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Cosmetics boom in Iran

Iranian woman use cosmetics at an increasing pace, increasing the demand even for counterfeit products.
An Iranian woman puts on make up as she waits for a concert by the Iranian singer Hamid Asgari at the Interior Ministry building in Tehran April 24, 2008. REUTERS/Morteza Nikoubazl (IRAN) - RTR1ZUV4

Self-confidence, success at job interviews, maintaining married life, finding a husband, following social trends — these are among the common answers Iranian females from around age 14 and up give when asked why they apply makeup when leaving the home. Sometimes the makeup is applied quite heavily.

Mahtab, a homemaker, tells Al-Monitor that she would never leave her home without makeup, and her husband sometimes makes fun of her for feeling the need to be fully made up when she leaves home at 6:30 a.m. every weekday to buy bread. This shopping spree is hardly an outing, since Mahtab says she only exits her vehicle for a few minutes to queue up for the fresh and delicious Iranian bread sangak. She says, “I simply cannot drive without makeup, it’s like driving without my eyeglasses. I don’t care whether anyone notices me, I must at least wear eyeliner and my red lipstick at all times.”

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