More than half of the products used in the cosmetic world sprouts from a golden triangle of 500 companies among Milan, Bergamo and Crema, in the heart of Lombardy, Italy’s richest region. The so-called Lombardy’s “cosmetic valley”, an appealing combination of technology and creative flair.

More than 60 percent of the make up used by women around the world is developed and produced here.

This year’s exports will increase by another 8 percent, thanks to the boom of demands from the United States and from the United Arab Emirates. With the supply industry - made of chemical companies which provide basic ingredients and firms that produce machineries and packaging – the turnover increased to 14 billions Euros and to 200,000 employees.

Italian industry alone is able to run 144 billion Euros, considering the markup, i.e. the reloading of cosmetic houses, retailers and perfumeries.

And yet this is a silent excellence. It is not a practice promoted by the people involved: all brands though, from the largest to the smallest ones, from Russia to Australia, entrust Italian companies with the production of make up, creams and glazes.

The chemical pharmaceutical of these laboratories are the ones who create new recipes, side by side with creative artists, who are focused on thinking about trendy colors. People here think even about the shape of the applicator - drop, disposable or pad? - and on suggesting new advertising campaigns. So, if this year in New York gloss polished is fashionable, it is because someone in Crema has decided so.

Leonard Lauder, octogenarian emeritus president of the luxury giant Estée Lauder, invented, after World War II, the "Lipstick Index", according to which the consumption of beauty products tend to rise in times of crisis: “This thesis still stands: women seek gratification in buying beautiful products, but not being able to spend too much on clothes, they take off the whim by buying lipsticks or nail enamels. That is why many fashion houses invest in beauty, which has also the advantage of ensuring a much higher profit margins than fashion,” carries on the economist: “The manufacturers of beauty are by far the most resilient: at critical times they hold out better against marketplace in a fix."


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