A lot of us ladies wonder about just how much makeup we should be buying to make ourselves look our best. So I began to debate myself again, like many times I had in the past: Uh-oh, should I upgrade my appearance or should I continue to scrimp on cosmetics and clothes? It’s the age old question for women: how much should I fork over to make myself look attractive? With a birthday that just passed, it seemed like something I should be pondering.
I haven’t bought makeup in years other than the casual stick of lipstick. And now I wonder how much beauty is in fact, worth the bucks. I was born in a country where appearance is held in high regard (seemingly more so that in the United States), such that whenever I have reunions with former classmates from my childhood during visits to the homeland, everyone is done up to the hilt while I stand out with a countenance that is as hip as “plain” can be. When I see old friends, I marvel at their serious makeovers: like that of the once pudgy girl with a mustache who turned into a skinny vixen with a well appointed coiffure. My spouse and I snicker about this a lot and have christened this old girl gang with the term “bun ladies”, for their incredibly voluminous and stiffened hairdos (or head bonnets).
I took a moment of self-reflection to scan these pictures for some lessons. And these pictures spoke to me….somewhat.
Afterwards, I got inspired when I watched a few photoshop videos which reminded me that everyone has potential.
Should I Wear Makeup & Invest In Cosmetics?
As for the question of when is it time to make your appearance count — it seems that the industry you work in and the type of lifestyle you lead will help make the decision for you. Now I do not work in such a vanity-based industry or business. In fact, the way I look helps people at my place of work be more productive. Why? Because I don’t distract them! I work in a team of seven people, with myself as the only female. And the guys have told me openly that they can get easily distracted by appearance so I do my part by dressing simply. No, I don’t mind their commentary since we’re a very close bunch and I do appreciate their honesty. I suppose this is just the culture at my office. But certainly one positive thing about this is that I probably save several hundred dollars a year by not buying cosmetics, given the steep prices on these items I’ve seen lately.
Given all that, I thought about why someone should decide to invest in their looks.
When Should You Invest In Your Appearance?
#1 Your job, career or industry requires it.
Some jobs I can think of that may require primping: actor, flight attendant, model, salesperson, any public figure. Jobs that don’t need much primping: computer programmer, chef, nurse, writer, day care operator. Agree or disagree?
#2 Your relationships require it.
I may catch some flack here but I’ll say that there are people whose relationships thrive on improved appearances. In fact, in a traditional environment, this is quite expected of women as part of ensuring that they stay attractive to their partners or be more accepted in a social circle. Teens and tweens may do this to be part of certain peer structures, so in a way, it’s what society asks for.
#3 Your self esteem requires it.
Let’s face it, our society is hooked up on looks — just check the fashion magazines and media — so much so that our inner identities may become deeply intertwined with our physiques and countenances. I used to be self conscious if I didn’t have my “mask” on. Now, weirdly, I’m self conscious if I have a “mask” on!
#4 To change your current destiny.
I was amazed to hear about women from other countries who did anything to improve their physical appearances. This was what they thought would be their ticket to a new, richer and more successful life. And for a good number of women, this will be the case.
#5 If your culture asks for it.
Sometimes, that’s just how the world turns. If I were still living in my homeland, I’m quite certain I will be just as decked to the gills as all my peers. I won’t be able to avoid the herd, so I will need to join it!
For the ladies out there, if you decide to go this route, then be prepared to spend some part of your budget on this. Just from the junk mail I get advertising feminine cosmetics and other toiletries, I found some price lists. I calculated something along the lines of $356.50 for items like:
|Sensual Vibrant Shine||$22.00|
|High Definition Curved Brush Mascara||$23.00|
|Precise Match Skin Perfecting Makeup Sunscreen||$35.00|
|Versatile Powder Makeup||$34.50|
|Delicate Oil-Free Powder Blush||$28.50|
|Sensational Effects Eye Shadow||$15.00|
|Deep Collagen Anti-Wrinkle Eye Serum||$56.00|
|Visibly Correcting Eye Treatment||$48.00|
|Eau de Parfum Spray||$52.00|
|Perfumed Body Lotion||$42.50|
And that’s probably not even half of what’s on some women’s vanities!
My mantra here is to always consider things in moderation. There’s a happy medium for everything, including makeup.
With my habit of minimally investing in cosmetics, fragrances, jewelry and clothing — yes, admittedly, I only update my wardrobe every 6 months to a year, about the same time that my spouse does — I can see you now wondering… geez, what must she look like? I do have reasons for being this way, which I’m willing to admit:
Why Do I Skimp On The Makeup And Wardrobe?
#1 I save time.
I don’t have to spend the extra several minutes a day fussing on my face and hair too much. See, even some guys see the benefit of less fuss.
#2 I’m lazy.
I prefer to do other things than look into a mirror for extended periods or go out to shop for clothes. I’m sorry, but I really do not like shopping much these days; it must be a backlash over all the shopping and preening cycles I spent during my college years.
#3 I like the natural look.
I guess this works up to a certain point and a certain age. I may have to rethink this as I grow older.
#4 I like to put my money to use elsewhere.
I can certainly use the extra $356.50 to go towards a few grocery bills or my IRA account.
#5 I’m a bit of a hypochondriac and wonder what’s in all that goop.
Though I’m no activist, I sometimes think about all the poor creatures that perished for the sake of beauty. What chemicals do they have in there anyway?
I’m happy to say that I’m content about how I present myself to the public, and for the most part, I haven’t offended the public yet either, so I guess that’s all that matters. For now, I’ve decided to invest my money elsewhere but who knows, the time may come when my female vanity rears its dormant head; and given how fast time flies, that moment may just be around the corner!
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