Tuesday, January 12, 2016

American Beauty

The Wall Street Journal had a recent article, “The High Price of Beauty,” in which they surveyed four New Yorkers on how much they shelled out each year on making and keeping themselves bee-yoo-ti-ful. Three of the four women reported an annual outlay of roughly $20K; the other approached $10K. Each woman gave a detailed list of where her beauty dollars went. In many respects, I found the contents of the lists a bit peculiar, and included things like visits to the chiropractor and some workout related expenses. But are Bikram yoga, Pilates and a gym membership beauty- or health-related? Also peculiar was the absence of any makeup on their lists. Maybe if you get regular custom peels and drink green juices, you don’t need to wear makeup.

The women were all in the entertainment/beauty biz to some degree, so it might have been more interesting if they’d asked a few civilians. I suspect that the figures would have been just a tad bit lower, if still somewhat substantial.

Take me, a beauty civilian if ever.

It’s not as if I don’t spend anything on my pursuit of beauty. Cut-and-color every couple of months does add up, as do the occasional mani-pedis. And I do buy makeup on occasion. In fact, I was thinking of tossing out all the dried up, years-old cosmetics that I still have hanging around (despite my pre- and post-reno purges) and replacing it all. Or not replacing the stuff, like mascara, that I never use to begin with. If you throw in my low-budget gym cost, then even a relative beauty Puritan like myself probably shells out $2K every year.

Hey, it makes me feel good to have someone else paint my toe nails once in a while. And I’m in no hurry to find out exactly what the exact color of my hair is. I like the fact that what’s on display is pretty much the same color it was during my decades-long pre-silver-threads-among-the-gold (okay,that would be silver-threads-among-the-dirty-blonde-or-light-brown-with-natural-blonde-highlights, but I prefer the sound of gold). Maybe when I’m seventy. Or eighty. I’ll let it go. But only if there’s a guarantee that my hair will look as good as my Aunt Mary’s.

Although nothing I go in for, there were a number of pretty pedestrian items on the lists.

Anyone can get a facial, and apparently it you’re into beauty, you’ll want an occasional peel. (Sounds ghastly, but there are multiple variations on the peel theme: Vi chemical, IPL. So I guess you can find one that suits you and isn’t completely ghastly.) 25 sessions a year ($250 per) for the ministrations of personal make-up artist/hair stylists seems like a lot, but, then again, if you’re in a beauty-ish biz, it’s probably an essential.  And probably includes the cost of the makeup. But if you wash your face ever day, how long’s that makeup going to last you?

As for Botox, well Boxtox Schmotox. And a Brazilian is pretty run of the mill. (Admittedly, someone requiring 8 Brazilians each and every year probably has a far more exciting night life than I do.)

But between the lists and other parts of the article, there were a number of items I’d never even heard of.

LED light treatment? Energy healing? Intravenous vitamin therapy? At $500 a pop, it must be pretty darned good.

The Infinity daily meditation call at $25 a month sounds like a steal, if one is inclined towards a daily meditation call. Whereas Joshua Scott Onysko Custom Serum, which will set you back $150 every other month sounds like a lot. Of course, I don’t know (and will never know) what’s in that custom serum, but it’s no doubt really worth it. After all, Onysko has a blog called The Crucible, while mine is called Pink Slip, so he’s obviously on to something big and important.

Ultherapy – I looked it up – is a non-invasive, ultrasound face lift.

I could go on, but I’m feeling the urge to go look in the mirror. What to do? What to do? Custom serum? Month’s worth of inspiration from Infinity? (Or is it infinity from Inspiration?) Vi peel? IPL peel?  Ultherapy?

So much to do. So little time. Beauty is demanding, but what’s a girl to do?

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