Shiseido, a popular cosmetic maker in Japan, published an idea that the cosmetic style of Japanese women reflects contemporary economic situation.
According to Shiseido, it investigated the trend of women's cosmetics for a century, finding the phenomena that their shades of lipstick become brighter in a boom, they draw eyebrow thinner in a recession on the other hand.
South China Morning Post: Japanese women wearing brighter shades of lipstick means economy is doing well, study finds
A spokesperson of Shiseido said that this research was so unique that there were no similar foreign studies. He also mentioned to the possibility of predicting the future through cosmetic trends of Japanese women according to another article in Japanese.
This result is interesting but seems too ordinary to surprise us. We are willing to make up in optimistic mood. Being anxious about economic status, we may dare not to behave gorgeously.
In addition, we should not forget the fact that leading companies often promote social trends. When the economy is growing, cosmetic companies perform various advertisement to create a new fashion, to make the costumers spend more money. Vibrant colors and highly impressive figures are likely to be chosen to attract attention of the consumers. In contrast, companies tend to reduce the cost of advertisement in a depressive tide of the economy. As a result, odd and eccentric fashions are unlikely to emerge, leading women to natural make-up styles.
Whether women's cosmetics can predict the future movement of the economy is complex. A common idea is that women change their makeup style following the tide of the economy, not the opposite. However, women are functioning as modifiers of the economy, as well as the observers of it. It is possible that the market recovers because many women become active. To prove the causing relationship of them, an extremely well-structured survey would be required.
I am disappointed to notice that this research seems not adhere to the academic standard. It is merely an advertisement of Shiseido. Nevertheless, its statement is a little enjoyable, ignoring its inaccuracy. It also published the history of cosmetic style of Japanese women and suggested the future trend at the Tokyo Olympic in 2020.
My Navi News: Shiseido prospects future cosmetic trend at the Tokyo Olympic, replicating the history of women's cosmetic as well (in Japanese)