Can Semi-Permanent Makeup Help Singaporean Women Save Money?

Alexa Fang

Alexa Fang

Last updated 03 November, 2016

Singaporean women will spend thousands on beauty products in a lifetime, but these semi-permanent makeup and beauty services can offset those costs.

In 2013, a Yahoo! Shine report shed light on the amount of money women around the world spent on beauty products each year: US$426 billion. Yes, that’s billion, with a “B”. To break that down in a way that you might be able to relate to, In Style syas that the average woman spends about US$15,000 on beauty products in her lifetime.

Given those stats, it’s probably time to give more thought to the ROI from your mascaras and contact lenses. There have got to be more cost- and time-effective ways of approaching your beauty routine. So we looked up four semi-permanent beauty treatments to see if they’ll save you money in the long run.



If you’re short-sighted, chances are you have caught yourself trying to recall what it was like to wake up in the morning without seeing things out of focus. How would it feel if you didn’t spend the first few moments of every morning in a blur, groping for your glasses and stepping on unidentified objects on the floor. Yup, we’ve all tried to picture it with our mind’s eye.

But here’s the other thing to ponder: How much money could one save if glasses and contact lenses are a thing of your past?

Enter Lasik — a corrective eye surgery that reshapes the cornea to help bring your vision back to 20/20. Sounds like a dream, although the price of the procedure, around S$4,000, can be intimidating to many at first. If you think about it in the long term, though, you are actually saving money (and possibly time) by undergoing Lasik as opposed to wearing contact lenses for the rest of your life. Let’s do the math:

Cost of Lasik: S$4,000 (one-time expenditure)

Cost of contact lenses per year: S$1,336 (for Acuvue’s one-day Oasys Hydraluxe, for example)

Can you see clearly now which is the better option, financially? *wink*

Semi-Permanent Brows

Ask any woman, and it’s likely she’d tell you that filling in her eyebrows is the most essential step of her make-up routine. She can leave home without her red lips and even mascara, but she’d feel naked without a good, strong brow. Unless, of course, she’s going for the Édith Piaf look… for Halloween.

What she will also tell you, is how much time it takes up to draw the perfect brow — and ensure they’re even. If the age-old saying “time is money” is anything to go by, that’s a whole lot of money to knit one’s brow over wasting.

But hey, it’s never too late to rectify the situation. Semi-permanent brow “construction” is a popular beauty treatment that’s still a hit with women (and even men). Depending on the treatment you opt for, it could last up to two years.  

Eyebrow Ressurection: S$1,284 for the Define treatment at Browhaus (Lasts up to two years)

Cost of eyebrow make-up tools: Primer from NYX (S$14) + Brow liner from eyeko (S$32) + Brow gel from Benefit Cosmetics (S$42) = S$88

Assuming you replenish these products every three months, you would have spent S$704 at the end of two months + too much precious time you will never earn back.


Eyelash Extensions

How many years has it taken you to find the perfect mascara? One that does not become gooey and clumpy after three uses? One that offers your short Asian lashes the perfect lift, curl and fit with the promise of its perfect magic wand? One that doesn’t smudge by 2pm to make you look like Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride?

You get the drift. Again, in line with the idea of saving time, hassle and just be able to really say #IWokeUpLikeThis, getting an eyelash extension may not be a terrible idea. There may be a general misconception that one would emerge from the salon looking like Kylie Jenner, but there are actually very natural options for regular people.

At Kiyone + Lim, for example, you can choose between 60 and unlimited strands of lashes to extend, depending how much or little drama you wish to add to your look.

Cost of eyelash extension: From S$60 for 60 lashes (Lasts a full cycle of your lash growth, typically six to eight weeks)

Cost of eyelash-extending make-up tools: Mascara from Benefit Cometics (S$42) + eyelash curler from Shu Uemura (S$30) + False eyelashes from eyeko (S$28 per pair) = S$100

In a year, you would have spent S$390 for eyelash extensions, assuming you do this every eight weeks. In comparison, DIY would set you back something like S$492 if you were to purchase one pair of falsies every month, and re-stock your mascara every quarter.

Permanent Hair Removal

Oh, the perennial pet peeve of all womankind. In countries that enjoy four seasons, women could potentially save a lot of money, time and headspace. Under layers of cashmere, down and 200-dernier-thick tights, nobody needs to know what goes on in there, right?

Here in sunny Singapore, however, a girl’s got to make sure everywhere from her legs to her bikini line remains hair-free all year round. That’s 365 days of maintenance you can easily erase from your calendar with three letters: IPL.

Compared to waxing or threading, IPL a painless hair-removal technology. How do the prices compare? Let’s take a look:

Brazilian wax: S$58 (hair grows back every two to three weeks)

Full Bikini IPL: Promotional price of S$188 for one-year unlimited treatments at Beauty Room (typically takes four to six sessions)

Your annual expenditure for a Brazilian waxing every month would come up to S$696. Wouldn't it be better to just get rid of it all in just a few money-saving sessions?

Pro tip: use a rewards credit card to pay for your beauty treatments so you can earn points from these purchases. 

Read This Next: 

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Why the No Makeup Trend is More Expensive Than Buying Makeup

Alexa FangBy Alexa Fang

Alexa is a pop-culture vulture. She lives to read, write and travel, and decided long ago that life is stranger than fiction. When she's having croissant, she thinks in French. "31 Rue Cambon" is her favourite address, and she believes that money one enjoyed spending is never money wasted.


Alexa is a pop-culture vulture. She lives to read, write and travel, and decided long ago that life is stranger than fiction. When she’s having croissant, she thinks in French. “31 Rue Cambon” is her favourite address, and she believes that money one enjoyed spending is never money wasted.


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