The Price Of Beauty

Is It Worth It?
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(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

Written by Brooke Wagner

There’s at least one segment of the economy that’s growing in these times; cosmetic procedures.

Americans spend more than $10 billion a year trying to improve the way they look – and 91 percent of those patients are women. The problem is, results aren’t usually guaranteed, so how do you know if the time, cost, and recovery will be worth it? That is a very personal question. But, it’s nice to have some tools to help us find the answer.

One resource is the website www.realself.com which posts thousands of reviews from real patients on procedures from teeth whitening to Botox to liposuction and everything in between. They rate the procedure “worth it” or “not worth it” so you can draw on their experience. Plus, the patients reveal what they paid, so you can see the going rate for your area. On the same site, you can get doctors’ opinions on procedures, recovery, and see before and after pictures.

While I was researching this subject, I came across an interesting study – basically, a cost/benefit analysis of beauty investments. Here’s a link: webspace.utexas.edu/hamermes/www/LE2002.pdf.

The researchers, one of whom has studied the topic for 20 years at the University of Texas, found for every dollar a woman spent on appearance, she got a 15 percent return in the form of income. That really puts it in perspective, doesn’t it? Spend a dollar on a new lipstick, get 15 cents back on your investment in your paycheck? That’s an oversimplification, but you get the idea.

The benefit for the vast majority of patients is simply emotional. They believe they feel better when they look their best. “Daily Finance” explored that topic further: dailyfinance.com/2011/08/09/is-it-worth-it-cosmetic-surgery/.

Of course, we all know it’s what inside that really counts! Have a “beautiful” week.

About The Blogger

- In her Brooke’s Bargains blog Brooke Wagner writes about finding bargains and saving money for her family. She calls it one of her favorite hobbies. Blog entries cover everything from the latest steals, deals, and freebies to cheap family activities, saving for college, and what to buy right now. Tweet Brooke your ideas at @BrookeCBS4.

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