How Much Does It Cost To Be Low Maintenance?
Exactly how much we've spent in the pursuit of effortless beauty.
A typical day at The Cov goes a little something like this: multiple Americanos (we like our espresso, okay?), stalking the owner of the next closet we’d like to raid and the occasional (read: daily) convo on the craziest things we’ve done in the name of vanity (and journalism). The truth is, the cost of even the most low-maintenance of beauty routines is high, and swiping your credit card for one big beauty treatment or another is something we can probably all relate to, no matter how many products clutter our beauty cabinets. This got us thinking—how much do we actually spend on our aesthetic improvements? Stephanie Mark, TC's very own co-founder, tells us exactly how much work it is to be "low maintenance" and how the ledger adds up 30 years down.
“I used to think of myself as a relatively low maintenance human being—especially as a woman. I never had a standing weekly appointment to get my nails done; whenever possible I would avoid putting on any makeup during the day; my after-shower ritual didn’t consist of layers of creams and lotions. In the past few months, I've even stopped dying my hair and began to really embrace my grey streak (à la Cov-alum Stacy London)—something that would take a salon appointment every 4-6 weeks to conceal. I even brag to friends (and potential suitors) that I can go from a Netflix marathon to being ready for dinner in about 12 minutes flat. Yup. All of that, on top of the fact that I’m filler-free and haven’t gone under the knife—in my mind I was ultimate low maintenance gold standard. Until I really got to thinking…
Looking back, I realize that I’ve done a lot of maintenance over the years to make my beauty routine as easy as possible. I guess that means I’m not low maintenance after all? And while I can shower and walk out of the house with wet hair and no makeup, in actuality it costs me a small fortune to get there.
Only for you, dear Coveteur readers, will I break it down. Body part by body part. Dollar by dollar. I’ll start from the top down...”
COLOR: “While I’m fully embracing my grey streak, I still dye my hair to get the 'naturally' (oh, the irony, I now realize) sun-kissed highlights I love. And that still means I’m dyeing my hair up to four times a year."
KERATIN: “Being Jewish, I grew up trying to tame the mess of frizzy, sort of wavy, sort of curly strands that sprout every which way. The struggle is real. The mid-'90s introduced some pretty amazing things: Spice Girls, Reality Bites and hair straighteners.
But the real game changer happened about a year ago, when hair guru Jen Atkin basically forced me into getting my first keratin hair treatment after hearing me lament about my woes. HOLY CRAP, this treatment was a gamesaver. Thanks to this liquid gold, I don’t even think about having to 'do' my hair. I kid you not: my hair is as soft as what I imagine Gwyneth’s hair to feel like. It air-dries flawlessly—straight, with just the right amount of body for that model-off-duty look. At least I think so. Not a stray or frizzy hair in sight!”
Total Cost Per Year:
Color: $300 x 4 treatments/year = $1,200
Keratin: $400 x 4 treatments/year = $1,600
TOTAL COST PER YEAR: $2,800
“When I was 13, I was first told that I needed glasses. From then on, I was constantly picking out new frames and going through endless boxes of contact lenses. Since I travel quite a bit for work, making sure I had both my glasses and enough contacts made packing a lot more stressful than it needed to be. This January, I finally took the plunge and got laser eye surgery. Now, I don’t have to worry about a contact lens falling out or opening my suitcase only to realize my glasses are still on my nightstand at home. So yes, even these corneas… not as natural as they may seem.”
Laser Eye Surgery: $5,000
Wearing Contacts for 15+ years- approx. $14,000
1 new pair of glasses every 4 years= $2,800
TOTAL COST: $21,800
“In addition to unruly hair on their heads, Jews are also blessed with body hair—and lots of it! To add insult to injury, it’s dark too. No peachy baby hairs here, guys. When dark hairs started coming in on the sides of my face, I was nothing short of mortified. Enter laser hair removal. Thankfully, with a few treatments it was pretty much gone. Not so natural.”
BROWS/LASHES: “Both my eyebrows and lashes get the tinting treatment. What? You think I woke up like this?!”
Laser Hair Removal Package: $750
Brow Shaping: $26 x 4 sessions a year= $104
Brow Tinting: $22 x 4 sessions a year= $88
Last Tinting: $25 x 4 sessions a year= $100
TOTAL COST PER YEAR: $1,042
“The teenage right of passage: braces. Much to the dismay of my mom, my braces were not off in time for my Bat-Mitzvah portraits. However, once they were gone, I had lovely straight teeth… until I stopped using my retainer. Coming in 2015: Invisalign.”
TOTAL COST: $6,500
“Unlike my face, my body didn’t need as much tweaking… until I hit 30. I’m now a certified regular at StudioKo, where I box and get my ass kicked by DJ, and Studio Lagree, where I am schooled in the Lagree Method. For those of you who don’t know: Lagree is like Pilates, only on crack.
In addition to staying in shape, it’s also important to be well kept in, ahem, other areas. Cue: the Brazilian. Some of you may think it’s passé, but for me it is still very much the look.
The next thing is hard for me to admit on the Internet. I am a chronic sweater—I mean, it’s BAD. Like, back in school I would have to bring an extra shirt to change into because I sweat through my other one. I tried every deodorant and even some of the prescription ones, too. In a state of desperation I tried Botox injections. The result: so amazing, I wish I had done it years before. My sweating stopped and so did the fear of lifting my arms.”
10 pack at Studio Ko: $200 x 8 purchased per year = $1,600
10 pack at Studio Lagree: $270 x 8 purchased per year = $2,160
Brazilian: $50 x 12 times per year: $600
Botox injections: $450 per year
TOTAL COST PER YEAR: $4,810
"I am getting fit for orthotics next week."
My total cost: