One possible answer could be a 'lipstick factor'. If you haven't heard about it yet, it's an economic term denoting a situation when in times of a global economic crisis consumers tend to increase their spending on cosmetics while saving on everything else. Basically, it's 'substituting large extravagances for small luxuries', as one of the experts put it. The term originates from 1930's Great Depression when the phenomenon was first observed, with the same pattern repeating in early 1980s, early 1990s and early 2000s when recessions occured.
1930's Guerlain ad
Do you try to cheer yourself up with more affordable treats when your budget doesn't allow for more expensive buys? And then aren't you trying to squeeze as much joy and fun from the little thing as possible, researching it, photographing it, discussing it, blogging about it...? Sometimes the fun of it is not in having it, but just wanting, waiting, deciding which shade/ brand to pick (see our beloved wishlists). Does this ring a bell?
So, what would be your personal name for this effect? Lipstick, earrings, chocolate factor? I'll probably go for 'eyeliner factor' myself :)
For more info on the 'lipstick factor', check out this Sydney Morning Herald article.