I don’t know who’s poisoning the tap water in the homes of late-20-year-olds, but somewhere along the line everyone I knew became obsessed with beauty products. Not even like, casually obsessed. I’m talking about knows-how-and-when-to-use-a-toning-mist levels of obsessed (it’s after a normal toner but before a serum) (but could also be used before an oil-based cleanser to pre-hydrate your skin) (omg) (someone stop me). What this means is money being allocated away from, say, a rainy day fund (oops) and towards, say, a chemical exfoliant that will make your face look like you just left a spa and are a literal baby. Or lipstick that changes the geometry of your entire head.
The question for me is, how far do you go? Do you even go far? I certainly have my limit — the moment I’m considering buying something so ridiculous my fight-or-flight signals start firing and force me to ponder whether I ought to just stop now, trash it all and return to soap and water and a shot at retirement (period, not even early). But just before that moment is a price I’m somehow able to justify to a jury of 12 of my closest personalities. For me, it’s $65 for a stupidly tiny bottle of Peter Thomas Roth retinol PM serum. SIXTY-FIVE DOLLARS FOR ONE OUNCE. Don’t make me explain, I’m too ashamed.
To lighten this burden of embarrassment, I took the team down with me by asking them to reveal their biggest beauty splurges. I’d like you to do the same in the comments below, please. Maybe this can serve as a wake-up call for all of us. Or kryptonite. I don’t know.
Emily says, “NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer. $30 is a lot to me for just a concealer, considering that fact that I blow through this lipgloss-like container in less than a month (whoops). However, I continue to splurge on it as I’ve yet to find another concealer that has such good coverage for blemishes, dark spots, dark circles, etc. I’ve tried both high end brands as well as drug store, and none have compared. I just wish it came in a bigger size.
Leslie says, “I spend $64 on Armani foundation, which seems extreme, but it lasts me forever because I only use it under my eyes and where my skin tends to get a bit reddish. This is the very best formula I’ve tried. It goes on very natural (Amelia thinks I just have great skin but that’s a lie) and never makes me break out.”
Elizabeth says, “Definitely Jo Malone Wood Sage & Sea Salt Body Cream. But…but…but it’s the ONLY cream that works for me in the winter! It’s buttery thick but not sticky and doesn’t get weird and clingy when I put leggings on (important when you don’t wear anything else but leggings layered over leggings in the winter!). It also smells so good that my dog tries to lick it off my legs every time I apply it (so I guess it tastes good, too?).”
Krista say, “I’m known around the office for being a ‘treat yourself’ kinda gal, so I’m sure it comes as no surprise that I shell out for Le Labo Bergamot perfume. It’s $260 but my first bottle lasted me like three years, so it’s really not that bad? I at least have time to save up for it in between. I call it my catnip; this scent just keeps me going like coffee when I get a whiff of it.”
Louisiana says, “I never got my mom’s obsession with the La Mer lip balm until I tried it. Now I’m willing to spend the $60 (that’s like, two or three brunches for me). I swear it’s the only stuff that works on my lips though. Or just what I choose to believe to justify the price.”
Harling says, “I spend $179 on Biolgique Recherche’s Masque Biosensible because a facialist who told me my ‘chin was on fire’ recommended it to me and I bought it out of fear and self-loathing but it’s actually insanely great and after I wash it off my skin looks like I rubbed it against an angel’s elbow.”
Or, here’s a wildcard! Yvonne says, “I don’t splurge on beauty really, but I consistently buy Diptyque candles (ranging anywhere from $35 to $60). I try to extend their life span but ultimately my neurotic self wants them lit at all times so I go through them really fast…and then buy more! They bring me bizarre happiness and comfort, especially while nesting in the winter. Mimosa is my fave, followed by Baies and Roses.”
Photo by Krista Anna Lewis.