Angie Kent underwent a Cinderella-esque makeover when she became The Bachelorette Australia in 2019. She now proudly reveals all the cosmetic enhancements she’s undergone.
It’s been estimated that looking like Kim Kardashian West costs an eye-watering $230,000 per month – the sum total of her at-home beauty appointments, daily personal training sessions, and exclusive products.
It’s a staggering amount of money, yet across the world this past decade – including here in Australia – the reality TV star and her family have served as the literal changing faces of what constitutes beauty.
Of course, the everyday consumer’s beauty expenses fall drastically short of Kardashian’s monthly outlay, with the average Australian woman spending $3600 per year.
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However, it’s a different story among women in their 20s and 30s, with many spending upwards of $14,000 per year. And before COVID derailed life as usual in 2020, our nationwide spending on hair and beauty this year was forecast at $6.8 billion, with $350 million of that on anti-wrinkle injections alone.
Once only the provenance of Hollywood stars or socialites, “having work done” was generally staunchly denied, even if evidence proved very much to the contrary. But in an era that has ushered in the advent of botox parties and selfies, most people no longer feel the need to keep their cosmetic procedures a secret.
TV personality Angie Kent is a case in point, having undergone the modern-day equivalent of a Cinderella makeover as she went from unknown punter on the decidedly unglamorous Gogglebox to star of The Bachelorette Australia in 2019.
“I went from sitting on my couch in my PJs to wearing a fancy dress with my hair and make-up professionally done,” Kent tells Body+Soul of her transformation.
“Of course it was a shock to viewers, but my appearance doesn’t change who I am as a person. I was very much myself [onscreen]. I think that you should do whatever you want to do.”
The 30-year-old is an open book when it comes to fielding questions about her cosmetic enhancements.
“I’m a huge fan of ageing gracefully, but I’m also a massive fan of injectables and treatments,” she says with a shrug.
“I’ve been open about getting the same work done for the past five years. I’ve been honest about getting Botox. In fact, I’m mad for a little bit of Botox. I’d never not have it.”
According to Dr Joseph Hkeik, an aesthetic physician and founder of Sydney’s All Saints Skin Clinic, Kent’s candour isn’t unusual.
“The ice has certainly been broken, people are no longer shy to say, ‘I get Botox’. If anything they talk about where they get their botox rather than if they get it at all.”
Along with his team, Hkeik – who counts Elle Macpherson and Sonia Kruger among his clients – sees about 680 patients per week. “The two most popular treatments are Botox and fillers and, on average, patients can spend anywhere between $500 to a couple of thousand dollars [per appointment],” he says.
Dr Naomi McCullum is on the board of the Cosmetic Physicians College of Australasia and the founder of exclusive Sydney clinic The Manse, which treats hundreds of patients per week – some of whom spend up to $15,000 per session.
“We have [some] very low-profile, private patients who spend significantly more than media personalities,” she says.
“However, those who make money from their appearance do prioritise keeping it in decent condition.”
Melbourne hairdresser Joey Scandizzo is a sought-after stylist with a client list that’s filled with celebrities.
“They come in every six-to-eight weeks for the big job – that’s a full cut and colour,” Scandizzo tells Body+Soul. “They’ll also come in between appointments for things like fringe trims and blow-dries. The average spend varies between $100 and $500, depending on the service.”
The rise of influencer culture on social media means that anyone can tap into a beauty directory of the best salons and clinics, with a simple scroll of Instagram giving behind-the-scenes access to celeb transformations and, in one click, revealing the top venues for selfie-worthy skin, hair and nails.
Kent often shares details of the salons responsible for her bouncy blow-dry or meticulously feathered eyebrows with her 277,000 Instagram followers. When asked to tally up how much she spends on beauty services, Kent admits she receives many for free, thanks to the perks that come with being a public figure and that social-media following.
But when Body+Soul added up the real-life cost were she to foot the entire bill, it came to more than $26,700 a year.
It’s a sum that could pay for a new car or a deposit on a property, so is it money well spent?
“Splashing out on self-care and beauty treatments can be a rewarding thing to do but you must set yourself limits,” says News Corp national personal finance writer Sophie Elsworth.
“Cutting back – for instance, by applying your own tanning products, and giving yourself pedicures and facials – can save you hundreds of dollars a month.
“These savings should be put towards an appreciating asset, for instance towards buying your first home or investing in shares where you can watch your money grow,” she adds. “Alternatively you could use the cash for an experience such as a holiday – something you’ll remember for years to come.”
To those who opt to continue spending their hard-earned cash on a high-maintenance beauty routine, Kent says it’s nothing to apologise for.
“Anything to do with your face, you want to go to someone who’s good,” she says.
“It does cost a lot, so do what’s best for your face, rather than copying a certain celebrity or doing it just because everyone else is doing it.”
Angie Kent’s annual beauty bill
- Botox: $660 biannually
- Fillers: $900 biannually
- Cut, colour & blow-dry: $300 every 6 weeks
- Blow-dry: $60 weekly
- Spray tan: $50 weekly
- Gel manicure & pedicure: $110 monthly
- Laser hair removal: $130 x 10 sessions, then annual maintenance
- Eyebrow feathering: $1100 initial, then $400 annually
- Eyebrow lamination: $110 every 6 weeks
- Lash extensions: $190 initial, then $80 every 3 weeks
- Cosmetic teeth whitening: $300 then $200 annually
* Prices based on the average cost of services in Australia