Global Glamonomics: Beauty on a Budget

Three women across the globe share their tips, routines, and total tabs.

beauty products
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Does the New Yorker who spends 20 times more on beauty maintenance than the Parisian make herself prettier — or just cash poor?

Total Monthly Spending: $117, Total Monthly Time Commitment: 14.1 hours

Justine Franquin, 24, jewelry and fashion editor, Stiletto magazine, Paris
French-born makeup artist Laura Mercier named her culty concealer Secret Camouflage, as her compatriots are militant about keeping beauty info classified. According to Mercier, "Your makeup should never say 'I've spent hours to look this good,'" while French editor Justine Franquin says it all comes down to focus: "I'll splurge only on what's essential for me — a deep conditioner for hair and a good day cream for skin."

Franquin cleans and moisturizes with the same products in the a.m. and p.m. She exfoliates once a week.
Monthly Time Commitment: 40 minutes (10 minutes a week)
Monthly Spending: $25

To enhance her natural waves, Franquin washes and conditions every night. She lets hair dry naturally and flat-irons a few pieces in front in the morning. Every two weeks, she'll use a deep-conditioning mask.
Monthly Time Commitment: 5 hours
Monthly Spending: $30

In the winter, Franquin uses only Agnes B.'s apricot foundation. The rest of the year, she amps it up with more color.
Monthly Time Commitment: 5 hours
Monthly Spending: $12

A tried-and-true tub of Nivea is her moisturizer for the neck down. Simple, no-frills pedicures once a month with a neutral polish.
Monthly Time Commitment: 1.5 hours
Monthly Spending: $50

Franquin occasionally runs and walks for exercise but, like her Parisian friends, has never had a gym membership. (Maybe that's why French women spend nearly $100 million on slimming creams every year.)
Monthly Time Commitment: 2 hours
Monthly Spending: $0

Guerlain Secret De Pureté, Crystal Lotus Flower
2. MAC Eyeshadow in Pandamonium
3. Make Up Forever Professional Paris Bronzing Powder in Mat Bronze
4. Shiseido Brilliant Bronze Self-Tanning Emulsion
5. La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL 50+
6. Nivea Creme
7. Kérastase Nutritive Masquintense
8. Babyliss Ceramic Straightening Iron
9. Dessange Paris Color Setting Mask
10. Neutrogena Deep Clean Oil Free Cream Cleanser
11. Bourjois Paris Maxi Frange Extreme Professional Lash-Styling Mascara
12. Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion.

NEXT >> SOUTH KOREA: Total Monthly Spending: $430, Total Monthly Time Commitment: 38 hours

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Total Monthly Spending: $430, Total Monthly Time Commitment: 38 hours

Hayeun Cho, 27, marketing manager, Seoul
Not only do South Koreans hold the world record for highest ratio of cosmetic surgeons to citizens, but the average woman uses 11 different skin products daily — just part of the $194.7 million South Korean women spend in the pursuit of flawlessness every year. The new thinking: Clear up, don't cover up. "Beauty is no longer found in foundations but in actually having better skin," believes Hayeun Cho. That said, most Koreans shun what she calls the "healthy, sexy, outdoorsy" look of freckles and suntans that Americans love. "We're focused on having absolutely no dark spots on the face," Cho claims. Second priority? Adding a little oomph to stick-straight hair.

Cho follows a strict seven-product regimen day and night, the variation being toner in the morning and cleansing oil for removing makeup in the evening. Once a week, she uses a moisturizing mask or a whitening mask (to lighten undesirable dark spots). She visits the dermatologist every month to treat breakouts. Her prized products: Sisley face creams. "They're expensive but work wonders on my dry skin."
Monthly Time Commitment: 10 hours (20 minutes a day)
Monthly Spending: $200

Thanks to a perm, which adds volume to her naturally lank locks, Cho only needs five minutes to do her hair. After quickly drying hair with a blow-dryer on a cool setting, she runs a pinch of styling wax through her hair. Once a month, she heads to the salon for a $35 bang trim and a bit of shaping.
Monthly Time Commitment: 2.5 hours (5 minutes a day)
Monthly Spending: $60

"Pretty much the standard," Cho says: foundation, concealer, mascara, eyelash curler, pink blush — and for parties, a swipe of pink or gold shadow.
Monthly Time Commitment: 5 hours (10 minutes a day)
Monthly Spending: $100

In the shower, Cho exfoliates with Fresh Brown Sugar Body Polish. She also religiously applies Clarins Body Shaping Cream, a favorite for the last five years. During sandal season, Cho indulges in spa pedicures every two weeks; the rest of the year, she saves money with an at-home polish job.
Monthly Time Commitment: 8.5 hours
Monthly Spending: $50

Cho prefers exercising outdoors in the fresh air, so she hikes a nearby mountain two to three times a week. "I get energy from the trees and grass," she says, adding, "dancing like crazy at clubs counts as a workout, too!"
Monthly Time Commitment: 12 hours (3 hours a week)
Monthly Spending: $20 (to pay for the cover charge if she goes clubbing)

Shu Uemura Face Powder Matte
2. L'Oréal Paris Original Voluminous mascara
3. Bobbi Brown Hydrating Eye Cream
4. Kanebo Sensai Cellular Performance Mask
5. Sephora Lipstick in Maniac
6. Bobbi Brown Shimmer Wash Eye Shadow in Gold
7. Shu Uemura Blush in Glow On
8. Sisley Hydra-Global Intense Anti-Aging Hydration
9. Fresh Brown Sugar Body Polish
10. Clarins Body Shaping Cream
11. Bobbi Brown Beach Sunscreen Body Spray SPF 15
12. Estée Lauder Re-Nutriv
13. SK-II Whitening Source Intensive Mask
14. Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler
15. Shu Uemura White Recovery EX+
16. Clarins Renew-Plus Body Serum

NEXT >> USA: Total Monthly Spending: $2483, Total Monthly Time Commitment: 34 hours

pile of beauty products

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Total Monthly Spending: $2483, Total Monthly Time Commitment: 34 hours

Jennifer Fisherman-Ruff, 38, publicist, Equinox Spas, New York City
American girls — especially those in big cities — are addicted to beauty rituals, says Jennifer Fisherman-Ruff: "We have easy access to everything. And once you see the difference between a salon blowout and your own, there's no going back." That said, her fellow Americans spend over $12 billion annually on haircolor and styling products for at-home use, too. Fisherman-Ruff sounds the familiar refrain about the American obsession with youth ("How many of your friends accept gray hair or weight gain gracefully like Europeans do?"), but notes that these days, even the country's youth are chasing, well, youth. "I didn't get my first highlights until I was 25, but now there are 16-year-olds sitting next to me at the salon." Probably the same girls working out beside her at the gym, already trying to maintain their figures.

In the morning, Fisherman-Ruff layers eye cream, serum, moisturizer, and sunscreen. At night, she applies a prescription azelaic-acid cream to treat her rosacea. She visits the dermatologist for a monthly peel to minimize fine lines and keep skin even, while treating the rare pimple with Benefit Boo Boo Zap! Every two months, she goes in for a laser hair-removal treatment.
Monthly Time Commitment: 4 hours (8 minutes a day)
Monthly Spending: $520

Fisherman-Ruff achieves bounce with daily use of volumizing conditioners, mousse, and a pre-breakfast set with Babyliss Ceramic Hot Rollers. She gets her hair colored every four to six weeks, in addition to twice-weekly blowouts at Salon Eliút Rivera. Every morning she takes Philip Kingsley vitamins for hair.
Monthly Time Commitment: 7.5 hours (15 minutes a day)
Monthly Spending: $755

During the workweek, she hones a polished look; bronzer and brown MAC blush (used as eyeshadow) are staples. She experiments with a new tube of mascara every month.
Monthly Time Commitment: 4 hours (8 minutes a day)
Monthly Spending: $100

Fisherman-Ruff stocks up on Molton Brown body wash for the shower. She uses unscented body lotions that won't compete with her signature scent: Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb. She spray-tans twice a month for a safe, golden glow. Mani/pedis weekly, massages monthly, eyebrows bimonthly.
Monthly Time Commitment: 4.5 hours
Monthly Spending: $488

Two days a week, she takes a Power Pilates class, two days she runs, and on Sundays in the wintertime, she ice-skates with her kids.
Monthly Time Commitment: 14 hours
Monthly Spending:: $160 for gym membership, $460 for private Pilates sessions.

NYDG Physician's UV Defense Sunblock in SPF 30
2. MAC Tinted Lipglass in Lychee Luxe
3. Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb Eau de Parfum
4. Philip Kingsley Smooth Cream
5. Priori Idebenone Eye Serum
6. Prescriptives Custom Blend Foundation
7. Benefit Boo Boo Zap!
8. Darac Beauty Feature Focus Your Face Definer
9. Kérastase Resistance Volumactive Mousse
10. Molton Brown Bath & Shower Gel in Energising Seamoss
11. Mineral FX in M50
12. MAC Blush in Format
13. Allergan Azelex cream
14. DDF Ultra-Lite Oil-Free Moisturizing Dew