By  on November 9, 2012

When Leonard Lauder created his famous term, the Lipstick Index, to illustrate the resilience of beauty during times of recession, it’s safe to say he probably wasn’t referring to $48 lipsticks. Thus far this year, though, Tom Ford Beauty is doing a brisk business in lipsticks costing just that. Meanwhile, sales of luxury skin care brands like La Mer, La Prairie and Chantecaille are soaring, while fragrances priced $100 and over are up 48 percent year to date. Indeed, the upper end of the beauty market is booming, and the positive impact is cascading across the entire prestige market. As Karen Grant, global industry analyst of The NPD Group, which provided these figures, says, “The higher end is the engine that is igniting the category, and is part of the reason we are seeing such strong growth.” Discover how the consumption habits of the affluent shopper have evolved in the last 12 months and how they’re impacting the overall market in “Indulge Me.”

One key evolution has been the demand for great service, among both the affluent and the aspirationals, a fact not lost on our cover subject, Lauren Remington Platt. A fixture of the New York social scene and descendant of the founder of Remington Arms Company, Platt is redefining the door-to-door concept with Vensêtte, which provides hair, makeup and manicures in the privacy of one’s own home. The 20-month-old company is booming, and Platt is now looking to expand her domain geographically and digitally. WWD’s European beauty editor Jennifer Weil reports on Platt’s growth strategy in “At Your Service.”

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