Fancy Ladies Acknowledge Recession By Letting Themselves Go

Certain ladies once spent thousands monthly on "maintenance." But what a difference a global recession makes! The same people who claimed they simply couldn't live without their Botox are now deriding it as an extravagant waste.

To paraphrase Nora Ephron, it only takes about two months of going without until you start looking like a homeless person.

But financial times are changing all of that: “Cosmetic surgery is going to become the new S.U.V., something that you can do without, that is less justifiable for you and your family,” says a doctor in the NYT's Styles section. Natasha Singer, who wrote today's article, "Putting Vanity on Hold," had filed a dispatch last summer about how there was no price to be put on looking good, Beauty Regimens Reach for the Gold Standard." Shall we compare them?

THEN:

“Depending on how much Botox and the pricier stuff you get done, when you add in hair care, nails, face and body, it’s got to be between $2,000 to $3,500 a month,” Ms. Oliver said. In Los Angeles, she added, such grooming is considered basic maintenance.

“If you are high maintenance, you could spend a lot more money,” Ms. Oliver said. “I can think of a couple of people where $3,500 a month might be low.”

NOW:

“There comes a point when you are putting too much time and money into your vanity,” said Peri Basel, a practice consultant in Chappaqua, N.Y., who advises cosmetic doctors on marketing strategies. “For me, the vanity issue is: Where does it stop? If you are going for buttock implants, do you really need that?”

And then there's this case study: Amy Krakow, a public relations exec who was interviewed for both pieces. In today's, she said:

She recently changed her hairstyle to include bangs — a camouflage technique that allows for fewer Botox injections, she said. “I’ll change my hair colorist,” Ms. Krakow said. “I’ll give up my crazy Japanese hair straightening. I’ll stretch out my Botox. I’ll even go for fewer plastic surgeries. But I do have to look good in my business. I look younger, therefore I can represent younger and hipper clients.”

And what did Ms. Krakow spend in June of 2007?

Twice a week: hyperbaric chamber, 30 minutes or more, $150 Weekly: manicure, 30 minutes, $15 Twice a month: pedicure, one hour, $50 Monthly: facial and eyebrow shaping, 75 minutes, $275 Every six weeks: hair cut, two hours, $180 Every six weeks: hair color, two hours, $125 Every four to five months: Botox, $450 Twice a year: hair straightening, five hours, $500 to $600 2005-6: tummy tuck, buttocks lift, liposuction of thighs, thigh lift, chin lift, upper eyelid lift, neck lift, arm liposuction, $60,000

We're guessing the hyperbaric chamber (to keep the skin soft) had to go. As a concession-recession, I vow to give up my every-other-week $8 Chinatown manicure. It's the least I can do.