Day 1263 and Hoe-flation

As I run out the clock on the last vestiges of my Covid infection (two fucking weeks give me a break), I’ve had the pleasure of being extremely online.

There has been a bit of a kerfuffle on the costs of being “a well kept cosmopolitan woman” with varying levels of push back that are functionally regurgitating the plot of The Devil Wears Prada.

Breakdown of the costs of a “well-maintained” attractive woman in a large U.S. city:
hair: $400/every 2-3 months at least
facials: $200-300/mnth
fitness: $200-400/mnth
cosmetics: $100-300/mnth
nails: $100+/mnth
brows: $15-40/mnth
waxing/laser: $100-$150/mnth
med spas: $1k/every 3 mnths at least
And doesn’t even include clothes or shoes!

Expressions of feminine presentation through grooming is what the academics like to call “contested space” but you can probably get the gist of how it through it by skimming Veblen, Baudrillard and old issues of Cosmopolitan.

Needless to say, most women are not $10,000 Instagram models, professional girlfriends, trophy wives or professionals in glamour industries. This spend is extreme and for people who life off their image.

I’ve been a peon in the image business and I’ve been a girlboss and it’s a bit exhausting if you are not young, naturally beautifully or able to afford the upkeep. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it. I’ve watched many rounds of influencer burnout. I am blessed with good skin, good hair, the knowledge of my professional background and cosmetology school, and I have money to spend on myself.

Hair: $80 2x a year
Facials: $0
Fitness: $0 on gym or classes but we do have a barn squat rack & a mortgage
Cosmetics: $100-200 a month it’s my hobby & former profession
Nails: $50 for pedicures 6x
Brows: $0
Waxing: $90 4x year
Med Spa: Botox $220 every 120 days

I am myself in the middle ground of expensive personal presentation. I like everything about cosmetics from makeup to haircare. I posted my own breakdown above and it’s about $250 a month.

I don’t dye or heat style my hair, I am not heathy enough to be a gym rat (I wish I was), I get pedicures because it’s hard to do my own with my spinal problems but don’t get my nails done, I wax downstairs for personal preferences, I love skincare and at 40 it seemed time to get a light dose of Botox seasonally.

Which is in my book quite a bit of money to spend on appearances. It’s the opulence I allow myself on the other side of some financial success and I justify it by saying it’s worthwhile to keep up on my old industry.

My husband says it’s mostly an excuse to buy makeup I’ll never wear and he is naturally quite right. It’s a hobby like any other. I’m glad I can justify it for work though.

Social media comparisons for lifestyles that are simply beyond most people’s reach shouldn’t be considered aspirational. My spending should level not considered aspirational on this either if I’m candid. I could easily get away with less and look good.

The good news is that for bargain hunters who want to combat hoe-flation costs in their life is that we’ve never had better access to quality grooming. We have cheap actives brands like the Inky List and the Ordinary, access to the best Korean biochemists, and excellent buyers clubs.

It’s never been easier or cheaper to learn to be well groomed. I very much advocate for looking your best as it reflects a commitment to caring for yourself and your body. Just don’t get carried away when a $16 product can do the job of the $200 one ok? Ask me if you need advice on what to buy.