Our Very Well-Moisturized Chinese Future

To be frank, I don't usually pay much attention to the whole China-and-or-India-is-going-to-take-us-over-soon stream of news. I want my country to be a global presence and global protector, but given that we've failed so miserably in the latter I often just take a que sera, sera mindset and just hope that my new Chinese-and-or-Indian global emperor will give me health insurance already.

Seeing the numbers here, though, made my eyes pop. In 2010, high-end beauty product sales increased 4% in the U.S., 3% in France, 2% in Italy, and TWENTY-SIX PERCENT in China. Twenty-six percent! The future not only speaks Mandarin, the future is armed with Chanel.

Also interesting in the report is that "prestige beauty" posted the biggest increase in skin care, whereas the mass market saw its biggest increase in cosmetics. Are poor women sticking to the maxim of the lipstick economy while better-off women make a longer-term investment in their body's largest organ? (Not that most of it works anyway.)