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Make-up and the Money Spent on it


Nowadays, some of the top beauty brands are worth up to $11.8 billion and everyday drugstores are globally worth $220 billion. Many people criticize those who wear excessive amounts of make-up, and those who spend a fortune on this much favoured product and their image.  Some people say that the amount of money spent on cosmetics should be cut down.

Having gathered information from different sources, we can look at one of the biggest spenders: the UK.  The average British woman spends £100,000 on cosmetics in her lifetime (which is £350 a year), spending a further £40,000 on hair products.  Globally, the US beauty industry is worth £17 billion.  After reading these statistics, it isn’t surprising that the West spends the most on their image nationally, leading to annual global total beauty sales of roughly £932 million.

It is obvious that money is spent, but what are the reasons behind this mass spending?  According to a survey conducted in the USA, nearly half of all women in this continent feel that wearing make-up makes them more in control of their image.  In addition to this, 82% of women globally say using cosmetic products makes them more confident, and 86% believe it improves their looks.  Fashionable, beautiful models can also have a psychological impact on the average woman.  Without meaning to, these models can make women feel inferior about their looks, causing them to seek beauty-enhancing products.  These are all emotional reasons, but some women choose buy more expensive products simply because they believe that expensive cosmetics are better quality. 

Going back to the controversy highlighted (no pun intended) in the first paragraph, there is a wide variety of arguments in favour of make-up.  Make-up can be used to hide unwanted blemishes like birthmarks, acne and the occasional pimple.  In other words, it can be used to “correct things that cannot be corrected on their own”.  Not without plastic surgery anyway!  On the other hand, many women say they wear make-up because it is “artistic”, “looks nice” and “enhances your features”.  A way to express yourself, if you will.  It can also benefit health in many ways.  Using foundation or moisturiser with built-in sun-cream can protect from ultraviolet rays without making you worry about stray streaks of bare skin.  As an added bonus, make-up wearers who have to wash make-up off their face every night get into an habitual cleansing routine, making their skin healthier, contrary to popular belief.

On the other hand, one point of view that is rising in popularity thanks to the “no make-up” trend that is frequently seen on the internet and social media pages is that make-up has a negative effect on your skin and your self-confidence.  Exhibit A: one in three women won’t leave the house without make-up on.  How’s that for self-confidence?  A recent study shows that 79% of mascara tubes tested were plagued with staph bacteria, which can cause skin and respiratory infections.  Another problem is that make-up can cause acne and, in rare cases, allergic reactions.  Additionally, putting on make-up takes up time which could be used in more productive ways. 

In conclusion, we believe and have seen that make-up has advantages if used responsibly, but can have negative impacts on self-esteem and health.  However, is it worth it to spend hundreds of pounds a year on your appearance?  That is for you to decide.

by Elizabeth and Ruth 

 Images Sourced from Getty Images