A remarkable story in yesterday NYT asked a question I’d never even considered:
What’s your beauty budget?
Hmm. Well, OK, let’s see if we can tote it up: Haircut/color every six weeks, roughly $100 including tip. Eyebrow wax when I’m feeling sorry for myself, ahem bathing-suit area maintenance ahem in summer. Say, $200 a year. “Product” when I run short of it — shampoo, sunscreen, soap, drugstore-line makeup. A wildly inflated guess on that would be $200 a year. Add it all up, and I’d say between $1,000 and $1,200 a year, and I feel damn guilty about that hair color, but hey, I’m in the Gray Zone, and I’m not giving up this early.
Still, I’m practically a hairy-legged hippie compared to Ginger Grace, 40, a real-estate agent in Beverly Hills. Her scorecard:
Every other day: hair blown out, 45 minutes, $65. Twice a week: personal trainer, one hour, $80. Twice a week: eyebrow waxing, five minutes, $30. Twice a week: thigh treatment, 45 minutes, $125. Weekly: hiking with trainer, two hours, $150. Weekly: Zone Diet food delivery, $250. Twice a month: pedicure (with manicure), one hour, $40. Twice a month: facial, one hour, $160. Twice a month: massage, one hour, $125. Several times a month: makeup and eyelash application, $145. Monthly: photo facial, 15 minutes, $500. Every six weeks: hair color, two hours, $450. Every three months: hair cut, 45 minutes, $140. Twice a year: Botox and Restylane, one hour, $1,000.
The “thigh treatment” is some sort of “electrical-current thing,” she says, and adds that she considers herself a hairy-legged hippie, at least by local standards: “I am probably the only person in Los Angeles who doesn’t see a chiropractor, an acupuncturist or a nutritionist, but it’s so youth-driven here that maybe I should.”
Good lord. I’m sure a Beverly Hills Realtor makes a pile of dough, but that adds up to $12,000 a year. You see where we got the term “high-maintenance.” She gets her eyebrows waxed twice a week? Someone needs to learn how to work a pair of tweezers. And those prices! Four hundred fifty bucks for hair color? A haircut for $140? A hiking coach? As someone who’s hiked many miles, maybe I can save Ms. Grace some money. Psst: Just keep putting one foot in front of the other. Thank you. We’ll be passing the hat later.
I guess the upside is, Ms. Grace is a fetching gal with tingly thighs. Still. I’d rather tour Asia with the 12 grand. I could stay long enough to grow an inch of gray roots.
I suppose I should spend some time thinking about the Supreme Court, but to be honest, I don’t have the caffeine in me just yet. And at this point I really should be praying for my immortal soul, having just committed the unpardonable sin of buying a 10-year-old an iPod Nano. Rest assured, I have an elaborate rationalization for it, which I’ll share upon request, but for now the sight of her sitting at the park-bus stop with white buds in her tender ears is already making me think I made a terrible, terrible mistake.
Have a great weekend.