So, apparently the ladies of Great Britain spend a whopping £100,000 on make-up in a lifetime.
According to a recent study, us women splash out more than £2,000 for every year of slapping on the, erm, slap between the ages of 16 and 65. That's almost £40 a week.
I know I'm a sucker when it comes to any product that claims to perform the kind of miracle that'll leave the purveyors of said product looking like one of the Middleton sisters.
After all, I'm not just buying into a cosmetic brand when I find myself spending serious amounts of cash on a top-of-the-range plumping, firming, all-singing-all-dancing eye gel. I'm buying into a dream.
The promise of a product that will iron out my wrinkles and leave me with skin as smooth as a newly botoxed forehead (without having to actually have the botox) is all too tempting.
Even though I know the chances are it probably won't fulfil all the claims on the back of the pack, the possibility that it might do is reason enough for me to part with my hard earned cash.
In the recent national poll of 2,200 women, 56% said they'd happily spend £30 on a mascara and 57% said they'd rather dump their boyfriend than go out without their "face" on - which is an interesting trade off...
Two thirds admitted it would cost them up to £550 to replace their make-up collection. One in 10 said it would be more like £700.
The poll also found that the average make-up collection contains a mind-boggling 54 different items, from more than 12 countries, and is worth around £512.
At first I thought this seemed like a ridiculous figure. I mean, who actually spends that much money on a bit of powder and a lipstick? But then I sheepishly thought about my own make-up collection.
The pricey foundation recommended to me by a make-up artist, the coloured palettes of eye-shadow that would give Barbara Cartland a run for her money, a holy trinity of lipliner, lipstick and lipgloss to achieve the perfect pout, the lash-enhancing mascara, the lash-thickening mascara, the lash-lengthening mascara. And so it goes on.
Most women carry 16 items of make-up in their handbag, worth around £130 in total, and most have 38 more "must-haves" at home, worth another £382.
The number of items and the amount spent on them may seem on the steep side, but when we're constantly surrounded by heavily airbrushed images of celebrities each extolling the virtues of a particular product, is it any wonder so many of us are searching for a way to emulate their impossibly youthful complexions and unfeasibly glossy hair?
Yes, my rational side knows that if I buy an expensive mascara from a posh brand it's not going to actually make me look like Penelope Cruz. I even know, from reading the small print on the glossy ads, that her particular Bambi-eyed look is achieved with the help of fake eyelashes and computer jiggery-pokery. But it doesn't stop me lusting over the latest 'must-have' lash enhancer.
It seems that none of us are immune from the effects of endless advertising campaigns promising youth and beauty in a bottle. Anyone who's ever caught an episode of Geordie Shore (think fake tan, fake eyelashes and lashings of lipgloss) won't be surprised to hear Newcastle lasses have the costliest cosmetic collections, worth £600, compared with £298 in Cornwall.
In Birmingham, where the most extreme make up addicts were to be found, two thirds of women surveyed said they would rather buy make up than go on a dinner date - but maybe that's saying more about the men of Birmingham than anything else...
The fact is, when we spend money on beauty products, we're buying ourselves the possibility of achieving flawless skin, or come-to-bed eyes, or kissable lips. And let's not forget, a bit of pampering can do your confidence wonders. Is it so wrong to spend money on lotions and potions to lift and brighten the skin, if they lift and brighten your mood, too?
I know of some people who literally won't leave the house without wearing full make-up. I think it's a sad state of affairs if you feel you can't face the world without your face masked.
But a bit of tinted moisturiser to perk yourself up, a slick of lipgloss here, a touch of mascara there, is it really so wrong to give yourself a helping hand in enhancing what you've got?
For what it's worth, I like a bit of lippy as much as the next girl, but there's certainly nothing wrong with a bit of bare-faced cheek.
Just because the glossy ad campaigns are telling us we need to plump, firm, tighten and brighten our faces, doesn't mean we should feel pressurised into spending obscene amounts of cash on beauty products.
After all, you wouldn't catch a man spending that much money on making himself look good.
But perhaps we should take a closer look at our beauty habits. Surely we should buy make-up because it's fun and frivolous and peps us up, not because the posh make-up brands and glam-looking celebs tell us to?
Maybe we should try going au naturel once in a while. And if we do decide to splash the cash on cosmetics, we should do it because we want to treat ourselves, not because we're hoping to be transformed into a supermodel.
It's important to love the skin we're in and not to get bogged down with trying to achieve perfection - there's no such thing. After all, as Cheryl Cole et al would say, 'we're worth it....'
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