Apr 27, 2012

How to make your Fashion Dollars stretch in a down economy

As a woman, I love to look my best whenever I go out.

When you look good, you feel good. I also never want to be caught out in public looking terrible, because your bound to run into someone you know. How awful would it be to run into an ex and you're in pajamas and rollers? You know they're going home thinking, "wow best decision I ever made was dumping her."

If you're like most people in this economy and you've had to cut back but you feel you need a little pampering once in a while, you're not alone. Companies are laying off workers and doubling the workload of employees (I'm dealing with it firsthand). The stress and overwork with no increase (and sometimes even a pay cut ) is hard to deal with.

If you bump your attitude up into something positive and decide to dress for success, you can get yourself noticed by your own company or possibly another if you're looking for a new job.

If you're wondering how to do it with a closet full of tired, old, I'll-fitting clothes, I have some tips for you to go out and get top notch looks for less.

  • I've discovered the wonderful world of consignment shops in high-falutin' towns. It's amazing what you'll find. Brand new Louis Vuitton handbags, never used for more than 50% off retail. Designer jeans that were $150 and worn once for $25. Dresses, suits, jewelry and watches all designer and unaffordable for most, now at much less than retail.
You really shouldn't snub consignment shops. They're definitely worth a look. The nicer the town, usually the better the quality. 
 I got a pair of gorgeous Gucci shoes that were never worn for $189. I promptly went online to check the retail cost of $475.

  • Ever hang around another woman and love the smell of their perfume only to find out what they wear costs $100+ per bottle? 
    • Tip 1 to save you some money is to purchase through a discount perfume company online and use coupon codes as well as ebates. You'll get a discount from the site itself, money back from ebates and more money off with a coupon code (or at the very least free shipping).  
    • Tip 2 to save money on that wonderful perfume is to purchase the body lotion instead of the spray. You can get double the size of the spray version for half the cost and the scent lasts longer.
    • Tip 3 It doesn't have to be from the mall to smell good!  Have you been to your local pharmacy?  They actually carry some lines that smell pretty darn good for the pricetag.  I really liked the smell of the fancy love by Jessica Simpson and it was reasonably priced.
  • Cut your Hair Bill! Do you love the haircut your stylist gives you? How about the color? You might be able to find a fantastic colorist at a small-time salon or *gasp* supercuts. I know someone that loves the cut the expensive stylist gives her, but likes the color a girl at supercuts gives her and she saves a ton of money.
  • Get your nails filled every week or two? Not only can it get expensive (a full set usually going for $45 and a fill for $30). It damages your nails too. Try the gel polish. It's faster, less damage, cheaper and sets immediately. No more waiting for nails to dry. Every time I go it costs me $15 + tip. Oh, and it lasts two weeks. 
    • DIY Alert: If you're creative, go buy some polish.  Apparently it's a hot seller right now since women that can't afford the trips to the nail salon are deciding to do a girls-night-in.  Get some cheap polishes and play around with them.  My current favorite brand only goes for a mere $1.99 but works as well as the expensive brands it's called "Spoiled".
  • We all know that skin care can get expensive. I always set aside money for my skin creams. If you have a cream you love, but don't think you can afford, break down the cost over time. My skin cream costs $60 per jar but it lasts 6 months making it an affordable luxury. Want something less expensive? Try Olay. They're priced better than most creams, and do a great job for the money. Need an emergency mini facelift without the cost? Try ROC or even preparation h on your trouble spots. Vaseline also makes great night cream if you're not prone to breakouts. I love using coconut oil on my dry skin.
  • Probably one of the best makeup secrets around is the use of Monistat Anti-Chafing Gel in place of expensive makeup primers.  I know what you're thinking.  Is that a feminine itch cream??? Ewww!  It's non-medicated and has the same ingredients as your super-expensive brands for half if not more than half the cost of top-notch face primers.  Some people even say it works better. Makeup primer fills in fine lines and wrinkles and makes your makeup last longer.
  • Instead of spending mega bucks on individual makeup colors, buy a palette or two of every color. A brand like MAC can cost you $18 per color and an entire palette from coastal scents can run the same. I bought two. One of the regular palettes and a ultra shimmer. Don't be afraid to use your palettes for everything. I use them for eyes, lips and cheeks. When I use them for lips I put some Chapstick on first, then a little bit of color and top with a lipgloss.


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