Vintage Model Upkeep

Keep this vintage body running is expensive – it is a needy, cranky model that sputters, chokes and whines without the proper fuel and cleaning.

After that deluge of shopping indiscretions that came out last week, it gave me pause about my spending habits, which on big purchases are really pretty restrained.

What’s become the large budget item for me is just routine vintage body upkeep, which I’d never bothered to add up and get a total for before.  I  could fill my closets with Birkins in the course of the year if I’d just let Mother Nature have her bitchy way with me.

Do you remember reading some of those divorce settlement requests of the stars where women requested a few thousand a month for personal upkeep alone?  Yeah, I laughed too.  This is y’all’s chance to laugh at me. Those who are in a similar boat can commiserate.  Remember, this is quarterly, not  monthly.

  • Pedicure & manicure x 6 – $300
  • Hair coloring (this varies on whether I’m cheating on my usual expensive stylist with an even more expensive one) – $250
  • Haircut between coloring – $50
  • Yoga monthly membership x3 – $360
  • Tanning monthly membership x3 (hey, don’t judge) – $240
  • Laser on face to keep peaches ‘n cream complexion or just avoid looking as haggy as I could – $500
  • Filler 1-2x per year, so in half – $300
  • Cosmetics that are essential – does not include new shades of lipsticks, eyeshadow, mascara, nail polish, just refills on mascara, foundation, etc – $300.
  • If I Included new shades of everything – $600+ depending on whether I liked the new collections
  • Pilates – 4-6 sessions a month at $20 per – $260
  • Acupuncture to keep stuff working  2x a month – $440
  • Rolfing 1x a month just to keep shit in line  – $300
  • Waxing 1x a month – $390
  • Massage to work out kinks from working out – $200
  • increase in monthly food bill to have organic food so I don’t introduce more toxins into system that lived through, but barely remembers, the ’70s and ’80s – $400
  • Lotions – this is Colorado, the parched skin capital of the world, so I can go through several of these a month for lips, hands, body, etc – $100
  • Perfume – no, let’s don’t, I can’t even face that.  But just refills of fragrances that I wear personally and replace is 100-200 a month as an average. So I have a few’ish bottles that I wear personally and I have to average over 20 years.

What did I miss? So far, I’m at 5k plus every three months.  I’m stunned, shocked and quite a bit chagrined.  So is this just me?  Or is it normal for women over 40 or 50?  I’m not willing to give up any of it.  The good news is, with all of this upkeep, I have zero medical problems, so spend almost nothing on medicine or doctors.

Perversely, I feel a lot better about buying those bags now.  Paying to get rid of bags and paying to get them.  A puzzle.  Do we want to go back to talking about sperm now?

  • Cole says:

    Well its really good to buy stuff especially if you work hard for it. It is also not bad if you want to get things just because you want to feel good about yourself.

  • Odis Rebman says:

    following the blog, great stuff!

  • Claire Ryder says:

    I think M Patty has over estimated. I think the most important thing to consider is much of that is health related. And much of that is not every month. You have worked hard since you were about 11. AND you have done it YOURSELF. You deserve everything you spend and get.

  • eldora says:

    Awww, Patty, come sit next to me. (patting the mani chair next to mine) I think most people don’t realize what this altitude, on a daily basis, can do to your skin and hair. People here in CO, play hard. Pampering is necessary in order to look half decent. My favorite treat is a day at Tall Grass after spending a couple of days cross-country skiing and/or snow shoeing. Plus, with my small children, I have to contend with the Evergreen Stepford moms that easily spend twice what you do on mainteance.

    • Patty says:

      🙂 I’ve got a pretty tough skin. That’s why I need all this pampering. I’m still shocked at how different my skin and hair are here than they were in Kansas, with some humidity. And when you start skiing, hiking, biking in that dry, dry air on top of it, you can become pretty much a dried-out husk if you’re not careful.

      if I lived in Costa Rica, I don’t think I’d even bother with any beauty treatments, they just don’t seem to be needed.

  • Stephen says:

    How effective is rolfing? I was thinking of giving it a go but am a little unsure of how severe it is! I have heard that the ‘rolfer’ breaks aprt your skeleto-muscular system, and that it can bring up trauma memory, if you have one , of course. By the way I have recently got into Arabic oil perfumes and have been trying to contact Abdul Samad Al Qurashi in London. Guess what? No reply. Contacted the website,twice, guess what? No reply!! Does anyone know if they have closed their London branch? Thanks for any info,


    • maidenbliss says:

      I would like to know more about the effectiveness of rolfing, too. I googled yesterday, but I feel
      it’s always better to hear about something first hand.

      • Patty says:

        BTW, if either of you want to know more or have specific questions, feel free to e-mail me over there on the Contact Us link. I’m a big proponent of rolfing and acupunture, if you can’t tell. And yoga. 🙂

    • Patty says:

      Stephen it has been amazing for me. I injured my knee twice last January, stupid turning thing, and that whole leg just stiffened up. I’d had problems in my ankles for years that I thought I had to just live with.

      I’m not sure exactly what they are doing. It’s been explained to me, but essentially it is massaging deeply to re-establish the flow in your system, so blood, oxygen and everything else gets through all parts of your body, and the body will heal itself.

      i started going about three months after my injured myself because it clearly wasn’t getting better, and I honestly just saw myself not being able to move around without limping a lot for the rest of my life, and it was throwing off my hip balance, and my yoga was just crap, I had to be careful of everything.

      We did ten sessions to go through the whole process, but I had so much relief and improvement after the first couple of sessions. My ankle swelling went down, my knee started extending properly, even thought it still felt stiff. I’ve been going for almost a year now, about 1x every 6-8 weeks for maintenance after going through the first big push, and it’s made all the difference in the world. my body is in alignment, my ankles are normal sized, my knee moves as it should, hyperextends and extends. She fixed stuff that was really old, my right shoulder has a ton of scar tissue in it from an old car accident. It’s not perfect yet, but it continually improves.

      I highly recommend it for chronic soft-tissue pain and mobility issues, back issues, shoulder – well, pretty much everything. You’ll find out in the first couple of sessions if it will help you or not.

      The one thing she couldn’t quite get to resolve was my hip, which is why I started acupuncture. She’s able to get into some of the deep knotting.

      so, yeah, absolutely. I can’t live a decent, mobile, hiking, physical activity filled life without it.

  • LeBeau says:

    Ha! This is great. I just read this to my husband and explained to him how I’m a ‘bargain’!!

    Actually, I love clothes and shoes and shoes (did I mention shoes)…not make up so much. I have great complexion for 44, so I just don’t need it-plus we are a ski resort and few of my friends wear make up unless going out at night. Now, perfume, I’m there, but most of my expenses are athletic equipment. I can’t imagine going into winter without at least one new pair of downhill skis (need 3 pair to chose from), skate skis no more that 2 years old…new snowboard every other year, a new mountain bike every few summers, same with a road bike. And that doesn’t include the outfits to go with it all…

    To each his own, carpe diem, it could all end so easily, enjoy it while you can!

    • Patty says:

      Happy to help! 🙂 I used to be a bargain.

      see, everyone has their thing that they are willing to unloose the purse strings on and that is important. Mine changes all the time, but I sure have fun while I’m playing in a new area.

  • nozknoz says:

    Patty, my beauty routine has always been selective and not that expensive. For decades I neglected myself in favor of work, and I decided a couple years ago that I would no longer let work keep me from doing what I needed to do in order to be healthy. Frankly, the time that goes into the gym (serious weights), preparing real (mostly organic) food, private lessons to get into Pilates, lots of walking, etc., is more impressive than the money, and it IS worth it.

    My true indulgence these days is vintage perfume. I’ve always loved scent, but discovering The Guide and blogs had enabled me to love both wisely and well <:-p Thank you, Patty, and all other bloggers for enabling this quest for olfactory beauty. And skank. Beautiful skank!

    • Patty says:

      Oh, yeah. I had no idea how much time it required to eat healthy – wait, that’s all wrong. i grew up on a farm, and we ate organically before it was cool to eat that way. And it took all sorts of time and effort every single day just to feed ourselves.

      If I just moved back to the farm, I could take care of all these issues, including the tanning. 🙂

      vintage perfume, oh, yikes. I have a couple of bents in that direction, but I try and keep it in check. My modern perfume habit is bad enough!

  • ScentRed says:

    Hi Patty – I say: “You go girl”. Ya, it’s a lot of money. But it’s your money and if it helps you feel good, look good and be healthy – then it sounds like money well spent. I’m still in the midst of the haphazard personal care days that seem to go with being a working mom of two little ones. I feel I’ve aged considerably in the past 6 years since becoming a Mom. This is primarily because I don’t do the things that used to keep me looking good – good sleep, swimming, yoga, facials, acupuncture and general good personal care. I barely find time to go to the doctor, or the bathroom ;-). I’ve resolved to take better care of myself. I wouldn’t change a minute of the past 6 years, but I do look forward to finding a bit more time (and $) to do many of the things on your list. OK, probably not the tanning, although I’m not judging. Every spring I look at my pasty, veiny legs and consider tanning, at least for a few days 🙂

    • Patty says:

      Yeah, I’ve done that. Those early years with kids eat up all your time, and you really don’t want to spend that much time away from there, they grow up so fast. I neglected all those things for those years, and then it just extended into 20 years, which was too long. All moms need a plan to get back into pampering when they feel it’s the right time. Even if it’s just a massage or a yoga class or meditation or a facial. It feels soooooo good.

  • Kate says:

    My vote is for posts about sperm and fragrance.

  • Ruanne says:

    I’ve been reading the site for about a month, and I’m surprised at myself that a non-perfume related topic is the first one I can’t resist chiming in on, but here it is. Patty, I am noticing a preponderance of responses from women who spend less, and I do admire all the creative ways of staying gorgeous for free or very little, but in case it makes you feel better, here’s one 46 year old who may spend more- and in my case, it’s just to stay what I consider “normal.”

    Near D.C. here, the stylist has me for $200 every month, massage is a non-negotiable monthly expense, and the only skin products that ever earn me compliments on my skin are Kiehl’s. You do the math (seriously- I was an English & Philosophy major. I actually can’t do the math.)

    P.S. Give spray tans another chance.

    • Patty says:

      Welcome! I’ve always been fine with both sides of the “cosmetic” equasion, having lived on either one of them and been fine with it. I think we all look in the mirror differently. I’m a total girly girl, but I never indulged that side of me in big ways, just in small ways – perfume, new mascara – while I was raising my kids, they just needed stuff, and I felt guilty spending. Now I don’t mind spending their inheritance at all. 🙂

      Can’t do the smell with spray tans. I’d rather be pale as can be than endure that smell one more time. It takes like four days for that smell to abate, and I can’t even s mell my perfume!

  • Winifreida says:

    What an extraordinary cross-section of people, united by a love of perfume! Who’d have thought?

  • nbh says:

    Hi Patty,

    If you want to maintain your wonderful health, please stop the tanning. Melanoma is a bad, bad way to die. Spend the money you save on more perfume!

  • maggiecat says:

    Patty – like you, I suddenly and quite without my conscious awareness became high maintenance. I found out that my ahir looks much better when I let someone else color it every two months – and she might as well cut it while I’m there…Spinal fusion surgery has pretty much dictated that someone else has to take care of my toes as well – besides which it’s a lovely treat. I belong to a Massage clinic that offers a monthly low fee…All of which make sense, until we get to the skin care, make-up and perfume, at which point all I can say is “high maintenance – and worth it!”

    • Patty says:

      I’ve accepted myself as being “high Maintenance” for the time being, well, until I’m not, which may be never.

      Pedicures are lovely, seriously.

  • Disteza says:

    I’m not in your target demographic, but I also spend an awful lot of money on things. One of my jobs is coaching fencing, so there’s a lot of outlay for travel to tournaments, equipment, and taking classes and workshops. Of course, if you spend a lot of time sweating your stuff off under a mask and gloves who needs cosmetics or manicures? I spend very little on those sorts of things, but those savings end up going to my other obsession, flamenco, which has its own set of associated costs. And then there’s all of the background stuff I have to do to keep up with the fencing and flamenco; weight lifting and cardio classes, exercise equipment for the house, running shoes and the like. Throw in the occasional piece of couture, the costumery (of which there is much), perfume, wine, tea and chocolate habits and I end up spending a pretty chunk of change.
    My only real cosmetic outlay comes from the $250 a quarter hair cut and color, which I’ve been doing since I was 15. I hate my hair color, a mousy ash brown, and since it has obliged me by starting to turn grey in my 20’s I feel justified in continuing to color it over.

    • Shelley says:

      Flamenco? Really?? Wow, b-) . I am fond of tango…I don’t do, mind you, but am fond, and admire those who can…but I have not “met” a flamenco dancer. (No matter how far I’ve cast-a-net to find them, ar har har….) Very cool.

      My humor, not so cool. :-b

      • Disteza says:

        Flamenco is the single hardest thing I’ve ever done, and that’s before you bring the castnets into it. I’ve had classes that caused my brain to go into nuclear meltdown to the point that I was not safe to drive afterwards. It’s rhythmically/musically demanding, mentally challenging, and physically punishing. I’ve done many forms of dance, but it seems like the hardest one is the one I’ve stuck with. Maybe I’m just a masochist. b-(

      • carter says:

        Yes, flamenco is seriously cool ^:)^

    • Patty says:

      Fencing AND flamenco. You’re my new hero. I’ve tried fencing, and you’re right, the costs of equipment, etc., is staggering. I wasn’t aggressive enough when I took lessons to do it.

      Flamenco, OTOH, my tap teacher gave me some castanets to work with to try and get my tapping rhythm worked out. Just that is seriously hard work. I am in awe. If I were good at that sort of thing, I’d toss everything over to do just that.

      so how do you learn how to flamenco? 🙂

      • Disteza says:

        Well, first thing to do is to try and find classes in your area–I know there are options around NYC, DC and LA, and of course throughout the southwest there is a large community with it’s epicenter in NM. There’s a small flamenco community in Denver, you can always attend a local performance and see if it’s something that interests you. Feel free to talk to the performers once they’re done–they can usually help point you toward a local teacher or more information at least. A background in music or dance is especially helpful, but a sense of rhythm is is something you’ll need if you seriously want to delve. Once you know you want to take classes, get a decent pair of heeled dance shoes (check whether nails are allowed first!), and listen to as much flamenco music as you can (you need as much exposure as you can stand to the different palos, which are a combination of the musical structure, mood and rhythm). @};-

  • Chantal says:

    I’m about half your age and I already think I spend a lot on things upkeep. The idea that it will only go up is scary!

    If I can be slightly critical in the comments, why are you tanning? You seem well aware of health issues and also how things taffect the way you look but if anything gives your skin a leathery appearance it is tanning.

    • Patty says:

      Oh, I don’t mind. I’ve tanned or not tanned a lot through my life, and my skin hasn’t ever been leathery. I don’t tan much, I keep it really light, and I may change my mind on it. But for right now, I just like a very light tan on my face, I can skip foundation entirely, and I keep up with the laser just to combat any effects. If my doc screams at me about it when I go in next for laser, I’ll rethink it.

      But i’m not spending much time in it, like 1x a week sometimes 1x every 10 days to 2 weeks. i don’t like dark tans on me at all, so i’m not going for that look.

      • Karen G says:

        My biggest indulgence (not including perfume) is the laser and BBL treatments I started about 3 years ago for rosacea. It has done wonders, but my laserist would flat out refuse to treat me if I tanned AT ALL.

  • patuxxa says:

    I’m with you, though thankfully most things are a little cheaper on my corner of the big blue planet 🙂 Two months ago I spent about $ 3000 on a three year course of permanent laser hair removal and it felt like a fortune at the time, but now I’m thinking it was the best spent money ever… And still I do my mani myself every week because I’m a perfectionist! I guess it’s about finding the right balance and the best deal :d/

    • Patty says:

      Oh, you I need to talk to! So how bad was that permanent? Much as I love my aesthetist, I do not love waxing. Advice on who to go to?

      • patuxxa says:

        As for advice, I live in Portugal so can’t really help, but take care in choosing: in the good places you’re supposed to have a medical consultation first and they might advise you against tanning for some weeks after each session. Depending on the, um… abundance and color of your body hair, they’ll tell you how many sessions you need. Since I have light mediterranean skin and hairy Hobbit legs, I went for the 3 year unlimited session pack for whole leg, bikini line and underarm to make sure every little bastard is zapped! The feeling is a weird cold/hot ticklish thing; usually if you find it too unbearable they switch to lower potency. But what a difference! I needed to wax every three weeks. I had my first laser session just before Xmas and very little grew back… and what did is mich finer. A good start!

  • Flowergirl says:

    I am not being judgmental but do you tan your face when you in the tanning bed? If so, doesn’t that counteract the effectiveness of the facial lasers?

    • Patty says:

      See above. 🙂 Maybe a little, but I’ve always had relatively great skin, even having done tanning at different points in my life.

  • Doesn’t tanning undo the laser therapy?

    • Patty says:

      Well, it depends, and I have mixed feelings about it. Up until recently, I was a suncreen always girl, never out in the sun, did spray-on tans. But I really just hate the fake bake – hate the smell, the fade, everything. So when I was in Costa Rica, I got a little bit of sun there, not a lot, and I think I just look better with a light tan. I don’t really need any foundation at all with that. So less chemicals on my face, I still wear SPF all the time if I’m not doing my 10 minutes in the booth.

      So I’m just doing like 1x a week, 10 minutes, keeping a light tan, never burning, and the laser just undoes any damage I may have caused. I’ll let you know if my doc screams at me next time I go in. I may change my mind on it, but then I look at y beautiful 75-year-old mother who has worked outdoors all of her life and has gorgeous skin, but she’s also never burned her skin, only tans. I’ve been told all the damage is in the sunburn.

      • Gretchen says:

        Still have to disagree with you on the tanning, Patty– keep the UV off your skin and you won’t have to spend nearly so much on the laser treatments! YES, tanning ages the epidermis, even though more slowly than burning. Some of us have more natural protection than others, but still. . . my Irish-American skin spent a lifetime in California (childhood and adolescence in the days before SPF ratings) and at age 35 I had a basal-cell skin cancer removed. So I’ve decided to accept my fair skin, and leave it that way!

        • Patty says:

          I just started doing the tanning like a week ago. Here’s the reason. I came back from Costa Rica with a nice, light tan, and I liked it, and I’d like to keep it. My problem with my skin is if I get out in the sun, even with jacked-up SPF, if I’m not 100% vigilant about reapplying every 30 minutes or so, a burn will happen. The burn is the worst thing in the world. I like being outdoors, love it, and it just spoils it for me to worry about that.

          so I’m thinking if I get a light tan, I can still wear the SPF, but that tan will help protect my skin.

          I do almost nothing on my face, you can turn off the lights for that in the booth, which I do.

          I have no idea if I’ll keep it up, but it just seems like a better option to lay down and keep a very light tan than to be so fair and be outside as much as I like to be and be always at risk of burning that fair skin so quickly. Once I do have a very light tan, burning almost never happens because I still am careful and keep on my SPF.

          Maybe I’m all wrong on this, but I spent most of my vacation outdoors, and I did burn early on, even with SPF, and it annoys me beyond belief. Once I had that light tan, no more burning, and the spf kept away more darkening of the tan, which I don’t want. I hate dark tans on me, bleah.

      • Louise says:

        Patty-nope-no pass on the taning. Unless you have a real Vitamin D deficiency, even a light tan means damage. My mom had really stunning skin, even after years in the sun. Then she had skin cancer…very disfiguring…so, um, please stop? 🙁

  • lemonprint says:

    I’m saving this one and reading all the comments, but before I have time to do that I’ll just say:

    Yes, 41, and noticing that I’m now spending probably $200 per month on maintenance – just maintenance. And no, I’m not willing to stop spending it and let Nature have her way with me. And I’m pissed about it, because I do feel stuck. Would I rather spend that $200 on unnecessary lip glosses, perfumes, and handbags? You bet I would.

    I’m not sure where it will all end. I don’t do many of the things you do but I couldn’t say anyone shouldn’t do them. I see the point and even feel the necessity. It’s not good. If the time comes when I can’t afford them, I feel like I will shrivel up like Dorian Gray’s picture, perhaps all in a day.

    • Patty says:

      I think that’s about where I was at 40-45.

      you know, I don’t really feel stuck. I’ve just decided to sit back and enjoy it. Aging brings a lot of annoying things, but it brought me permission in my own head to do things like this, to take the time to get a massage or a facial or a pedicure or whatever, and they feel really great. 🙂

      • lemonprint says:

        See, it sounds as though you’ve made a decision to pamper – to me that’s not maintenance. Maintenance is “If I don’t buy this eye cream I’m going to start seeing crow’s feet and I don’t want to see crow’s feet. Ergo, I am going to buy this eye cream rather than those lip glosses.” (Sorry to fixate on the lip glosses – I just refreshed “the usuals”, I carry about six of the stupid things.) And the health related things you mention and that folks are talking about in the comments – organic food and exercise are health maintenance, not cosmetic/beauty maintenance.

        Which is just to say: I’m healthier than I was 20 years ago and I’d like to believe I’d still be lovely if I stopped with the creams and the makeup, but I’m not going to because I am a bit afraid I would shrivel up like the aforementioned pic of Dorian Gray. I have lovely skin but it is dry and I feel like I need Unguents.

        Occasionally I’m now indulging in a trip to a cheap day spa, and I pay $50 per month for both a gym membership and good quality multivitamins combined – I can’t really fault those things. Again, they seem health-related, not vanity-related.

        I live in the NY area where mani/pedis seem to be a way of life but I’ve still never gotten one. The one perfect feature I got free in this life was my fingernails, and I grew up a country girl – I do them myself. And on a good day I get my sweetheart to cut my toenails. 🙂

  • Pattie says:

    I’ll be 51 in a month. I used to think of myself as low maintenance, but that has slowly changed over the last few years. While my monthly upkeep is not quite a high as yours, it’s close. I’m all for accepting aging gracefully, but i hate that tired, worn out look, so I keep fighting it.
    My color is the most expensive, both in terms of money and – time. Foils every 3 months and base in between. AND, I have to drive to boulder to get them done because I can’t bear the thought of anyone else doing my color.
    Don’t get manicures, but need pedicure every few months.
    Filler 2x per year, just started with botox.
    For years I worked out at home and was happy not to pay a gym membership, but suddenly, i need more help. I’m stiff and gravity is a bitch. so i joined a new club downtown, and started with pilates again. Too soon to know how much that will cost, i just want to stick with it. I shouldn’t need the extra help, but I do.
    I’m not bad on costmetics, and am forcing myself to use cheaper skincare lines.
    It really does add up, though. And while I feel very vain reading my list, i’m just not ready to let it go.

    • Patty says:

      Hey, you’re a 1959 baby too!

      I think that’s it too. I don’t feel worn out at all, I feel vibrant and healthy and strong. When the reflection in the mirror is confusing me, that’s when I started changing things minorly. I don’t want big changes, just the tweaks. But regardless, I don’t make judgments on what woomen choose to do or not do. I think it’s so individual.

      I read this thing in Yoga Journal, I think, about a yoga master that was working with Sting’s wife, and she was complaining about how stiff her joints were, and he goes, “Joints not stiff, mind stiff.”

      I dunno. 🙂 I need the help I get from a coach too, just to push me a little motivate me, it gives me some accountability that my head seems to need.

  • Olfacta says:

    Hmmm…I’m older than you, blessed with good skin, but I think this cold and unforgiving winter has aged me five years. My focus has always been on keeping the body healthy and supple (after all, I’m an ex-Californian), so…expensive gym, but I spend much time there; lots of saunas and whirlpool baths and occasional massage. No cosmetic surgery so far. Yucky feet so I do my own pedicures. I work with acrylic paints, gels, sanding, etc so manicures are a lost cause anyway. Fact is, I still do most of my own upkeep. The last facial I had left me with a scar on my nose — this is not a city where one finds the top-tier personal-service people. I split the hair-coloring with my stylist (I’ve always been pretty good at hair). Since the recession we’re seriously cut back on things like travel. So I guess my primary indulgence is perfume, which makes up for a whole lot imho!

    • Patty says:

      The Colorado dry air has been wicked the last two decades on my skin. When we were in Costa Rica, the one thing my mom and I both noticed is that we werne’t using any moisturizer, and my skin was amazing.

      Is perfume an indulgence? I was making a nonedible fifth food group.

  • Musette says:

    I was going to comment last night but got skeered:”>

    I used to have your life, Patty, in terms of beauty outlay – then I changed my business and with it, my income, geographical/social location. After several years of severe depression, wherein I did next to nothing to keep myself up (Y’all saw me at the Scentsation – that is NOT how I normally looke(ed) – I am finally pulling myself out of my pity party and getting back to health, both physically and psychologically. With that is coming a renewed interest in how I look – but there’s been an adjustment in what I do/spend on myself.

    My gym here costs $40/mo for a family membership, bless me!
    Rodney Yee is HAWT! And I don’t have to drive 23 miles to do yoga (what did we do before DVD?)
    I do my own feet now – had a pedi scare.
    Occasional mani, for general upkeep – but working in construction, even though I don’t actually DO construction, is counterintuitive to painted-nail manicures.

    Hair – a good cut a couple times a year then I have to snip off the ends every other day (y’all saw how curly my hair is – no other option, unless I want to pay Sally Herschberger to follow me around with a pair of scissors – hey!:-?

    Face – def a facial couple times a year.

    Now I’m getting into a lot of solo events that don’t cost a thing. My life is a bit chaotic so my indulgences are long walks – ALONE. I look forward to those daily walks!

    But I like your outlay – it’s good to keep other people employed (I’m serious!) and if it makes you feel good and look good (and I’m with Denyse on why you are as lovely as you are) – keep it up!

    xoxo >-)

    • Shelley says:

      Rodney Yee. I remember one of my semi-annual Oprah hauntings happened to be on a day when he was on, and I thought, wait a minute, she knows about him? And she kept on talking about how hot he was, and he looked so cutely uncomfortable when she drooled on, erm, carried on…

      …rats. This means I’ve gone public with the fact that I was the once, and now wish to be future, Queen of Yoga. Okay, if I can tackle the local park with my X-C skis, I can get back to being bendy and strong.

      • Patty says:

        go for it! I try not to look at all the teeny young graceful bendy bodies when I go to class. I just try to think I look that way in my head instead. 🙂

    • Patty says:

      Can you do yoga to a DVD? I’ve tried that over and over again. I have at least 30 yoga DVDs, and I just can’t do it. I blame my discipline. I just need the class and a guide live and in person pushing me along and a set class time I have to get to. I admire all of you that can do it on your own.

      I do believe in putting money into the economy, whenever I can. 😡

      but I’m with you on the long walks. I tend to abandon them in the wintertime, unless it’s a mild winter, and this one has been cold. There is nothing that can get your head put on straighter than that. I ran for a while, and that does the same thing, but until rolfing/acupuncture/yoga/prayer fixes my hip (and the acupuncture really made a difference), running is just out.

      • Shelley says:

        I know what you mean about class and motivation, Patty…I actually do/have done both. Exercise or yoga, with others or alone with my telly. Right now I’m finding that cardio and strength specific stuff work okay at home–I’d much rather be outside, walking or riding a bike or what have you–but this weather stymies a lot of that. For some reason, the yoga is not working so well at home right now. I need a friend to help motivate me into a classroom, where I’ll reconnect, and then it will all click. I think. (So thanks much for the encouraging words above. >:d< )

        • Patty says:

          I just think you go through phases in your life where doing community exercise works and other times when solitude is better. Right now I”m in a community frame of mind. I love drawing on all the energy in that hot, sweaty room. It’s expansive.

  • maidenbliss says:

    Now I can stop feeling weird for living in the country, going on long power walks, doing yoga on my front steps (minimal traffic), meditating daily, curling up w a book in front of wood stove. Perfume is my only indulgence, well maybe good wine. Patty, it’s seriously scary to me to even ponder your budget probably because I once lived like that. Now, I am a minimalist, but before The Divorce 🙂 I’d say my life was very similar to yours, along w the condo in Vail-it IS so dry there! Flannels are my new fashion statement. Lee, are you my neighbor?

    • Patty says:

      YOur life sounds lovely. I’ve lived that life too, and I like them both. I was pretty minimalist for the last three decades, with some rounds of indulgence.

      I keep thinking, if the rolfing and acupuncture ever fix my hip well enough so I can go back to riding, I’d probably sell my house in the city and move to the country and buy some horses. But if I can’t ride them, I don’t want to.

      My indulgences came after The Divorce. 8-| for a while I did it just as my way of comforting myself, but then I found out how much I liked it. :-w

      It seems like everyone should have at least a short period of time in their life to do that kind of pampering. Whether a person keeps it or not is a different matter entirely, but just trying it on is really lovely.

      • maidenbliss says:

        Having lived on both sides of the coin I actually do agree it’s lovely to pare it down. But I do miss Bailey, my horse:) and Whole Foods or even a decent co-op. I admire your candor in bringing forth the budget. Have you ever tried Renew by Melaleuca? I’ve got extremely dry skin, it’s an age thing for sure. Renew is about the best moisturizer I’ve tried.

        • Patty says:

          I’m pretty sure I will pare it down. I find myself not doing some of those things for longer periods of time because they just aren’t that important, some things I add. The priorities have become all the items that are for overall health and vitality and just pure indulgence. If I can combine those, I’m super-happy.

          I miss Whole Paycheck just when I visit my mom in Kansas!

          I’ll look into Renew. You have the same Colorado problem, right? I never trust anyone’s moisturizer recommendations unless they’ve lived here and know how brutal the dryness is.

          • maidenbliss says:

            Just about snuffed myself w my Pino Grigio-that was hilarious about WF! So true!!
            I do know CO weather and it wreaks havoc on skin. That’s why I mentioned Renew. I’m not a huge fan of Melaleuca, but that particular moisturizer is the HG for me. You said it perfectly about priorities-being pampered, overall health, indulgence. Sunscreen, exercise, mediation/prayer, good friends and good food. Nirvana. You are right about Costa Rica and no need to slather. Tropics take care of that.

  • Astra says:

    Patty, do you manage to get to both yoga and Pilates? I’m impressed. I keep thinking of trying Pilates but I love me my yoga and I don’t even do that as much as I want to.

    • Patty says:

      right now, it’s just yoga because I’m doing this 33-day fitness/nutrition thing, Circuit or weight workouts for an hour every morning and then yoga in the afternoon. Once that’s over, I’ll go back to 1x-2x a week of Pilates just because it does different things for me than yoga – it may be less if I’m adding in some other things as well. I’m not sure how that’s going to work in with the boxing workouts I want to add in. too many things I’d like to do!

  • Ines says:

    That was very brave of you. 🙂 I’m not that brave, I’m only in my 30s but the most of my expenses go for things to keep me looking and feeling healthy and young (yes, I know I’m not exactly old, but if I don’t start now, it will be much harder later).
    if you can afford it, I say go for it and enjoy. 🙂

    • Patty says:

      Not sure about brave. 🙂 I have a really good sense of myself, so anyone else’s opinion has almost no impact on me.

      I agree with doing things at your age to keep yourself healthy. Taking care of all the mechanics 20 years ago could have helped me avoid some of the remedial work I’m doing now that will never get me back to 100%. Good for you!

  • Louise says:

    Oh, I’m way below Lee in my upkeep-completly low-maintenance. Chop off my own hair, never wear makeup, disdain new clothes, no pampering at all…and my friends may now peel themselves off the floor or ceiling, as needed 8-| =))

    • Tommasina says:

      You and me, L: peas in a pod. Never colored my hair; I just hack off a few inches every so often standing with head upside-down over trash can, using medical scissors (brilliantly sharp). Never had manicure or pedicure in my life. Swap treatments with reflexologist friend (we both do a few different modalities) but do have occasional cranial osteopathy and acupuncture sessions for which I pay (not covered by insurance). Gym membership goes out automatically but is, I think, $35 / month. Buy Aveeno in bulk with coupons from Costco; clothes from thrift stores or swap parties I have with girlfriends 3-4 times a year. A couple of 2-3 day breaks a year in off season at high-rise cheapo beach motel (otherwise, would-be ‘vacation time’ is visiting my mother in France or MIL in TX). Perfumes mostly from swapping, or bought with saved-up birthday and Christmas money. DVDs and books borrowed from library. Money therefore mostly spent on vet bills, organic food, supplements, and those non-vacation vacations visiting the only family we have left – pore fings wot we are! Am now feeling cheap…

    • Patty says:

      Where is that icon that has the unbelieving look, Louise?

      We need to discuss facials. I’m going to cut back drastically on any new cosmetics, have already, and put it into facials instead, but I don’t know what to start with.

  • Melissa says:

    I don’t have the money or time for your upkeep regime, but I would enjoy it quite a bit! At 49, I would love to do more pampering than I do. If I had the time, I would tally up my spending-it would probably be more than I like. Some of it is frivolous and really not needed for “upkeep”. For instance, new shades of lipstick and eye-color.

    But as for rest of the list, I only do a few of those things and some don’t cost me much at all. For instance, my stepdaughter does my hair and I generally do my own nails, if I bother at all beyond shaping. Exercise? Walking, weights at home and stretching.

    Occasional fillers, when I have the $. A good quality, but not too spendy skin-care regime, with a mix of high-end and budget-conscious product.

    Fragrance is my weakness, though I rarely buy now without splitting bottles with friends. Still, if I spent the time to go through all of my purchases, I would find plenty of areas to cut back if I wanted to be completely frugal. I just don’t want to be, at this point in my life.

    • Patty says:

      I should have called this more pampering than upkeep. that’s what I love about it. I like being coddled and lotioned and perfumed and massaged and fussed over. There was never enough time, even when there was money, for many, many years. Now I’ve got a good balance of both, and it’s lovely, really.

      • Melissa says:

        I would love to do more of both! But I also think of pampering as a form of upkeep. The more I get, the better I feel, and the better I keep up! :d

  • Silviafunkly says:

    I have always been surprisingly low maintenance in terms of beauty treatments (haircut once or twice a year, colour quarterly) but have detected an increasing expenditure trend in that department.

    Those out-of-bed hairstyles that still looked cute a few years ago, are now simply shabby without any chic. Regular facials at a certain age do make a crucial difference, I see it in the friends who invest more in themselves. I need to shift gear.

    I buy a lot of products though, way too many. Cosmetics, bath oils, make-up… a good portion of it, I never actually use: how silly is that?

    • Patty says:

      Honestly, I was low maintenance just a few years ago. 🙂 but I noticed what you did, as I let my haircuts and colors go too long, it just wasn’t cute anymore.

      I need to investigate facials, I just don’t know enough about them. but I think they would be good.

      I buy less product than I used to, and I keep cuttin back on it, except lotions, which I literally have hand and body lotion sitting on every flat piece of furniture in the house.

  • Alison says:

    Great topic! I’m 52 and spend a lot of time reading up on staying healthy and fit, for both myself and my kids. As a result my upkeep is focused more on working from the inside out. Must-haves:

    Organic food – I attended the opening of the first Whole Foods Market in Houston Texas (store #3) in 1983 and have been shopping at WFM ever since. Prices about the same or slightly less than local farmers market. I buy local and seasonal.

    Supplements – $50-$75 a month on top quality multi, fish oil, vitamin D and turmeric capsules so my brain doesn’t oxidize (dementia runs in the family)

    Yoga – $110/mo. Baptiste warm power yoga works *everything* inside and outside, and is great for purifying your skin as well.

    Sunscreen every day since I was in my teens – $10/mo. It shows, if I do say so (!).

    Body creams and lotions – $25/year. I make my own out of bulk-purchased fair-trade shea butter mixed with olive oil and sometimes aloe gel. $12/pound, 2x a year.

    Face care – $50/mo – Jane Iredale cosmetics, and Skin Biology treatment creams. Both are incredible value for the money.

    Nails – a nail brush in the shower keeps cuticles at bay, and a glass nailfile does the rest.

    • Patty says:

      I’ve turned into a big believer in organics. I grew up on them, growing up on the farm. What was shocking to me is how much later my boys matured (doing it at the normal age) compared to their peers. The only thing I can think of is they were fed all natural protein from my mom’s farm the whole time they were growing up, so they got minimal growth hormones that most kids are so horribly exposed to. If parents did one thing, that’s the one change I’d suggest, never ever buy anything but organic meats, or switch to another protein source, like beans or something, for your kids.

  • bloody frida says:

    I want your life!

    I’m 50, but do not have the income (I work at a non-profit, trying to keep people from being homeless) – but I truly love to live vicariously through you.

    • Patty says:

      It’s okay. It’s the first time in my life that I’m living vicariously through myself too. 🙂 I don’t know that I’ll keep it up for a long time, but I’m really enjoying the pampering a lot.

  • cinnamon says:

    I’m in my late 40s and becoming way more aware of the things that have lost something of their lustre. However, I think I’m just 1)naturally lower maintenance, 2) recently started a business and have next to no disposable income and 3) reject things like botox and fillers (not a moral position — just hate the idea unless there’s a good solid medical reason).

    I replace the mascara frequently. Everything else lives a longer life span, though I treat myself to gel eyeliners because I’ve found cheap good ones from GOSH.

    Like carmencanada, I get the hair cut by someone I adore and trust every 8 weeks, which is my biggest outlay. I’m starting to think about covering the grey, but I’m not there yet and when I am I’ll do it at home.

    E45 cream all over, including face and neck, at £5 a tub seems to work fine. But I couldn’t forsake my Shu Uemura cleansing oil, which is both gentle on the skin and feels utterly luxurious.

    I lust after all your acupuncture, massage, etc — and if I had the dosh I’d add in reflexology to that list. Besides the haircuts, those are the things I could really imagine throwing money at.

  • Lee says:

    $100 or thereabouts. More if I buy perfume, though that’s erratic nowadays – I’m more likely to sell some. What can I say – I’m cheap, live in the countryside, have skin an olive oil aficionado would be proud of, yoga is on nights that I’m often away with work.

    I wear SPF 25+ when it’s sunny, work outdoors a lot, and grow most of my own organic vegetables and fruit. I’m a 21st century hippy at heart.

    • Patty says:

      I’d love to grow some veggies. harry built me a greenhouse, but it’s not done, and it’s not very big. My whole backyard isn’t very big. Well, scratch that. I’d love to grow veggies in theory, but that’s another one of those flashbacks I have when I bend over to start picking tomatoes and greenbeans, I’m back on the farm going down a long row in the middle of summer, with 6 more rows to go. It would be lovely if I hadn’t spent the first 17 years of my life hating doing it so much. 🙂

      • Lee says:

        That’s a fair point. Being a townie who’s grandpa grew his own prize-winning stuff, it has very different connotations for me.

        And as I said up there – implicitly at least – time to look after yourself the way you want to!

        • Patty says:

          Yeah, we had the city cousins come out who thought it was great to snap two wash tubs full of beans. They just did it once, we were doing it every week or two.

          i think everyone should look after themselves in the way that feels best to them, whatever that entails.

          • Winifreida says:

            Farm kid too Patty; but I spent a lot of my life trying to get back and now finally have!
            But yeh, it was hard work in our parents generation. Now everything’s mechanised, they even have cow-milking robots!
            Working on my little farm is another thing that re-awakened my perfumista genes…the wonderful smells of everything in the countyside – vegetation, smoke, animals, its part of the human psyche I’m sure.:)

          • Patty says:

            Good for you. I miss a lot about living in the country, but after 30 years in some city or another, there’s a lot I like here. In my ideal world, I’d have a city place and a country place, but I see no possibility in my budget of that happening.

            it is the smells of the farm that formed me too. Timothy hay in the ditches, just the air, the smell of well water, the bad smells too. My favorite smell in the world will always be the neck of a horse. There is nothing else that makes me roll my eyes in pleasure quite as easily or predictably.

  • Fiordiligi says:

    Patty, I’m not sure I even want to think about this! I don’t have any of the fillers, lasers, tanning and that sort of thing but I live in London which is hugely expensive as you know, so cut and colour costs £200+ every 5 weeks, mani/pedi £130 every 3 weeks and facial £200 a month just for starters, then there is my medical pedicure every month at £110. I am not going to disclose my makeup habit….and yes, I do own a Birkin. And I’m certainly not going to talk about perfume expenditure, although that doesn’t count, does it?

    OK, better get working and earn some money now!

    • Patty says:

      Yikes on the mani-pedi! I give mine up for the winter, but take it back up again in spring.

      I keep looking at facials, but can’t bear to add something without taking something off the list. My problem is I have no idea what kind of facial to get!

      Perfume never counts. 🙂

  • Sweetie, we’re of similar vintage, but my upkeep budget, which I’ve never calculated, comes nowhere near that. Even if I could afford it, I simply don’t have the time.
    Shampoo,face and body creams come from the pharmacy, exercise is my Pilates mat routine and lots of walking, I don’t want a tan, I’ve let my hair grow back to its natural, premature silver, I do my feet, the only cosmetics replaced regularly are foundation, mascara and lipstick. My sole luxury is a 125 euro haircut every 6th week because I wear it in a bob and that has to be precision-cut.
    That said, you looked fabulous last time I saw you in Paris, so it’s money well spent — though most of the fabulousness is due to your vital spirit!

    • Patty says:

      I could do just that beauty-wise, but there are some items I can’t give up for health and physical upkeep. I’ve had a lot of injuries by just overusing my body through the years, so the acupuncture and rolfing and yoga are pretty much necessities now. Most of the rest are optional’ish, depending on time and money

    • Winifreida says:

      Hey Carmen! I went back to grey a few years ago as I got sick of the dyeing! I’ve always had this great dark mop of Celtic waves, and at the time I stopped dyeing I cut it all off! Then I just let it grow back, its so thick and healthy now and feels great and strangely makes my face looker younger? Incredibly liberating….
      And I think my perfume collecting obsession has taken place of the fascination with makeup and clothes…although I love lipstick still.
      I think the fact that I got over suntanning relatively young for a white Aussie has helped in the skin stakes…

      • carter says:

        Yes, lipstick is the ONE thing I really like and will buy just for the heck of it. Well, besides perfume, anyway. But I have to really fall in love first, and I’m not easy to woo [-(

    • carter says:

      If the color of my hair was a gorgeous as yours, Denyse, I’d drop the salon outlay in a hot minute! I resent the hell out of it and I’d love to do even less rather than more in terms of spending time and cash on this type of stuff.

      I fritter away my share of money, but not on cosmetics or procedures or (heaven forbid) tanning, simply because I’d feel like a hamster on a treadmill and truth be told, I just don’t want any it.

  • Masha says:

    Well, I live in a tiny town that has 10 cows and 20 sheep, maybe 25 goats for every human. The critters don’t seem to mind too much what I look like (I’m regularly licked by cows, is that a beauty treatment?), and I have no access to anything on your list except the lotion (Bag Balm and its Swiss equivalents are big around here, humans can use them, too). Military haircuts are available quarterly for those who can’t do it themselves. I suppose living where I do saves a pile of money! (But it’s best not to have too many mirrors in the house- 😉

    • Masha says:

      I forgot to add- for exercise, I run up and down the Alps, which are conveniently placed just behind my backyard. It’s free, but the shoes are kind of pricey (100 euros a pair, and they only last 6 months!). So running shoes and perfume are my big vices. I don’t know how the cows feel about my perfume, the rabbits don’t like it, but the goats mostly do.:d

    • Shelley says:

      Bag Balm is the super cool uber-fabulous secret potion around here. It’s funny to see people who wouldn’t have thought about it once wrap their heads around the concept…as they put that fabulous green tin into their cart…

    • Patty says:

      You know, I grew up with Bag Balm, we had to put it on the cow’s udders after milking, especially in the wintertime. I tried it a while back as a skin moisturizer, but it brought up horrible flashbacks of 5 a.m. in the barn in sub-zero whether with cows coming in covered with snow that fell on your head.

      If it hadn’t been for that, I think it’s fabulous. I want your backyard. 🙂

  • Annelie says:

    Oh! I didn´t even know that some of those thing you mentioned even exist. 😮 Some of them sounds really… thrilling kind of. And what ever makes you happy and you can afford it´s OK in my opinion.

    My keep up budget is like if you divide yours with/20. And then I´ve counted my perfume spending as well. Looking forward to becoming grannie to No 2 this spring, I think I´m doing quite allright anyway.

    • Patty says:

      That’s so exciting, a new grandbaby! If my boys ever get around to getting married one day, I’d toss off a lot of my self-indulgence to have a few grandkids running around.

  • Elizabeth says:

    I have always thought I made a good living, but I guess not! That’s way beyond my means. I do buy (a lot of expensive) perfume, and an occasional new lipstick. But I would cut my own hair if I could reach the back. :d And I have had a pedicure twice in my life.While it did look nice, it just never enters my consciousness to go to someone for anything beauty-related. I guess my hubby should feel lucky that my only habit is perfume. 🙂

    • Patty says:

      I really should have put a proviso in there that I do NOT spend that much every quarter. That’s just the worst it can get.

      I tried cutting my own hair once and coloring it. Ew, not pretty. 🙂

  • Lisa says:

    Well, normal is just what the norm is doing. I am so low maintenance it’s not even funny. This look I have now, I have slipped into slowly and it’s comfortable and it’s me and at this age – smack in the middle of 40 and 50, it’s all about what’s going on inside because the outside is going downhill no matter how big of a fight I put up. I figure if celebrities can’t stop it, how could little old me? I wouldn’t mind the acupuncture and rolfing though! LOL

    • Rappleyea says:

      ” it’s all about what’s going on inside ”

      Wise woman and I totally agree. I find the older I get, the less I spend on the outer (except organic food, which as stated above, IS normal for me) and the more $$ I give to charity (SO much need in the world) and the more time I spend meditating.

      Not to get too serious on a perfume blog, but at what point did women buy into the idea of “we’re not worthy” looking exactly the way we look without doing all of this? Men (most anyway) don’t do it. True self esteem is not based on the outer.

      • Patty says:

        I don’t think I’ve bought into the idea of “I’m not worthy” without all of this. Not sure if that’s what you were referring to. I could do it or not. I do it because I can and want to. The day I can’t or don’t want to, I’ll stop.

        For me, it’s about indulgence. I’ve reached a point in my life where I like people pampering me, I like being massaged, I like the facials, I like the rolfing, I like just laying back and being cared for. So much of my life I’ve lived on the run, working my tail off, raising two kids, having almost no time for me, too many years without enough money, worrying about bills and having enough money for any kind of food. Now that I have the time and the ability, I’ve happily taken on the job of indulging myself.

      • carter says:

        I understand what you mean, Rappleyea :)>-

    • Patty says:

      I’m pretty accepting of the downhill part of it, except the health aspects. I could give up almost everything on the list except yoga, rolfing, acupuncture and organic foods. Well, and the hair cut and color.

      I did go through a time from my 30s through my 40s where I did minimal maintenance. Something kicked in a couple of years ago that started out just wanting to get healthy. I think as things got better inside, it had some ripple effects of wanting to do some prevention to age as gracefully as I could on the outside.

      • Rappleyea says:

        Patty – I’m all for pampering, nurturing and especially being proactive and taking good care of our health. I was more thinking about the paint, injections, surgeries, etc. I still struggle with this. I think I look better with mascara, but why do I think that? It’s a cultural thing, an artificial definition of “better”.

        • Patty says:

          I think that’s fair. Some people are more okay with it. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being okay with it or not being okay with it. I guess my point is that I don’t think it’s an esteem or worth issue for everyone. Maybe it is for some, but I think it probably doesn’t always work to make that assumption.

          We all have an area of “this makes me feel better” at play. I mean, I view Spanx as torture and would far rather have a little loose skin hanging about my middle and butt than put that on, but I don’t make any judgment or assumption about women who won’t leave the house without spanx or some other body-hugging device.

          Everyone’s “better” is defined by themself and should be.

          for me, a well-timed and placed surgery or injection will save me a lot of cosmetics and are my Spanx. Most of us aren’t natural and using something to artifically enhance us. Even a bra is artificial enhancement. I think they’re torture too, but I’m not leaving the house without one or a very large sweatshirt to make sure no one notices what gravity has wrought.

          I have this whole subject that I could go on and on about, but maybe I’ll leave it for Thursday. I just went through something like this when I went into my fitness program, supposing I knew something about another woman based on something else, and just getting my head around that was difficult.

          • carter says:

            Yes, all of the things you cite are artificial adornments, but sociologists would argue that they are all attempts to conform or gain approval, and I would have to agree. I also believe that there’s a vast difference between a surgical procedure and a girdle.

            As for “judgment,” we are all judging each other, all of the time.

          • Patty says:

            It’s in human nature to want to be perceived the best you can be, but each individual does define that differently, how they think of themselves as beautiful and what thing they are willing to put themselves through to get to the beautiful that they want – mascara, girdles, filler, push-up bra, false eyelashes, chin implant, nose surgery, new Laboutin shoes, vintage Lanvin.

            I’m not advocating surgical procedures, never have, but I don’t have any problem when women go that route, nor do I assume they have esteem or worth issues.

            We all have worth issues, but I think the assumption that women who elect a surgical procedure or filler have some larger worth issue than any other woman is just flawed.

            so if we’re just saying all women have worth issues because we pursue any beauty regimen at all, no matter how extreme someone else may view it, I’ll go along with that.

          • carter says:

            I am saying that society determines what normal is, what beautiful is, what ugly is, and, to the extent that we conform to that determination, we are seeking acceptance. That doesn’t mean it’s good or bad or wrong or right, it simply means that we all want to be accepted to varying degrees. If sagging skin and thick waistlines were considered by society to be beautiful, most of us would aspire to have sagging skin and thick waistlines. Society’s idea of what is desirable becomes our own, by and large.

            The extent to which an individual will go in order to achieve this “ideal” is, to my way of thinking, the extent to which he or she has bought into the notion that opinion of others is important, and I simply do not accept the argument that risking one’s life — and surgery, including lipo, is indeed risking one’s life — is not an extreme proposition or that the person who is willing to do so does not seek acceptance in a fairly big way.

          • carter says:

            Just want to add that I am in the adornment, beautification business, and I don’t think it’s a bad way to live, I simply understand what it is that motivates people to buy what I’m selling.

          • Patty says:

            Well, risking your life in a much lesser way than getting behind the wheel of a car. Women’s death rates in vehicle accidents are 1/12,200. Death rates for cosmetic surgery are 1/58,810. so, yes, it’s an added risk for a woman to take on, and there are a lot of complications besides death, including a poor result that leaves you disfigured that everyone should consider.

            but I don’t need to change your mind, and we may not disagree on that much anyway, except whether we’d do cosmetic surgery or not. 🙂

          • carter says:

            Agreed. But one would argue that in most locales, driving is a necessary risk, and here in NYC, merely walking is dangerous; these things are one does primarily in order to live in the world.

  • dissed says:

    Haircolor and cut are about half that, but the cost of living’s less, here. Do my own hands and feet, because I don’t like other people messing with them, same with waxing. Exercise is the track and pilates dvds (treadmill died, haven’t replaced). Makeup’s a lot less, but I have a foundation habit. Skincare’s pricey, but it goes a long way. I’ve never botoxed/filled/lasered but if I could, I would have everything lifted and lose a whole lot of skin. How do we end up with extra skin, anyway? I’m 53, healthy, and lucky so far.

    • Patty says:

      I’m trying to figure out the extra skin, too. The stuff below it just vamoosed, without warning.

      You do your own waxing? Wow, I’m very impressed. I just couldn’t. I don’t mind having it done to me, but I just couldn’t do it myself.

      • dissed says:

        Epilating — is that a word? — is easier, and probably costs less, and I don’t know why I sort of alternate that with waxing and shaving. Epilating works great on the armpits. It only hurts the first time.

  • Robin R. says:

    P.S. I just realized 5k every three months is 20k each year. Then you’ve got clothes, shoes, bags, scarfs, undies, rent/mortgage. Oh, and food, I guess. I’d love to have all those things in my life, P, but I’m trying to figure out what kind of salary would support that (and you have children, yes? no? Those critters and their piano lessons do cost), oh, and add a bit of travel, and contributing to your retirement savings plan, and charitable contributions. . .and a car and insurance and gas and maintenance. . .and a movie or two and the theatre and some concerts and CDs and household supplies and . . .

    You must make a lot more money than I do, sweet P. Or you have a sugar daddy somewhere you’re not telling us about. 😕

    • Patty says:

      In reality, as I said above, it’s not that bad. That’s just the worst it can get. There may be one quarter that I’ll like some makeup collections and have to get a couple of chanel Quads and some lippies. So that expense isn’t there most of the time. I only go to the salon of pedis and manis in the spring through fall, and sometimes I do my own – depends on time and how I feel. I should do my hair that often, but I sometimes get busy and don’t get it colored every three months, and it maybe go 6-9 months. It looks pretty sad by then, but it happens.

      So I could easily and often do cut this in half.

      Nope, no sugar daddy. Never had one of those, just wish!

      My kids are grown, so I don’t have expenses with them anymore except with the youngest one is going to college sometimes. I do have a great career that pays well that I’ve had for a couple of decades, and my debt load is very modest, I don’t like debt. 🙂

  • Robin R. says:

    No botox, Patty? (I’m 52, I’m serious. It’s a must for me.)

    • Patty says:

      Nope. Tried it once or twice, and it just didn’t work that well for me. I’m not against it and think it has some uses, but I have a really expressive face and eyes, and I felt constrained.

  • carter says:

    I am older than you are, Patty, and the only things from your list that are also on mine are:

    1) haircolor @ $350 per quarter
    2) cut @ $80 per quarter
    3) lotions, which means a huge tube of Eucerin Calming Creme @ I dunno, maybe $10 per quarter?

    I probably spend about $100-200 per year (not quarter, YEAR) on essential and non-essential cosmetics combined, and mebbe $400 per year, absolute tops, on ‘fumes.

    I exercise using The Bar Method on DVDs plus walks in the park and around town, my husband does great massage, and I’ve been buying organic and locally grown for so long that it *is* regular food to me by now, so I don’t really think about it, and frankly all food in NYC is expensive.

    But beyond that…well…there IS no beyond that $-)

    • Patty says:

      My problem with the lotions is I keep switching to try new things. I’ve tried the dirt cheap stuff and the expensive, and as far as keeping my skin hydrated, nothing works except lots of it.

      I wish I could do DVDs. I’ve spent more on collecting excercise DVDs over the last 20 years than I spend on a membership, but I have to have the group atmosphere. I try to do yoga alone, and I just get bored really fast and don’t put out my best effort. It would be easier if I could motivate myself. 🙂

  • Heather Anderson says:

    Hmmm. I can’t afford to spend that much, so I don’t and I don’t look so hot, either. But I’d do it if I could, so no judgement here. I’m in Los Angeles, and I bet there are a lot of women out here who spend more on maintenance than that. I’m also going to point out that several of these ( yoga, pilates, acupuncture, massage) have as many health benefits as beauty benefits. All that de-stressing will probably save you in medical costs down the line, seriously. Being healthy is not high-maintenance behavior, in my book.

    • Patty says:

      My actual expenditures are much lower than that. This is as high as it can go if I’m doing everything, but most quarters, I don’t really like a lot of the makeup that comes out new and am just doing replenishment. I’ve slacked off on my pedis and manis until late spring and am doing them myself.

      I could never give up the yoga, acupuncture and rolfing and organic foods. The rest are negotiable money-wise and time-wise, but those four have seriously made a huge difference in my health in the last few years.