The cost of vanity: Queenslanders the fairest in the land downunder

In a recent Mozo study, QLD was revealed as Australia’s vainest state, with an annual spend of $989 per capita on beauty products.

Aussies spent a combined total of $22 billion a year on their appearance - $2 billion of which was spent by Aussie men. Queenslanders contributed the most to that figure, while Tasmanians were the least guilty of vanity related splurging, spending only $451 a year.

Cost of vanity by state

“Our research shows Aussies are paying a high price to look good, with the total spend on the likes of skincare, makeup and manicures exceeding the amount we spend on household energy” Mozo Director Kirsty Lamont said.

Professional hair colouring was the largest cost, representing a $3.5 billion bill. Skincare was the second biggest spend, at $2.9 billion, and was also the category that the most people were willing to fork out for, with 70% of people purchasing products like moisturisers, scrubs, and masks.

“Mens grooming was the third most spent on category, costing a collective $2.1 billion annually,” said Lamont. Although, she added, 2 in 5 men reported not spending anything on hair and beard maintenance.

Young people were significantly more likely to spend money on looking good. For example, nearly a quarter of 25-34 year olds spent around $600 on professional hair colouring, while just 1 in 10 of over 55s could say the same.

Beauty productCost (annual)
Professional hair colouring$3.5 billion
Skincare products$2.9 billion
Men’s grooming (eg beard trimming / shaving)$2.08 billion
Skincare treatments (eg at a beauty salon)$2.03 billion
Manicures or pedicures$2.02 billion
Professional hair removal$1.81 billion

For frugal beauty lovers, here are a few steps that can help to keep the cost of looking your best manageable.

  • Set a budget - First step to saving is to always know your budget. Account for essentials first - daily moisturiser, razors and haircuts might all qualify - and then see what’s leftover for splurging on your favourite indulgences.
  • Ditch designer brands - Is your designer lipstick really that different to one from Priceline? If you find yourself buying brand names purely for the prestige, rethink your shopping strategy before winding up at the MAC counter again.
  • Go DIY - Do you hit up the nail salon way too often? Look up some youtube tutorials and become a whiz at doing your own mani-pedi instead. Invite a friend over and you can even do each others.
  • Become a guinea pig - See if there are any beauty schools in your area. These schools often run programs where you can get a cheap haircut, facial or wax from a student. You might be a bit nervous about letting a student get their hands on you, but rest assured the teacher will never be far away.
  • Plan for big expenses - If you can’t give up your monthly hair dyeing session, then make sure you plan ahead. You can even set up a separate savings account dedicated to paying your haircare bill and make automatic payments into it each week. That way, when it comes time to pay up, the money will already be put aside, and won’t impact the rest of your budget.

Find a place to stash your vanity fund in our comparison table, where you can compare savings accounts side-by-side and choose the one that’s right for you.