Now, before you go and holler at me in the comments that the expense is my own doing, I like grooming. I like getting up, putting on makeup and figuring out who I’m going to be for the day. I work a full-time job and freelance on the side, so it’s not like I’m spending someone else’s money. The expense is simply something mildly annoying that comes along with an experience I enjoy, so I’m ok with it. I’m old-fashioned; I enjoy being a girl, just like the song says.
However, every so often I total up what I’m spending on my routine and give myself pause.
First off, there’s the hair. I have that dreaded mousy, ashy blonde shade prevalent in Minnesotans and I hate it. It’s not flattering and there’s nothing redeeming about it. So I bleach it. I can bleach my own roots now, but I prefer not to. A bleach and tone at a salon costs $100+, though having a stylist friend do it in her kitchen cuts the cost to about $60 if I provide the necessary supplies. I can live with that every two months. It’s even better when my fancy salon asks me to be a hair model, cause then it’s practically free!
I get occasional blowouts to battle my ridiculous wavy hair texture at $35 a pop, with tip. I stretch these almost two weeks, though, so I think it’s worth it. Also valuable before important events, like vacations and weddings and interviews. Plus, good hair equals good vibes.
I get my nails done every two weeks or so. I have acrylics, so I have to get them filled. I write this off because a) I’d be spending $8 on press-ons that only last five days and fall off and b) the nail salon is a place where I put my phone away and zone out and think about nothing. Plus, my fake nails withstand the demands of my jobs and look perfect the whole time. I LOVE them and consider this one of my best beauty investments. When I meet someone new, one of the first things I look at is their nails. If their nails are a mess, I assume they’re a mess as well. Well-maintained nails and toes convey good things.
I’ve been getting Brazilian waxes for almost five years, which means I barely grow any hair anymore and my appointment takes about four minutes. Fancy spas and salons charge $60-75 for these, but I get mine for $35. Maybe it doesn’t come with a relaxing massage or aromatherapy or anything that my vagina does not care about, but it gets the job done. My vagina does not need a soothing aloe mask or some shit like that. But it does need a wax about every 8 weeks, because otherwise I get weirdo patches that are NOT aesthetically pleasing.
Speaking of vaginas, can we talk about tampons? WTF. Can someone tell me why a box of tampons generally costs about $8? I can’t even find the cheap cardboard Target brand I used to buy, which were marginally cheaper, so now I’m buying the super plasticky, sometimes-fragranced Tampax with a “discreet wrapper.” I am baffled by this. Who cares if you rip open a tampon in the women’s restroom? Literally every woman has/will have/has had a period in her life. I don’t know why you’d be ashamed that the wrapper makes noise. I cannot wrap my brain around using a Diva Cup, but for those of you who like them, I respect you. I know I could be more cost-effective with my menstruation, but even typing that sentence made me laugh. The idea of rinsing all the blood I spew during that five-day cycle in my bathroom sink freaks me out, plain and simple. Tampons are getting kind of ridiculously expensive, though, so I might change my tune once a box hits $10.
Then there’s things like gym memberships (LOL, nope! I had one for two months and went twice) and products for face and hair. The perks of being a beauty writer is that you eventually start getting things for free, but I still don’t mind buying products. I actually love it. A good stroll through the beauty aisles at Walgreen’s or a Sephora stop is calming for me. Plus, if you’re a smart spender you’ll get rewards for your purchases through loyalty programs.
After all, you gotta spend some to get some, you know.