On Friday evening, the rapper took to Instagram while on her way to perform at 102.7 KIIS FM's Jingle Ball 2018 to break down the staggering cost of two vital components of her beauty routine: hair and nails. In the video, Cardi wore an of-the-moment purple wig and set of long, sparkly nails to explain that, because it is no longer the early 2000s, the simpler manicure options of yore, such as a “$17 (USD) nail set with three nail designs,” no longer works for her.
“Some bitches want gel and some hoes like me want Swarovski crystals,” she said. “So that about there is about $200 (USD) feet and nails, you know what I'm saying?"
"We don't do the blowouts or the sew-ins and shit," she said. "No, a bitch want the whole full-lace wig."
These wigs, she said, can cost between $500 and $800 (USD), plus an extra $200 to $300 (USD) for styling.
“Just on that is a thousand dollars,” she said. “So what’s good?”
Cardi, as usual, is onto something here. Although people who perform the brunt of the labor surrounding beauty, such as manicurists, hairstylists, and makeup artists, deserve to be paid well for their work, beauty products do have some of the highest markups of any industry (an average of 78% as of 2013). This means that the people who buy them —who are primarily, though not exclusively, women — spend out of feeling compelled to shell out inflated prices for products that could conceivably be much cheaper.
So, will Cardi B end up being the person who officially brings down the beauty-industrial complex? Maybe, maybe not. Either way, her video proves that the pink tax is real and, subsequently, just being a woman can be expensive as hell. If Cardi wants to put out any more videos highlighting that, we’re here for her.