THE BLOG
05/19/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Is Botox the New "Lipstick" Effect?

While the doom and gloom of the economic crises is creeping upward again, there may be light at the end of the tunnel for the aging boomer. Some leading edge financial pundits are finally starting to tell the truth of a downward spiral in certain sectors. One week the so-called recession is 'getting better' and the next, our government debt and financial situation is abysmal. Even in the City of Angels, Los Angeles, the potholes are getting deeper and there's no one out there to fix 'em. Unemployment rates are steadily on the incline, especially here in Hollywood. The truth of the matter is that ageism is on the rise and no signs of letting up. Another term from wiki is jeunism,

"the discrimination against older people in favor of younger ones. This includes political candidacies, commercial functions, and cultural settings where the supposed greater vitality and/or physical beauty of youth is more appreciated than the supposed greater moral and/or intellectual rigor of adulthood."

Because of the rise in unemployment, the boomer generation is feeling the brunt of this in the workforce. The generation that coined the phrase "Don't trust anyone over thirty" is now turning sixty. Now they "don't trust anyone under thirty" (especially if their the ones hiring and firing.) But now, more than ever, boomer babes are fighting back. Not content to be disregarded because of increased crows feet and brow lines, they are turning to Botox and other injectables for instant relief, mood elevation, positive energy and upliftment. Perhaps this is a result of the lipstick effect? "The Lipstick Effect" was a term coined by Leonard Lauder, of Estee Lauder fame, after the Great Depression, which saw sales of cosmetics rise in the four years from 1929 to 1933. When the economy goes into a recession or a depression, the sale of small luxuries like lipstick increases. But in 2008, annual lipstick sales actually dropped five per cent, according to Inside Cosmeceuticals, which tracks cosmetics purchases in the US and UK. Now, it seems, Americans - both men and women - are splurging on a more modern luxury: cosmetic injections.

Is Botox the new lipstick? "If 60 is the new 40, then Botox and the other [relatively] inexpensive injectable enhancements may become the new lipstick."

The difference between today and the great depression is the advancement in technology. While lipstick was a quick fix remedy then, there are more options for instant satisfaction and relief. Some of the dwindling affluent are cutting back on most luxuries, except for their Botox addiction. It seems there is a shift in priorities. Instead of investing in yet another new designer label accoutrement, (e.g. Louis Vuitton bag or Jimmy Choo shoes) Botox has become de rigueur for the aging boomer babe.

Ahhh, to discover the secret of rejuvenation with an instant "liquid facelift' that relaxes the stress lines, fills the cracks and plumps the lips. It's almost a miracle for the world-weary soul battling the curse of an aging face at a time when youthfulness is de rigueur. It may sound like a band-aid to a much more complex issue; yet somehow, it all feels a little bit better. While plastic surgery is experiencing a huge downturn, non-surgical cosmetic procedures, which include everything from chemical peels to laser hair removal, decreased by 12 percent in 2008, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. There were 2,464,123 Botox procedures in 2008 -- 311,053 fewer than the year before. However, many new recruits are popping up and people who would never consider Botox are now making an allowance for injectables. Although the diehards who were flocking to the doctor's office like clockwork, 3 times a year, may not be coming in as frequently.

Some med-spas, like Good to Great, Inc. in Westlake Village, CA (with a full-time MD on staff), rely on word of mouth for new clients. They have noticed many more newcomers seeking liquid rejuvenation treatments in this economic downturn. RN, Mary Sand remarked "people seem to be more concerned with looking youthful, especially when they're competing in the declining workforce." Last spring Reveal spa in Arlington's Pentagon Row offered free Botox injections and free career counseling to the first 50 customers to come in with proof of unemployment. While most people cannot afford a liquid facelift, maybe there will be more of a trend in offering free injectables to the aging, unemployed jobseeker. (Wishful thinking!)

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