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Lipstick index? Americans spend on makeup despite inflation [Video]

The ‘lipstick index’ theory posits that lipstick sales rise during times of economic downturn.

NEW YORK — Like many Americans, Karla Maldonado has been cutting back her spending to spare her wallet from rising costs: She is eating out less and attending fewer social events to curb the impact of high gas prices.

But the 26-year-old social worker of Portland, Oregon, hasn’t skimped on her eye makeup — the mascara, eyeliner and eyeshadow she typically wears to work just above her face mask.

“That’s something I can’t go without,” Maldonado said. And she doesn’t seem to be alone.

Many major retailers slashed their financial outlooks for the year after seeing shoppers pull back on many discretionary items in the latest quarter. But among the notable exceptions: beauty.

Target, Kohl’s, Macy’s and Nordstrom all highlighted strong sales of beauty items in their fiscal second-quarter earnings reports issued over the past few weeks. …

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