Faculty of Business and Law
School of Marketing, Tourism and Leisure
This paper explores and discusses why women purchase and wear lipstick and the behaviours associated with its use. Design/methodology/approach: A study of 300 female lipstick users were interviewed using a semi structured questionnaire. Findings: The study indicated that women use lipstick in a significant way to transform and present themselves; using it to reflect their daily fluctuations in moods and identity. Although lipstick is a mainstream fashion discourse, Western Australian society (where the study was located) maintains strict codes of conduct in applying and using the product. Behaviours associated with lipstick use are steeped in ritual and cultural customs. Research limitations/ implications: The data was collected within the one geographical area. While the consumption behaviour of lipstick and the driving motivating for using lipstick remain constant as a fashion artefact it is susceptible to changing trends, particularly colours and packaging. Social implications; For centuries lipstick has been scorned, shunned and embraced. Lipstick facilitates life transitions as consumers undergo a period of liminality. The codes associated with the use of this artefact are steeped in ritual with rigid codes and cultural customs that are acceptable within society forming strong societal practices. Value: The value of this study is that it explores everyday appearance; lipstick has a valuable role to play in constructing self-identity and providing understanding in how women experience appearance in their daily lives. For this reason lipstick will always be more than a fashion trend.
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