FROM THE EDITOR YVONNE KERR
Shocked, I was, to read that some American women spend $413,000 on beauty products in their lifetime – the price of a house (not in Auckland obviously, or Queenstown, or…). Equally mind-blowing is that in this little, geographically isolated country of ours, a MAC lipstick is purchased every two minutes. EVERY. TWO. MINUTES.
Similar to Sarah Simpson, a beauty writer who’s quoted in our cover story on page 6, as a teenager in the 90s, my makeup bag was lean. A slick of lip gloss and mascara and I was done. Those were the days of purple hair, over-plucked eyebrows (I rue the day) and Nirvana-inspired check shirts. It was some kind of rebellion against the pink eyeshadow, shoulder pads and big hair of the 80s. My only ambition from a looks point of view was to emulate Winona Ryder in cult movie Reality Bites. I even started popping four cans of Diet Coke daily, just like she did in the film. (What an advertising coup that was for CocaCola!). I lost two teeth after that.
But I didn’t have social media beauty gurus telling me I needed to contour, highlight, buff and polish my face off. Every day. Today’s go-to image is, ironically, a “natural” look – it just takes 20 beauty products to look like you’ve made absolutely no effort whatsoever! You just woke up like that, right?
Seriously, though. The cost of it. And the time. Teenagers today study makeup tutorials over breakfast and practise contouring and highlighting in front of the mirror as if their lives depend on it. It’s a competitive game, and we’re paying a high price for it.