YVONNE KERR 8 18 22 35

The Press - Your Weekend (The Press) - - Front Page -

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 8, 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.

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