I Think I'm A Natural Kind Of Girl, But Sometimes I Spend $550 A Month On Beauty

I'm probably no longer allowed to call myself low-maintenance.
Publish date:
November 25, 2013
shoppables, beauty budget

I was discussing beauty with my mom this weekend, thinking about just how far I’ve come in the makeup department. I really went as long as I could without jumping on the "I wear makeup daily" wagon, but with age and some really good bathroom lighting, I realized I couldn't buck the system anymore.

I also came to the realization that no one was going to give me a cookie for being barefaced day in and day out. As a black woman, I probably won’t start showing visible signs of aging for at least another couple of decades (thank you, mom and melanin), but I also realize I can’t just leave it all up to fate. As a result, I’ve started to care about what my skin is doing and with that, the coins I put into my appearance have tripled. Monthly trips to Sephora, weekly perusal of Gilt for beauty deals, three subscription boxes to keep my supply fresh and new -- wait. How much am I spending?

Let me take a step back and preface this with the fact that I’m all about a natural look. I’m not a member of “beat” nation where my everyday visage is rivaling that of Rupaul. I like to keep it minimal and easy.

For my skin, I really am a drugstore girl. Nothing beats Vaseline lotion. Nothing. Yes, I sometimes indulge in a bit of Philosophy, but my skin is just as dewy and delicious with that $10 bottle of moisturizer. The prices start to get a bit steep when I delve into my love of all things Josie Maran.

I’ve been obsessed with her ever since she appeared in the Backstreet’s Back video (don’t judge me okay) and despite her fluffy beginnings, her beauty brand is really good. Every company is putting out some argan-oil-infused product at this point, but I haven’t found one that rivals hers. A large bottle of her serum retails for about $96 and lasts me a good half of a year, while her $28 Argan Infinity Cream Intensive Creamy Oil gets to its end after four months.

I do BB Cream on a daily basis, mixing two Garnier colors because of my in-between complexion. These have lasted almost six months thus far, so the $40 aggregate sum there is well worth it.

As for my scent, I’m enamored with Clean’s White Woods, which costs me $69 a bottle. I’m also signed up for two subscription boxes: Ipsy and Black Girl Beauty. The former is affordable at just $10 a month and the latter is double the price at $20. Total so far? $273. And I'm still going.

A woman’s got to stay groomed, thus I get weekly manicures, bi-weekly pedicures (okay. maybe not in the winter), and monthly eyebrow and lip waxing. That comes to about $90 a month. Are you keeping track? The tally is $363 right now.

My hair is undoubtedly what costs me the most money. On my most expensive months, I’m going for a trim and color, which adds up to $200 and occurs three times a year. For my daily routine, I leave it all up to CurlBox, which amounts to $20 a month and allows me to switch up my regimen with products I love.

This, my friend, brings the grand sum to $553 for my MOST expensive month. On my least expensive month, I’m shelling out $160, which is still a lot, especially when my goal is to simply look natural and polished everyday.

Given these totals, I'm probably no longer allowed to call myself low-maintenance, am I? What's your monthly damage?