ANCHOR: Do you know how much you spend to look your best?

ANCHOR: It’s probably a lot more than you think. Money and real estate expert Ilyce Glink is here to help you get a handle on the true cost of beauty.

ILYCE: Do you spend $1.99 for lip gloss or $25? Do you spend $4.99 for perfume or $160? And, if you did buy the expensive stuff, could anyone tell the difference? We went to Michigan Avenue to ask shoppers how much they spend to look their best.

Ilyce: “How much money do you spend on making yourself look beautiful?”

Man: “I’d say about $2,000 per year”

“$300 or $400, not much.”

“Too much, way too much.”

“Probably like $800. I don’t know. Not that much. Less than $100 per month.”

ILYCE: How much do you spend on being beautiful?

BOY: “About $60 to $70”

ILYCE: What do you spend it on?

BOY: “Mostly zit cream and Kleenexes, stuff like that.”

ILYCE: How much do you spend?

“Depends on my state of mind. If I’m feeling good, I don’t spend that much. If I’m depressed, lipstick, things like that is what I buy and I’d say I could drop $300 maybe four times a year easily on makeup.”

TRACK 1: Making yourself look beautiful is enough to break anyone’s budget. According to AC Neilsen, Americans spend billions of dollars a year on cosmetics, a number doesn’t include perfume, hair cutting and coloring, or even basic skin care. Some people spend so much money, they’re embarrassed about it.

“I have taken all of the things out of the bags and boxes and stuffed it down the garbage chute before anyone could see.”

ILYCE: Do you end up hiding purchases?

WOMAN: “Yes, Everything. I hide Everything. I do, clothes. Everything.”

Over at Neiman Marcus, where jars of La Mer skin cream sell for as much as $1,000 each, Tina Koegel says customers tend to come in looking for a specific product but often leave with much more.

“People come in with a certain thing in mind, to replace their lipstick or replace nailpolish.”

The trouble with buying cosmetics and other kinds of creams, potions and lotions is that one is never enough. So when you go to the drug store to pick up one item, you end up with a whole basketful of stuff.”

But some of that stuff won’t even see the light of your makeup mirror.

ILYCE: Do you use everything you buy?

WOMAN: “Nope. It sits in my drawer because I can’t bear to throw it away and after a year, I go through and throw out anything I haven’t used. I’m so good at giving away with it. And I sit and count how much, $20, $30 down the drain.”

“You hang onto it thinking you’ll use it, but you never do. I gotta go now, because you’re going to get me into trouble.”

But even if we don’t use everything we buy, or it just doesn’t work, we’ll probably go back and spend even more next year.

Published: Jun 19, 2001