I’m really not making this up. Apparently the typical woman spends more than £18,000 over her lifetime on slap and the average make up bag contains £197 worth of stuff. The research (from FalseEyelashes.co.uk) says that British women shell out nearly £500 a year on cosmetics. And apparently Mrs or Ms Average started wearing a full face of slap at 14 and will only stop making up totally every day at 52. We weren’t allowed to wear it at school so I certainly didn’t start wearing war paint at 14. Indeed until I started work I reckon my make up amounted to a Hide the Blemish stick and a pot of lip salve, furry and gritty from being left lidless in my pocket or bag.
But with age – and work – came the need for camouflage. I only wear full make up occasionally but I find it hard even to leave the bathroom without a layer of Estee Lauder’s bomb-proof foundation and some Lancôme mascara. Added together, just those two cost more than £50. And I always wear perfume. Naturally, being a skinflint I am well up on ways to save money on such fripperies.
My favourite site for cheap perfume is www.allbeauty.com. You need to monitor it as stock seems to change regularly. But you can pick up bargains on the big names that scent nerds favour, such as Creed and Patou (48% off Joy Forever as I write): those you’d find in a posh department store rather than a high street chemist. Delivery is free if you spend at least £20. Another site is www.feelunique.com. I think it’s good for make-up, hair stuff and the sort of French brands you can pick up at any pharmacie over the Channel but less so here - such as La Roche-Posay and Caudalie. Free delivery if you spend £15 or over and you get free samples if you spend at least £30. Both these sites are also good at cheap stocking fillers (lots of Zoella stuff at feel unique), ideal for any teenage girls of your acquaintance. And for those of us needing help on the skin front, The Ordinary range (via www.victoriahealth.com) has all the scientific ingredients of the ultra-expensive ranges for a fraction of the price – and there is a lot more good stuff on the site. There’s free postage over £25.
And don’t forget the old favourites: Marks & Sparks has got really into beauty now and there are some good brands – and its own-brand Autograph range gets lots of thumbs up in the press. What’s more, there’s 60% off selected items at the moment: ideal for snapping up for Christmas presents. And finally: the Decleor 2017 Advent Calendar (£65 for products worth a total of £233) is already out of stock on the John Lewis website. Apparently, you’ll be lucky to get one anywhere after this month. You could buy it and strip it down to lots of little presents. Or you could buy it for yourself as a treat....