Business

Global beauty price gap revealed

Dolly Parton at Glastonbury in 2014

Country star Dolly Parton once said of her appearance that "it costs a lot of money to look this cheap".

But however classy your look, if you want to take care of yourself, you too can find yourself shelling out big bucks like Dolly.

What you may not realise is that from low-cost Vietnam to high-rolling Venezuela, the bill can vary hugely.

They are the cheapest and dearest nations in e-commerce platform Linio.com's Beauty Price Index.

To compile its list, Linio surveyed the cost of cosmetic products and services in 50 countries to find the price of beauty around the world.

It looked at three different categories: beauty services, such as hairdos; cosmetic procedures, including Botox and breast jobs; and products, such as make-up and perfume.

It found that on the whole, developing nations offer the most affordable beauty services, but show mark-ups on popular cosmetic products.

Cost spiral

However, Venezuela bucks the emerging market trend. Despite being renowned for its beauty queens, the South American nation is in the throes of economic collapse after years of fiscal mismanagement, and this has caused the cost of looking good to spiral out of control.

Apart from that anomaly, the price gap is much as you would expect. The countries where the cost of beauty is higher tend to be in regions that have a higher cost of living in general, such as northern Europe and North America.

After Venezuela, the most expensive countries for cosmetic products and services are Switzerland, Norway, Denmark and Finland, with Australia, Sweden and the US close behind.

The cheapest places after Vietnam are India, South Africa, Thailand and Egypt. The Czech Republic, Colombia and Panama also score well.

The UK comes in on the pricey side, ranking 36th cheapest out of the 50 nations surveyed.

"We hope that our index helps people more confidently interpret variations in costs associated with beauty around the world," said Linio's chief executive, Andreas Mjelde.

"Increasingly, the average citizen is a global one, and with a better understanding of global markets comes empowerment to travel, shop and live smarter."

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