We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.

Breaking girly news from the Financial Times: FT reports that the “Lipstick Index” has been replaced by the “Foundation Index,” signaling a shift in female consumers’ recession-era makeup of choice.

The “Lipstick Index” was coined by Estee Lauder leader Leonard Lauder in 2001 “to highlight the correlation between economic downturns and upticks in lipstick sales.” Now, another cosmetics company—-L’Oréal—-is claiming that it’s foundation sales that are skyrocketing as lipstick—-and everything else—-bottoms out.

Here’s a question: Why are the guys behind fucking Estee Lauder and L’Oréal the ones that financial news outlets are turning to to objectively report on the recession’s impact on female consumers?

Lauder’s Lipstick Index has now been discredited—-sales are down 5.7 percent so far this year. So why not just invent another index that makes the cosmetic companies look good and makes women appear more frivolous? If it’s not lipstick, it’s foundation! When foundation tanks, it will be mascara! When mascara tanks, it will be Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess Soft Shimmer Bronzer! Call it the “Bronze Goddess Soft Shimmer Bronzer Index.” Quick, ring the Financial Times!

Check out this graf from the FT: “The index may be a frivolous indicator—-some researchers point out that lipstick sales have at times grown in periods of prosperity as well as downturns—-but in this recession, foundation is the cosmetic to watch.”

Translation: We know these cosmetics indexes to be bullshit, but here’s another bullshit cosmetics index we’ll report on anyway because we get to use fun phrases like “Flawless skin is replacing the perfect pout as a woman’s answer to tough times.”

So what do all these bullshit indexes mean, anyway, if they appear to make no economic sense? Nothing! I don’t know, let’s ask L’Oréal again:

However, L’Oréal says there is one clear conclusion about tough economic times: looking good remains paramount. The group points out the wider beauty market is still growing.

Yeah, if there’s one thing the cosmetics industry can conclusively say about the recession, it’s that women need to keep buying cosmetics. What are you waiting for, ladies?

Photo by Porcelaingirl° {è un triangolo isoscele}