During a holiday in Dubai earlier this year, Dede Lever splurged a staggering £2,000 on make-up and beauty products in one of the Emirate’s upmarket malls.
It was a similar story on a family break to New York last December when she hit the shops on Fifth Avenue and blew more than £2,300 in beauty store Sephora.
Daring to tot up what she may have spent in the last decade on make-up and beauty products – including a £260 La Prairie eye cream bought recently – Dede winces when she realises the figure must be in the region of over £30,000.
I don’t see it as a waste of money. I love make-up and to me it’s no different to how other people obsess over having the latest phones or technology.
“I don’t see it as a waste of money. I love make-up and to me it’s no different to how other people obsess over having the latest phones or technology,” says Dede, 38, a painter and soft furnishings designer.
She lives in Hertfordshire with her husband Scott, 42, a chief technology officer and founder of a cyber security company, and their children Lydia, 12, Toby, 10, and Matilda, eight.
“My husband is very tolerant of my obsession. If there’s a new product I have to have it, and in several colours.”
AT THE READY: Dede with some of her products (Image: TIM CLARKE/DAILY EXPRESS )
Dede with half her face covered in make-up (Image: TIM CLARKE/DAILY EXPRESS )
At the last count Dede had more than 30 different moisturisers, serums and eye creams, 26 eye shadow palettes, and more than 50 eyeliners, not to mention drawers full of primers, foundations, blushers, and make-up brushes.
The list goes on. And on. But although her love of make-up is extreme she is certainly not alone.
A detailed report by leading data and analytics company GlobalData predicts that the UK health and beauty market will be worth £26.7billion by 2022, outperforming all other sectors.
Annual spend per head on health and beauty is also forecast to rise by £73 to £487.
Meanwhile various surveys have revealed startling facts about our love of make-up, including that British women spend almost two years of their life applying it – the equivalent of nine days a year.
And almost half of us rely on wearing it to help us feel more attractive. Incredibly, 15 per cent of women polled in a survey earlier this year said they feel so dependent on make-up that they apply it before their partner wakes up.
So, how would Dede feel going cold turkey on her make-up bag for a week? Would she emerge from the experience longing for her lippy or feeling liberated by her bare-face? The results may surprise you…
Last night, frightened into action by the prospect of not being able to wear so much as my current favourite Benefit primer or Laura Mercier tinted moisturiser, I prepped my skin to get it glowing.
I exfoliated and used a couple of face masks and dared to believe that I might actually enjoy being estranged from my make-up this week.
Sod’s law that I woke up this morning with a horrible cold and my skin feels awful. Talk about bad timing.
When I walked downstairs at breakfast time I asked my kids if they noticed anything different about me, to which my son replied: “Yes, you look uglier.”
Dede Lever without make-up on (Image: TIM CLARKE/DAILY EXPRESS )
On the school run I felt so naked that I rummaged in my eldest daughter’s bag for a lip balm, desperate just to put something on that vaguely resembled make-up.
Convinced that the supermarket would be empty if I went straight there after dropping the children off at 8.30am I was mortified to bump into two good friends, one of whom said: “Oh my gosh, you’re not wearing make-up!”
Thankfully both of them have seen me in my underwear before so we had a laugh about my challenge.
But when I then ran into a lady who’s more of an acquaintance I found myself instantly apologising for not being made up.
(Image: TIM CLARKE/DAILY EXPRESS )
I didn’t even make eye contact with the chap who served me in a local coffee shop, conscious of not feeling as presentable as I like to.
Already I’m making less of an effort with my hair too and have just shoved it back into a ponytail.
I’m struck by how much more time I have on my hands before the school run when I’d normally spend 15 minutes applying my make-up.
If I’m going out at weekends I allow an hour. I’ve been for a spray tan today which, although it was booked before I agreed to this challenge, has made me feel a little bit more confident walking around without make-up.
When I have a tan on holiday it’s the only time I don’t obsess as much about wearing make-up and am happy just to apply the basics – tinted moisturiser, blusher and mascara – in the evenings.
Celebrities without make-up
Mon, January 2, 2017
Celebrity no make-up selfies: Ever wondered what your favourite celebrities look like with no make-up on? Wonder no more.
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Carol Vorderman caused a stir on Twitter with stunning make-up free selfie
This afternoon I went to the hair salon for a blow dry ahead of going to a Justin Timberlake concert at the O2 with four girlfriends tonight.
But my lovely hair felt incomplete without my usual make-up – it’s the sort of night out where I’d usually spend a lot of time applying it, shaping my brows and sculpting my cheekbones.
So, I told myself I’d just sneak a bit of blusher on.
But once I started I couldn’t stop and as the make-up went on I felt like me again.
The Power of Make-up
Thu, June 25, 2015
Lat month, beauty blogger NikkieTutorials posted a video on her YouTube channel about the power of make-up. In the video, Nikkie makes up half of her face ‘full glam’ and leaves the other half completely bare, hitting back at those who shame women for wearing make-up. Since then, thousands of women have taken to Instagram to share their own half-make-up selfies, using the hashtag #thepowerofmakeup.
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NikkieTutorials’ YouTube video, ‘The Power of MAKE-UP!’ has had over 17,000,000 views to date.
I don’t wear make-up for anyone’s benefit but my own and can only liken NOT wearing it to that horrible feeling you get when your hair really needs washing.
Ordinarily, a lot of my friends joke and call me Miss Glamorous, even though I wear ripped jeans most days, but I don’t see myself that way.
Even when I go to the gym I usually wear at least tinted moisturiser and when it comes to running mundane errands I’ll apply pore tightening serum, primer, one of my many foundations, contour my cheeks with blusher, shape and pencil my brows, apply eyeliner, a light dusting of one of my new Huda eyeshadows, and always, always mascara.
So no wonder my friend was a bit surprised to see me barefaced outside Starbucks today, causing her to gasp: “Oh my God you look about 12!”
FAMILIAR: Reassured (Image: TIM CLARKE/DAILY EXPRESS )
Clearly she was exaggerating but it’s true, I do look younger without make-up.
My husband doesn’t mind whether I wear it or not but he sometimes tells me I look “really pretty” if he sees me before I’ve put it on in a morning.
Other people think I look ill without it.
It’s the kids’ last day at school before the summer holidays and other than dropping them off this morning and picking them up from friends’ houses after school, I’ve been at home doing chores.
Thankfully I know the other mums pretty well so didn’t feel too embarrassed about my lack of make-up.
Thank goodness for the heatwave because I’ve been able to live in sunglasses all week to help disguise my horribly bare complexion.
We met friends for lunch outside a country pub today, so I kept them on the whole time and also wore my hair down to hide more of my face.
But ahead of a friend’s 40th birthday party tonight I caved in and spent an hour applying a full face of make-up.
With my make-up on I was the first one having fun on the dancefloor but without it I’d have sat in a corner with my head down. In fact, I tell a lie, I wouldn’t have gone. Full stop.
Today I’ve been nursing a hangover and the remnants of last night’s eyeliner.
It has been a relief not to have to leave the house again without my make-up on other than nipping our budgie over to a friend who’s looking after it while we go on holiday.
I have been trying to think where my love of make-up comes from, but I genuinely don’t know as my mum and sister aren’t into it at all.
I can remember wearing an orangey coloured foundation from the Body Shop and Rimmel lipstick to school because I liked it, but being told by teachers to wash it off.
But my interest in cosmetics became more of an obsession about five years ago when my kids started growing up and I started to feel like me again, having got married aged 24 and had them quite young.
Now, I cannot wait to put a full face of make-up on again.
I anticipated that this week without it might be liberating but I hated it.
I’m sure some women will look at me and think “she’s only going on the school run why’s she bothering?”
But it makes me feel groomed and more confident and I don’t give a monkey’s what anyone else thinks… well, not when I’m wearing make-up, anyway.