UK women spend big to look better

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Cent Cosmetics

Beauty-conscious British women spend a whopping £3,000 (€4,300) a
year on beauty products and treatments, with 81 per cent of women
wearing make-up every day, says a survey commissioned by New Woman

The Female Beauty Survey of Great Britain 2006 asked 5,000 women with an average age of 29 to divulge their beauty product and treatment habits, the results of which give an interesting insight into the behaviour and preferences of the British female consumer.

"British women love make-up. Just buying make-up and anticipating putting it on makes women feel good. Beauty products and beauty treatments are a girl's best friend. We've never had so much choice and it's never been easier to enhance what Mother Nature gave us - no matter how generous she was,"​ said Helen Johnston, editor of New Woman Magazine.

An overwhelming 98% of women reported 'make-up makes them better looking', while only three per cent felt they were 'naturally beautiful'.

The top monthly expenses were on hair products, both shampoo and styling products, with perfume, moisturisers and cleansers not far behind. However, mascara topped the list of items that the British lady just simply could not do without, which is in keeping with the fact that 78 per cent of those surveyed thought that their eyes were their best feature.

Only 18 per cent of the women said they were 'happy with their skin', with 44 per cent admitting that it was 'prone to spots', 32 per cent said 'it's blotchy', while others complained of freckles and dryness.

Not surprisingly, moisturizer and foundation were numbers two and three on the 'can't live without' list of beauty items.

A report last year from Mintel reported that British men were minimalists with their toiletries and other products. This view is not shared at all by their female counterparts, who have an average of 86 'different items', with 87 per cent admitting that they 'buy make-up they never end up wearing'.

"These days it simply doesn't matter if you've got piggy eyes or thin lips, it's all so easy to fix and why not. From lip-plumping gloss to instant volumising mascara we can all achieve celebrity glamour with the sweep of a wand,"​ said Johnston

Yet more contrast between the sexes could be found when comparing the time spent applying beauty products. According to the New Woman survey, the average time for putting on make-up or 'refreshment' was 52 minutes a day, with 71 per cent saying that they found the whole act of applying make-up 'mentally therapeutic and stress relieving'.

On the other hand, 55 per cent of British men are in and out of the bathroom in less than 15 minutes, said the Mintel report.

When asked how make-up made them feel, 73 per cent of the women responded that they felt 'sexier', 53 per cent were 'more flirtatious', while 52 per cent felt 'healthier'.

Interestingly, only ten per cent of the women surveyed said that they actually felt they looked younger in make-up, which may help explain the £600 (€861) per year spent on facials, massages and anti-aging treatments.

The total cost of an adult lifetime of beauty products and treatments was calculated to be £182,528.

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