What is the true cost of beauty? Time or money?


vanityWe all want to be beautiful and desired. When we walk down the street, we secretly want people to admire the way we look. How often do you look in the mirror, smile at your reflection, and think yes, ‘I am hot stuff’?

Enter any supermarket, department store and chemist and you will see thousands of products all designed to enhance our appearance. We can make our teeth whiter, our eyes sparkle, our lips plumper and our face slimmer. We are spoilt for choice with expensive and cheap products all offering to make us look and feel like a million dollars. Beauty today can be bought to the highest bidder and comes with a hefty price tag and money back guarantee. For a few hundred pounds, you could have hair like Cheryl Cole and lips like Angelina Jolie.

The quest for perfection has never been greater. Every day we are surrounded by images of perfect women with amazing big bouncy hair, long luscious lashes, never ending legs and flawless skin. The pressure to look great all the time is high and we are tricked into thinking that a few magic creams will turn us into a supermodel.

How much do you spend on beauty products a month? Statistics show that the average woman will spend £18,000 on her face in a lifetime. For that amount of money you could buy a car, travel around the world first class, buy a new wardrobe or put a deposit on a house. Most women on average buy 38 products a year for their face. How many beauty products have you bought in the last month?

According to a survey by Marks and Spencer’s the average woman takes 21 minutes to get ready. Just how vain are we? Would you ever leave the house without make up on? Would you let someone see your face naked? Most women wear some form of make up every single day and won’t leave the house without mascara on. Max Factor claims to sell three of its best-selling False Lash Effect Mascara every minute across Britain and two Lancôme mascaras are sold every second worldwide. Women will resort to tinting their lashes, using several mascaras, applying fake lashes and individual lashes in the quest for long luscious lashes.

We all look better with a bit of slap on. However, does the desire to look good make us vain? Alternatively, are we afraid that if we go bare faced, we will frighten people or they will know what we really look like? Do we see make up as a comfort blanket and a mask which allows us to appear more confident and be whoever we want to be. One day we can look vampy, the next day we can look fresh or girly. Make up allows us to create a new look for ourselves and be someone else for a day.

What makes us vain and how do we define vanity? Are we vain if we constantly check ourselves out in the mirror and won’t go out au natural? What’s wrong with wanting to look good for ourselves and creating a new look. Surely, we are allowed to look and feel confident and there’s nothing wrong with wanting to be beautiful.

But, do we have to spend a lot of money to look perfect? Or is it just a mind-set fuelled by the media’s obsession with airbrushed size zero models. Surely, we should be happy with what god gave us and realise that we are all beautiful in our own unique way. Who says we have to have legs like Naomi, hair like Beyoncé and a face like Gisele to look amazing. The question we need to ask ourselves is, how important is looking good to us? Is looking good, worth sacrificing hundreds of pounds or time?

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