily amortized across multiple uses. “Home Pedicures are not as scary as they sound. With the right tools anyone can get a great result with minimum hassle and MUCH less expenditure,” Nonie Crème, Creative Director, Butter LONDON, explains. “A healthy dose of butter LONDON’s Rock Off Callus Remover ($30), Powder Finish Foot Creme ($28) in combination with your favorite fashion forward 3 Free Lacquer ($14) will last you 15-30 uses.”


Accessories add pop to your basics with prints, texture and color at a fraction of the cost of a new outfit. Search out your favorite local jewelry designer, a time-tested collectible or mainstream brand for bangles, scarves or a necklace.

  • “We have been selling a lot of scarves, bags and shoes,” Julie Gilhart, senior vice president and fashion director, Barneys New York, told WWD. “Basically, like lipstick, one can wear any of these items every day if one wants. The interesting thing is they are not classic ‘basics.’ Scarves are ones with unusual prints and colors. The important idea is to buy quality and style that will last a long time. The thing about lipstick is it only lasts for a while, and then you have to buy more!"
  • Jenna Lyons, creative director, J. Crew told WWD, “We’ve seen a huge surge in people buying multiples of jewelry, whether it be a pickup little cocktail ring or a bunch of pearls to layer together or a bigger statement piece. Especially with our price points, it’s an easy buy. We start anywhere from $45 all the way up to $150 for pearls.”

We continue our assessment with gardening, DIY, and food trends in Austerity Chic: Part 2.