Cheap Thrills: Colorful Nails as a Function of the Economy?

Last week I heard this news piece on NPR’s Marketplace, which posited that all this color that is in style for nail polish right now is a direct reaction to the recession. The story said that now that the economy is getting slightly better we are looking to brighten up our lives, and one cheap way to do that is with nail polish. Not everyone can afford a Chanel purse, but most people can afford a bottle of Chanel nail polish. The same goes for nail polish from boutique lines such as Deborah Lippman, Zoya, and China Glaze.

Zoya even offers customers the ability to order “color spoons” at $0.50 a pop, which are tiny samples of the polish on a little plastic spoon so you can see the exact color of the dried polish before you make your $8 full-size polish purchase. The dinero you spend on samples is credited toward your next polish order. It’s a pretty straightforward indication of the way some small businesses are catering to those who are spending less. I have to admit that at first I thought it was a bit silly, but I’m sure anyone who has ever ordered nail polish online is stuck with a few color duds that will never get used.

I’ve also heard that fantasy books, especially those that include vampires and werewolves, also increase in popularity during times of economic downturn. This appears to be a stone cold fact as indicated by our secret shameful addiction. What other economic indicators lurk around in my life, unbeknownst to me?