Where do you fit into this?

by PJ on Friday, February 15, 2008

in makeup, skincare, What do you think? Beauty topics and thoughts

(Come back to my purse!)

Every year, Biteki‘s reader survey reveals interesting aspects of their readers. In the last couple of years, I have found some statistics particularly fascinating.

Among the recently surveyed 664 Biteki readers (average age 31.2), their average monthly expenditures on makeup and skincare (in 2007) are:

Makeup: 8030 Yen (74.8 USD, 38.5 GBP)

Skincare: 13110 Yen (122.1 USD, 62.8 GBP)

(from Biteki February 2008, p. 38)

When I compare my own expenditures with the average figures, there are some intriguing observations.

First of all, I used to spend more money on skincare than on makeup products. But, in recent years, it has been the opposite. At the moment, purely in terms of the ratio between my skincare and makeup expenditures, mine is somewhat close to the reverse of what we see above.

Secondly, I was particularly fascinated by the expenditure on makeup. The people surveyed are Biteki readers, who are probably more interested in cosmetics and more eager to try out new products than the rest of the general public in Japan. If this is the case (and if we think about the four potentially “damaging” bombardments of seasonal collections every year), it appears that 74.8 USD, for them, isn’t a large sum of money and leaves relatively little room for experimenting or collecting after the regular re-stocking (like replacing mascaras and refilling the foundation). (Bear in mind that it is entailed that some surveyed readers spent less or much less than 74.8 USD per month.)

Also, most of the products on the readers’ favorite lists are from high-end department store brands and would eat up a big portion of the 74.8 USD. (For example, both the readers’ favorite eye palette (from Lunasol) and powder foundation (from Albion Exage) cost around 50 USD.) From this, it appears that the average Japanese consumer is quite selective in buying cosmetics.

Thirdly, while I do think that 122.1 USD can be quite a lot to spend on skincare products in a month, this amount doesn’t strike me as unusual. Apart from the fact that Japanese brands tend to update their skincare lineups much more frequently than most western brands, it seems that many Japanese brands feature more elaborate skincare routines. So there are potentially more products to purchase on a regular basis.

What is your take on these figures? Are these average spendings more or less than what you would expect? How would you compare your spending habits with those of a typical Biteki reader in Japan? Have your spending habits and preferences changed over the years?

Related Posts:

Biteki Readers’ Favorite Cosmetics Products in 2006
(Find out what they are!)

My Ultimate Makeup Archive
(getting larger month by month)

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous Saturday, February 16, 2008

Japanese Cosmetics are quite expensive on their own, so I thought that the average buyer would spend more money. Right now I’m young, so I don’t spend much money on skin care.


Anonymous Saturday, February 16, 2008

On a technical note, I wonder if they took the mean or the median of people’s expenditures. The mean can be thrown off by a couple of very high or low entries (say a few people who just spent a pittance).

I personally spend more on makeup than skincare, but I think that’s because I mostly use drugstore skincare products. Frankly, I’m surprised the skincare number isn’t higher since a lot of high-end skin care products are well over $50 a pop. (Or maybe that’s just in the US.)

$75 per month for makeup seems reasonable to me, even a little high. That’s about 3 new department-store-brand products a month. If we assume that 1 of those is a re-fill, that’s still 2 new products to try. Did Biteki ask what their readers’ income was? $75 a month is $900 a year — a significant expenditure for most people.

It’s also possible the that the list of favorite products reflects what people want to use, but not what they necessarily use on a regular basis. For example, I love Lancôme Definicils mascara. I would put it down as my favorite mascara, even though I very rarely buy it because I go through tubes of mascara rather quickly, making it too expensive.

Interesting questions!


PJ Saturday, February 16, 2008

Hello there,

Thank you for stopping by!

Yes, I suppose, in most cases, people probably spend less money on skincare when they are younger.

For me, I was very interested in experimenting with various skincare products when I first started to be interested in cosmetics (not so much on makeup at the time). But now that I know what kinds of products suit me and that I have a routine that hasn’t changed drastically in the last few years, I have been spending less on skincare and I have been more and more interested in makeup colors, textures, and finishes.

Thank you very much for leaving a comment! Have a good weekend! :)


PJ Sunday, February 17, 2008

Hello there,

You have raised some good points.

I think it is the mean that is listed on the magazine survey result, not the median. (Just to be sure, I was double-checking the two terms. “Average” (which is the term used on the magazine) is usually synonymous to “mean” and not “median”.)

I would guess that there are a few surveyed readers who spent a lot more than the rest, which would have raised the average.

You have a point about readers’ favorite products. I am sure you are right that some people have different favorite products of different price ranges and that they don’t always reach for the most expensive ones. I guess my thinking when I was writing this post was that the fact that the (almost overwhelming) majority of products on the list are from high-end brands suggests that people are buying them, loving them, and perhaps buying more of them. It also reflects the trend that many people are willing to buy more expensive (if not the most expensive) products.

As for skincare, like you, I wouldn’t be surprised by a slightly higher figure.

By the way, the Biteki survey result did not reveal the (average) income of the surveyed readers.

Thank you for posting your views! Enjoy your weekend! :)


Allysia-May Sunday, February 17, 2008

Hmm, i have to say i spend qite a lot on both eventhough i’m still young. My skin is like a drama queen and it keeps changing from dry to oily to extremely sensitive so i usually have loads of different products at a time in order to keep up with the change. I’m also obsessed with makeup eventhough i don’t really wear much of it. But i wouldn’t say i shopped for makeup or skincare products every month.

I tend to splurge. So maybe i could spend a huge amount on both in a month and not buy anything for the next 3 months. My shopping habits tend to be seasonal as opposed to monthly.


PJ Monday, February 18, 2008

Hi Allysia-May,

I see. If you have the kind of sensitive skin with conditions that change back and forth, then you might need a bit more products standing by to attend to your needs.

While hopefully you don’t need to spend too much on skincare to keep everything at bay, perhaps you can also look into the products that you use and work out whether some of them might actually have something to do with your skin being temperamental. (I know it can be very tricky since the conditions of our skin can be affected by a lot of things, but I’d think you’d probably like to settle on a routine that keeps your skin in relatively stable conditions at all time.)

As for makeup, I tend to have an annual budget and I know how much I can spend monthly. I think I buy makeup more or less every month and I’d sometimes know what I will buy in the next month or two. (I try to spread my annual budget evenly for every month.)

Thank you for sharing your views and experiences again! :)


Sate Thursday, May 8, 2008

I’m rather shocked at how much Japanese folks spend at skin care and cosmetics. I don’t use makeup at all, so no expenditures there, skin care however, is a must for everyone. I would say for your average American consumer, (not the make up and skin care aficionados, mind you) around 40 dollars is moderate, 30 dollars is pretty acceptable.

Johnson head-to-toe body wash
Cetaphil cleanser
Vitamin C serum (Very expensive at retail, however on eBay I need only spend 10 dollars a month, still expensive, but worth it)
European sunscreen (Absolutely essential, around 13 dollars a month, and I use slather it on generously every single day, no exceptions)

Bioderma micellar lotion (The miracle cleanser that takes off sunscreen effortlessly)
Retin A (I buy it from uh… sources abroad that costs 2 dollars for a 15 gram tube)
CeraVe moisturizer (16 dollars for 16 ozs, lasts and lasts and lasts)

Above is my skin routine, and after some calculation, that came up to about 34 dollars a month. My biggest expenses come from Vitamin C serum and sunscreens, which are necessary for anti-radical and anti-aging purposes.

Almost none of them are department store stuff, except for the vitamin C serum, but then again, I’m pretty sure that department store jacked up prices are more due to visual appeal and psychological satisfaction than real results. :-)


PJ Saturday, May 10, 2008

Hi Sate,

Thank you very much for visiting my blog!

Thank you as well for sharing your daily skincare routine in such detail. It seems like a very streamline and sensible routine.

I used to spend more money on skincare, as I was using a daytime sunscreen/moisturizer from Estée Lauder and a night-time moisturizer from Lancôme. Now both moisturizers that I use are from Olay.

What I have observed is that many Japanese consumers are quite brand-conscious and they tend to buy from well-known brands. Also, they enjoy trying new things and perfecting their skincare and makeup routines.

Again, the average amount in Japan does seem large, but I was not surprised to see the figures.

On a related note, the beauty market in Japan is fiercely competitive. More and more, I have heard that if a beauty brand can make it in Japan, it can make it anywhere else.

Thank you again for stopping by my blog and leaving your comment. Hope to hear from you again! :)


Fi Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Thanks for the interesting post, it makes me feel a bit better that I’m not the only one spending that amount on average each month!

I was recently looking at my current stock of moisturisers and toners and despairing slightly that with the amount I spent there I could have had enough for a flight to Japan! I’m currently trying to save up to go again next year and seriously shop.
I love the Jill Stuart’s illuminance collection and am wondering how long you think they will have this particular packaging. Do you think it will still be there when I visit next summer or should I get it before then?



PJ Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Hi Fi,

I certainly know how you feel. I am pretty sure the amount of money I have spent in skincare and makeup in the last year or two is worth a return plane ticket to Tokyo…

As for Jill Stuart’s Illuminance collection, I am guessing the packaging for the eyeshadow palettes will last until Jill Stuart brings out the fall 2009 collection and I think we will see the same cases for the spring 2009 collection.

(If you go to Japan next summer, you should still see four of the five fall 2008 eyeshadow palettes. (05 is the limited-edition one.))

I am less sure about the packaging of the blushers. The two in the Illuminance collection are limited editions and I am not sure if Jill Stuart will actually bring out more Mix Blush Compacts.

Hope it helps, and thank you for your comment again! :)


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