How Much Is Your Face Worth? We Add Up The Contents Of Our Makeup Bags To Find Out

Spoiler: Looking good don't come cheap.

If I lost my make-up bag, what exactly would I be losing? These are the thoughts that keep me up at night (only joking… kind of). The emotional cost would be high, of course – I’m a bit sentimental about my favourite products, and one of my favourite things to do of a rainy Sunday afternoon is to sort through my collection, messing with my madder lip colours and rediscovering old faves. But the financial cost of replacing my stash? I hadn’t even considered it until I started writing this feature.

With YouTube and Instagram democratising the world of beauty, the average consumer is more informed about brands and products – and thanks to online shopping, it’s extremely easy (too easy, some might say) to get your hands on them. I’ve always been interested in make-up, but after getting hooked on YouTube tutorials and reviews a few years ago, it turned into a minor obsession. As my product knowledge expanded, so did the contents of my now overstuffed IKEA drawers. If I was going on holiday to the USA, I meticulously plotted Sephora and CVS trips alongside visits to tourist attractions (I once dragged my friends to a Korean beauty shop in San Francisco, because sheet masks).

The wildly expensive Pat McGrath palette ?

Spending on certain beauty products just makes sense to me, where spending on fashion sometimes does not. It’s always going to fit, I can wear it all year round, and it’s often the first thing people see when they look at you. I might shiver at the thought of spending €100 on a single item of clothing, but after serious research and thought, I dropped that amount on a Pat McGrath eyeshadow palette.

It was bought to celebrate a life achievement, like how some women buy themselves Chanel handbags, a nice purse, or a Gucci belt as a little “Well done you”. For me, treating myself to a luxurious palette had more appeal (and was a fair bit cheaper)
than a traditional ‘investment piece’. Not everyone’s going to agree, but it is stunning and every time I put it on I am WEAK for myself. And well, that’s what counts, right?

Before anyone gets worked up about it, let me say that I don’t think I’ve ever been out of control. I make purchases after careful consideration and research, and every item of my make-up collection is there for a reason – if I end up not loving something, I give it to a more deserving owner. There are entire boards on Reddit dedicated to people trying to curb a genuine addiction to buying make-up, finding themselves unable to stop piling products into their online shopping carts. Thankfully, I’ve never been there, but I know I still probably spend more on make-up than many.

So with that in mind, I gathered all my courage and counted up the contents of my make-up bag. What exactly are we dealing with here, money wise? Well, my average daily face (with a mix of budget and high end products including CC cream, powder, brow gel and mascara) adds up to €151.49. Considering the dress, jumper and boots I’m wearing right now probably cost about €90 all together, my make-up is easily more expensive than my outfit.

At night time though, the stakes must be raised – and while some people amp up the make-up they wear during the day using the same stuff, I tend to prefer certain products for after dark. The CC cream is switched for a full coverage foundation, I add bronzer and eyeshadow, and also pick up a more expensive concealer because I can’t seem to stop myself saving things for ‘good’ use, as much as I try. The final tally for my ‘going out’ face? €358.95 (I can add another €50 on to that if I use my Pat McGrath palette). I can tell you without a doubt that nothing I wear to go out costs €400.

To get an idea of how my total compares, I asked my brave colleagues to add up their makeup bits and report back. Michelle’s daily face, including a Huda Beauty primer, Bareminerals foundation and Urban Decay powder, comes to €176.39 – her night time look is the same apart from the addition of a €21 Clarins eyeliner. She sticks to the products she loves, and buys make-up when she needs to replace something, not for the sheer craic like I do. Definitely very wise. Megan is similar, with a daily face worth €31.50 (she keeps it minimal on weekdays) and a going out look that amounts to €169, when she adds an Urban Decay palette and MAC lipstick.

In Cara, however, I’ve found my sister. Her daily makeup routine adds up to €368.50, and once she adds on things like false lashes, a contour stick and an Anastasia Beverly Hills eyeshadow palette for going out, it comes to €463.43. Like me, she isn’t averse to spending on beauty, and has a little mental list of things she’s seen on Instagram that she wants to buy or try. I feel a little less mortified for myself knowing that, so thanks, Cara!

What have I learned from this little experiment? Well, I love make-up – looking at it, talking about it, trying it. I love finding new products and experimenting with eyeshadow looks, and the thrill of trying a new shade of lipstick is second to none. Maybe that’s sad, but it’s just the way I am. However, it’s worth noting that the only items in my collection that I replace on a consistent basis are concealers, foundations, powders and brow stuff – everything else is probably going to last me forever. at’s kind of a wake up call, to be honest. I have enough eyeshadow palettes, highlighters, and lip products to do me for the rest of my life, and if you ever see me mooning over another one, you are within your rights to give me a slap. From now on, I’ll be ‘shopping my stash’, and instituting a one in, one out rule for when I get the goo to buy something new. Wish me luck!

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