Wednesday 12 May 2021
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Paying the price for Beauty


Beauty is one of the words that has no definite meaning, simply because everyone has their own way to describe what beauty is to them. If the proverb ‘Beauty lies in the eye of the beholder’ is anything to go by then everyone can certainly be forgiven for defining beauty differently.
Beauty is an ongoing undefined concept that has haunted poets, artists and academics for centuries. While the same society pledges against ‘judging by the cover’, women have for centuries endured being judged by the shell. From the thin hair to the last tip of her nail, every detail influences the articulation of the pronounced beauty.
While many have embraced their natural being, the masses have decided to complement their looks with little shading using soft brush coupled by a few body accessories. Some define beauty by longer eyelashes, trimmed eye-brows, a sharp lip line complemented by a shine as well as a smoothened facial skin under the bundles of the Brazilian hair is the make of the day.
The list is extended with a sculputered manicure supported by a pedicure before all is put together by an outfit to put the cherry on top of the cake. Since there is a price to pay for every effort placed into enhancing appearance, women would often go to the extent of spending high prices just to bring out that expressive look. The choice of diverting from the natural look to a rather artificial blend boils down to the definition of beauty by the individual.
“Make-up makes me feel presentable. It gives me the oomph to go through the day. If I don’t wear make-up, I feel empty and casual. I love being on point whether it is for myself and my husband. Also, that daily selfie has to be perfect,” said Beverley Phillips.
While many may completely disagree, some women use make-up as a tool to land them that job, make them feel comfortable, make them creative, bring maturity or innocence to the face, make them perfect in that selfie and everything in their favour.
However, this cannot be adopted as a general application. According to beautician and make-up artist Dezi Gertze, not all ladies are the same. “Some love to go around without even a lipstick but there are ladies like me who walks around with a handbag full of small bags containing products. I apply make-up because it gives me confidence, cover my face from sun burn and give a classy, glossy and more independent womanly look.”
However there are also disadvantages to it such as it becoming a habit, emptiness of the face and the urge to always apply something becomes a must. The exercise is not only costly but also time consuming. Women need to wake up an hour or two before the time just to take a bath and make themselves look beautiful by applying make-up. While time is invested in the application, it is so in the removal. And for this reason, many have elbowed the make-up kits.
“Make up is not really for me. It irritates my face and makes me feel like a person that I am not. It is time consuming and I don’t have the time to wake up and apply something while I can go without. I used make up once and it caused damage to my face. This means that for the right product you still have to go for skin testing and all that which is too much for me while my natural beauty is priceless,” said Elisabeth Massamba.
The price tag
The cost of beauty is uncontrollable and since the advertising industry is going nuts as to how makeup must be used, when to use it and why to use a certain product, the need to apply makeup has been increasing in recent years. The use comes with a parallel call for a few dollars to get the kit.
“Since the MAC make up line made its appearance, women have been lining up for the products offered in that range. I have to give trials almost 60 times per day. Women are going crazy for make-up despite the price to it,” said Edgars employee Lucinda Beukes
Lucinda adds that there are women who make their way to town for other needs then end up in stores for some time looking at the latest products.  She also points out that the interest for make-up has crossed over to men as well.
“People using these products everyday run out of stock while the ones that are not everyday users can go months with a basic make up kit.” It all depends from woman to woman and what fits to the face and whether you are professional or not therefore the quality of products you would prefer would differ.  Even the ordinary lady does not use brushes while the professional will,” said the make-up artist.
I am a model, therefore looking good on streets became a habit. I did not think that make-up would make me look good. Luckily I don’t pay for it. I get it from my work,” said Matthew Jonas.
Foundation and concealer, which is used to even out skin costs around N$280. The average woman owns at least two foundations of which one is liquid and the other of powder. To make the eyes appear appealing, mascara does justice just at an average cost of N$60. The list expands with an eye-liner to mark eye boundaries at the cost of at least N$10 depending on the brand. To complement the eye, it is optional to give it a little colour with an eye-shadow at the cost of around N$60. The eye shadow comes with a rainbow of colours that are optional to the user’s feel and mood for the day. However, skin tone plays a vital role in the selection of the paint for the day.
The lips remain a crucial area of sealing the look and thus require equal attention. The lips have a threefold toolkit that carries the lip gloss, lip stick and sometimes a lip pencil. It is not advisable to use all three at once thus the user has the last say. The average woman would own 7 lipsticks but mostly uses 2 of them on occasions. Single pieces for the lips range from N$50 to N$300. To conclude the facial treat, a blush treat is optional to brighten and bring out the cheek bones at the cost around N$80.
As if the bill is not loaded enough, there are still extras like brow shaping that starts from N$30 and can be done every second week. People with thin eye-brows opt to tint on occasions to give a detailed colour. Professionals would also use bronzers to highlight the face at the cost around N$150 or more.
The other optional facial treat is the element of the hair. The Brazilian hair has been trending over the years and just as its origin, this part cannot be left out. Brazilian hair ranges from N$700 to N$4000 depending on the length of the inch. This is closed off with a hand and feet treat at an average of below N$300.
If having a “face beat” is not an everyday thing, for N$300 a month of some of the cheapest (yet effective) make-up which includes foundation, powder, eye pencil, blush and eye-shadow is ideal. The professional make-up kit comes in a bit expensive because one must have different layers applied before the most ideal look is achieved. These can be products such as a concealer that comes in different colours and all serving different purposes. Dezi pointed out that a woman’s true cost when it comes to makeup depends on the brands she prefers and the rate at which the makeup is used.
Has a woman’s desire to be their most prettiest gained a price tag? So much that to be seen outside without make up is now a taboo to many… Did women lose their inner self as to what beauty really means that they go to extreme levels of beautiful bleached faces? Society has always and will continue to have a say on what is the ‘right’ way to live one’s life and this includes using make-up. It does however boil down to how women perceive themselves and most importantly how they would like to be perceived by others.

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