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在线翻译:
szdaily -> Lifestyle -> 
Going nuts for lipstick
    2017-02-17  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

    Zhang Qian

    zhqcindy@163.com

    MY WeChat moments have been bombarded with promotional advertisements showing off lipstick this past week as Tuesday was Valentine’s Day and lipstick became one of the most popular gifts for guys to send to their beloved ones.

    Multiple reasons have boosted the consumption of lipstick in China in recent years. Women with sparkling and rouge lips can now be seen everywhere. Even high school students like to wear garish lipstick after school so their teachers can’t blame them for being too well groomed.

    One of the most popular lipstick brands is Yves Saint Laurent (YSL), a brand that was purchased by L’Oréal in 2008. The hot sale of YSL products, especially lipstick, helped the Chinese market become L’Oréal’s second-largest market around the globe in 2015, 20 years after L’Oréal’s entry into China.

    Why are Chinese women buying more lipstick than they can expect to use? This article might give you some clues to it.

    Economic explanation

    The phenomenon of lipstick shopping sprees is not unique to Chinese women nowadays. In fact, there exists an economic term known as “lipstick effect” that depicts an interesting manifestation where the sale of lipstick rises when a country or a society undergoes a period of economic depression.

    The theory behind this effect is that since people don’t have much spare money to make big purchases, they buy small yet rewarding goods that make them feel good and entertained. This applies to women especially and lipstick is among the top choices. Others include cosmetic products, movies, games and other entertainment goods.

    The concept of the “lipstick effect” was first put forward by Leonard Lauder, the former chairman of the board with the Estee Lauder Companies in the 1930s during the great depression of the United States.

    Media outlets had recorded a booming sales of lipstick in many countries in the past two decades. For example, the sale of lipstick in the United States doubled after the 9.11 attack in 2001. While many industries entered into a gloomy period, workers employed at many cosmetic companies increased during this period.

    Also, statistics showed that during the worldwide economic crisis in 2008, the sale of lipstick and facial masks drastically increased. Other businesses involved in “relaxing consumption” such as massage parlors and hair salons also became more popular among consumers, surpassing the sale of luxury goods and other commodities.

    Media perspective

    The explosion of all sorts of promotional articles and advertisements about lipstick on social media is also considered as one of the driving factors for the ongoing lipstick shopping spree.

    Articles on makeups and cosmetics, especially on lipstick can be seen on various forms of social media in China.

    On Sina Weibo, pictures with articles about lipstick or videos about putting on Korean or Western-style lipstick can easily be seen among top 10 posts. Among popular WeChat public accounts, the articles that have been read over 100,000 times include those about lipstick.

    Usually the comments left under the articles are made by women, but some men are also willing to express their thoughts about various lipsticks and some even ask for advices on purchasing lipstick as gifts.

    Korean impact

    K-pop culture, especially Korean TV dramas, have been winning over Chinese women’s hearts, regardless of age, for the past decade. Ever since the drama “My Love From the Star” went viral in China, the lipsticks worn by Gianna Jun, the leading actress, have become popular among Chinese consumers.

    Though the production team of the drama denied that they were sponsored by the cosmetic companies whose products appeared in the show, tens of thousands of viwers started to dig into each episode of the drama to find out what brands Jun was using.

    Countless questions were posed on search engines asking what brands of lipstick the actress was using in the drama.

    Accordingly, the sales volumes of the lipstick brands which appeared in the drama soared in the Chinese market. Some merchants even traveled to South Korea to buy the lipsticks to then resell to Chinese women. Starting from there, Korean soap operas have become a hot channel for cosmetic companies to promote their brands to Chinese audiences.

    Celebrity influence

    The online buzzword wanghong (web celebrity), which appeared in recent years among Chinese netizens, defines a group of people that are popular on social media with a large number of fans and followers.

    Most of the wanghongs are women who give advice on fashion, makeup or fitness. A lot of them have an unimaginable impact on their fans, including influencing their preference of cosmetic brands. Often wanghongs earn huge profits from selling the products they promote.

    Apart from the recent wanghong effect, traditional advertisements with famous celebrities have also played a vital role in increasing the sale of lipstick. For instance, in 1996 when Japan’s economy started to slow down, a lipstick advertisement endorsed by one of the most well-known Japanese celebrities, Takuya Kimura, made the brand so popular that the lipstick began to sell out in stores.

    Consumer groups

    Popular brands from Europe include YSL, Armani, Dior, Chanel, M.A.C., BOBBI BROWN and so forth. These are the brands that are favored by employed young women, while many students in high school and university prefer brands from Japan and South Korea for their cheaper prices including CPB, KIKO, shu uemera and so on, said Gloria, a 22-year-old casual online cosmetics vendor in Shenzhen.

    Most of Gloria’s stable costumers are students because they believe that lipstick, being relatively cheaper than other luxury cosmetic products, is the best bang for their buck as far as cosmetic products go.

    Most of the time, the female students hear about a particular brand of lipstick from online celebrities who are more familiar with what lipstick is being released by companies or from watching Korean soap operas.

    According to Gloria, young women who have entered into the workforce tend to buy more expensive lipstick from big brands because they can afford to try new things, but middle-aged women are more likely to stick to certain brands and colors.

    Interestingly, as the promotion of lipstick goes viral in Chinese markets, more men are buying lipstick as gifts for their partners, mothers or relatives. “Some guys come to me and ask if the colors suit their girlfriends and they buy lipstick for birthdays, anniversaries and especially for Valentine’s Day,” said Gloria.

    Small tips

    Jiajia, a self-proclaimed lipstick connoisseur, has collected more than 50 different kinds of lipstick since last year. She has spent over 100,000 yuan (US$ 14,582) on different brands of lipstick. Let’s not comment on why she has spent so much, but let’s hear some tips given by her:

    1) Always use moisturizing lip balms before applying lipstick.

    2) Apply lip concealer if your lips are darker in color than the lipstick so the lipstick’s color will come out clearer.

    3) Always use lip & eye makeup remover the end of the day.

    4) Always test the color of the lipstick on yourself before purchasing to avoid buying the wrong color by mistake.

    5) Avoid the glowing fluorescence colors if you have darker skin, but if you have lighter skin, any color might suit you.

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