Britain is gearing up for a post-lockdown ‘fiesta in make-up and in fragrances’ not seen since the Roaring 1920s, according to style experts.
L’Oreal, the world’s biggest make-up brand, predicts a post-pandemic sales bonanza when wearing lipstick will become ‘a symbol of returning to life’.
That upbeat message was last night backed by fashion experts who claimed that lockdown-weary Brits are aching for the chance to dress up and socialise in safety again.
L’Oreal, the world’s biggest make-up brand, predicts a post-pandemic sales bonanza when wearing lipstick will become ‘a symbol of returning to life’
In a reference to the hedonism of the 1920s following the First World War and 1918 Spanish flu pandemic, L’Oreal’s chief executive Jean-Paul Agon predicted a party atmosphere when Covid-19 is finally tamed.
‘This will be like the Roaring Twenties, there will be a fiesta in make-up and in fragrances,’ he said.
‘Putting on lipstick again will be a symbol of returning to life.’
Leading make-up artist Ruby Hammer, who has styled A-list clients such as supermodels Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell, agreed.
‘We are already putting emphasis on our eyes and eyebrows by virtue of having to wear a mask but when we can reveal a little bit more of our face we will go bonkers,’ she said.
‘As human beings we love to celebrate – and make-up gives us a boost. In the 1920s, instead of people saying “woe is me”, they celebrated and looked fabulous doing it. So, there is no doubt that we will want to present to the world the same opulence and we do that by expressing ourselves through the way we look.
‘It won’t be seen as self-indulgence but something as very important. A beautiful fragrance or lipstick can make you feel wow.’
The ‘Roaring Twenties’, when people defied society’s conventions by wearing daring fashions and holding wild parties, was most famously chronicled in F Scott Fitzgerald’s novel The Great Gatsby. ‘It was an age of miracles,’ the novelist once wrote. ‘It was an age of art, it was an age of excess.’
Cosmetic sales have plummeted during the coronavirus crisis as store closures, coupled with the shift to homeworking, prompted many women to ditch make-up with sales of foundation and lipstick plunging during the original lockdown by more than 70 per cent. But Lesley Blair, chair of the British Association of Beauty Therapy And Cosmetology, believes the cosmetics industry will prosper post-lockdown.
Cosmetic sales have plummeted during the coronavirus crisis as store closures, coupled with the shift to homeworking, prompted many women to ditch make-up
‘There will be an absolute boom when this nightmare is over,’ she said. ‘We will be buying more than we’ve ever bought before.
‘We are desperate to get dressed up and with a little bit more disposable income that will be possible.
‘Putting a little bit of lipstick on solves everything.’
Trend forecaster Andrew Ibi, of pressure group Fashion Academics Creating Equality, agrees that the sales bonanza will be driven by people’s simple desire to feel good.
‘Post-pandemic, we will be looking for ways to reconnect socially – clothes, hair and make-up will be part of the therapy,’ he said.