These days it’s nearly impossible to know what women are spending on the way they look. Someone with Instagram-flawless contouring might have honed her craft using the finest from the drugstore aisles, and the utterly makeup-free type might be spending thousands on laser treatments or face serums. Enter our series “What It Costs to Be Me,” where we’re asking interesting women for radical transparency.
Up this week: Erin McKenna, 42, founder of Erin McKenna’s Bakery, a gluten-free and vegan bakery in New York City, Los Angeles, and Orlando (with more locations on the way). Her annual total? $8,101.50.
My Hair Routine: $5,260 a year
I’m meticulous about my hair because I believe if your hair looks great, you can let some of the little things slide if you have to—and when you have three kids, you often do. I get my hair cut by Sera Sloane. She’s the kind of stylist you can just sit down with, and she’ll do whatever works best on you based on length you’re looking for. Her cuts grow out magically, so I only need them three times a year ($150). And then I get my highlights done four times per year with Aura Friedman at Sally Hershberger Salon ($500). She’s incredible. The highlights she does grow out so natural-looking—I get stopped on the street about my color all the time. I actually set aside money on a monthly basis for it, so I’m prepared for the cost. I also get a blowout once a week at cheap place in Manhattan called Hair Mode NY. They do a quick blow dry for $35, and then I always tip $10 at least. When I don’t have a blowout, I wash with R+Co’s Analog Cleansing Foam Conditioner ($30)—it’s gentle and doesn’t dry my hair out—and dry with the Dyson hair dryer ($400). Then put big hot rollers in my hair. I’m a big fan of John Frieda’s Jumbo Ceramic Rollers ($40)—I have to use the ceramic kind over Velcro or else I’ll tangle my hair. Otherwise I don’t like much else on my hair—most product makes it too gritty, so I keep it natural.
My Shower Routine: $42
I take a military-style shower, since my kids are usually screaming outside the door. I’m lucky if I can get an exfoliating glove on or shave my legs. I also grew up one of 12 children, so I’ve been conditioned to speed through showering as fast as possible, which means I don’t spend too much on the few products I use in there. I already touched on what I use for my hair (the R+Co, that’s it), otherwise for my body, I use a brand called Beaute Nouveau that my sister turned me on to. We both have really sensitive skin—for example, if we touch a fabric that’s synthetic, our skin screams. So this brand’s Citron Dream Body Cleansing Oil ($24) and Citron Dream Milk and Honey Soap ($18) are gentle but hydrating—so much so that I don’t need to moisturize after my shower.
My One Daily Skin Care Item: $48
I’ve always had pretty good skin, so I abused it for years. I never really cared what soap or moisturizer I used, just as long as my skin was clean and not cracking. Now in my forties, I’m just beginning to see the damage. I’m intending to start using Retin-A, and I also desperately want to try microneedling. But at the moment the only thing I regularly use is Everyday Oil’s Mainstay Blend ($48) on my face and body. It smells so good, and I absolutely see the difference in my skin.
My Every-So-Often Skin Care Saviors: $342
I’m filing these guys under “once in a while,” because it’s my goal to use them regularly, but I don’t have much flex spending. When I have enough money to splurge, I go straight to CAP Beauty (it has a great online store) and get May Lindstrom’s The Blue Cocoon moisturizing balm ($180). It was described to me by another shopper once as “the thing I would grab before leaving a burning house.” Sold! I pair this with her The Youth Dew serum ($140) and I am set. I’ll also use Glossier’s Mega Greens Galaxy Pack Face Mask ($22) from time to time, whenever I need something more detoxifying.
My Daytime Makeup: $314.50
I have exactly seven minutes to do my make up every day, and I use Tom Ford for just about everything. The line is so luxurious, and it lasts a while because the products are so pigment-heavy—a little goes a long way, and the colors are brilliant. I’ve found it’s worth investing in his compacts versus other makeup lines where the colors look nice in the pan but look a bit off when they’re on. I start with Glossier’s Boy Brow ($16) followed by Tom Ford’s Brow Sculptor ($45). Other go-tos include his Concealing Pen ($53) and Eye Color Quad in Orchid Haze ($85). It’s got great plums and pinks. I love Trish McEvoy’s High Volume Mascara in Jet Black ($31.50). It’s easy to swipe on. As are Bobbi Brown’s Blush in Desert Pink ($30) and Tom Ford’s Wild Ginger Lip Color ($54). It’s this amazing bright red-orange color.
My Periodic Beauty Services: $1,555 a year
About three times a year I try to treat myself to a 60-minute facial at CAP Beauty ($210). They tailor the treatment to exactly what your skin needs. Before I had kids, I used to get my nails done once a week. Now I’m lucky if I make it in to Valley Nails for a mani-pedi five times a year ($85). I also love going to Shari Auth ($250, twice a year) for acupuncture and a massage. I can’t really put into words how good she is—she’s an intuitive bodyworker, and she uses a combination of acupuncture, acupressure, and massage to make you feel whole again. I don’t go often because my schedule doesn’t allow it. But I found it incredibly helpful when I had postpartum pain.
My Exercise Routine: $540 a year
I used to be a member of Equinox, but I had to downgrade to save money. I now go to a neighborhood gym ($45 a month) five days a week before the kids wake up. I use exercise just to boost my mood and calm my nerves. I freak out if I can’t get there. It’s hard to get out of bed when it’s still dark out, but I’m always glad I did.