As a student living on a tight budget for ten weeks, I thought I would delve into the world of the rich and affluent, to see how they spend their dough. Celebrity beauty trends tend to come with a serious price tag, but are these astronomically priced commodities wise purchases or inconceivable indulgences? Personally, Ciaté’s new velvet and caviar manicure sounds pretty unbeatable in terms of headline trends. For only £18 a bottle, who wouldn’t queue up for some material and fish eggs?
Surely one has to rate the aesthetic of a treatment or trend far higher than the shock value of the cost or the product substance (crocodile skin anyone?) This year’s Emmy Awards saw Kelly Osborne strutting the red carpet clad in £160,000 worth of… nail varnish? A black manicure at that. Now I know diamonds are meant to be a girl’s best friend, but can one really justify forking out hundreds of thousands of pounds on a product that can be wiped away with some varnish remover?
Over the years I have heard about some outrageous trends that to me sound more like torture than retail therapy. The question is are these a-listers doing it just for the effect, trying to get magazines to publish their latest beauty fad – is it actually about looking good? Gok Wan has shown the women of Britain that it costs pennies to look fabulous, so the allure of these trends must really be the reaction of others.
Here are some hair raising examples; the Olsen twins toting five figure alligator backpacks. Haven’t they heard of Zara, or is it just the feeling of having one of the world’s deadliest animals nestled on their spines? Fashion week saw the rise of temporary tattoos, Dior style – a bargain at $120 [it’s 24 carat gold even if it is washable, dahling]. The world of celebrity beauty treatments is a far cry from what goes on at your local salon; the likes of Mila Kunis spend $7,000 on one facial, but it’s not cream and oil that are rubbed into her pores, but rather rubies and diamonds [antioxidants, apparently]. Not luxurious enough? Then how about Kate Middleton’s Bee Venom Facial, at a whopping $ 56,000 per ounce. Now I might be conventional, but don’t most of us run and jump to avoid being stung by a bee, let alone paying for the privilege.
These extravagant spa treatments seem like a way to burn money without actually using a flame (Akon style!) They seem more about monetary value than actual appeal – the ‘pain is gain’ mantra playing a large part. I think I’ll stick to my dove face wash and the occasional splurge on a ManiPedi, if it’s all the same.