Beauty and the Fees – Brits Spend £4,454 per Person on Their Looks

With over 70% of the UK admitting to being beauty-conscious, a new interactive data graphic from compares budgets for beauty across the country and finds Leeds has the highest spend per capita. How much do you spend on maintaining your good looks? In new research from, you can find out whether you’re a big beauty buyer or happy going au naturale – as well as compare what you spend on the different parts of your appearance with other people from your city. The graphic is supported by a survey into beauty spending habits in the UK – revealing that over 70% are beauty conscious, with 45% of people unwilling to post a picture on social media if they haven’t had a chance to put an effort into their appearance first. Leeds, the front-runner on costs, had a higher-than-average level of pride in their appearance, with 79% of local respondents saying they considered their looks important – but Cardiff placed the most importance on their appearance, despite coming only 18th when it came to overall spend throughout the year. And although Cardiff did have the highest spend on gyms each year – at £643 per person – they also were one of the lowest scoring when it came to putting in an effort to look good at the gym, suggesting they’re there to work, not look good. Big Budget Beauty The survey also explored the frequency with which respondents spent money on each item – and combined with average costs for each beauty item, a cost per person can be seen for each city. The cities with the most significant amount of spend on their appearance were:

  1.  Leeds – The northern city had the biggest overall outgoings on beauty expenditure, with £7000 being spent per capita each year. As well as being the biggest spenders on teeth whitening services, Leeds inhabitants also had the highest spend per capita on dermatologists at £587 a year – so they’re likely to have clear skin and bright, white teeth.
  2. London – Citizens of the capital really pulled their weight when it came to getting their beach bodies – they spent the second most in the UK on gyms, at £601 a year per person.
  3. Coventry – People in Coventry had a weakness for frequently getting their hair done, and accordingly, the highest costs on haircuts – at a hair-raising per person cost of £750 a year.
  4. Belfast – With an overall spend of £5900 a year, Belfast’s main outgoing costs were as a result of facial products – having to face a per capita spend just shy of £1000 a year.
  5. Manchester – Manchester’s overall yearly cost of £5600 was primarily made up of face products (£861), but also included significant expenditure on clothes, at £544 a year, suggesting a wider wardrobe among Mancunians than many other locations in the country.

At the other end of the scale, Aberdeen had the least overall spend, only paying out £2710 per person each year – and with the lowest hair budget in the country, at only £338, £22 less than the next lowest hair spenders in Bristol. “The piece isn’t just about the total spend,“ said Joe Gardiner,’s Head of Brand and Communications, ”it’s interesting to see the breakdown and understand which cities value which parts of __their appearance the most.” Whether your looks are the last thing on your mind or you’re spending two hours and £200 getting dressed before going out each day, make sure to check out the rest of the UK’s biggest beauty spenders. Methodology We found the top 30 cities by population. For each of these, we found data for the relevant metrics. Each metric was then divided by 100,000 population in order to give a figure that depicted density of each item within a city, rather than the raw number. Additionally, we conducted a survey through OnePoll, finding how regularly each beauty metric was used by respondents. This was available for each city (where it was not, regional results were used). The data is a cost adjusted for average frequency. For example, in Bristol, for teeth whitening, we found the average cost of teeth whitening, then found how much it would cost if someone had it weekly for a year, fortnightly for a year, monthly for a year, or twice a year. As two respondents answered that they used the item fortnightly, and 41 answered that they didn’t spend any money on it, it was two times the fortnightly cost (£5252), plus the cost of getting it zero times a year (i.e. £0), divided by all 43 respondents (for an end result of £244.28). Therefore, the costs are a per person spend in that city, rather than what the average person might spend - but as a representative person is paying approximately that figure, because we were unable to show them spending both the full amount as with the fortnightly respondent, and paying nothing as with the others, since both fail to adequately represent the data.

For more information, please contact James McCaffrey

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