Beets as Lipstick? Russian Women Told to DIY During Recession

Joanna Douglas
Senior Editor

Photo: Getty Images

While the Russian economy continues to suffer, skyrocketing prices are at odds with  serious depression affecting citizens and the value of the ruble. The first thing women are being urged to slash from their budgets? Lipstick.

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According to the Daily Mail, Siberian senator Igor Chernishev took to a Russian website to explain how women should alter their beauty routine. “Women can live without imported lipstick, men like a natural look,” he wrote. “And if they really must use make-up on the lips – there’s no problem, they can use beetroot. It’s natural and chemicals don’t enter the body.”

Beetroots, or beets as they’re known here in the US, are the reddish-purple hued bulb of the vegetable. They’re used in salads, pickled vegetables, or in Eastern Europe in beet soup like borscht. But thanks to its strong pigment, it’s also used for food coloring, and now, for some, natural makeup. “Divergent” actress Shailane Woodley, who loves using natural products, has said that her favorite makeup look ever was when she used beets as a lip stain for the 2012 Golden Globes red carpet. 

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Typically lipstick sales soar during a recession, a phenomenon coined the “lipstick index” by Leonard Lauder in the early 2000s. Experts suspect this unusual correlation is that lipstick is a quick, inexpensive way for women to make them feel beautiful—as opposed to buying new clothing or accessories—when times are financially tough.

 Many women attest to the power of lipstick, claiming one swipe of a bright shade can instantly boost their mood. But in a recession, when it’s imperative to cut back on unnecessary spending, it is a great time to be resourceful and use home remedies. Hopefully lipstick isn’t the only thing senator Chernishev advised saving money on.

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