Thursday, March 11, 2010

The high cost of natural beauty

I got a haircut yesterday, and it was marvelous. Like cleaning my bathrooms or getting my oil changed, I wait much longer than I should to get my hair cut. Invariably I lull myself into the extremely false reality that I know how to cut my own hair, I do a hatchet job that I live with for a while, then I decide to relent and get it cut by a professional. 

I have a sparse collection of makeup, and when my blush gets all crumbly or the eye shadow runs out, I go buy another one. 

So I was nothing less than shocked to read that, according to Siren Magazine, American women spend an average of $12,000 annually on beauty products and grooming. 


I'm no mathematician, but if there are folks like me who spend significantly less than that crazy 12 grand, then it means there are other women who spend a whole lot more than that, too. The law of averages, I think they call it.

Looking like a natural beauty apparently doesn't come on the cheap for some women. I learned that the beauty industry attracts somewhere in the range of $50 billion bucks a year. 

That must generate a whole lot of pretty.

I guess if you factor in manicures, pedicures, massages, waxing, bleaching, plucking and other painful-sounding services, it might make that $12,000 price tag for beauty more understandable.

But I just don't get it. Primarily because, as an observer, I don't see a whole lot of a visual difference between the high priced look and, well, mine.

Maybe those value-added services are intended to make the purchaser feel the beauty they've received, which then is exuded to others vis a vis an increased level of confidence.

Kind of like my perky new haircut did for me. 

And perhaps the $12,000 average has gone down during these troubling economic times.

Caveats aside, I think you could buy a whole lot of beauty every year even if this average were reduced by $10,000.

All this talk of the high cost of looking fabulous is making me long for a mud bath at a day spa.


  1. I think a lot of moeny that is spent on beauty products is done so to ward off insecurity. True we really can't cut our own hair and honestly, I go to a really ritsy salon to get mine done because the prepubesent bratty girl who does it really knows what she is doing, but about a year ago I stopped getting my eyebrows waxed, manicures and I (gasp) stopped coloring my greys to save some of the 12,000 and look the same as I did long I part my hair to cover my greys ;-)

  2. thanks for writing mary mary. have you joined it's all good.

  3. I just joined, pending their approval! Thanks for the tip, Dorie!!!

  4. One of my favorite ways to cut costs on beauty crap is shopping places like Big Lots, and Target value packs on the mascara and stuff I like. I splurge on my foundation, but I only buy it once every year-year and a half. But THE BEST is trekking down to the Aveda Institute of Denver to get a pretty decent haircut & shampoo for only $12. : )