Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Beauty Spending- What's Acceptable?

According to the New York Times it's not unusual for a woman in Los Angeles to spend $2000-$4000 a month on beauty products and treatments. Not $4000 per year...per month.

If I was a little shocked and annoyed last week that my beloved NYT would call Diane von Furstenberg "affordable", I was disgusted to read about these women who believe that spending up to $1000 a week on beauty is necessary for a woman over 30 trying to stay desirable in our youth-obsessed culture.

After running the "What's Your Routine?" contest earlier this year, I was unsurprised to learn that many of my readers, like myself are self-confessed beauty junkies. We feel genuine affection for our "Holy Grail" moisturizers, associate eye shadows with different stages in our lives and can passionately debate the merits of different mascaras. Our families and friends joke that we're "high maintenance" when we freak out over forgetting our makeup bag at home and shoot us looks of pity when we brag about scoring a limited edition lipstick.


But while I can't speak for everyone, I can't believe that even the product junkies among us would scoff at the idea of spending hundreds, let alone thousands, of dollars a month on our beauty habits. I know that the argument of "do you know what this money could buy for someone who really needed it?" could be applied to any amount of spending on non-essential items (clothes, accessories, beauty products), but I think this is just beyond outrageous.

As a college student transitioning from having mom and dad pay the bills to supporting myself, I was especially struck by a quotation from a financial analyst who pointed out that, "If you took that $100 a month you are spending on manicures and pedicures and invested it starting at age 25 in stocks that went up 10 percent a year, you would have over $500,000 by the time you were 65.” It really puts things in perspective when you start thinking about how those monthly or bi-monthly treatments (manicures, pedicures, hair coloring, facials, etc) really add up.

Because last week's discussion on clothes spending was so successful, I thought I'd throw out another question for you guys. How much do you spend per month, on average, on beauty products and treatments? How much is too much?

Here's my take:

Regular readers of the blog know that my beauty philosophy is basically that I don't believe in spending a lot of money on skincare products, because the stuff you can get from a drugstore is just as effective as the pricey stuff, and if you have any particular skin problems (acne, dryness, aging), a prescription from a dermatologist will do a lot more than any tube of Cream de la Mer. Same goes for haircare, since the ingredients in Pantene are essentially the same as those in Kerastase.

When it comes to makeup, I think spending more can be worth it because you're purchasing something because the color, texture and scent appeal to you, not because it will or won't get rid of your wrinkles any better than another brand.

As far as treatments go, that's another personal decision based on how much you have to spend (though there is a limit). It can be argued that going to a fancy salon will get you a better cut and color than a Supercuts, but I'm not convinced that a $80 haircut will look worse than a $400 one. Shop around to find a great stylist at a price you can afford, as there are good and bad people at every salon. I think the same goes for manicures and pedicures, and I think there's no reason to ever pay more than $50 for a mani/pedi.

According to every doctor I've ever spoken to and every article on the subject, spa treatments like facials won't actually do anything to improve your skin. Their purpose is to relax you and make you feel better, and while you might see short-term results, they won't change your skin for the long-term.

So what do I spend in an average month on beauty?

About $100 on skin, hair and body products. $30 for a pedicure (I don't get manicures). $20 on makeup (usually replacing a staple in my collection). $75 on a haircut (I don't color). I don't wear fragrance (I have allergies and sensitive skin) and I probably go for a spa treatment once or twice a year, so I'll add $15 a month for that. Shaving is expensive, so add $12 for razors. And because I use prescription skin products, my copay comes to about $30.

Grand total: $282.

Honestly, reading that number freaked me out a bit, as I thought I was being pretty frugal about everything and it's higher than I expected ($3,384 per year!). When I graduate in a year and try to live on a meager advertising salary in pricey New York City, I'll probably have to cut back. Or start a "Support Meg's Beauty Habit" fund through the blog. Scary thought.

So, what about you?

30 comments:

Engelfluglen said...

$50/month is my budget.

I stopped coloring my hair, I go to my friend's salon where I just pay the tip, do my own toes+feet.

makeup? aveeno moisturizer, random powder (it's summer, so i don't wear a lot) and then black+brown eyeliner and black and blue mascara.

then i've got random samples and small tubs of stuff that i got for free places. i'm so bad.....

i usually don't even spend that much, maybe like, $25..... i save up the rest.

Teek said...

I get my hair cut and colored about every 2-3 months with a fantastic hairdresser who happens to work at a SuperCuts type place. Depending on what I have done, $80-130 so $52/month-ish.

I wore acrylic nails for a year or so while I learned to stop biting. It was about $50/month but absolutely worth it as I don't bite anymore. They're natural now and I spend hardly anything on them.

The vast majority of my beauty products are drug store brands. Cetophil clenser, Avalon Organics shampoo, Dove conditioner, Jergen's body lotion. I have been saving up to blow some money at the new Sephora in my city though.

You're so right about facials: I went in for my first facial earlier this month and asked her how to treat my persistent whiteheads, and essentially she said, "A dermatologist is the only one who can fix that but you should definitely BUY THIS $26 EXFOLIATOR (even though it won't fix it)."

So, Meg, now that the thrill has worn off, is the Dior Show $23 mascara worth it?

Becky said...

There are definitely a few products I splurge on, but they tend to last for forever (at least a year or more), bringing my per month spending way down. I keep impulse buys to a minimum and spend $80 on my cut and color every 6 weeks. I'd estimate I average about $100 a month.

Meg said...

Teek- As much as it pains me to fork over $23 for a mascara, I gotta admit that the DiorShow is worth it. I wear it nearly every day, and I just can't go back to my basic Clinique stuff.

Funny that you bring it up, because today I actually decided to dig out the Clinique and try to see if I could go back to it (it's about half the price). While my lashes looked nice, they were just that... nice, nothing else.

It doesn't look like the thrill of DiorShow will be fading anytime soon!

Annie said...

Wow Meg - dangerous question! Well, maybe just for me because I like to avoid these kinds of "let's tally up your expenditures" type of situations whenever possible...

I haven't had a mani-pedi in months, sadly, but I would definitely get one every two weeks if I could afford it. I get my haircut for about $75 every three months or so, and color ($100) only every 6 - 7 months. (I stretch it as long as possible.)

I would love to get facials every three months (but don't) but I do get waxing done which is about $80 every 3 - 4 months. (I touch-up at home in-between, but do need to go get a "professional" treatment every so often.) Of course, if I were scheduling regular facials, I'd be scheduling regular waxings as well...

Product-wise I'm cutting back. I use NARS cleanser ($40), toner ($30), & moisturizer ($90) and love it, but it's damn pricey. My sister's skin looked amazing when I saw her last weekend and she confessed to Cetaphil cleanser as well. (She does use Creme de la Mer to moisturize though.) But I figure, if I can save on the cleanser and toner, why not splurge on a more expensive moisturizer?

I only buy makeup when I really need it, which turns out to be about once every 4 months or so. Factoring in that, and any other beauty supplies I get, it's probably another $400 a year.

So, I suppose I spend about $1200 a year right now, but this is probably closer to $1600, just because I'm sure I'm forgetting something. If I *could* afford more regular treatments and more expensive products? Here's the breakdown:
two mani-pedis a month: $1200/year
waxing & facials every 3 months: $800/year
cut & color every 4 months: $700/year
supplies & products: $750/year estimate

Total?: $3450 a year...sounds about right...

PS: Yes - Dior Show is worth every penny of it's $23!

ambika said...

I am so not a product person. It's partly my background (my mom is pretty product free) and partly the area (the Northwest is not known for it's slavishness to bath & beauty trends.)

Face soap and face lotion/spf: $20 every 2-3 months.

Shampoo: $10 every 3-4 months (curly, frizzy hair is NOT supposed to be washed every day.)

Conditioner: I recently posted about spending $25 on a shea hair mask because 1) it's amazing and 2) it's the most I've ever spent on a product. And it's worth it given the aforementioned frizzy hair.

Mascara: $10 every 6 months (usually from the drug store).

Misc cosmetics: the odd eyeshadow or pencil will catch my eye but I rarely wear them and they usually get tossed after a year. Maybe $25-35 per year (also from the drug store.)

I can't color my hair (it's way too delicate) and don't go to a salon. I do my own nails and avoid making appts to get them done b/c I know the minute I cave, I'll never want to do them myself again.

*However*, I am devoted to maintaining my bikini area and that adds up. I'm going to get lasered this fall since it's something I know I'm not going to stop doing and that $70 every 6 weeks adds up.

This is not to sound boastful or even like some kind of budget freak--it's just that this stuff rarely gets to me the way a cute pair of shoes do. I get tempted to buy make-up but usually resist b/c it just sits in the cabinet.

Quick calcuations: 800 roughly per year. When you figure that the bulk of that is waxing, it makes sense.

Bring on the laser.

H said...

I had never really given much thought to how much I spend on beauty products.

My biggest beauty expenditure is probably on replacing makeup products, and that happens only every couple of months at probably $20 or so.

I am really bad about hair -- I still haven't found a stylist in the city in which I live, so I try to make appointments with my old stylist in my hometown when I am back visiting family and whatnot. She is FANTASTIC and I can get highlights and a cut for $50. Gotta love small town life. I use Sheer Blonde shampoo and conditioner (and I go through conditioner like water) so probably $15 a month there.

I don't get manicures or pedicures.

I'm surprised to see that I am actually much more low maintenance than I thought! I would say my biggest splurges in the beauty department are definitely on makeup, but I have managed to curb those purchases until absolutely necessary as well.

Jocelyn said...

My beauty and bath expenses have gone way up since I joined the LUSH forums (it's largely a community of bath and beauty junkies who love to bring up their fave products). I probably spend about $250 a month on bath and beauty, much of which is unnecessary: e.g. new products to try, perfumes, and bath bombs. However, I don't spend much on clothing or haircuts, and I never get beauty treatments. The way I see it, I can comfortably afford this level of spending, and wonderful bath products reduce the stress of grad school life. Plus I try to keep only the items I really like, selling and swapping the rest. I almost always take a loss, but some recovery of money is better than nothing.

Overall conclusion: yes, I spend more than I should on beauty. But $2000-4000 a month? Wow. Even if I could afford it, I'd feel guilty spending that much on what are basically frivolities. That money could be better used by quite a number of charities, for instance!

Anonymous said...

You will find as you get older that this expensive will increase. I have my hair colored to cover the gray, I get bikini waxes once a month (shaving makes me break out), and I spend more on skin care, etc because at this stage of life I HAVE more disposable income. My children's college funds are full, we have retirement funded, so if I want to drop $50 on some hair treatment I will.

Wait and see. ;)

Teek said...

Thanks all! I dragged myself to Sephora to play yesterday and sampled it and spent the next few hours wandering around the mall staring at myself in mirrors batting my eyelashes. It was insanity how very ...lashy I looked. "*blink blink* wow, my eyelashes smell like flowers. *blink*."

I figure I will cave next credit card statement (...after I have paid for the $26 exfoliator. At least it smells awesome and will last until I die pretty much.)

ALS said...

I've learned the difficult lesson of "less is more." I had awful skin in high school and blew tons of money on different acne treatments, oily skin moisturizers, concealers, powders, blotting papers, etc, etc.

Now, just barely past adolescense and I have (almost) perfect skin - and I honestly believe it's because I quit harassing my skin with so many astringents and acids.

My routine now is sparse with a few pricey things. I love love love Aveda skin products and makeup. I went in for a facial and took the bait for all of the cleansers, fluids, sprays, etc. I like them all, but found all I NEED is to wash my face twice a day with the Aveda cleanser ($20 maybe), then moisturize. No zit stuff! even if a small one crops up. Then, since my skin has improved so much, all I need is a dab of loose powder and concealer to cover old zit scars. I pay a little extra for Aveda makeup, but I buy their hype about gentle ingredients and enviorment friendly processes, and my skin seems to like it, and it lasts all day, (save for the non-waterproof mascara, that always ends up under my eyes!)

So my total is small, because I use very little of each product everyday, with much more result than when my bathroom cabinet was stuffed with drug store, prescription, all kinds of creams and gels and cover-ups.

One prescription I did like, though, was the year I took tetracycline, (it cost about 3.00 for a huge bottle). That was the catalyst that let me quit using so much STUFF. It cleared my skin up, so I stopped using other products, weened off the tetracycline pills, and now enjoy an inexpensive and smooth (usually)complexion.

Anonymous said...

Hm, interesting question.

Just about everything in my make up bag totals about $100. I'd say I spend about $20 bimonthly refilling that.

Haircare- I like my hair to smell nice, and I find that the inbetween products of cheep shampoo and ritzy expensive stuff do that, last me awhile, and make my hair managable. Figuring that I don't go through too much (short & thin hair), i'd give it $5/month.

I tend to be a bit of a splurger at bath & body works though. I find that generally a good lotion, body spray and body wash can do wonders without being over powering. I like the smells, as does my boyfriend. I'd say monthly it's about $10.

Besides that there are a few extras that my parents still pick up. I use two creams from my dermotologist, but both last pretty long. I'll get my eyebrows done occasionally when I fall back with the up-keep, that's usually once or twice a year though. My teeth are also pretty sensitive to staining so I have some extra monthly home whitening products from my dentist that my parents also pick up the bill on.

I've found that those little things, (dermo/teeth whitening/eye brows) are fabulous basics that do much more for me than the rest of my collection (thanks mom & dad).

In total: about $35 + parential help. (Damn good for a college student I think)

Ishuku said...

i cut my hair myself (yay wesleyan) and don't get manicures or pedicures, but i admit i do enjoy pricey makeup. i'm no MAC girl but it's not unheard of me to spend $40 on a bottle of foundation. however, this will probably change as i've switched to mineral makeup--partially thanks to you :)--and my preferred brand is $15 for a puck that lasts me about a year.

i do, however, like to try new products, so this is where most of my money goes. new soaps, lotions, that sort of thing. i am also currently on the prowl for the perfect red lipstick--i've got my eye on lipstick queen's saint red, but am trying to justify dropping $18 on a tube of lipstick...sigh, maybe for christmas.

Deja Pseu said...

I don't know who these LA women are that were referenced in the article, but my suspicion is they're the same ones you sometimes see patrolling Saks on a weekday afternoon: emaciated 50-somethings, with skin drawn tight across their cheek implants, the obligatory trout pout and long blonde extensions and wearing whatever the Olson twins were seen in earlier that week. They look like aliens.

Moi, I'm a big fan of St. Ives Apricot scrub. If ever there were a miracle product, that's it. I have been splurging on moisturizers, but have recently switched back to Olay. Especially the eye "derma pods", those are great!

My hair stylist bill is my biggest beauty expense, probably averages about $150 per month, but I get color/highlights and a very precise short cut, and just found a new stylist who's a bit less expensive.

I get a pedi about every 2-3 weeks and sometimes a mani or arm wax. $30/month average.

I don't wear much makeup, but do buy probably 1 or 2 lipsticks or glosses per month, ever in search of the illusive perfect color.

christie said...

To your question:
hair: $200 a month for color and cut. $10 product. $50-100 a month on blowouts and updos, but that depends on the number of times I need that additional help.

skin: $50 on skin care and sunscreen. (Dermatologist visits and Rx Renova are paid by insurance.)

cosmetics: perhaps $25 on average. I don't wear foundation which is a large expense. I don't wear much makeup on a daily basis - mascara, eyeliner, lip gloss. For a special event I will pay someone to do my makeup-$40.

manicure/pedicures: $100 per month when I get them, but I generally don't have time.

That's $285 most months, occasionally shooting up to $525 if I need hair, makeup and nail services for special events.

My expenditures seems reasonable to me. That said, I try not to judge other people's choices unless they are actively hurting others. "Do you know what this money could buy for someone who really needed it?" rubs me the wrong way. If someone has the money to spend on IPL facials and Botox, it's not my place to judge that.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Anonymous above - upkeep can cost a little more as one gets older. Going to a dermatologist for an allover body check (ordered by my GP for all his fair-skinned patients over 50) led to some treatments for Actinic Keratosis and general sun damage on my face that he said could be precancerous. Treatment included a few IPL and laser treatments (not too deep) that improved the condition of my skin, so now I want to keep it that way (for health reasons as well as vanity). So for now I find it worth it to invest in sunscreens with high SPF and PPD, and Eluage - a retinaldehyde - that I order from overseas.

BTW, I learned about these products from makeupalley.com, which is a fountain of information on all things related to makeup, hair and skincare. On the skincare board there they refer to the "Holy Trinity" - Sunscreen, Retinols, and Vitamin C - so I added a Skinceuticals Vitamin C serum to my morning routine (retinols are best for night).

Otherwise, I am happy with relatively inexpensive stuff - Cetaphil moisturizing cream for my face and Aquaphor for my lips and feet from the drugstore, Trader Joe's body cream ($2.99 a big bottle), and Alba Botanica shampoo from Whole Foods; I order my cleanser - Paula's Choice One Step Normal-to-Dry - on the internet.

I do use Cover Girl Smoothers tinted Moisturizer for daytime just around the house and neighborhood, but, again, as I get older and my face isn't as smooth and firm as it once was, I think it's worth it to spend extra for a really good foundation (I currently use Laura Mercier, but may try something else from a department store soon).

So you have to pick and choose according to your budget and age, but to all you younger readers: I know you've heard it a million times, but WEAR SUNSCREEN, and reapply often (getting off my soapbox now).

Anonymous said...

wow i'm pretty low maintenance compared to all of you!

let's see...
i do my own nails and they turn out to be pretty good.

$20 haircut every 3 months.

i basically buy drugstore stuff because they work as well as pricey stuff so...
$6 daily scrub
$4 cleanse
$5 toner
$20 day and night moisturizers
all of which i replace about every 6 months because i use products kinda slowly

i use a lot of sunblock so it is about $25 a month

i go for a really natural look for my makeup so basically all i use is concealer, mascara, and lip gloss, which amount to $20 every quarter (i bet everyone of you are shocked at how little i spent on makeup)

i make my own wax (which i swear works better than the ones i buy, serious) which works really well on my bikini zone, so there really isn't much cost for that except for lemons and sugar (lol). and razors cost me about $30 a year because i wax more.

plus i get so many product samples of everything that i don't really need to buy anything. =). which is why i never need to buy shampoos, conditioners, body washes, etc., EVER, unless there's a product i really like and i have to buy it.

i'm big on nail polishes so that is about $72 of nail products per year.

i never have facials or anything because i have really good skin with no problems and facials are just a waste of money.

so i spend about $628 per year on beauty, which amounts to around $52 dollars per month. i'm really happy that i don't spend money like crazy!

Deanne said...

I'm pretty low-maintenance.
I color my own hair, get a cut about every month and a half. I used to buy Mary Kay makeup but gave that up years ago! Too expensive to keep up a makeup addiction AND a scrapbooking addiction! So the makeup went!
I don't get manicures/pedicures. I replenish my makeup needs in a durgstore. But I love shampoos,perfumes, body washes and lotions, so that's where I splurge.

Kathryn said...

hair: cut and colour (or root touch-up, HAVE to hide the grey) $80 per month
shampoo/conditioner/product I get at a hair salon wholesale place so that's maybe $40 every 4 to 6 months

nails (toes): $80 per month

everything else: maybe $30 per month or 2

I do splurge on certain things, like Diorshow mascara (TOTALLY worth it), but that is only twice per year

some may think it excessive, but compared to lots of my friends or friends' wives? not bad at all

Fabulously Broke in the City said...

Every 3 months (or when I remember): I colour my own hair at home with help of Husband ($10), I get my hair cut at budget chains like First Choice Haircutters, but am VERY specific about what I want ($20)

I do spend quite a bit on sunscreen moisturizers and lotions, makeup, shampoo, face cleansers etc.. to the tune of maybe $100 to replace what I already own.

As for makeup/perfume I only buy when I start to run low, or when my makeup starts going really bad... but I am a sucker for perfume, but I get the Sephora samples, and/or the smaller sample-sized bottles from the makers instead of the full 3.3 oz.

Jeez.. and I tried to cut down on it too! But good sunscreen really eats it up!!

Meg said...

(Meg from AllAboutAppearances.info)

I consider myself pretty frugal when it comes to beauty products and services.

I confess that I do use a few things from Prescriptives that aren't cheap (but they go a long, long way). For the most part, though, I use Neutragena products and I've been very happy with them. I do my own nails and color my own hair. I've only had a pro manicure three times (prom, wedding, graduation) and only had a pro pedicure once (graduation). I even trim my own hair sometimes. Otherwise, I usually get it done for about $7 (with the occasional more expensive hair cut when I want to really change styles). The only facial I've ever had was free.

I've found that I can get a lot of my products for much cheaper at discount stores. I paid $4 for my last box of hair dye from Big Lots and it normally costs me $10 at Walgreens. Sometimes the sales at Walgreens are actually better, though, so it's a good idea to keep typical prices in mind or create a price book (something I haven't quite got a around to doing).

I also get lots of free samples. I use the Walmart.com free samples page (search "free samples" on their site to find it) and I also check out the brands' sites occasionally. I don't use any other samples sites, though.

dianabobar said...

That is way too much!!!
I spend only about $100. It's the clothing that kills my credit card:))

Amelia said...

Anonymous 2:11 -How do you make your own wax? How does that work? I'm very curious! Can you use that for bikini waxing? (Big expense currently...) Just wondering. Costs for shaving/waxing are simply outrageous... Probably the most expensive thing for me, given that I do my nails myself and don't get expensive cuts/color. Although I am considering professional blond highlights for summer(don't dare to do them myself)...

Kimberly said...

i want to know how you make your own wax too! normally i shave but i have incredibly sensitive skin so i get insane cases of razor burn. i'd love to learn how to wax but i'm a tad nervous :/

Anonymous said...

I don't spend much a month. I found this amazing hair cutting place that gave me a great haircut and very natural highlights for about $70 (this is in the US; I live on the west coast), and then gave me a trim for free a week later when I decided I didn't like it this long. because I go to a boarding school, I usually get haircuts once every four months or longer - if my hair gets too awful, I can trim it myself, and my highlights look completely real and are slightly scattered so it's not at all obvious when they grow out (except that after they're all gone, I look distinctly darker).

shampoo I go through quickly and generally don't care what I buy as long as it's cheap. conditioner lasts me years. I don't use makeup except for lippy - don't need it, don't look especially greater with it (even when really well done) - and I have probably about two years' supply of very effective and inexpensive exfoliating tea tree oil scrubs in my basement (I got each tube for about a buck each and it really works, so that's great).

all in all, not much more than $20 bucks.

Anonymous said...

I'm such a creature of habit. I'd say that my budget is normally between $100 - $125.

I use Neutrogena Deep Clean face wash and L'Oreal eye makeup remover. I do use a Mary Kay eye mask each night, and I use Clinique moisturizer. The eye mask is expensive, but it lasts for months, which makes it worth it. I have dry feet, so I use Lamisilk Hydrate lotion - I highly recommend it, too!

I agree with you about the more expensive makeup, but only when it comes to foundation and powder. I only use Mary Kay foundation and powder because my skin seems to tolerate it better than any other brand I've tried. However, I have a collection of different types of mascara, blush, eyeliner, eye shadow, lipsticks, lipglosses, etc. It ranges from the cheap to the expensive. Some are gifts, some I bought, and some are GWP. My favorites right now include a Lancome blush, Maybelline eye shadow, and Benefit mascara.

I have ridiculous hair. It's pretty to look at, but it's horribly uncooperative. I have a lot of really fine hair, so even ponytails fall out. I've given up on styling it, and I'm definitely vain in saying it, but I like my color too much to change it. Therefore, I go to GreatClips for trims and nothing else. That's about $12 every two to three months for my hair. I use Pantene Clarifying Shampoo and Pantene Conditioner for Fine Hair.

I paint my own toenails, and all of my polish comes from whichever grocery store I'm at when I need it, so as you can imagine, I've got a collection of Maybelline, Cover Girl, Revlon, and Sally Hansen. I am not brand loyal with polish; I choose them based on the color. My job right now would be murder on a manicure, so none of that for me. I paint a Sally Hansen clear strengthening coat on my fingernails, though.

I've had one facial in my life. It was a birthday gift from my sister. I would never get one on my own; I can't justify it. I'm 28, and most people still think I'm in high school or college, so clearly I am aging well.

becka said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
becka said...

This is an interesting question, as I'm kind of scared to find out how much I spend, even though I'm fairly low maintenance, i love to shop, so I expect my expenses to be mostly product, not services. (except my nails)

Hair Services: stopped coloring, and I rarely get a haircut (more because of lack of time then lack of needing one). ~$125/yr => ~$10/mo

Hair Products:
Shampoo: Its hard to determine how much i use, as i'm not the only one who uses it(grumble grumble little sister) but I'd guess 1 or 2 bottles, but I just get Herbal Essences. ~$12/mo
Conditioner: I still use the Herbal Essences, but I have A LOT of hair, so I go through at least 4 bottles of that a month. ~$24/mo
Product: I rarely do anything with my hair besides pull it back in a ponytail, and sometimes put some stuff on it to help with the frizzies/fly-aways. Since I rarely use those things, I probably buy them twice a year, but I've found specific things that work just right... so, ~$100/yr => ~$8/mo

Hair Total:$54/mo

Body upkeep:
Lotion: I get dry skin, so I get the more expensive body lotion, but it still comes from the drugstore, so its about $10/bottle, and I use up a big bottle in about 2 months. ~$5/mo
Hair removal: I shave my legs, arms, and bikini area quite regularly, and my skin gets quite angry if I use a dull/crappy razor or bad shaving cream. The replacement razor heads are $20 for an 8-pack, and I have to change the damn thing almost weekly (grumble grumble little sister again) so, at $2.50 each, supposing i use 4/month... ~$10/mo
Shaving gel: After being loyal to Aveeno shave gel for years, I discovered that CVS brand works pretty well, and is $2 per can instead of $5. We probably use 2 cans a month, plus a tube of Bikini Zone @$4 ~$8/mo
No waxing, but when i stop spending so much on my nails, i'll probably use that to get regular waxes.

Body Total: $23/mo

Face:
Cleanser: I've found that Clean & Clear makes a good cleanser for not too much money. I also use apricot scrub, Noxema pads, and a deep cleaning scrub, but not daily. That stuff is probably ~$20/mo
Moisturizer: I use Aveeno Positively Radiant moisturizer. Its the only thing I've found (at the drugstore) that is thick enough, but not oily/shiny. Thats $16 a bottle, and one of those lasts a few months, so ~$8/mo

Face total: $28/mo

Makeup:
Foundation/Powder: I use something that i can't remember the name of but it was $30 for a bottle and I use Stila powder, which I think is $25 for a compact, both from Sephora. I rarely wear full makeup, so the foundation should last at least a year, and I don't use the powder every day, so thats probably 3 compacts per year. ~$105/yr => ~$9/mo
Other makeup: I buy makeup mostly only to replace things that have run out or mysteriously disappeared (grumble little sister AGAIN) and occasionally a new product. (I'm loving the eyeshadow wand thingies from Victoria's secret) So, I'll estimate ~$25/mo

Makeup total: $34/mo

Hands/Feet:
Manicures: I splurge here, getting gel nails, and having them filled/repaired every 2 weeks. Like teek, I'm using this as a last-ditch nail biting deterrent method. Its slowly working, and its good to hear that it worked for someone. ~$50/mo
Pedicures: I do these myself, but i'm constantly looking for the perfect color that looks good with everything, so I'm constantly buying new bottles of polish. ~$15/mo

Hands/Feet Total: $65/mo

Grand total: $204/month or $2448/year.

I guess thats not that bad...though I'm currently living at home while going to college, so I can get my mommy to pay for the daily use items, while i have to buy makeup/manicures/extras.

I still spend less in a year than those crazy LA women do in a month...

Wow, this got really long. sorry about that.

Anonymous said...

Let's see:
1.5 dollars for Cetaphil cleanser.
2 dollars for generic brand body wash.
15 dollars for sunscreen. (I wear sunscreen rain or shine.)
3 dollars for makeup. (I buy from Elf cosmetics, 1 buck per pop, can't go cheaper than that.)
2 dollars for shampoo & conditioner max. (I buy Suave, 1.3 for 22 oz bottle)

Total: 23.5 for all my skin needs. :)

Though as I am exploring the world of beauty care, I may need to expand the budget because I am going to get prescription only retinoin for anti-aging purposes, but still I have it under control.

Fashion Lush said...

so i was really dreading answering this dangerous question, but since i am trying out this new thing called (gasp) "saving money" - i think it will give me the wakeup call i need..

about every 6 mos or so..my major splurges are..$300 for Japanese Hair Straightening + trim - well worth it, i rarely get a style cut and dont dye, but when i do i tend to splurge so about $100 ea year + product:
$22 Giant Bottle of Biosilk
$19 Chi Hair Spray
$23 Diorshow Mascara
$14 bumble & bumble leave in cond.
those things tend to last the longest

plus 2 mani/pedi a mos. ($70 mos.) = $840 a year on manis and pedis!
eyebrows 2x a mos = $168 a year

id say i replenish these items each mos - shampoo+conditioner:24 right now i use kiwi but always switching it up, bodywash B&BW:5, venus breeze razrs:12 deodarant,nivea:4 moiturizer/lumene from cvs:20 blax hair elastics:3 jergens natural glow:12 aveeno bar soap for face wash:3 yves saint laurent concealer:40 toothpaste/mthwash:20 (do we count these too?) so that adds up to about $143 per mos. i dont count perfume since my bf works for chanel, we never need to replenish..but i do love the hermes scent that came out and would love to get sjp's covet..so add another 100 bucks per year for that..

then theres always the impulse buys and the splurges like the $18 tube of lancome juicy [btw some1 pls tell me what all the hype is about this shit. its sticky and gross!] or rewarding myself with a massage or some new perfume.

so yearly it looks like it comes to
$3,321. wow. im pretty much throwing away a versace hit bag and matching wallet..or like 10 prs of tod's! damn..