Here’s Exactly what it Costs to Look Hot
Want a glimpse into a woman’s life? Check her vanity.
Beauty purchases speak volumes — does someone find her formula and stick to it, or search for something greater? Does she opt for massages or manicures? Natural makeup or lab-formulated?
And then there’s the cost: The average woman spends an estimated $1,832 on health and beauty products per year, Glamour magazine reported in 2016.
Here, six New York women spill on their monthly beauty budgets.
The Skincare Obsessive, $490 per month
Amy Ogden, 40, makes at least one unexpected beauty buy each month. April’s purchase: magnetic eyelash extensions ($80). “It always seems like there’s one new thing I need,” says Ogden, who works in PR and lives in the West Village.
“I probably buy 10 products a month, [among] face, hair, and makeup,” she says. “I’m not weird about it, and it doesn’t blow the bank, I just really love them!”
Most of her shopping — which runs an estimated $200 per month — is done at Space NK, save for the odd Internet purchase such as this month’s lashes.
When it comes to treatments, Ogden says, “I’m a big DIYer.” She paints her own nails weekly and turns her bathroom into a spa for regular at-home facials. But she does budget $1,500 per year for regular dermatologist visits.
She also shells out for brow care (monthly brow touch-ups at Boom Boom Brow Bar, $30), salon dye jobs (45-minute root touch-ups at Madison Reed, $45) and pedicures ($45). “I actually do a better pedicure than [the salons] do, but for some reason, their polish stays on longer,” she says.
Finally, she spends an estimated $20 per month on razor cartridges, and not just for her body. “I shave my face once a week!” she says. “You can’t be dewy if you’re covered in hair.”
The Vintage Vixen, $202 per month
Annemarie Dooling, 33, opts for vintage clothing most days — and likes her makeup to match her throwback style.
“I probably buy at least two lipsticks a month, and I really like Bésame, this vintage brand that I buy online,” says Staten Island resident Dooling, the director of programming at fashion Web site Racked. “They use formulas [and shades] from the ’20s, ’30s, and ’40s — they’re $22 a pop. I also buy their face powder,” says Dooling.
Other regular purchases include Revlon lipsticks ($8.49) — “I own about 30 shades of red lipstick,” she says — and Sephora eyeliner ($12).
Monthly brow touch-ups run $20 at Staten Island spa A.F. Bennett. “I have a woman who shapes them specifically to a ’50s-style arch,” Dooling says.
Even her hair gets the old-school treatment. “Every night when I wash my hair, I do a wet set to get my curls — I buy the old-school pink rollers,” she says ($12 for a monthly pack, plus a shower cap). Monthly trims, $20, keep her curls in check.
The Natural Beauty Lover, $260 per month
As the founder of Brooklyn-based natural skin-care company Palermo Body, Jessica Morelli, 29, is happy to spend her beauty money at other local businesses.
Regular appointments include manicures every two weeks at pH7, an ecofriendly nail salon in Williamsburg ($50 per month). “It’s the thing that makes me feel like I’m put together,” she says.
She opts for facials every few months with Hillery Sklar
— “she’s a magic woman!,” says Morelli — in South Williamsburg ($125).
“When you do preventive measures like that, you don’t need to do as much
for the rest of the month.”
Rubdowns at Massage Williamsburg ($120) help Morelli destress, she says. “[Massages there are] unlike any other massages I’ve gotten — they take the time to get to know what you do for a living.”
Heading a skin-care company has its perks — including unlimited samples. “I use my products almost exclusively for the things I’ve made them for,” she says. She fills the gaps with other local and all-natural brands, including Meow Meow Tweet deodorant ($22), RMS Beauty’s Living Luminizer ($38) and “Un” Coverup ($36) and W3llpeople Bio Correct concealer ($22.99), all purchased at Follain in Soho.
The Makeup Tester, $212 per month
Radio host Tracy Garraud, 31, relishes not having to put a face on every morning. “I’m so happy that my image is not that of a girly girl,” says Garraud, who lives in Prospect Heights. “Everyone has seen me without makeup, and they’ve also seen me done-up, but I live in that intersection.”
Garraud has yet to commit to facials and never does her nails, but she does outsource for eyebrow grooming. “I get my eyebrows done [at a place in my neighborhood] — that’s the only thing that’s not DIY-able” ($12).
Garraud’s skin-care staples, which she buys roughly twice a year, include Fresh cleansing oil ($42), Boscia Luminizing mask ($34), Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment ($48) and Estée Lauder moisturizer. (She spends an estimated $75 to $100 per month to replace empties.)
Makeup is a different story. “As a woman of color, you’re constantly searching,” she says, of her hunt for products that fit her complexion and needs. Her current favorites include MAC foundation ($28), Stila highlighter ($32) and Too Faced primer ($30), though she’s always trying something new. Her one constant: NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer ($30). “It’s top-notch,” she says. “It’s sent down from the heavens.”
The Treatment Junkie, $980 per month
Jenine Ferrari, general manager at the Mark Garrison Salon on the Upper East Side, doesn’t have to travel far for beauty treatments — her go-to spots are all within the building she works in.
“I get my nails done at Van Court [nail salon], on our third floor, with a 5-free [nontoxic] gel,” says Ferrari, 51, who lives in Forest Hills. “I get both a mani and a pedi every two weeks” ($80 per month).
Face treatments take place at the Skin Spa located on her building’s fourth floor. “I get [a laser treatment called] Limelight ($100) done once a month, to get rid of my melasma,” says Ferrari. “I have high cheekbones, so that’s where the sun gets me.”
And she pops upstairs for FORMA treatments — a radiofrequency technology to stimulate collagen — every two weeks ($600 per month). “I’m fine with aging gracefully, but why not be proactive?” Ferarri rounds it out with a facial every five weeks, also at Skin Spa ($80).
Haircuts can be a little tougher to book, despite her job. “I always say, the cobbler’s children often go unshod — I do have to wait in line for Mark to cut my hair,” says Ferrari — though the treatment is gratis.
Her makeup purchases are comparatively simple: DD Cream by Dermadoctor ($29) mixed with Neutrogena Dry-Touch Sunscreen ($7.49) purchased every six months. Ferrari also uses Revitalash lash and brow serums to regrow both areas. “It’s $150 per vial, but it’s worth the investment.”
The Time-Pressed Shopper, $230 per month
Between concerts and travel and recording sessions, Candice Hoyes, a jazz and classical vocalist who lives on the Upper West Side, doesn’t have time to scout the latest and greatest in beauty.
“I like to have [beauty products] curated for me — that’s how I found Vivrant Beauty,” she says, of the Harlem beauty store where she does most of her shopping. Favorites include a kale-spinach-and-green-tea moisturizer from Youth to the People ($48), Antonia Burrell skin-care products and Charlotte Tilbury makeup.
Treatments get squeezed into her schedule. “I’m pretty active, and I also play piano, so I don’t do any intricate nail stuff, but I do love a pedicure,” says Hoyes ($70 per month).
And thanks to her natural ’do, she only needs one yearly trim ($250 per year) by stylist Andrita Renee.
Other treatments include eyebrow threading every two- to three weeks at Shobha ($50 per month), and massages every month or so, “because I’m on the road a lot” ($50 once every month or two).
The rest of her beauty money — an estimated $30 per month — is spent on hair-care products, such as Jamaican black castor oil and SheaMoisture conditioner. “I have a ton of hair, and it’s coarse, and I like to do it myself,” she says.
She’s also happy to shell out for gadgets that work. “I have this thing, also from Vivrant, that’s a steamer for hair called a Q-Redew,” she says ($69.95). “If I’m on a plane and my curls get flat, I’ll steam them out a bit.”