In times of global financial uncertainty, one constant remains – people want to look their best. During the Great Depression, cosmetic sales overall allegedly increased by as much as 25%. In 2001, during a major recession and then in the wake of 9/11, cosmetic sales again increased by 11%. There’s a catchy phrase for the phenomena: “The Lipstick Effect“:
The underlying assumption is that consumers will buy luxury goods even if there is a crisis. When consumer trust in the economy is dwindling, consumers will buy goods that have less impact on their available funds. Outside the cosmetics market, consumers could be tempted by expensive beer or smaller, less costly gadgets.
Besides wanting to mask inner fear of the future by projecting a more polished exterior, I have a little pet theory that in times of financial crisis/uncertainty that people actually save less and spend more on immediate pleasures since faith in the future is harder to come by. No future = no reason to plan for the future.
Jupiter is the planet of prosperity and growth, and since September 9th, 2016 has been in Libra, the Venus-ruled sign with a flair for aesthetics. Jupiter in Libra has on and off been in a configuration known as a cardinal T-square involving Uranus in Aries and Pluto in Capricorn – a configuration that has lead to continued and accelerated global destabilization and uncertainty of the future.
Right on cue, the beauty industry is booming. Look just at the growth of cosmetics retailer Ulta:
The retailer’s same-store sales — a metric closely watched by Wall Street — rose 14.3 percent for the latest period, a healthy double-digit jump at a time when many businesses are barely eking out 1 to 2 percent growth… For the fiscal year 2017, Ulta now expects to deliver earnings-per-share growth in the mid-20s percent, the company said, compared to a previous outlook in the low 20s. Ulta has plans to open 100 net new stores, remodel 11 locations and relocate six by the end of the year. As of Thursday’s close, shares of the beauty supplier have climbed more than 37 percent over the past 12 months and are up about 15 percent for the year-to-date period.
Generally speaking about projected industry growth:
Boosted by makeup and premium offerings, the [cosmetics] sector is expected to rise from $80 billion today to $90 billion by 2020. Assuming the forecast hits its mark, that represents a nearly 45% gain over 10 years.
What these numbers are inadvertently telling us is that global financial uncertainty and crisis is here for the same time frame. Astrologically speaking, the Great Depression was largely a result of the transit of Uranus in Taurus. The last time we had Uranus in Taurus was between June-October 1934 and then March 1935-August 1941. (The gap in between was due to Uranus retrograde back into Aries.)
Uranus is not happy in Taurus. It is said to be in its fall in Taurus. Taurus is the sign of cold hard cash, the banking system, tangibles and valuables. Uranus is the planet of unpredictability, chaos and rebellion… so you see why the previous transit led to the Great Depression. We will have our first taste of Uranus in Taurus in our lifetime starting May 15th, 2018 until November 6th, 2018 at which time Uranus will briefly retrograde back into Aries. Then, Uranus is in Taurus for the long haul from March 6th, 2019 until July 7th, 2025. (Read the planetary timetables here.)
During this same time frame, we’ll have Pluto continuing to transit Capricorn, which can be summed up as the overall death of government infrastructures. By the end of 2017, Saturn will also be in Capricorn, the sign it rules and therefore enables Saturn to enact the austerity and restrictions it gravitates towards. Jupiter – the aforementioned planet of growth – will enter Scorpio October 10th, 2017, a transit that tends to accumulate debt. Jupiter will transit its own sign of Sagittarius starting November 8th, 2018, a transit that tends to blow everything out of proportion: the good, the bad, the ugly and – in context of this article – the beautiful as well. Jupiter will join Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn by the end of 2019 and for nearly all of 2020. Three bodies in the sign of government just in time for the next round of U.S. Presidential elections!
These transits do not bode well for the short-to-medium term financial outlook – which is why you’ll see the makeup industry continuing to buck the trend and grow while other businesses are stagnating or going under.