Today’s money saving tip – avoid the pink tax!
The concept of the pink tax is based on the fact that products marketed to women often have higher prices than similar products marketed to men and usually come in the colour pink. For example, today I checked the Boots website and a pack of 4 Wilkinson Sword Xtreme 3 Ultimate Plus Men’s Disposable Razors costs £2.80 compared to a pack of 4 Wilkinson Sword Xtreme 3 Beauty Disposable Razors (in obligatory pink packaging) which costs £4.49, a whopping 60% more expensive. In fairness, the men’s option is currently on offer, however, the normal price is £4.20 and this still results in the women’s option being 7% more expensive.
The pink tax applies to a wide range of products and services but in the areas of hygiene and personal care there is a double whammy as there are higher societal expectations for women to look a certain way and therefore we apparantly need a wider range of products than men to achieve that “look”.
I think that this pressure has been increasing over the last decade. When I was in my teens and just starting to wear makeup it initially only went as far as mascara and lip balm! I then moved on to include foundation, eye shadow and eye liner but that was strictly for nights out (I have always been pretty lazy!) with the occasional painting of finger and toe nails. Now there are a mind boggling array of additional products – primers, serums, illuminators, contouring kits etc that we never used to need and we all looked just fine.
For the majority of ladies (and a growing number of gents), the costs of personal care including make up can be super high. Skin care, oral care, face care, hair cuts and colouring, waxing, shaving, tanning, manis and pedis all add up and that’s before we get into the more serious areas of fillers and botox (not for me – who would voluntarily inject poison into their face??).
Happily it is quite easy to save money in this area!
- Remember you have a choice! When you are in the shop, compare the price of branded products to own brand products and don’t forget to look at the men’s section. Some women have reported preferring men’s razors because they are designed better as well as costing less.
- Save the salon for treats. No more mani/pedis, fancy hair colouring or spray tans at the salon on a regular basis. You could easily rack up costs of £100 per month in this category alone! If you really enjoy the experience of a salon visit, ask family and friends to gift it to you for your birthday or Christmas.
- Get on board with home treatments. To make up for fewer salon visits, have a go at home with cost effective products. I always do my own mani/pedi, face masks, face scrubs and a very occasional fake tan. You might also consider getting together with friends and a bottle of wine to make this even more fun especially if you have a friend with a steadier hand than you when it comes to painting nails! Or trade skills – maybe you have a hairdresser friend that you could help with their accounts in return for a hair cut. Recently my mum has been trimming my fringe (bangs for my American friends) and she does such a good job I’m going to ask her to cut my hair regularly and in return I’ll take her out for lunch – cheaper than a hairdresser and I get to spend extra time with my lovely mum.
- Reduce the amount of make up you use. I haven’t worn any make up other than lip balm at work for a good 6 months now. And nobody has noticed! It saves so much time and in a weird twist I feel loads more confident now. I will still wear make up for special events but the amount I need annually is much lower. If you enjoy putting make up on and experimenting with different looks, that’s fine but you could still reduce the amount you have on hand – do you need blusher, bronzer, illuminator and a contouring kit?
- Use up what you have. Since reducing my make up usage and also going through a period of decluttering, it’s become clear I have accumulated a ridiculous amount of skin care and make up products. I am now making a concerted effort to use up what I have before I buy anything new. This has the dual effect of saving money and getting rid of unnecessary clutter!
This has been a longer money saving tip than normal but hopefully it will give you some ideas to help you be more mindful of what you are spending on toiletries and at the salon. Have you got any other tips for saving money on toiletries and beauty products or services?