Occupation: Marketing manager, BlackBerry
“I tend to travel a lot for work and have an insanely busy schedule so I’ve found that beauty is my way of getting in some me-time. I like the confidence it gives me and how it shows I look after myself, even with a busy schedule. When I was younger, I was a tomboy but that changed when I started paying attention to celebrities and their style. No one taught me how to apply make-up. In fact my parents didn’t want me to wear any at all, but I used to steal bits from my mum’s cosmetic bag and copy the trends in magazines. Later on, when I moved to Dubai, I began visiting salons and getting tips from professional make-up artists and hairstylists.
“Annually my biggest spends are my facials, which cost me around Dh20,000 at Spa Dunya, and my hair colour, which comes in at about Dh7,200 also at Spa Dunya.
“When people hear how much I spend on beauty they often think that I’m a little excessive but I say, ‘Each to their own’. There are women who spend plenty more than I do, and while I don’t think anything of spending Dh500 a month on false eyelashes, I always snap up a beauty bargain when I see one.
“I don’t spend money on hair extensions and I’ve never had Botox or fillers. They’re too invasive for me right now, but that doesn’t mean I won’t change my mind down the line. As they say, ‘Never say never’.
“If I wasn’t spending money on my beauty regime, I think I’d save up and buy my own place, start a business, or travel – whichever comes first.”
Sharmila’s annual key spends
Hair colour: Dh7,200
False eyelashes: Dh6,000
Occupation: Managing partner, Balc8ny – Communication Architects
“When it comes to my beauty regime, it’s pretty uncomplicated. I know exactly what I need and I never have time to fiddle and fuss. I think my biggest extravagance would be facials. I spend about Dh1,000 a month at Biolite Aesthetic Clinic, but it’s worth it because I don’t even have to tell the therapists what I want. They know what I need by looking at my skin.
“My other indulgences would be my Royal Hammam (Dh490) at One&Only Spa, which I have every other month, and my monthly Intuitive Massage (Dh570) at B/Attitude Spa at Grosvenor House. I also treat myself to a mani-pedi at the Bastien Gonzalez Studio once a month, which sets me back Dh650. It’s not cheap but it’s worth it.
“Personally I’m not too worried about trying the latest treatments. If there is something I really want to do, I’ll do it but I’m not swayed by trends, because for me beauty is more about boosting confidence. For example, I always have my hair done before very important business meetings because it lifts my mood when I look polished.
“I feel the same in all walks of life. Last year I worked out with celebrity trainer Tracy Anderson and she advised me to put on lip-gloss before a session because looking good makes you feel good.
“While I take care of myself I would never criticise anyone for not adhering to a beauty regime. In fact, I am super envious of women with flawless skin, who can go out au naturel. I just feel better and more confident when I’ve got my make-up on.”
Ursula’s annual key spends
Royal Hammam: Dh2,940
Occupation: Pilates and IntenSati instructor
“When I was younger I had a friend who was mad about make-up. She used to have all these colour palettes and we’d sit around painting our faces. That was my first introduction to make-up and from then, until my late teens, I spent a lot of time perfecting my beauty regime. These days I’m not so focused on what I look like and I spend around five minutes every morning on skincare and make-up.
“It’s a quick and easy routine – if it was more complicated I don’t think I’d have time to do it – and I tend to just stick with the basics.
“This works well for me because I teach Pilates and intenSati. If I had a full face of make-up on while I was taking a class, I would get all sweaty during the workout. It’s no big deal though because I don’t mind looking in the mirror and seeing my face make-up free.
“It’s not that I look down on someone who wears a lot of make-up or has a carefully crafted beauty regime, in the same way that I hope they wouldn’t look down on me. It’s just that I’d rather spend my time and money on other things, like organic food and supplements that make me feel good internally and externally. I don’t take any specific beauty supplements, but there are lots of vitamins that do the job of beautifying.
“Of course, there are times when I like to get dolled up. My two indulgences are my hair and my mani-pedis, which come in at around Dh4,500 annually. Also, when I’m out of my workout gear and heading out for a night with friends, I like nothing more than putting on a bit of make-up and going glam. I just don’t want to do it every day.”
Yvette’s annual key spends
Hair colour: Dh2,400
Occupation: Human resources professional
“I first began wearing make-up when I was in my late teens, but it wasn’t until I moved to Dubai that I became really conscious of my beauty regime, as I was surrounded by a lot of women who took really good care of themselves.
“Of course, I believe that inner beauty is the most important thing, but I also think that wearing make-up and taking care of yourself helps to boost confidence. For example, I like it when people compliment me on my appearance. I also think it helps on a professional front, because my role requires me to meet a lot of people face to face.
“Personally, I don’t think I spend a lot of money on my regime. I’ve learned over a period of time what works for me. It took a lot of trial and error but now I know how to manage my budget. I get a blow-dry on a weekly basis for Dh40, which I think is an amazing deal.
“I also treat myself to monthly mani-pedi’s, which cost Dh80 a time. I think my biggest splurge would be my monthly facials, which cost Dh250 a time at Juice Spa.
“In terms of day-to-day beauty, I spend around 20 minutes applying my make-up in the morning. I don’t spend too much on products. If I need something I head to stores like MAC and Bobbi Brown and I invest in the basics.
“I’ve never considered having surgery but I have thought about booking in for laser hair removal. While it’s expensive,
it would be a cost-saver in the long run as I could forgo pricey waxing treatments.”
Reema’s annual key spends
Hair removal: Dh3,600