The Ugly Side Of Beauty

make up

I don’t like getting old. For some reason I never really thought much about it. That was years away! It felt as though I would stick in some Pan-like state and leave the aging process for everyone else.

Youth seemed to pass by slowly and I remember wishing I was older. Remember those days sitting in the classroom watching the second hand tick by at a painstakingly slow pace? Life would surely be better when I turned 15, 18, 23, 25… then all of a sudden I started to want to hit the brakes. 30, 33, 36… holy guacamole, where did the time go? Life has passed so quickly and yet I still feel so youthful at heart.

The mirror now reveals the onset of grey hair. My forehead shows a series of creases that begins to resemble the rings on a tree.

Vanity is a funny thing. We always seem innately unhappy in our appearance. People with curly hair wish it was straight. Straight haired people wish it was curly. The only people really grinning are the corporations selling us the products to alleviate our discontent. They help us to look like the airbrushed, superimposed models you see in the magazines.

However, there is something admirable and strong-minded about a person who is content in who they are. Not a surface level confidence but a deep, deep down confidence. A person who remains unshaken by the whims of fashion and the siren calls of the media. I admire people who stand boldly and say “This is me, this is who I am and this is what I stand for.” I’d like to say that this is me and I have accomplished this high level of self-assurance. In truth, I haven’t, but each day I aspire to.

The photographs below were taken from the bathroom of a young woman who shall remain nameless. The sheer quantity of products, elixirs and modern day snake oil is astounding but not necessarily abnormal. In fact, many households might have a bathroom or two that resembles this.

I asked my wife how much the average item might cost. “$10?”

She laughed and said “Try $20 or $30!” There are even magical eternal youth creams that exceed $100, or so I’m told.

Doing a rough count of the products and a mid-range estimate of $20 per item, the cost of the items in the shower, bath, cupboard and on top of the vanity unit equated to $1,260!

$1,260 is an astronomical cost! The alarming thing is that I feel that this kind of spending is not particularly abnormal in today’s society. Because it is loosely health related, purchases in this category tend to feel in some ways justified. If you haven’t got your health, then you haven’t got anything, right?

How many creams and products are disposed of unused or half used before the next latest and greatest is added to the vanity cupboard?

Here are just a few suggestions that might help you save. It is not overly specific because I believe the real root cause of this type of spending needs to be addressed. Namely the understanding that we all age, that supermodels are not necessarily the epitome of health, and that marketers routinely pull out every deceit trick in the book to sell you their latest offering.

Nevertheless, here are some potential savers:

  • Chemist Warehouse and My Chemist tend to have regular sales. Boxing Day sales are coming up with particular discounts in the area of fragrances.
  • Have a good look at the active ingredients. These are the ingredients that supposedly are making the substantial difference. A quick Google search with the ingredient might give you other affordable alternatives.
  • Before you buy, watch a review of the product on YouTube. How have other customers rated it highly?
  • Sort your vanity cupboard. You may find that you have a collection of 20 or more skin creams. This realisation alone might stop you from buying another.
  • If you are a compulsive spender of beauty products, nominate a friend to act as a financial judge, whereby your latest purchase must justified to them and approved directly by them.
  • The easiest way to save is not to spend. To help you with this notion consider imposing a $300 cap (revise as you see fit) on the cost of any and all beauty products. This means you cannot buy another product if the products on your shelf exceed $300 in value. Once you have used up a certain product, then feel free to buy something else with a guilt free conscience.
  • Buy a multitasker products that can do the job. This will save you both time and money.
  • Consider making your own remedies and elixirs. Just Google the product and type ‘alternative’ at the end of the search term.


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Posted on December 14, 2015 in Health and Wellbeing, Smart Money Blogs

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About the Author

I LOVE budgeting! Why you ask? Having a clearly defined budget enables my family of six to live an empowered life. I work as part time teacher, I’m an investor, novice longboarder, man of faith and run Budget Brilliance with a view towards seeing people’s lives changed financially.

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