Tag Archives: Sara Wolverson

“Women spend ages doing their make-up!” says cosmetics industry, CONSTANTLY

If you’re a regular reader of this blog (and I understand that ‘regular’ is a bit of a stretch for a blog that takes entire years off at times), you’ll know that some angles are just sure-fire ways of getting yourself some media coverage.

Take, for instance, the claim that women spend large amounts of time applying make-up. Pretty standard stuff, right? It’s a fairly 1980s-comedian, suit-sleeves-rolled-up, stood-in-front-of-a-brick-wall, ‘what is the DEAL with…’ observation, right? Well, that doesn’t stop it making national news, including in the Daily Mail this week:

That’s a lot of lippie! Women spend TWO YEARS of their life applying make-up, splashing more than £12,000 on cosmetics

Sick of being nagged about the amount of time you take to get ready? Well new research shows that our partners may have a point.

According to new research, women spend almost two years of their life doing their make-up.

The recent study suggests that over a lifetime we spend an average of 722 days perfecting our health and beauty regimes – and all that prep doesn’t come cheap.

Source: Daily Mail, 27th August 2015

cosmetics-27082015-mail

I know what you’re wondering, and no, that’s not how anybody has ever spelt ‘lippy’. Also, you might be wondering who the company is behind this story, and I won’t keep you in suspense any longer on that one either:

The poll of 1,000 women, commissioned to mark the launch of Vaseline Spray Moisturiser, also revealed that one in ten women will spend up to two hours a day getting ready.

“But a sprayable moisturiser!”, I hear you cry, “That’s going to save me LOADS of time!” Or at least that’s pretty much what Vaseline hope you to think, at some level, when you read this story. It is literally the only reason that this story exists: to highlight to you a problem in your life, and then present to you the solution.

This isn’t a new phenomenon, as you might imagine – but you’d be surprised how often the commercial PR industry manages to bag coverage in the media by using stories of ‘shocking’ findings on how much time women spend applying makeup or how much they spend on cosmetics over the lifetime. For instance, back in March 2010 Superdrug told us that women spend £9,000 on make-up throughout their lives, and spend 330 days applying it:

Face value: How the average woman spends £9,000 on make-up in her lifetime

For many women, a new lipstick or eyeshadow can be a cost-effective pick-me – but a new survey has revealed that they will spend an average of £9,000 on make-up in a lifetime…

The poll, conducted by Superdrug for the launch of its new Make Up Academy range, revealed that the average woman spends nearly 20 minutes a day perfecting their look – a total of 330 days over her lifetime.

Source: Daily Mail, 17th March 2010

But then in July 2011, Bionsen deodorant informed us that women spent £100,000 in their lifetime on beauty products:

Women spend over £100k on make up in a lifetime… and would rather dump their boyfriend than go barefaced

It will come as no surprise to the women who despair at the rising cost of cosmetics.
With their clever marketing ploys and promises of youth, big beauty firms have women in their grip.

And as a new study shows, this addiction to cosmetics does not come cheap. Figures reveal that women fork out a staggering £100,000 on cosmetics over their a lifetime, according to a new study.

Source: Daily Mail, 29th July 2011

Where did that additional £91,000 come from? Even accepting that not all beauty products are in the make-up category, that’s still a hell of a lot of toner and shaving wax. Though it didn’t stop the Daily Mail running a second article on the same claim by Bionsen, a fortnight later.

Looking to 2012, and while we’ve no monitory claim we do have St. Ives informing us that women spend 43 weeks of their life applying make-up:

Women spend 43 weeks of their life applying make-up and perfecting their face before a night out

Most men think women take too long getting ready and now they may have the proof.

The average British woman devotes 91 hours a year to applying their make-up – that is 43 weeks a lifetime perfecting her face.

Women in the south typically take longer to prepare for nights out and dates than those in the north, with 12 per cent spending 45 minutes to one hour each day.

Source: Daily Mail, 18th July 2012

What a result! 43 weeks is just 301 days, meaning women have managed to shave off 10% of their time spent on beauty treatments since Superdrug’s 2010 report! Way to go girls, that’s efficiency for you! Sadly, such efficiency was never destined to last, and by just seven months later, Harley Street semi-permanent make-up clinic ‘Specialist Make-up Services’ broke some bad news:

That’s a LOT of slap! Women spend a year and three months of their lives applying make-up

It’s been said women take a lifetime getting ready and it has now been revealed the average British woman will spend over a year of her life putting on her make-up.

A new survey into women’s daily beauty regimes shows UK women spend a colossal 474 days – one year and three months – in their lifetime putting on cosmetics, the equivalent of over a whole week every year.

Source: Daily Mail, 20th February 2013

The second half of 2012 was a dark time for women, where on average each day they lost a full day of their lives to make-up application. A year later, online retailer FeelUnique.com dealt women a further blow:

Average woman spends £15k in her lifetime replacing make-up she has lost

Women mislay so much makeup they spend a staggering £15,872 replacing it during their lifetime, according to a new study.

The research found losing expensive cosmetics now costs the typical British woman £248 a year.

Those who do their makeup on the morning commute are some of the worst hit, with one in three leaving some on public transport.

Source: Daily Mail, 9th May 2013

Back in March 2010 women were only spending £9,000 on make-up in their lifetime, but by May 2013 they’re spending almost double that amount on make-up that never gets fully used? What a nightmare. I mean, it’s bad enough that women are shedding expensive make-up items left, right and centre, but it’s a further kick in the teeth that the ones most heavily hit are those who try to claw back a few precious minutes from the make-up abyss by multitasking their cosmetic routine with their commute.

Fast-forward to a few months later Superdrug came along to revise their estimates:

Price of beauty: Average woman will spend more than £18,000 on her face in a lifetime

From anti-ageing moisturisers to blemish-hiding foundations and lash extending mascaras – it costs money to look good.

And now the price of beauty has been calculated in a study that has found the average woman will spend more than £18,000 on her face in her lifetime.

Source: Daily Mail, 11th September 2013

Either women’s make-up consumption had doubled between 2010 and 2013, perhaps to keep in line with the apparent exponential growth in the time they spend applying it, or Superdrug must be pretty embarrassed to have originally underestimated their market by such a huge margin. If anyone ought to know how much money there is in the cosmetics market, it should be them. Still, we finally have entirely-accurate figures at least – a point which the Daily Mail celebrated by running the exact same story again, a fortnight later.

Superdrug’s best estimate stood for a few months, only to be challenged in January 2014 by ‘Health and Wellbeing Retailer’ (I know, right?) Beurer:

Women wear make-up for more than half their life: One in five admit they would refuse to open the door while bare-faced

The average woman will spend more of her life wearing make-up than not, according to a new report yesterday.

In a typical day, women will have a face full of cosmetics for nearly 13 hours a day and will have just 11 hours free from it.

Researchers surveyed a total of 2,000 women in a detailed study about women’s make-up habits and beauty routines.

The poll by health and wellbeing brand Beurer found the typical woman puts on her ‘face’ at precisely 8am and spends 11 minutes applying it.

The research discovered that the average women will spend £121 on cosmetics in a typical year and has around 13 items in her make-up bag.

Source: Daily Mail, 30th January 2014

Stick with me, as there’s a bit of maths to do here: if we roughly estimate that women wear make-up from the age of around 16 and continue to do so all the way up to the end of her life expectancy at 71, we can see that £121 per year is around £6,700 across a lifetime. Equally, 11 minutes spent applying each day works out at a little over 153 days. Crude estimates, of course, but it’s clear that Beurer’s extensive and entirely-respectable research comes in way, way below the figures we’ve seen thus far.

However, if anything, Beurer’s research just shows the value of peer review – because a few months later FeelUnique.com hit back, blowing the paltry £6,700 estimate out of the water:

Women spend £100,000 on make-up in their lifetime … and 60% say they would rather ditch their man than go without cosmetics

Ever wondered just how much we spend on make-up over our lifetime, or how much star power really affects the way we shop?
A new infographic reveals just that, showcasing a collection of research from dozens of British surveys into women’s and men’s grooming habits.

Source: Daily Mail, 1st July 2014

This one is a truly staggering finding – not only does it dwarf the previous figure, but it raises all other make-up estimates by an order of magnitude. Our previous record was set by Bionsen in 2011, who estimated the cost of all cosmetic products at £100,000 – yet FeelUnique.com claim their £100,000 figure only includes make-up. That’s a staggering rise of over 1000% from Superdrug’s obviously-accurate and utterly-reliable £9,000 back in 2010.

Clearly, 2014 was a golden age for the make-up industry, who could presumably expect to earn over three trillion pounds over the lifetimes of the 32.2m women in the UK. Strange, then, that the entire cosmetics industry (of which make-up represents a slice) was worth only £8.4 billion in 2013, according to the Cosmetic, Toiletry & Perfumery Association.

Perhaps the CTPA foresaw the oncoming crash of the cosmetics industry, which presumably happened between July 2014 and August 2015 – or how else could we account for Vaseline finding women’s total lifetime make-up spending to be an eighth of of the 2014 ‘research’? And what has happened in women’s lives that mean, according to Vaseline, they spend almost five times as much time applying make-up as Beurer claimed they did in 2014?

In case you’re struggling to keep up, here’s a simplified version of the ‘findings’:

Date Company Industry Time Money
March 2010 Superdrug Cosmetics Retailer 330 days £9,000
July 2011 Bionsen Deodorant £100,000
July 2012 St Ives Facial scrubs 301 days
February 2013 Specialist Make-Up Services Cosmetic clinic 474 days
May 2013 FeelUnique.com Cosmetics Retailer £15,872*
September 2013 Superdrug Cosmetics Retailer £18,000
January 2014 Beurer Wellbeing Retailer 153 days** £6,650***
July 2014 FeelUnique.com Cosmetics Retailer £100,000
August 2015 Vaseline Moisturiser 722 days £12,000

* figure is based on how much make-up women lose in their lifetime, not how much they buy
** 11 mins per day for 55 years, ie from aged 16 until life expectancy at 71
*** £121 per year for 55 years, ie from aged 16 until life expectancy at 71

So, what have we learnt? Well, the next time you see a story in the paper revealing the shocking amounts of time and money women spend on cosmetics, you should bear in mind that the model in the picture isn’t the only part of the story that’s totally made up.

“Women don’t need make-up… during the day, anyway!” says make-up vendor

March 5th, 2012

Every now and then, you come across a PR bait-and-switch so brilliant that you really do have to take a step back and admire the sheer audacity and brass balls of it. This is one such case

We’re not all Desperate Scousewives! Ladies of Liverpool believe they are the most natural looking in the UK

Ladies of Liverpool do not generally have a reputation for advocating the natural look when it comes to make-up and styling.

But a new survey has revealed that the women who made the ‘scouse brow’ famous – and who frequently pile on the make-up at Aintree – believe they are the most natural looking in the UK.

The independent survey of almost 2,000 women, shows Liverpudlian lasses leave home without a scrap of make-up on 17 times a month.

Just who is it that wants to tell us that the women of Liverpool don’t need to overdo the make-up, that they’re naturally beautiful, and that they shouldn’t worry about having to spend a small fortune dolling up? You’ll be amazed.

The results of a Superdrug survey show 95 per cent of ladies living in the metropolitan city prefer to look as natural as possible – and the average girl wears a full face of make up just three days in her normal week.

Yep, Superdrug. Good for you Superdrug! I mean, it would be so, so easy for you to use the heavily-made-up faces of reality TV stars to put pressure on the average girl on the street, to make her go out and spend a small fortune on fake eyelashes and false tan. But no! You take the moral high ground, and tell girls they’re better off au naturale, even if means taking a hit in the pockets as a result. Brava!

Hats off to Sara Wolverson, Beauty Director at Superdrug, then for this bold stance. Just look at the positive, affirming, uplifting message she has for the women of Liverpool (and, by extension, anyone who wants to share in their praise):

‘We sell more false lashes than anywhere else in the country and this survey backs up these sales figures showing that Liverpool women are confident enough to step out without a scrap of make-up in the day, then transform themselves at night into a real glamour puss.

‘This is a positive message for all women out there, the secret of looking beautiful all the time is having that inner confidence, and let’s face facts, a really good moisturiser.’

Yeah! Wooo! You go sister! You’re so right, women are beautiful enough naturally to be able to go out during the day. I mean, obviously, OBVIOUSLY they need a whole hell of a lot of crap on their faces if they want to be able to venture beyond their doorstep of an evening – but that’s taken as read, surely? 

I really do have to hand it to Superdrug – this is one of the most remarkable volte-powdered-face I’ve seen, and to sell it as a story affirming the natural beauty of everyday women, too, is remarkable. I’d suggest it was bare-faced cheek, but I imagine they’d immediately try and flog me some cream to make that bare-faced cheek look ten years younger.

It’s worth pointing out, too, that Superdrug have form for this kind of stuff – here’s Sara talking last year about the (made up) fact that women feel sexy only once a week:

This poll clearly indicates that while women know exactly what they have to do in order to feel sexy, they obviously aren’t doing it often enough.

Maintaining a beautiful polished appearance can take time, something most busy women don’t have enough of.

But with a little bit of effort, such as a splash of scent, a pair of fluttering false lashes and a big smile, ladies can feel confident and incredible.

Superdrug: they’re like a girl’s best friend, but specifically that best friend who always tells you you’re looking a bit ropey and tries to flog you a series of moisturisers after they’ve ground your self-confidence down into a tiny little nub. But don’t worry! Because Superdrug’s new vitamin-enriched nub-enlifterment-cream will have that nub of yours looking artificially boosted and glowing again in no time.
Ugh.