The severity of the global economic pullback is subjecting the old adage that beauty products are recession-resistant, if not recession-proof, to its toughest challenge yet.

Sales fell across the board, according to quarterly updates from Revlon Inc., The Procter & Gamble Co., Sally Beauty Holdings Inc., International Flavors & Fragrances Inc., Nu Skin Enterprises Inc. and Bare Escentuals Inc. and annual results from Shiseido in Japan.

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