$12,000 A Year on Makeup and Beauty Products?!?

Updated on April 29, 2012
J.S. asks from Lynnwood, WA
47 answers

Today on The View there was a segment about drug store beauty products that started off with Barbara Walters stating that, "The average American woman spends $12,000 a year on makeup and beauty products". Seriously?!? That's a grand a month! So many questions popped into my mind, and I don't usually spend much time on the "jff" questions, but am really curious about people's lives in this area. Give me a peek into your beauty profile.

I am a penny-pinching mom of four living on my husband's meager income, but I'm not a slob. I like to look nice, get my hair done, and wear makeup. But seriously, the $40 I shell out for my haircut is a blow every time! And department store counter makeup??? That just strikes me as silly. How can Bobbi Brown's eyeshadow be any better than Revlon's (on sale with a coupon, of course ;) ? It all goes down the drain at the end of the day. Some of the questions I have are: Who did they survey for this? Was it working women in New York City who, basically because of where they live and the fact they hold a job, are required to shell out this kind of ching? Am I completely clueless and naive to think that my friends aren't spending this much on their beauty regimen? I've never asked . . .

Sock it to me. Perhaps I'm sounding judgemental . . . hey, if your obligations are covered, spend all you want on makeup and body wash!! (If I had an extra $1000 a month my personal splurge would be a weekly date night with my husband *AND* still be able to pay the babysitter, but to each his own.)

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So What Happened?

Well, it sounds like all 40-some of us make up a pretty common average! I agree with those of you who said she probably read the prompter wrong and it should have been $1200/year. That would still be high for me, but factoring in the higher-end ladies would help that make sense. Also, the segment did include lotion, self-tanner, body wash, etc. so it wasn't only referring to makeup and face products. I've enjoyed reading all the responses, and now I feel like we all need to indulge a little bit more!!!

Featured Answers

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☆.A.

answers from Pittsburgh on

Sounds WAY high to me too.
$1200 sounds reasonable.
$12,000? Those must be some butt ugly chicks! LOL

ETA: Is this the "Mrs. Romney typical American woman" or a REAL American woman!!???

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M.T.

answers from New York on

I certainly don't spend that much and I don't think the average American woman does. However, I'd like to know whether this number includes salon visits? For the woman getting a $20 weekly mani and a $40 bi-weekly pedi, and who gets waxing done and highlights every two months, and buys expensive creams for day wear, night wear, eyes, neck and likes to collect designer perfumes and only uses designer brand makeup, I can see how they might get a number like this.
I use drugstore makeup (except for foundation), I shave my own legs, polish my own nails, tweeze my own brows and get a haircut maybe 3 times a year. I'm not high budget or high maintenance. My salary just isn't that generous and my priorities are a little different. $12K could be half a year of college, and I have a kid going off in that direction next year!

4 moms found this helpful

C.C.

answers from San Francisco on

$1000/month?! I'm a total beauty junkie and even *I* would have a hard time spending that much. Did she mean $1200/year? That seems more likely to me. Hmm... It will be interesting to see the answers on this one!

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More Answers

M.F.

answers from Portland on

The last time I bought makeup was... 2 years ago, and that was replacing some eyeliner...
I haven't had my hair cut in a salon in 6 years, do it myself.
I stopped coloring my hair, but before that it was $10 every couple months.
And I use Suave shampoo and conditioner, $1.50 each...

I don't know HOW to spend/throw away that kind of money!

ETA:
Even if you add in things like toothbrush/paste, face wash, nail polish, razors, lotion, face creams, and so on...

I (of course) clean my teeth and wash my face. I have one bottle of nail polish that has lasted me like 4 years, cause I never use it. I shave, so I buy replacement blades. I have a family size bottle of lotion that I bought a year ago. I don't use any anti-aging creams or anything. I use Nutrigena face wash.
I don't get manicures or pedicures.
I don't get messages.

I just don't get how even $100 a month would be possible. But I am low maintenance, even before i had a kid/got married.
I wore make up all of the time and did go to get my hair cut, and even then I didn't spend $100 a month!

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A.G.

answers from Houston on

$12K? That's half a car! No ma'am, my beauty bill isn't that high. I'm cheap but I'm not ugly :)

5 moms found this helpful

L.A.

answers from Austin on

She had to have misspoken. Maybe $1200. But not $12,000. Maybe today she say she mis spoke yesterday.

An average woman, is not an idiot.

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C.J.

answers from Milwaukee on

Come on now. It's "THE VIEW!"

Who believes ANYTHING that's said on that show?

5 moms found this helpful

J.W.

answers from St. Louis on

Barbara is losing it! My ex's mom is a millionaire, like a real one, they bring in well over a million a year, ya know. She maybe spends maybe 400 a month.

Unless they are shoving something stupid into that calculation there is no way it is right.

Oh that number includes hair cuts, and color. Without that she would only spend 100.

Oh and personally I spend maybe 40. I am pretty low maintenance. :)

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C.S.

answers from Las Vegas on

I don't even spend that on food...I can't because we wouldn't eat it. I don't even think I could spend $12,000 on make up in a life time!

3 moms found this helpful

J.U.

answers from Washington DC on

Shampoo/ Cond. (that my DH and I share) $144 approx. per year
Body soap that the entire family uses $72
Make up approx. 70$
Hair cuts (I cut both my boys hair, I get 3/ yr.) $135
Dye (If I dye my hair I do it myself) 30$-40$
Nail care (Do it myself, new polish, remover, files) $20

This is all approximate but I am quite sure this isn't close to $12,000. That is pretty crazy. I wonder where/ how they came up with that figure? I wish I had that kind of money, I wouldn't be spending it on beauty products and makeup.

Have a Happy Friday!

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J.W.

answers from Philadelphia on

I think Barbara's eyes must be going, lol! Average sounds like it would be 1200, not 12,000!!
And even that sounds high to me unless it includes haircuts/color.

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N.P.

answers from San Francisco on

I think Barbra Walters is taking all the american women and averaging them together. With all the money the rich can throw around to pretty much have someone brush their teeth for them averaged in with someone who can't afford a lipstick... I *guess* it could maybe come out to $12,000 a year on makeup per person if you do it that way.

I myself cut my own hair (the front mostly, my husband will brush it straight down my back and do a quick even slice across the bottom to even it out every few months and if he messes up, I have inches to spare...), and don't wear makeup often so it hardly needs replacing.

The only time I get my nails done is if I'm going to be IN a wedding. Oh... and when I went to prom. So my beauty bills are not high and I'm ok with that.

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J.D.

answers from Albany on

Maybe the average one percent pays 12K on cosmetics.......

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M.P.

answers from Pittsburgh on

I disagree with this number-unless clothing is included there is no way that the average woman spends that much. I am someone who does actually spend a bit on upkeep becuase I find it to be a lot of fun and also therapeutic but I don't come close to that number. Even if you add in services like hair/massage and manipedi.

sidenote-in defense of high end products I will say that many DO deliver a better payout than drugstore in terms of pigmentation and such. Not to say that there is not a ton of DS that beats HE also.

2 moms found this helpful

S.T.

answers from Washington DC on

sounds like baba is a bit out of touch. been hanging around with ann romney<G>. if i throw in haircuts, nails and stuff like facial cleansers and moisturizers, body wash and lotion, shampoo and conditioner and so forth, it probably comes to between $50 and $100 a month if i averaged it out (some months zero, some a couple hundred.) i wear good makeup when i wear it, but that's only a couple of days a week for a few months of the year.
i'd love to up that enough to cover a monthly massage. i got a freebie a couple of weeks ago from a friend who needed practice to get licensed, and thought i'd died and gone to heaven. i know now why people fork out that kind of money regularly!
khairete
S.

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K.B.

answers from Detroit on

I don't even come close to that. I have short hair so I do get a hair cut every 6 weeks to maintain it, but it only costs me $20. I *might* spend $60 to $80 twice a year to get my hair colored or highlighted. I just use regular drug-store shampoo, not salon-quality shampoo. I don't even wear make-up so that's not money I am spending on that. I do indulge sometimes in body washes from Bath and Body Works but only when they have stuff on sale. My biggest splurge is probably on products for my face from DHC - then yes, it's $30 for a 1.5 oz container of moisturizer, but I love their stuff, it lasts me a long time, so I might end spending $100 on products twice a year.

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S.S.

answers from Dallas on

Wow I might spend $50 a year.....we are on a very limited income and son's new medications are top priority. I get my haircut maybe twice a year, I might color it myself once or twice. I don't wear makeup either. So I am interested in figuring out where the rest of that figure comes from. Yes I know most women spend more than me, I am an exception. Heck even my shampoo is not very expensive and seems like every holiday I get body washes as gifts so I always have some on hand so that isn't an expense either.

If I had $1000 a month I too would have a date night or weekend with my husband and what was left would go into my son's savings for college.
Maybe Barbara Walters was meaning HER expenses were that much, being all the botox and stuff, LOL!

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V.C.

answers from Dallas on

I buy the best anti-aging products available. They cost me $200 or less per year. I don't don't spend more than $25 per year on make up--don't need it because of the skin care.

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T.A.

answers from Seattle on

If you include some people's spa treatments, massages, spray tabs, hair color and cuts, and makeup I can see how it can cost a lot. Me personally? I only get my hair cut twice a year, color it at home just to cover grays, do my own nails, and mix expensive makeup with drugstore products. But if I could I'd spend $1k/month on it, easily!

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J.F.

answers from Bloomington on

I think most of us on here are the average American woman. I bet it is supposed to be $1200. I don't come close to spending 12K or $1,200 a year on such things. I wonder if they took the amount places make at salons, retail stores, etc. and averaged it out?? Would love to know where she got her numbers.

So I thought I'd list items that they may consider:
Shampoo/conditioner/face wash/body wash/razors
lotion/make-up/specialty face cream/
hair styling products/hair dryers/straighteners
hair color/perms/relaxers/hair accessories
mani's/pedi's/tanning/hair salon visits/waxing
nail polish/polish remover/
make-up & nail accessories (cotton balls, etc.)

I'm sure I'm forgetting something!!!

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3.B.

answers from Cleveland on

That sounds like a crazy average to me! But I guess if you compare woomen in California, New York etc where costs are just higher, and then they did an "average"??? But still sounds CRAZY to me!

We are comfortable in our finances, but I totally shop for the best deal. I choke spending $6-7 on a tube of mascara lol I don't get my hair cut too often, but like you at $38 a pop I cringe. The chain hair places always butcher me so I don't go. I clearance shop for clothes, shoes etc. I'm excited that I found a walmart version of the Jergens daily glow because $9 a tube seemed like a lot.

$12000 could buy a pretty decent car...makeup? I think not!

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C.C.

answers from Washington DC on

She must have meant all inclusive-I just started to wear make up on a consistent basis and I spent $150 total cause I didn’t have anything. Nails (I get them done a few times a year) but can cost on average $40 a month, pedi too another $40 WOW $12000 is what I spend a year on daycare! She must have meant in her circle of friends

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L.C.

answers from Washington DC on

LOL! I don't wear makeup. I get my hair trimmed at the barbershop. I look nice, but I'm no beauty queen.
There is no way I'd ever spend that kind of money on beauty products. An extra $12k a year -- man, I could replace a car, the upstairs carpet, or put half a front porch on my house with that!
LBC

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K.B.

answers from St. Louis on

She did read it wrong. It's the average women will spend around 13,000 IN HER LIFETIME (that is up to the age of 65). The information came from a study conducted in the UK where they determined that women spend about $180 a year.

Oh and surprisingly the thing that women spend the most money is mascara

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K.M.

answers from Chicago on

I know women who can easily spend that - and there are years where I spend a lot and years where I spend less. I can easily spend 500/yr at ONE of my fav beauty stops alone.

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D.S.

answers from Columbus on

I personally get my hair done every 3-4 months, a monthly pedicure (I get ingrown nails, so that’s not optional) and use make up that lasts me for months because I don’t use it daily. I get complains from my mother often, because I don’t wear facial creams often as any women in their 40’s should to avoid aging signs.
But I do have many friends who do their hair “at least” once a month with highlights and such, have weekly manicures and pedicures (my mom), wear department store make up and creams, eyebrow shaping a couple of times a month and have laser treatments for hair removal and such. This is especially true in my country of origin, Mexico, where women of certain status must do this, although things like hair, manicures and laser treatments are cheaper than here.
So I guess it can add up, especially for women that work as executives or for executives. or that have certain social status, but for me, I would thing that I spend about $750.00 a year in “beauty stuff”.

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...

answers from Detroit on

Not even close!! I probably spend $600 a year on hair and makeup.

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A.G.

answers from Dallas on

I spend virtually nothing (OK something, but very little) on make-up, but if I include hair salon costs, well . . . I spend more than $1200/year, but nowhere close to $12,000.

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C.N.

answers from Baton Rouge on

I doubt if I spend $12 a year on makeup, much less $12,000 or even $1200 - I only wear it on stage. I still have eye shadow that I bought when my daughter was in elementary school - she's now in college. I spend about $12 a year on hand-made soap that I get from a co-worker. A bar is $4 and lasts me for 3 months. I spend maybe $5 a year on shampoo. I buy Suave and since I keep my hair short, it doesn't take much. I'm still using a bottle I bought before last Christmas. $15 a year on hair coloring - $5 a box for henna, one box treats my hair twice and the color lasts a couple of months. I don't pay for haircuts - I cut my own hair.

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M.B.

answers from Orlando on

I'm addicted to make up! I have well over 100 different shade of eye shadows alone! Even with all I buy and getting my hair done ect I can see myself coming anywhere near $12,000!

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K.C.

answers from Philadelphia on

I buy expensive make-up and beauty products, have massages and facials occasionally, get my nails done every few months, have a pretty involved skin-care regime, etc. In short, I am quite high maintenance. I STILL don't even come CLOSE to that number (really, it's more like $1500 per year)! I really think she must have made a mistake (or maybe she meant the average among *celebrities* is $12,000). That's just insane.

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A.G.

answers from Houston on

I know I don't. Less than 30 every 6 months on Avon makeup. My hair costs 2.50$ a month to dye, lol

Maybe if I bought intovallbthat wrinkle cream and stuff but I don't , and cheap hair dye actually looks nice on me.

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A.M.

answers from Phoenix on

NO STINKIN' WAY!

Unless the "average American woman" is getting plastic surgery every year and it's considered a "beauty product", like Botox.

I spend approximately $300.00 on facial products including lotions, make-up, face wash. I use an expensive brand and won't switch to anything else because I love it. I know that's a huge indulgence for me.

Maybe $700.00 a year in hair care services, products and supplies for me and my 2 daughters.

About $300.00 a year on nail care, I get regular pedicures during the hotter months of the year.

That all totals about $1,300 total for the year! I share my facial lotions with my daughters and take my daughters for haircuts a few times a year. I can't figure out how I would spend an additional $10,700....not without my husband killing me first anyway!!

Another thought, the median household income in America is $57,000 a year, and about 1/2 the american population makes less than $25,000 a year ( my #'s may be a little off, I'm going from memory here). How are they spending 1/2 of all their earnings on beauty products? Maybe Barbara Walters mean't to say $1,200.00 a year.

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S.M.

answers from Dallas on

Well, let's just say, before my brother's wedding, I went to Clinique and spent a little money (under $50) on some good make-up for the occasion. He is now diverced and I still have all the SAME make-up and haven't bought anymore since. So, if we are counting haircuts, I maybe spend $100 per year. Maybe. $12K seems insane to me.

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T.M.

answers from Tampa on

No way...not me for sure. I keep my hard long and one length so I only get it cut just a couple times a year...and then I go to Great Clips. I do not color my hair at all...too much time and expense to keep it maintained. I mostly use drugstore make up...I do believe the more expensive stuff is better...just not good enough to justify spending the extra money. Getting a manicure or pedicure is a RARE trea

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T.F.

answers from Dallas on

Our obligations are covered and we are debt free.

I am very faithful with my skin care routine, I do not use cheap products.. I use Clinique exclusively and it last a good 6 months (I use it daily).

I get my hair done every 8 weeks, including color. I do induldge in a spa mani/pedi on occasion, facials, massages, etc.

As much as I do with my skin/hair care, I don't see where I come close to $12,000.

We have done weekly date night since before our 17 yr old daughter was born and still do it... we just get to save the $80 babysitter fee now!

You can't believe "facts" you hear on TV, even with Barbara Walters...

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P.G.

answers from Dallas on

I think she read it wrong as well - 1200, if you buy higher end stuff, is easy to do. I probably spend $50/year so I definitely bring this amount down :)

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M.M.

answers from Chicago on

I think many TV personalities making you feel like you need to look certain way, think certain way, spend that much... keep up with invisible Joneses and keep moving the economy. Anyone who spends that much a month is probably in front of the camera a lot (if not they are a crack pots), which does not apply to most Americans.
As for surveys, I honestly think they are very biased if they are done at all. Bottom line, do not let the media influence your spending, voting and other important habits :)

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K..

answers from Phoenix on

I have friends from all walks of life and not ONE them spends that much. I really wonder what women were polled & who did the poll.

Personally, I think someone that spends that much on beauty is either a sucker, not very attractive in the first place, or very insecure.

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M.R.

answers from Chicago on

I am not much of a make-up person. I use moisturizer, a compact sometimes, talcum powder, a kohl stick, and an eyebrow pencil. I have a few lipsticks, but I don't use them much often.
I trim my own hair once every 2 months, and use an off-the shelf shampoo and conditioner. I don't color or perm my hair. I do home pedi-s and mani-s (yeah, just basic trim, clean, paint routine).
I really dream of using all those fancy make-up stuff they show in magazines and in the TV, but I realized if I have to use one, I have to use 5 more to really look good and carry it off. Can't afford! So, simple is a lot more comfortable, and affordable.
Total, I spend ~ $70 a year.
I am a SAHM. If I were working, I'd probably spend some more, but really can't think of ways (that would work for me), to spend more than $200-300 an year.
Re the show, I think its an obvious slip. It probably was $1200.00

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J.A.

answers from Portland on

You're not being judgmental. THat total shocked me too. I spend maybe $200 a year on beauty products, and that includes haircuts. Clothing rings in at maybe another $200, but that is a far outside limit. But if you think that there are some people who can order Egyptian sand as part of their pedicures, they probably balance us out.

F.H.

answers from Phoenix on

I tape the View every day and haven't watched this one yet. I don't spend anything close to that. My biggest beauty expense is getting my nails done every 3-4 weeks which is $20. I color my hair myself about every 4-5 weeks and I spend $4-6 on a box of color. I wear very little make-up, and when I do buy it, it's ALWAYS when its on sale or buy one get one free. Walgreen's sells this awesome eyeliner that doesn't smear, its only like $2.69 each, or something like that. Oh, and I buy shampoos and conditioners only when they are on sale. This year I am going to buy the Jergen's Self Tanner, which I tried last summer and I loved it! Its REALLY expensive...like $8 a tube! Lol! So no, I definately am not the "average American woman"...and I like it like that! =)

T.S.

answers from San Francisco on

Maybe the average celebrity woman, but there is no WAY that is true of most women!

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A.V.

answers from Washington DC on

You're absolutely not alone. I'm sure my SD doesn't spend a grand a month on makeup and she wears much more expensive products (via her mom) than I do. My haircut is $40 or less with tip and I get it cut once or twice a year. I buy drug store makeup if I wear it at all. I've read several places that the old standby Cover Girl mascara in the pink tube is highly rated - and at CVS!

I could see $1200, but not $12,000 for "average". I don't do manicures/pedicures, hightlights/color...there's a lot of things that other women do that I don't. So my costs are not "average". I wonder what they included? Spray tan? Facials? Or products only?

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B.B.

answers from New York on

I agree that she must have misread that. It is either 1,200 if you include haircuts, dyejobs, shampoos, toiletries, ect. But I think its more like 120 dollars a year if you just mean makeup and face lotion. I don't even think I spend 100 dollars a year on that stuff.

C.M.

answers from Washington DC on

I spend maybe $100 a year on make up and skin care. Haircuts I do 2-3 times a year with highlights and that's about $100 each visit. So maybe about $400 a year total for everything. I use store brand shampoo (dove) which I buy at costco so it lasts forever! the make up I buy is brand name. Usually clinique for basic makeup and I LOVE the body shop for their eye shadows. I really can not imagine spending $1000 a month on beauty products! That's just crazy!

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S.S.

answers from Cincinnati on

She must have misread that. There is no way that can be right. I don't know how much I spend but 12,000 would be half of our GROSS income.

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