How Much Do You Spend on Makeup?

If you have ever stopped to add up all those receipts for cosmetics and beauty products, the final amount may have surprised you. In fact, the average amount of money women spend on makeup has surprised a the nonprofit YWCA too. In a recent report, they found an increasing ‘obsession’ with being beautiful, no matter what the cost.

The report, Beauty at any Cost, noted U.S. women spent some $7 billion a year, or an average of about $100 each, on cosmetics and beauty products.

That $100 a month, if saved and invested for five years, would pay for a full year of tuition and fees at a public college, the report calculated.

“We believe that the obsession with idealized beauty and body image is a lifelong burden that takes a terrible toll on all young girls and women in this country,” said YWCA USA Chief Executive, Dr. Lorraine Cole.

Image: Newscom

Image: Newscom

I don’t know if it’s just because I happen to be the type of person who writes about cosmetics and skin care products that makes $100/month not seem too terribly excessive…but then again, I suppose for a national average that is a bit much.

That is, until you keep reading and see that they are including extremely expensive cosmetic procedures in this calculation. While I am sure that there are plenty of young girls spending their allowance and after school money on makeup and beauty products, I don’t know if this is necessarily the national state of beauty obsession emergency the YWCA is trying to promote.

What do you think? How much do you spend on cosmetics?

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    • Mary Jo Manzanares

      Put the calculator down! There is just some math that a girl shouldn’t do!

    • jent

      Unfortunately I’m well over 100/month, and I’m really cutting down right now to make things meet. For example, if I don’t get something to help with my undereye circles and wrinkles underneath soon – I’ll go crazy. I’m going to a clinic and planning to dish out about $1000-$1200. So that’s my yearly average there.

      But wait….I also think that’s there’s ALOT of women who kind of look like they’ve (sadly) given up on themselves and no longer care about their (poor)appearances. So it’s safe to assume these guys are really skewing the overall average downwards. In this case, the median (middle of the spending range, probably more representative for most of us) would be higher than the average amount spent overall ($100 – factoring in ALL women). That means that the median would better represent women who actually regularly purchase products.

      In short, I agree. For myself, $100 a month doesn’t seem like much.

      The other thing, is that (like it or not) – the way we look and project ourselves is a factor in our success. Certainly not the only factor, or even the greatest one – but a factor, nonetheless. For myself, I’m networking more now that I’ve just lost my job. And worrying about my apparances (and looking a little younger) much more. Because I think it matters.

      It would be great to do some tests and send out the same person in a given situation dressed well/made up, and not – and see if their career prospects are still the same. I think they wouldn’t be, unfortunately. Meaning that you need to spend money on your appearance to make money.

      That said, I think many of us need not to focus on this so much and be so self-critical. Flip flop, I know. Just trying to consider some points.

      What do you guys think?

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    • Flip

      I’m 17 years old and I do keep track of my cosmetics spending. So far this year I spent $30.17 . I always buy on sales and about a quarter of the makeup I bought I haven’t used yet. Since my relatives always give me cosmetics I don’t really need much products and I don’t really use much as well.

      But still I want to buy some products even though chances are I won’t use them.

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    • Looks Count

      Jent makes some very good points about the relationship between attractiveness and success. Because we spend a lot on makeup, it’s important to make sure we use our makeup the correct way.

      Given the discussion about makeup cost, you might want to check out Facial Map (

      • Jazz

        Wow…what a terrible site. “Facialmap compares your face to the most highly attractive female face, i.e., the perfect female face, and creates diagrams (Facial Maps) that show you how to make your face look as attractive as possible.” I’m sorry, but that’s pretty disturbing. Makeup should be used to enhance and to compliment your features…not to transform you into someone you’re not. It’s rather sad that many women are falling prey to these industries that are exploiting them.

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    • Christopher Daniel Puksta

      I have a hard time justifying buying expensive beauty products. However, even as a man, I am learning the importance of keeping up with ones appearance in the work force and socially. Not only do people seem to respect you more, but you fee better about yourself, more confidence and such. So much beauty stuff is rooted in culture, and unfortionatly too much of it is. If we can learn to appreciate a good healthy look as opposed to an unhealthy look, or a look that just covers up an otherwise unhealthy appearance, we may save money. All in all that is what I want. I don’t want to look unhealthy and uncared for. Some of the most wrinkled faces I notticed are from the most healthiest wisest old men. When I look at someone whose hair is overdone who spends too much on wrinkle cream and smells like a bottle of lotion, I feel something else is wrong, and not surprisingly, for the most part there is.

      • Paul Hurteau

        If you want to have a good healthy look as opposed to an unhealthy look, live a good healthylife!

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