The Best Investment Beauty Buys, Based On Cost Per Use

As much as I love a budget beauty buy, there is also value to be found in products that (while they may cost a lot to start with) last long enough and perform so effectively that they offer just as much value as their more affordable counterparts. Think about it; it could take ten bottles of a £5 vitamin C serum to see the same results that one £40 serum could deliver (in half the time).  

I’ve long since used ‘cost per wear’ to justify clothing purchases, but the same works of beauty too – I call it ‘cost per use’. One of the first things I always ask myself when buying an expensive beauty product is ‘but will I use it?’. If it looks like something I can easily fit into my routine, isn’t too similar to something I already own, and is easy to use every day, then I’m much more likely to make the purchase – because essentially, each individual use justifies the price paid. 

Below I’ve picked out ten beauty purchases which I personally think are worth it based on the cost per use I’ve estimated… 

1. Therabody Theragun Primer

Price: £275 

Cost per use: Use it twice a week for a year and the cost per use is £2.65 – much cheaper than booking a weekly massage. 

2. Foreo Luna 4

Price: £119 

Cost per use: Use it daily in your evening skincare routine and in your first year of use the cost per day will be 32p. What’s more, Foreos last forever. I’ve used mine daily for the past four years so I’m looking at a cost per use of around 8p. 

3. Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant

Price: £65 

Cost per use: Dermalogica estimates that this product lasts for 20 weeks if used daily – this works out at 46p per use. 

4. Aesop Reverence Aromatique Hand Wash

Price: £31 

Cost per use: Rough estimates says that you get 165 uses from each 250ml of hand wash, and since this is a supersize 500ml bottle, you’re looking at 330 washes per bottle, which equates to 9p per wash. And you can reuse the bottle.

5. Skin Gym Wrinklit LED Mask

Price: £100 

Cost per use: Most of probably don’t have the discipline to commit to using an LED mask daily, but even if you only use this twice a week for a year, that’s just 96p per use. 

6. Allies of Skin CE15 Bakuchiol Firming Oil

Price: £145 

Cost per use: A 30ml bottle of serum like this one should last between three to six months with daily use – and with an oily formula like this one, a little goes a long way. If it lasts you six months, that’s only 80p per use. 

7. NIOD Copper Amino Isolate Serum

Price: £70 

Cost per use: Even if this 30ml bottle only lasts three months (the minimum we’d expect) that works out at 77p per use. 

8. Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair

Price: £86 

Cost per use: According to reviews, this 50ml bottle lasts for around five months when used every night (as instructed). That equates to £17 a month, or 56p per day. 

9. By BEAUTY BAY Palette Vault

Price: £200 

Cost per use: When stored correctly (in a cool dry place) an eyeshadow palette will last for two years. If you use these palettes five times a week (we all need our no-makeup days) for two years, that’s basically 38p a day. 

10. MyLee The Full Works Complete Gel Polish Kit

Price: £130 

Cost per use: Most gel manicures last for around two to three weeks, so if you give yourself a mani every three weeks for a year, that works out at £7.50 per mani – a lot cheaper than booking in at your local salon. 

11. Ilios Lighting Beauty Ring

Price: £250 

Cost per use: Whether you use this mirror for your makeup routine, to take selfies, or to shoot content, using it just once a day for a year, will cost you just £1.46 per day. It’s perfect for those who don’t have room for a separate mirror and ring light, or who want quick and easy access to high definition lighting.