What price for beauty?

Fashion and women’s interest magazines are constantly announcing new “must haves” for women. I was flipping though the pages of one such magazine at the grocery store and was bombarded with exclamations as to “what’s out!” and “what’s in!” and “must haves NOW!” which included everything from frilly tops to lip gloss to delicious smelling lotions.

I even read a little blurb about Kim Kardashian, who says she has to “blow-dry all my jewelry before I put it on, because I hate the feel of cold jewelry against my skin!”

Hmmm.

I can honestly say I’ve never thought about what the correct temperature of jewelry should be. That wouldn’t be one of the things that tend to keep me up at night.

I assume Kardashian was just trying to be cute and was probably asked to share a weird little quirk of hers. I just can’t believe she actually does this!

As I was discussing with my husband the things we women do to make ourselves feel beautiful on a day-to-day basis, my husband and I got into somewhat of an argument about “needs vs. wants.” For example, he doesn’t think I need eyelash extensions. (I don’t think he needs BYU season tickets, but that’s another story.) He thinks spending more than $50 on a haircut is ridiculous (and by the way, so do I), but trying to find a stylist who will cut and color hair for even close to that amount is unheard of. (Which brought us to another point: Do I really NEED to highlight my hair?)

I think we live in a society that places a ridiculous amount of emphasis on outer beauty. I never thought twice about getting my hair done when I was single. Or getting professional mani-pedis. I spent money on superficial things when I was younger, because I could and, quite frankly, because that’s what I was told I should do. Spending money on beauty products was something I never used to – ahem – bat a fake eyelash at.

Now, as a wife and mother, my priorities have shifted. But I still want to take time to look beautiful. When I get ready in the morning and do my hair and makeup I feel better about myself – and life in general. And when my sister first told me about eyelash extensions, my interest was piqued. When she told me she had a friend who could do it for around $35 (these things usually cost upward of $75), I was genuinely interested and wanted to try them out.

And I have to admit I love them. My natural eyelashes are really short, really blonde and really stubby, so the extensions have been great in not only enhancing my eyes, but also eliminating the need for any eye makeup. What used to take me 20 minutes in the mornings (mascara, shadow, liner) now takes me under three. I can literally get up and go.

Now wait a minute. Before you start writing in telling me how ridiculous and maybe even vain I sound, consider this: With two boys 2 and under, time is something I don’t have in the mornings, especially time for myself. Gone are the days when I could wake up whenever I wanted and spend hours on end fiddling with my hair and makeup.

These days my hair is usually in a ponytail, my outfits usually consist of sweatpants and stained tops, and lucky is my husband if he gives me a hug when he walks in the door and smells perfume instead of sweat and spit up. I get my hair done about once every four months. I don’t pay for manicures or pedicures. I don’t have expensive facial creams, washes or lotions (I use Cetaphil). And that’s been fine with me.

The extensions have been something that I’ve felt make me look at least a little put-together and are extremely low-maintenance (I can get them filled every four weeks.) And while they may turn out to be expensive if I kept it up for a year or so, I feel like the time I can now spend focusing on my kids instead focusing on myself in front of a mirror might make up for that.

I want to know what you ladies think. What is excessive or necessary when it comes to beauty products? Do you have certain “secrets” that help you feel better about yourself? Are we too concerned about our “outer beauty,” or do you think looking good directly relates to feeling good?

Leave a comment

DeseretNews.com encourages a civil dialogue among its readers. We welcome your thoughtful comments.

*