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Episode Number: 309

Episode 309- The Price of Beauty: Exploring the Pros and Cons of Higher Maintenance Beauty Services

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The Price of Beauty: Exploring the Pros and Cons of Higher Maintenance Beauty Services

(This post may include some affiliate links)

I describe myself as a “simple” person… someone who doesn’t typically get her hair, nails, etc. done or shop for the latest and greatest fashions. 

So when I decided to take on “Operation City Girl,”an exploration of what it would be like to spend money on a series of beauty related expenses (hair, eyelashes, eyebrows, nails, etc), I wasn’t sure what to expect. How would spending money on my appearance make me feel? Is a higher maintenance life “worth it?” What are the pros and cons of these services?

Press play and learn all about my experience being a “material girl.” 

In this episode, you’ll learn more about:

  • What “Operation City Girl” is and how it impacted my personal finances
  • How much getting my hair, eyelashes, eyebrows and nails cost
  • The pros and cons of the higher maintenance beauty life + more 

Check out the video of this episode on YouTube, here!

Episode 309- The Price of Beauty: Exploring the Pros and Cons of Higher Maintenance Beauty Services Share on X

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Jamila Souffrant 0:03

This comes up to over $700 in beauty procedures and things that I got done. And for someone who does not spend money on things like this, I'm like, this is a lot of money. Like I cannot believe how much money it costs. Look this way,

T-minus 10 seconds. Welcome to the journey to launch podcast with your host jameelah. So frogs as a money expert who wants her talk, she helps brave juniors like you get out of debt, save, invest and build real wealth. Join her on the journey to launch to financial freedom 321

Intro 0:50

If you want the episode show notes for this episode, go to journey to or click the description of wherever you're listening to this episode. In the show notes, you'll get the transcribed version of the conversation, the links that we mentioned and so much more. Also, whether you are an OG journeyer, or brand new to the podcast, I've created a free jumpstart guide to help you on your financial freedom journey. It includes the top episodes, so listen to stages to go through to reach financial freedom, resources and so much more. You can go to journey to to get your guide right now. Okay, let's hop into the episode.

Jamila Souffrant 1:29

Hey, hey, hey, Jaron yours. I'm back with a solo episode. I'm excited to share an experiment almost and an operation that I dubbed the city girl operation. And I'll explain what that is in the episode. And as I talk more, but I celebrated a milestone birthday recently. And because of that, and I knew it was coming up this birthday, obviously, I knew my birthday was coming up. I wanted to try something different. Now. So in this episode, I want to talk about what that meant, what was trying something different, and how did that impact my finances and everything that I was working on while doing operation city girl. And so what that meant is this, I'm usually a very simple person, a simple, I would say, you know, in terms of what the not average, but like I'm an average girl, and I'm not the I guess the traditional what they usually say a girly girl is or someone who likes to get dressed up and get nails and hair. And all that done. I'm usually not about that life. I rather just wake up and just go out in the world the way I am. And so for a long time and for most of my life, if the only way or reason I would get my nails done or my eyebrows done or anything done was because it wasn't an event it was either a photoshoot for journey to launch, or my wedding, or maybe a birthday. So like in the past if I knew I was going to have a birthday or maybe it was my husband's birthday, I would make an effort to put on something right like to put on some makeup, some very basic makeup, we're getting my makeup done, and to look a certain way. But I said to myself, I'm turning 40 years old. So I turned 40 And I was preparing for an upcoming trip. So I talked about this trip a little bit on my birthday, my solo birthday episode that came out I think last week and then on my social media if you follow me on at journeys launch, or at Jamila souffrant on Instagram, I posted a real about the recap of my 40th birthday trip. Well it was a joint 40th birthday trip with my husband and I and we had 17 of our closest family members and friends come and join us, but because I knew that it was coming up, I mean, it took a lot to plan that so many people I said to myself, Okay, so we're going to try something different you're turning 40 You always say that you want to finally be a woman quote unquote, and in a joking way, like be someone who knows how to do makeup and likes the fanciness and I'm not gonna lie when I get those things done. I love it. I love the result. So I get the value of it but I just didn't enjoy the time but I said okay for my 40th birthday, you're going away. Let's get your hair done. And let's do these things these beauty upgrades to yourself to see how you feel let's make it an experiment. And so I dubbed it the city girl experiment and I dubbed it that because I'm always joking that the city girls the girls that get you know if you're listening and you're a city girl, let's say hey, but meaning more in the sense that not anything to do with men and what you like couldn't get from men but more from you. You You look put together. And I always admire my friends and just other women that I see where I'm like wow like this girl. The fashion is there, like the look is there I love it. But I'm wondering to myself, like I wonder how much time and energy that costs. But I said alright, let's see how it is. If I try that out, like let's see what the harm if there's any harm or benefit to my life by implementing this.

So this episode is all about that it's going to be breaking down the cost of the things that I got done, the time it took, and then my take on if I would continue to do these things, but in general, here is what I did. So if you're watching this, I'm actually going to put this video the podcast video on my YouTube channel so you can see but I ended up getting my hair done. So I currently have knotless braids in these are called knotless medium mid back braids. I got my eyebrows done, meaning I got the microbladed I'll explain what that is. I got eyelashes and I got my nails done my manicure and pedicure and I did buy some makeup and some clothes for the trip. But I'm really going to focus on the hair, the eyebrows, the eyelashes and the nails.

Alright, so let's get into it. So just again I'm not typical girly girl in the traditional sense. I like to really just get up and go I can buy something and have it for years like my friends know that you know I've had the same mugs for like over 10 years. My husband bought me some new ones so if I have anything that's like cool and new, it's usually him that buys it but I can wear the same workout sneakers for years like I just wear things until they cannot be worn anymore. So super simple. But again turning 40 wanted to do it up. So the cost let's let's get to the cost. So the cost for the braids and this includes tip and any other like travel fees that were associated with these procedures but the hair, my hair cost $270 My eyebrows which are micro graded cost $190 My eyelashes so these are individual eyelashes, they typically would be 100 But I had a 50% off deal that I got so it's $85 and then nails my nails were $183 and then I bought some makeup at Sephora I believe and that was like $90 just some basic makeup.

Unknown Speaker 7:24

When I add this all up, just take the makeup out. This comes up to over $700 in beauty procedures and things that I got done and for someone who does not spend money on things like this, I'm like this is a lot of money like I cannot believe how much money it costs a look this way and I feel like I got the basic look like my my eyelashes when they were first done. They were more prominent, but they started to shed a little bit but I was like don't make it like it's too much even with my eyebrows. I got Microblading which is semi permanent like almost tattooing. I was like I don't want it to be obvious. So I felt like I got like the more like subdued subtle look and even with my nails, I did not get tips I did get gel and they like I got a design but I'm just like this is like the base I felt like I went the basic route and it still cost a lot of money. So the cost that was about the costs over $700 for all these procedures and some included tips, some didn't. But what I'm more at want to talk about is the time that it took. So overall to get these things done. It took 12 hours of my time, the hair took four hours, my eyebrows, took four hours and the eyebrows actually it was just the initial so typically what I was told is that initially use four hours to get it done the first time and then in that it was four to 12 weeks I may be wrong, you get a touch up because you know you do the procedure it's like semi permanent but then things fade or you may want to correct or just fine tune some things. And so there's an additional probably two hours at the end that I have to do for these eyebrows that I'm actually by the time you see this or should be done already. But four hours for the initial eyebrow, two hours for eyelashes because their individual eyelashes that are placed on each eyelash which is crazy like and I didn't know at first I'm like this is it's taking so long but she's literally putting the eye the fake eyelashes on each individual eyelash and then nails that actually surprised me how long that took. But that took four hours. So over 12 hours of my time in getting this done and that does not include getting to the services. So my eyebrow lady thankfully was able to come to me which was amazing. And set up in my basement and then everywhere else I went I had to drive to and this is where now I want to get to the pros and cons of of what I got done like this beauty life.

Unknown Speaker 10:03

Because when it comes to doing these things, like there's gonna be pros and cons to it, I know this is like new to me doing it. Whereas maybe if you're listening, you get these things done all the time, you're like, probably like yeah, Jamila, this is how long things take, you know, but I was just surprised at it. So I want to go over the cons, and the pros after now completing these things, and what my final thoughts are on if I'm going to continue to do any of this going forward. So let's start with the cons. First, the con is the time it takes to get these done. Because I am actually or when I was starting to get these things done, I was in the middle or in the midst of really writing my book. So it was due to my publisher, like the not the final draft that you will see. But the draft that he is now going to look at and do edits, and we go back and forth to get it to the final draft that was due actually, on my birthday, February 6. And I am the kind of person where I do like deadlines, that makes me work harder it when I know something's coming up, I get to it. And so to have that deadline that I was working towards to submit my manuscript, but then to be taking off like primetime, like four hours in the day to get this stuff done was a lot, because my kids, so I typically I dropped my kids off at school by about 815 820. And they need to get picked up by to 20. So I have a very short window to get things done. And then if on top of that, if I go to the gym or workout, that's even less time to get work done. So some of these things took like the whole day where I could have been writing or doing something else for my business. And I was either commuting to get this done, or getting it done sitting in a chair. And when I was sitting in the chair, or even getting Mike my eyebrows done, I'm like, wow, time really is a precious valuable resource. Because here I am, you know, taking four hours to do this when I could be writing. So that's one of the cons is the time, the money, you know, the money is a big like, this is why I believe he started listening to the show, you want to reach financial independence, financial freedom, you want to find a better way to use your money that fuels you to make you happy. And it just to me, it costs a lot of money. And part of the reason why I think I've been able to reach my financial goals was because I was I'm able to be flexible and really simple with certain things in my life. So when it comes to shopping and beauty, I don't spend a lot of money on that. And because of that, I'm not saying that's how like I saved $200,000 Or how I became a millionaire. But it's part of like kind of my discipline in, okay, I'm not going to spend, whereas maybe someone else has a budget for $500 a month for beauty related expenses, I don't have that, right, I can put all that into investing, or saving or just spending on somewhere else. So the money was a big part of why for me, I was just like, I don't know about this. And then this is part of the money. It's like being caught in the cycle of needing to keep doing these things. Because, you know, here's like one thing, like you can get braids and take it out and be done and not have to do it again. But I just felt like even the eyelashes. So the eyelashes they start to shed about like, I mean, as soon as you get them done, they shed a little bit but it's recommended you get them refilled every three to four weeks. Okay, so every three to four weeks, it's recommended to get your eyelashes filled again. And so again, that would be something you need to add in your budget, that it's an ongoing expense, like a bill nails. I remember you know, I didn't get tips on my nails, but I got gel so you can see. I mean they they're laughing, everything's laughing me like everyone did a great job. So they're laughing but you know, you can see that it will need to fill in. And I wanted to kind of do tips. So thick tips is where they put like a fake nail on your nail. And then they put the gel over it so your nail will look longer. And I feel like that would have been pretty cool too because I had fake nails before longer nails back in, you know, my high school days when I tried when I was you know, just being young and and fun and sometimes in my 20s but I didn't want to get the long nails because I knew for sure if I got that that'd be more money and more of a commitment to wanting to keep them up.

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Jamila Souffrant 15:26

I'm gonna list all the businesses and small businesses that I went to because they were all amazing. But I remember a lovely young lady sitting next to me, she was getting her nails refilled. So she had come back to get her nails filled in again. So she had, like, I believe what were tips are fake nails. And I'm sitting next to her and I'm thinking to myself, alright, we're gonna get this done out on the next time, I'm getting my nails done. And she was already as she was getting her nails and making her appointment for like, I think two weeks later, because that's how much they grow out. And you have to do them again. And I just, I was just like, wow, like, it's a serious commitment to keep this this up if you decide to do it. And the eyebrows like they last I believe over a year. So you don't have to typically do the eyebrows, you know, it's one and done, which is I love, I can't tell you the last time I got my eyebrows done, I think it was maybe for my wedding, if you can believe it. And so I like so it's not like that it's an ongoing or something you need to do on a monthly basis. But maybe like every year and a half or every two years, you you may want to get it touched up again. So being caught up in a cycle of needing to do these things over and over. And then having it be almost like a bill is also to me a con like the way I like just something that I would look at and say, I don't know, if I want to get into a cycle that keeps me having to spend money on something and feeling dependent on it. Also, so part of the feeling of feeling dependent is feeling like I need to do these things to feel good about myself. So yes, I love how everything came out. I love and I'll talk about the pros, after I go through the con list, but I felt like you know, I don't want to feel like I need to do these things, which then means I need to spend money on this every month. I want to be fluid, I want to be flexible if I don't want to be stuck to anything, right, you know, right now, the things that I am obligated other than to like my kids, and my husband is like paying the mortgage. And we don't have like a car note right now, you know, we have light bills and all these other bills, but there's nothing else that I have to do in life. And I like not having to have to do anything. And so even the slight chance that I feel like I need to do something makes me want to push back. And so that was something where I said to myself, I don't want to I don't want my self worth tied up into the result of this thing. And I don't want to feel like I have to do it. And it impacts my budget in a way that I am just not with.

Okay, so I feel like those were the major cons, the time it takes the money and the energy it takes to to do this stuff, and then being caught up in this cycle and creating a bill for myself. But not everything you know, is bad. I think there were a lot of pros in operation city girl.

So the biggest one is my confidence. I definitely feel more confident. And part of that is actually proof by me showing up more like I recorded so far as the time that this records about three podcast interviews, and they all have been now on video. And I am recording this on video. And part of that is because it's so much easier to show up because it's almost just like it's like built in makeup. And it's very simple, by the way. So if you're watching me, it's not like it's over done. But because I'm so simple, it just makes it easier to show up for like the business on camera. Because there are some times that I maybe want to share something or there's an interview, but I'm just like not feeling it like my hair's a mess. I kind of look a mess. I'm like I'm not doing it but kind of having all this done already. And sent like alright, let's just put some, you know, put some a little concealer on put some lip gloss on and turn the camera on, let's go so much easier. So that is a pro and that's actually a big pro when it comes to the business side of things. Because I know that showing up more is beneficial to my business. And you know, I think you guys want to see me more. And so I'm like wow, like that actually is a that makes a big difference. So not only in my life, I mean in business, feeling confident but also in life, right? Like just waking up and taking my kids to school and just being Jamila in the real world. I feel more confident. So that is helpful. For example, so my husband, he surprised me on my birthday with a surprise photoshoot, you know, I had no idea he roped me in the day of my birthday, like, hey, you know, just be ready at four. I have someone coming over to take some photos. And I was just like, but I wasn't as prepared in a way because typically I'd be like, Oh man, like, I don't know how to do my own makeup. And I, you know, I got to do all this stuff to feel the way I want to feel. But I was like, oh, okay, cool, all I have to do is find an outfit. Because my hair is already done. You know, eyebrows are already filled in eyelashes are there all I got to do is put on a little concealer, and I'm good to go some lips lip gloss, and here we are. And so that felt good that I didn't have to do that much work. So that's a pro, just the confidence and how I feel with my business like showing up on camera. And then in the real world and being just ready for anything. I also love that I was able to, you know, this is like 10 Gentle a little bit. But I love that all the businesses. So the nail place that I went, the person that Kayla who did my eyebrows, the person who did my eyelashes, and then my hair, all black women, all black small businesses. And it's, it's cool, because a couple of them know about journey to launch. And you know, we talked about it and they may be following I hope they listen to the podcast and know how great they were as a service provider. But it was pretty cool, like merging those worlds about, alright, you do this as a business. And first of all, you better get my eyebrow girl because I think she needs to, she needs to charge more. So maybe after this, she will end up charging more. But I love that I was able to patronize black women owned businesses, and then talk about Johnny's launch and the podcasts and let them know, one person didn't even know like, how to listen to a podcast. So I was able to like show them where journey to launch was and have them listen. So that was pretty cool. I talked about being more efficient with my time. So that's another problem. So despite feeling like I took a lot of time to do these procedures, the time it takes not to show up in a moment for things is less, so I can be more efficient with my time in the moment. So it's almost like you know, just like any investment, you spend some money up front, or you to spend the time upfront, but then you reap the rewards as you go because it takes less time in the moment. And so that's what's happening now, I can just show up in two minutes. So press record to do something, even with the book. So even I said I didn't have I felt like I was taking time away from writing the book. But if you heard a Parkinson's Law, that basically is a law that what we work or how we work expands to fill the available time. And I felt like sure, it'd have been nice to have more time to get my manuscript written and sent in. But I was gonna get it done. Regardless, whether you gave me 10 weeks or two weeks, it's gonna get done. And I wouldn't make the time work. And so I became more efficient with a smaller amount of time. Just like sometimes I wonder how I get a lot done when I have such a short window when the kids have to be picked up at a certain time. And I'm just like, well, I want it because I know I don't have a lot of time I get things done and I'm more efficient with it. So I feel like that also was a pro.

So conclusion. What do I really think of Operation city girl? What are my final thoughts? And you know, I want to say that for all the girlies that do this on a monthly basis props to you. I think I had so I saw somewhere I don't know if it was Seema from financially intentional she had a real on Instagram. That said, you think investing is hard trying to do your makeup is harder. And I truly feel that way because I still don't know how to do makeup in the way where you know you I can be camera like go on the Today Show kind of makeup. And when I see makeup artists doing makeup, I'm just like, wow, this is an art, right? Like it to me seems so complicated. But it's like, showing me doing it. So for the girlies that do this on a regular and feel empowered by it feel good by it and feel like it's money well spent, do you? I'm not here to tell you not to spend your money on these things. If it's something that you value. The only thing I will say is there's nothing wrong with taking a look at your financial picture at your life picture and making sure that doing these things if you're spending money on a monthly basis doing it that is in line with your values and your goals for your life. So it because you're getting these procedures done every month and they cost X amount but you still are in debt and are unhappy about it or can't pay your bills or are struggling it may be time to look at okay, maybe I should reconsider what this looks like in my budget. Can I scale back can I find another way. I know one of my friends instead of doing her nails every month now she does press ons, or she doesn't get her hair done every every month like she used to, because she has other goals that are more important to her. But she still takes her time and still looks good. But she's finding a way to bridge or to meet herself in the middle of what it looks like to still feel and look good, but to still reach her goals. So I just want to say that like it was really like, fun to do it. I was joking around on social media when I would share behind the scenes on my Jamila souffrant stories about like, oh, here I am. Here's my eyelashes. Here's my eyebrows. And that was fun doing so I felt like the process was fun.

Will I do it again? Will I do any of this again? The answer is yes. So for sure the eyelashes I'm not going to lie. So one to one, a friend that I met at the gym, she has her eyelashes done. And I remember saying to her, I never got them done. And I was like, Yeah, I think I want to get it done it then done, but I just don't want to keep having to go back. And she was like, listen, when you get them done the first time you're gonna want to go back, you got it, that's the thing, you're gonna want to do it. And I will say that I really liked just the effect of the eyelashes so that I may continue to do but don't quote me on it, we'll see the nails and you know the hair. I'm not too sure about it. Think if there is something happening, maybe I'll I'll go back to do that. But not too big on needing to keep the nails up. The thing that I think this opened me up to most and this may sound familiar for you. And not just related to beauty is this. Part of me wonders, what is the reason that I don't want to embrace this beauty side of myself. And because earlier I said, you know, I don't want my self worth to be wrapped up in like things that I have to pay for that are external, which I think is valid. But also Am I stopping myself from loving something about my life, because I'm just afraid, like, of what what happens, right? It's almost like someone not wanting to meet people and date or fall in love because they're afraid of getting hurt. And so they therefore they don't, they don't put themselves out there, they're not vulnerable, because they don't want to get hurt. But if they put themselves out there, like what kind of who knows the kind of life and things that unfold for them. And so I know I'm being really dramatic, comparing this to beauty, but if part of my issue is not wanting to do it, because I don't want to be addicted to it. And you know, have bills associated with bills, but that I actually enjoy it, then why not? What if I do get a little caught up in the beauty world, but it's because it's my choice. And I think that's kind of where I was able to gain some clarity is that as long as I don't feel like it's because I'm doing it for other people or other validation. But I simply and really do enjoy it. And if I wanted to not do it anymore, I could stop doing it is where I kind of ended up at.

So the conclusion is operation city girl was a success. I'm so glad that I took the time, the energy, the self. Self Care is like it's kind of weird now saying self care for some of this, some of these things, because I feel like it can be toxic. And now corporations and people use the word self care to actually trip you up and help you do the opposite of self care. Because they want you to feel like you need to do it, you deserve to do it. So I wouldn't necessarily call what I did self care. But I feel like there's nothing wrong with spending. I mean, I've always felt that way. But there's nothing wrong with trying something new if you can afford it, and who fits in your values. And so that was my impression city girl I do plan on doing just like a post about the places I went, the outcome and the process. So that should be fun. And make sure you're following me at journey to launch and at Jamila souffrant. And then if you are if this is what you do, like hair nails, you're about this life, I'd love to hear from you. post on Instagram or at me on in your stories if you're listening to this and then if you're not about this life, if you're super simple and you don't do any of this stuff. I'd like to hear from you too. What are your thoughts? Did anything resonate with you? Are you going to try operation city girl? Let me know. All right journeyers. Until next time, keep on journeying.

Outro 29:33

Don't forget you can get the episode show notes for this episode by going to journey to or click the description of wherever you're listening to this and you can still grab your jumpstart guide for free to help you on your journey to financial freedom by going to journey to

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