Tag Archives: makeup

How Much Did I Spend on Beauty in 2015?

Inspired by last week’s Wall Street Journal article “The High Price of Beauty: 4 Women Reveal Their Annual Costs,” I wanted to add up my 2015 so-called beauty costs to see if I’m as ridiculous as these women who spend around $20k average of their looks every year (and that isn’t even counting clothing!)

Even though that amount sounds crazy, beauty-related costs do add up. Some of them can be avoided (no one “needs” to visit an expensive salon to have their hair done every month), but some are just part of what it costs to be a woman with a successful career. As the resident hot mess who tries to play dress up as an executive, I feel at this stage of my life/career/et al, I should be investing more in looking the part. For better or worse I look rather young for my age, which means less respect from anyone who is older – or younger – but more hope that I’ll age gracefully. There’s that.

The women interviewed in the WSJ are certainly well enough to do that these expenses are just part of their lives. They’re all New York City women, and NY is an expensive place to fit in. Ranging from mid 30s to late 40s, these women shell out hundreds upon hundreds of dollars for facial treatments, intravenous vitamin therapy, regular blow drys, yoga, hair styles, skin-friendly juices, serums, energy healing (not sure how this is beauty related, but it’s in their calculations) — and for each of them the total annual cost ranges from $10k – $20k. That’s a lot of ca-ching for something so superficial (sans the yoga and health club memberships, which I don’t think should count towards “beauty” but whatever, to be fair I’ll include my health stuff as well so the numbers match up.)

My 2015 Beauty Costs ($5,672)

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$6000 a year is too much to spend on beauty, but at least it’s not $20,000. My total amount is a little wonky as I’m including these diet bets I’m doing – where I’m betting on my weight loss, and theoretically a chunk of that can be earned back if I drop 20lbs in the next 4 months, so that isn’t real spending. It also includes the second payment for my braces, and about $212 spent on personal training towards the end of the year.

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Really, my worst spending comes in the form of food and shopping (I put makeup into the ‘personal care’ category. I’m going to whip up another post on my 2015 spending because I’m ashamed of it, and maybe that shame will make me not spend as much this year (spoiler: my annual spending was ~ $50k last year.)

The Beauty Industry and My 30 Something Face

Vain as I am, I’ve been the type to roll my eyes at my mother who spends gobs of money on beauty products, picking up the latest serum or cream from any sales person she comes in contact with. Yet turning 30 has me wanting to follow suit. What are those? Fine lines in my forehead etched from years of being a sarcastic worry wort? And, holy crap, I see the very start of crows feet coming on at the corners of my eyes – can’t I just stop them now? Isn’t there some cream out there that will make my skin look 20 when I’m 95?

Ok, so the beauty industry plays on these feelings which are a natural part of aging. We live in a society that considers you over the hill once you’ve passed 25 (thanks Hollywood) if you’re a woman, so of course we’ll do anything to fit the part. The other day, my boss told me that I looked “tired” after I had actually a fairly good night’s rest. That isn’t a good sign. Was it my under eye bags? My pale, thinning skin? Was I going to look more tired every single day because I’m getting older? Ugh!

Aging is so strange as a woman. As a man, you undoubtedly grow into your best self through the years. Women have these strange expectations to be both old and young at the same time, especially if you work in business. I haven’t figured out how to properly address this yet. On one hand, people tell me I still look so young – and that’s a good thing (I know other women my age who certainly look older) but then I also feel like in order to be taken seriously in the work world I need to look older. I don’t know, maybe paint a few more wrinkles on my face, dye my hair silver grey and cover it up with a bad blonde dye job to be obviously old enough to make a valid point.

Before you all scold me for how BATSHIT CRAZY this list is, please remember that I get my hair cut four times a year and with the exception of one whim a year ago where I went ombre, I do not dye my hair anymore, so that’s significant savings in terms of personal care. You won’t find me at a spa. I drive a used car I paid cash for. I’m not exactly living an expensive lifestyle. Yes, I could invest that savings, but would that make my face look better?

My Favorite Beauty Products and Spending Too Much on Them…

1. Clarisonic Mia 2 ($149 kit)

I bought this $149 face brush for myself for my 31st birthday. Yes, it’s an electronic face brush that supposedly cleans 6x better than if you were doing it yourself. I’m not sure I believe that, but I do know that I’m the type of person who sucks at keeping up a routine and tends to fall asleep with a full face of makeup on. That can’t be good. What I like most about the Mia is how fast it is to get a good thorough clean across your entire face in 60 seconds plus a few extra for putting the soap on your face with some water first. It has a timer that gives you 20 seconds for your forehead, 20 for your chin and nose, and 10 for each cheeks, and then you’re done. Efficiency to inspire routine as a person who doesn’t do routine is good.

In the one week of owning my Clarisonic I’ve noticed an improvement in my skin overall. However, initially I started out using the soap that came with my package from Sephora — Philosophy “Purity” — and it made my skin break out terribly. I thought it was the Clarisonic doing that since I read a bunch of reviews talking about this “purge” that happens for the first few weeks (and subsequent articles about how the purge concept is bullshit and your skin is just telling you STOP DESTROYING ME.) In any case, as soon as I switched to a less harsh face wash my skin calmed down, phew. But do I really need to spend $149 on a FACE BRUSH? Whatever, it was my birthday.

2. Origin’s Cheeks and Balances Soap ($12)

Actually, I had this lying around in a bag of random face soaps and such that I’ve picked up throughout the years (I think it came part of a discount set so I didn’t actually pay $12 for it yet.) Switching from Purity to Cheeks and Balances made ALL THE DIFFERENCE. After a few days of my Clarisonic paired with Cheeks and Balances my face feels much better. I also have noticed that anything I put on after washing with these two products do seep in better, meaning that I need to use less of the more expensive stuff that comes after cleaning to make my face look not as bad as it would look otherwise.

3. Ole Hendrickson Truth Serum Vitamin C Collegen Booster ($48)

So I didn’t actually pay $48 for this yet. It came as part of my Clarisonic kit in a mini form and I’ve been using it every morning. I’m not sure if it does anything but it has 4.5 stars on Sephora so it must be good, amirite? It smells good anyway. It is supposed to support natural collagen production to brighten and minimize fine wrinkles caused from free radical damage, yada yada. Man, if only I worked in marketing for the beauty industry… anyway… it uses orange extract, grapefruit extract, rose hip seed extract, sodium ascorbic phosphate and ester-c.  Hey, anything to make me look not that old yet. I probably will never pay the full $48 for this product, it is usually available on Sephora.com as part of a set and you don’t need to use that much everyday. I figure it should last 3 months with regular use.

4. Ole Hendrickson Pure Truth Youth Activating Oil ($48)

Not sold on this one yet, but I actually purchased it mid last year on a whim of feeling old an a sales person convincing me this was great for people who don’t have old skin yet but want to protect skin from getting old (oh god I’m turning into my mother.) This is pretty much straight up rose hips oil, which, according to the brand, is a good source of active vitamin A and vitamin C. I prefer using the Truth Serum more than this… directions from brand say BUY BOTH and use them after each other, but the oil is kind of, well, oily, and I prefer the serum which is stickier. I am going to try both layered to see if they make any sort of difference. I wonder if Rosehip Seed Oil, Tangerine Peel Oil, Lemongrass Oil, Tocopherol (Natural Vitamin E) would cost $45 if I buy them from a farmer.

5. Origins GinZing Energy Booster Moisturizer ($26.50)

What’s that smell? Is it a delicious citrusy fruit basket? Why no sir, it’s just my moisturizer. I’m actually mildly in love with this product. I’ve tried a ton of moisturizers and usually stop using them because they smell like a mix of plastic and ass and texture-wise feel more like watered down chalk mixed with elmers glue, so when I say I like a moisturizer it means an awful lot. This moisturizer doesn’t have SPF anything though, which sucks but is probably why it doesn’t have the consistency or smell I hate, so it means I need to buy yet ANOTHER product with sunscreen in it to actually use the most important part of an aging lady’s beauty routine. Oh well. I like this stuff. I just splurged on a set (self hanukah gift, what?) that has the GinZing eye cream in it as well as two other products that look industry and MORE OF THIS FABULOUS MOISTURIZER for $51 (see: best of both world’s set)

6. Origins Night a Mins High Potency Skin Cream ($41)

I had a sample of this stuff and it seemed to help my face overnight, but I wasn’t about to pay $41 for it on its own. Luckily Origin’s marketers were kind to me and presented the “Best of Both World’s” set for $51 (which sold out about two hours after I purchased it at Macys.com, might still be available in store) – I’m looking forward to using this every night before my moisturizer to see if it provides “naturally radiant morning skin.” #nomoretiredface — eh, whatever, I never go to the spa, I can pamper myself a little at home, right?

7. PM Moisturizer: Cereve PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion ($12)

This is probably my only practical purchase of the bunch. Recommended to me from a dermatologist, the PM moisturizer isn’t fancy or smelltastical but it does its job. I wake up with a face that feels soft as butta. Love it. I should probably give up on the Origins splurges and just use Cereve’s daytime moisturizer (which has some SPF in it) but it does not make me smell like a fruit, and where’s the fun in that?

8. Neutrogena Rapid Repair Night Moisturizer ($21.99)

#becausevanity — oh god, wrinkles. Here they come. Every dermatologist on the web says USE RETINOL to fix existing wrinkles if you don’t want to go all Botox on your face. I don’t use this every day because it BURNS but pain is beauty so I’m trying it out on a fairly regular basis. Nothing noticeable yet but I might as well use the product up until its gone or my skin has melted off. Either way.

Stuff I Am Trying Out Soon Because I’m Crazy

9. Black Tea Age-Delay Instant Infusion Treatment Toner ($48)

This stuff is supposed to help boost overall moisturizers and make your face look EVEN YOUNGER. I don’t know. Toner. Are you a marketers creation? Reviews say this stuff evens out dark spots and such. Everyone on Sephora.com loves it, I must have it. Actually, I bought this because the reviews convinced me… it’s worth it to tone with this product before moisturizer. My skin is still bumpy and red, so I’d like something that will make me appear smooth like a baby’s butt. Yes, I want my face to resemble a baby’s bottom, so sue me.

10. Origins GinZing Eye Cream ($26.50)

Bought this as part of that $51 gift set at Macys w/ the Night a Mins, more of my fav moisturizer and an overnight mask. It won’t be the full size but how much eye cream does one really need? Looking forward to trying it out. I’ll probably continue picking it up in gift sets that offer it vs ever paying $26 for normal eye cream – but who knows, a bit more crows feet and I’ll be investing in baby foreskin to keep my eye creases at bay (btw, I only know this is a thing because my mom either bought or almost bought a product which includes baby foreskin as its magic ingredient. And yes, it is a thing. And, Ew.)

11. Origins GinZing Facial Scrub Cleanser ($19.50)

Because some days you need a little extra scrub. The Clarisonic is theoretically not an exfoliator and my blackheads won’t quit. Maybe this stuff will help. Maybe I will just have more excuses to put fresh citrusy smells near my nose. Either way, I’m investing in this because Cheeks and Balances is a good daily cleanser but a few times a week my face, I think, needs a little deeper scrubbing.

Ok, so I haven’t actually paid full price for all of these items due to gift sets, but the total value/cost to continue this regime would be… drumroll please… 

$330 every 3 months (not counting the $149 clarisonic mia purchase, but counting a replacement brush needed for it also every 3 months.)

So that’s about $100 a month – which really isn’t that bad (she tells herself trying to rationalize spending $100 a month ON HER FACE THAT IS GOING TO GET OLD ANYWAY.)

I mean, I’m clearly not the only person who spends money on this stuff, so is it that bad? I don’t need all of it, but being an adult now I’m trying to get into routines and pampering myself for a few minutes a day in between working and sleeping seems like a reasonable thing to do. When I put $100 in the market one day and it goes down to nothing the next, I don’t get a smoother face, that’s for sure. #vanitywinsagain

I’m still investing over $4000 a month so I don’t feel that bad about these splurges. But being a girl is expensive, women should be paid more than men overall, not less!

 

Confessions of a Deranged Shopaholic – HECC Edition

My Broken Coin — a fellow personal finance blogger — wrote a post on how she spent $8600 on shopping in 2012. That led me to checking out my own stats to see how much I spent on shopping last year.

$17,617!!!
$9164.78 on clothing(!)
$4,456.99 on “shopping general” (mostly Amazon.com, yikes)
$1,272.98 on “sporting goods” (camping stuff for my vacation)
$858.67 on makeup
$811.76 on hobbies
$187.81 on electronics

That’s ridiculous as it doesn’t even include my food costs. Now, I choose to live in a place where rent is $650 / month with roommates so I can afford the overrages of my shopping addiction, but I’m not sure that even adds up anymore. A 1br apartment that’s comparatively nice to my current shared 3br would cost me $1800 a month minimum, and in this location probably more like $2200. So I could spend $18600 more in rent, or, well, clearly I can spend that all on clothes, makeup and household items. Or I can just force myself not to shop for anything other than necessities for a year. Continue reading

Makeup Settlement and free designer perfume? Yes, please.

My mom has a bad habit of forwarding me spam e-mails. So when I first got an e-mail about a “makeup settlement” I figured it was a fake. But I was intrigued, so I did a little Google research and found out that, indeed, department stores like Macys and Bloomingdales would be giving away free designer makeup… a $175M class action settlement that basically results in these companies giving away one free makeup item to anyone who wants it. Well, you’re supposed to have bought makeup at the store from 1994 to 2001 or something, but they aren’t checking.

So this morning, I went to Macys. I actually went to look for a new shirt for work, but I was also curious what this free makeup chaos would look like. It was, as I expected, chaotic. They had a line that went out into the mall when I arrived. So I decided to do my shopping first.

About an hour or so later, the line had died down. It was actually pretty short, about 15 people, so I got in line and was handed a “menu” of the free products. I had no idea which to get… they were mostly body wash and lotion and such. I decided on a 15ml bottle of Christian Dior d’adore perfume.

A lot of stores are giving away free goodies as long as supplies last all across the country. It’s probably not worth an hour wait in line, but if you can find a store with a short line, go for it.

Beauty Trends, a Sephora Gift Certificate, and $200


After three years of avoiding makeup-superstore Sephora to spend my $40 gift certificate, I finally gave in and decided to splurge. The show I directed opened on Friday night and I had failed to find a blue sweater to match the dress I bought, so in desperation I headed over to Sephora for my final touches.

I meant to just spend about $40 on a new foundation. Not that I really needed a new foundation, but the colors I had for summer were looking silly on my now-pale skin (it’s ghostly, really) and I needed something a bit lighter.

Here’s the rub – the day before I go to Sephora I wrote some content for my job about spring and summer beauty trends. I’ve been avoiding following the trends for a while, given that I have a bunch of makeup and I usually just buy what I think looks good on ME and not what the trends are. But I got really, really into the beauty trends for this spring/summer. Neon pink lipstick? Why, I don’t own any neon pink lipstick, I thought. I also did some research on the best mascaras and despite knowing that the drug store brands are just fine I found myself longing for some Christian Dior Diorshow Blackout. All 20 some-odd dollars of it.

Well, I spent about 2 hours of “oohs” and “ahhs” in Sephora, browsing through the aisles, trying on makeup, and trying my darndest to avoid the sales people who kept asking “are you doing ok?” (Funny, when I finally needed help, a salesperson was nowhere to be found!)

Going to Sephora to buy “just a few” pieces of makeup is really a bad idea for anyone attempting to be somewhat frugal. After all was said and done I spent $200 – only $40 of that was covered by the gift certificate I went into spend. (Yea, yea, I know that’s the point of gift certificates.)

But, on a positive note, I love my new makeup. I’m still not going to be a trend whore, so I’ll wear it for years – until it gets really gross.

Then again, does that justify spending $25 on Dior lipstick? And then spending $10 on nearly-the-same-shade neon pink Sephora-brand lipstick that I now use to blend with the $25 Dior lipstick?

You all probably think I’m absolutely crazy, spending this much on makeup.

But I can’t be the only one – otherwise Sephora would go out of business. But that place sure is always busy. Maybe everyone else goes in and has some self-restraint. But I go in once a year or every two years and splurge. It makes me feel good. I like looking pretty, and the older I get, the less pretty I feel. It’s really sad that makeup – ie, face paint – helps me feel like I’m decent looking, but I’d rather spend a lot of money on makeup than my hair cuts. I mean, as I said in my last entry, I spend $60 on a cut, but I only do it twice a year. Some people are spending $60 every 6 weeks for their HAIR. So I end up spending that money on makeup. And I just love painting my face!

I worry about getting even older. Now, at 24, at least I don’t have massive amounts of wrinkles. But what about when I turn 30… or 40? Old women buy a lot of expensive, often misleading beauty products in a quest to look younger. Eeks.

For now, though, I’m happy with my purchases. My Lorac Cheek Stamp (it’s blush that’s like a stamp, which kind of works and kind of doesn’t, but it’s never been so fun to use blush), my Diorshow mascara, my $4 Sephora lipliner (if you want cheap good-quality lipliner, go into Sephora and buy their brand, it’s really nice, just don’t look at anything else), my $25 Dior lipstick, my $10 Sephora lipstick, my $40 Laura Mercier foundation stick (which may or may not be in the right color for me, foundations always look weird on my pale-ass skin), my $30 Laura Mercier foundation primer (oil free, of course), and the $20 eyebrow pencil in a color that’s actually right for my eyebrows (as opposed to the 10 $6 eyebrow pencils I’ve bought at drugstores over the years that are the wrong color for my brows!). I think that’s all I got. Does that add up to $200?

I guess it does, with taxes and all.

Geez, makeup is expensive. But I must admit, I feel happiest after buying new face paint.