Any woman knows that beauty can be a HELLA big investment. Whether it’s regularly getting your hair dyed, nails done, or keeping up with the latest eyeshadow palette, a lot of our money can go towards our appearance. In fact, the beauty industry is worth $160 BILLION globally. According to the Economist, Americans spend more on beauty than they do on education. It costs to look good — sometimes a lot.
I originally polled women on the beauty product they stopped purchasing and why, and it actually led to an interesting conversation about what constitutes as a beauty product. Several women talked about nixing tampons and pads and going for the Diva Cup instead, which actually saved them money. Some confessed to switching to men’s deodorant. Others talked about skipping out on the nail or hair salon and just performing those services at home. What this discussion showed is that it costs more to be a woman. We have more societal expectations and pressures in regards to our appearances than men do. When I go out with one of my guy friends, I find it remarkable how quickly he can get out the door. (It got me a little envious, too, when I think about all the extra sleep I could have snuck in when I worked an office job and had to get up early just to be “presentable,” while he could just shower, brush his hair, and go.)
I remember being shocked when my friend told me she rarely wore makeup to work. I couldn’t imagine having that kind of confidence. While I don’t think taking the time to apply mascara and foundation in the morning means you’re insecure, I do know that there is pressure to look good for women in their careers, even though it has nothing to do with our jobs. Research shows that women who wear makeup at work are seen as more likable and competent than those who do not. It’s a startling statistic, and one that further shows that it costs more to be a woman.
As I’m getting older, though, I’ve noticed I’ve started the switch to more subtle makeup. And to be honest, it’s because I’m tired and just can’t care enough to try and appease society. While I still love makeup and find it to be a form of self-expression, I’m starting to resist and resent the idea that I need a full face of makeup to go out with friends or to work or on a date. As a result of this shift in mindset, I’ve stopped investing in fun eyeshadow colors and have opted for more muted hues. I rarely fill in my eyebrows anymore, even though big brows are in and mine are basically non-existent. And you know what? It feels damn good.
So, despite the expectations thrust upon us by society, the beauty industry, and smart advertising, a lot of these “necessities” many women have learned to live without, or swap for something more cost effective. Here are 10 women on the beauty product or service they stopped spending on, and why.
1. “Face products/washes with salicylic acid and/or benzoyl peroxide. Too harsh and drying on my skin and breaks me out! Zest bar soap for the win.” – Ashley
2. “Lush’s Dark Angels exfoliator. It says it’s good for sensitive, acne prone skin BUT WILL LITERALLY HAVE YOUR FACE SO OILY THE US WANTS TO INVADE IT.” – Allison
3. “I recently did an overhaul on my makeup and stopped using the eyeliner brand I’ve been using for probably eight years. My overhaul actually came from realizing that Maybelline and NARS test on animals. For me, it didn’t matter the cost. I switched to Tarte eyeliner, mascara and lipstick, and W3ll People for foundation and setting powder.” – Alex
4. “Women’s deodorant. Men’s is always better for whatever reason.” – Ashley
5. “I stopped buying cheap foundation and mascara. There is no comparison for me. The foundation holds up on my face longer and the mascara doesn’t irritate my eyes!” – Ashley Marie
6. “I’ve stopped buying foundation primers. I have never noticed a difference in the way they make my foundation wear. Waste of money. Eyeshadow primers, though, I can’t live without.” – Molly
7. “This isn’t a beauty product necessarily, but I stopped buying tampons! Diva cup is the way to go!” – Kelsey
8. “Mascara. Honestly, those with sensitive eyes get styes so easily and anything very hypoallergenic is WAYYYY expensive.” – Hetal
9. “Getting my nails done because ain’t nobody got time to spend $35+ on a mani/pedi only for it to be ruined in less than a day. BYE.” – Kelly
10. “Lipstick. It never stays on throughout the day. I’ve replaced it with regular chapstick to keep my lips moisturized. Also because one shade doesn’t always go with what I’m wearing or with whatever eyeshadow I got going on…I can’t keep up!” – Julia
Molly is an assistant digital strategist by day and a writer by night. She drinks way too much coffee and can be found on Twitter here.
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