American consumers spent over $200 billion on beauty products and services in 2009 — an awful lot of lipsticks and manicures — yet the average salon worker earned just $9 to $15 per hour. But these numbers don’t tell us the human costs. Like, what happens when these products aren’t subjected to pre-market safety testing. And how a 13-year-old feels when her mom takes her for a bikini wax. Or why many of us would rather not make eye contact with the woman we’re paying to scrub our feet.
I spent 600 hours learning to excavate pores, apply makeup and wax, well, you know where, with the hope of finding some answers. Want to read the full story from start to finish? Click the Beauty U tab, above. Then check out Tip Jar for a behind-the-scenes look at me working on clients.
A writer, beauty school graduate and iVillage Body Image Expert. I sort of love leg waxing and I (almost) never brush my hair. Except for that photo up there. You know how it goes.
You can learn more things about me here.
The names and identifying details of other Beauty U folk have been changed unless otherwise noted.
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[Photo by Jason Falchook.]