Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of cosmetic kingpin Estee Lauder (NYSE: EL) were looking absolutely fabulous today in a bright shade of better-than-expected earnings. Investors fell in love with the look instantly and sent shares fluttering to the clouds.

So what: Adjusted earnings per share for the company's fiscal first quarter came in at $0.97, versus analysts' expectations of $0.77. The company's bottom line represented a 14% gain versus last year, as sales pushed higher by the same percentage. The quarter benefitted from strong international sales and consumers' return to the company's luxury products.

Now what: That return to luxury should be particularly notable to investors, especially in light of the disappointing results from Avon (NYSE: AVP) and Revlon (NYSE: REV). The trend seems to confirm what we've seen elsewhere -- like high-end purse maker Coach's (NYSE: COH) earnings, for instance. Estee Lauder chairman Leonard Lauder once postulated that during tough times, sales of lower-priced cosmetics – lipstick, in particular -- increase as women treat themselves without breaking the bank. It could follow that more signs of life in Estee Lauder's luxury products may not just be a good sign for the company -- it could be a positive note for the economy as a whole.

Interested in more info on Estee Lauder? Add it to your watchlist by clicking here.

Coach is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor selection. The Fool owns shares of Coach. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.

Fool contributor Matt Koppenheffer does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned. You can check out what Matt is keeping an eye on by visiting his CAPS portfolio, or you can follow Matt on Twitter @KoppTheFool or on his RSS feed. The Fool's disclosure policy assures you no Wookiees were harmed in the making of this article.