Beauty must-haves for spring 2013
It’s time to clean out the old (i.e. all of that fall/winter makeup that’s currently in your makeup bag) and make room for all of this great new spring makeup that’s on the market!
Here’s a great rundown of all you need to start off your spring right.
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder ($45 each, Sephora.com)
What It Is: A collection of six face powders that utilize photoluminescent technology to refract light, create transparent coverage and help to make skin look younger, even-tones and radiant.
Why You Need It: Who knew that a face powder would have the ability to make your skin look so luminescent and fresh? Upon application, it’s kind of like you just photoshopped your face, so all you see is glow.
Maybelline Color Sensational Vivids Maybelline Color Sensational Vivids ($7.49 each, Maybelline.com)
What It Is: Let the bold take you away with these 10 super saturated lipsticks that promise rich, bright color that promises to last for up to four hours.
Why You Need It: These lipsticks are the best way to experiment with lip color without putting a dent in your bank account. I was surprised to see that upon application, they don’t look tacky and each contains lip conditioners and honey nectar. This means that you’ll feel like you’re wearing a super pretty shade of lipstick instead of gloss and who wouldn’t love that?
Make Up For Ever Technicolor Palette Make Up For Ever Technicolor Palette ($45, Sephora.com)
What It Is: If you aren’t rocking a bold lip for spring, try a bold eye color instead! This new palette from Make Up For Ever has you covered in every way possible. Inspired by the 1930s cinematic transition from black and white motion picture to color imagery, Danny Sanz (Creator & Artistic Director of MAKE UP FOR EVER), purposely over-saturated these eye colors to make them appear more alive.
Why You Need It: From Apple Green to Espresso & Beige, this palette contains pretty much every shade you’ll need for the spring season. Layer the colors for an intense look, or sheer it out with just a slight swish of the makeup brush that accompanies this kit.
Cover FX Anti-Aging Smoothing Eye Primer Cover FX Anti-Aging Smoothing Eye Primer ($34, Sephora.com)
What It Is: Keep your eye makeup looking fresh no matter what the weather with this long lasting eye primer! Unlike most, this eye primer also works to soothe, hydrate and reduce eye puffiness. It’s also vegan, paraben, fragrance, gluten, mineral oil and talc free so it’s perfect for even the most sensitive of eyes.
Why You Need It: Primers work to keep your makeup looking fresh and sometimes eye makeup is the first to slide off in sweltering heat; which makes you wonder what the point of even applying eye makeup is in the first place! Even though I’m in New York where the weather is still a bit on the chilly side, I didn’t have to worry about re-applying any of my eye makeup no matter what the shade (deep or light).
Revlon Color Stay 16 Hour Eye Shadow in Sea Mist Revlon Color Stay 16 Hour Eye Shadow in Sea Mist ($7.49, drugstores nationwide)
What It Is: From Revlon’s Global Artistic Director Gucci Westman comes The Pacific Collection for Spring 2013! Inspired by sculptural sea glass and a touch of Tahitian glamour, Westman created some pretty amazing eye shadow palettes that are not only super affordable, but also deliver great staying power!
Why You Need It: There are two eye shadow palettes in the collection (Sea Mist & Free Spirit) but Sea Mist proved to be my favorite because I love the way the blues and greens blend together. Also (just in case you tend to get a bit intimidated by colors such as these) there’s a great tutorial on the back to show you which shades to apply where on your eye and how to blend them.
Jane Iredale PureGloss Lip Gloss Jane Iredale PureGloss Lip Gloss ($24, janeiredale.com)
What It Is: An ultra glossy lip gloss, this stuff goes on smooth without feeling sticky or tacky due to its hydrating formula of organic oils that include Moringa Butter, Lotus Flower Wax and Orange Peel Wax. It also contains Vitamins C & E!
Why You Need It: This is perhaps one of the worlds most perfect lip glosses. (And that’s a compliment that shouldn’t be taken lightly considering the fact that I’m a lip gloss hoarder and have tried pretty much every one ever created.) Not only does this collection contain a great selection of shades (my favorite is Red Currant), but they smell amazing and leave long lasting pretty gloss so you don’t have to keep re-applying 8 million times per day.
Clinique Chubby Stick Shadow Tint For Eyes Clinique Chubby Stick Shadow Tint For Eyes ($16 each, Clinique.com)
What It Is: The original Clinique Chubby Sticks were such a hit that the brand decided to come out with the same product for eyes! These super cute shadow sticks contain a silky formula that glide on easy. Each contains Vitamin E.
Why You Need It: If you’re not an eye shadow applying pro, then these sticks were made for you! Available twelve shades, each goes on super sheer. The best part is that each of these pencils are buildable so you can create a dark look as well as mix and match.
NARS Creamy Concealer NARS Creamy Concealer ($28, narscosmetics.com)
What It Is: Just like it says on the packaging, this creamy concealer glides on smooth and even. However, what it actually delivers is something completely different (but in a good way). It contains light diffusing technology to blur imperfections and lines as well as even out your skin tone without looking gunky.
Why You Need It: Let’s face it: we all have those days in which our skin doesn’t look its stellar best. I like to call this stuff “Magic In A Stick” because it literally covers everything, including under eye darkness and redness. Believe it or not, it can even be worn alone (which is how I rock it) and since there’s a nice array of shades in the collection you’ll be sure to find the right hue for you.
What It Is: Fresh off the runway of alice+olivia’s Spring 2013 presentation, this pretty blue is all you need to add a pop of color to your eyes.
Why You Need It: With its super fine tip, this eye liner is easy to apply and can be used to create a bold eye or smudge in with other shades for something a bit more subtle. It doesn’t fade or feather, so you can expect amazing stay-put color all day!
House of Coach Coffret SetBonus spring pick from the Editor, Krista DeWeese:
“It’s not spring without a fresh, new fragrance… or four. I’m a fan of the Coach fragrance line, and was thrilled to see that the House of Coach Coffret Set ($48, Sephora.com) included all of my fave scents. The set includes mini versions of Coach Legacy Eau de Parfum, Coach Poppy Flower Eau de Parfum, Coach Poppy Eau de, and Coach Signature Eau de Toilette.
If you haven’t become a member of Pinterest.com give it a try. It’s a lot of fun and you can create your own fashions.
How to stretch your clothing budget
Ten savvy ways to appear high style while keeping your costs low.
Photo: Ellen Silverman
Become a Fabric Expert
Your best bet is a natural fiber.
“If it’s not from the earth or from an animal—think silk, cotton, and wool—the material often looks inferior,” says Beth Amason, a fabric coordinator for New York City clothing manufacturer Vandale Industries who has sourced materials forAnthropologie and Topshop.
Still, not all finer fabrics are necessarily fine; make sure the material is soft and smooth and has a nice luster.
To test the resilience of silks and knits, pull the fabric across its width and lengthwise. Lesser-quality materials will sag, an effect that will get more pronounced after multiple wearings, says Amason.
But don’t rule out all synthetics.
Textile manufacturing has improved dramatically since the 1970s, the era of leisure suits—it’s now possible to find polyester, nylon, and rayon that resemble natural fibers. Polyesterversions of satin and chiffon can be especially luxurious, as long as they’re not too shiny or stiff. When it comes to blends of natural and man-made fibers, like silk-and-nylon, check the tag, which lists the proportions of each. “Make sure that there’s a higher percentage of the natural fiber,” says Amason.
Choose Your Color (and Pattern) Carefully
Wear one neutral head to toe.
Going monochromatic can instantly elevate a look, according to New York City–based celebrity stylist Amanda Sanders, who says black, ivory, taupe, and gray are particularly sophisticated. The shades don’t have to match exactly—unless you’re pairing black with black, in which case mismatched shades cheapen the outfit, says Samantha von Sperling, a stylist and the director of Polished Social Image Consultants, a wardrobe-advising service in New York City.
Burgundy women’s sweater
Expand your palette with deep tones.
Go for burgundy, eggplant, or indigo instead of pastels and brights. “With dark tones, you focus on the silhouette, and imperfect details tend to disappear,” says Leah Feldon, the author of Dress Like a Million (On Considerably Less) ($14, amazon.com). But you can add any color in small doses—with a scarf, a necklace, or a cardigan.
Stick to classic prints.
Opt for simple, uniform patterns—stripes, polka dots, plaids, or color blocking—which are nearly impossible to mess up. Splashy florals and abstract designs have the potential to look like projects from an amateur art class.
Be Picky About Embellishments
Subtle is safest.
Zippers, small sequins, and beading with a matte finish usually pass for good quality even when made inexpensively.
“A button covered in fabric looks more couture,” says Phillip Bloch, a Los Angeles–based stylist and the author of The Shopping Diet ($15,amazon.com). He also gives a thumbs-up to buttons that match the color of the garment or have a mother-of-pearl–esque sheen.
Another flourish that looks fancy, not tacky: “Fabric manipulation—pleating, ruching, draping—is a designer touch that can be done well with synthetics,” says Rachel Roy, a designer of both upscale and affordable fashion lines. Unless you’ve dropped big coin on the garment, fake-gemembellishments tend to look like something plucked out of a gum-ball machine—particularly if they’re plastic. The same holds for shiny buttons, large sequins, and lots of logos, which are meant to advertise luxury but tend to have the opposite effect.
Construction Is Key
Christian Siriano’s book: Fierce Style
Turn a potential buy inside out.
That’s where you’ll most likely find loose or jumbled threads (commonly at the hemline) and seams that aren’t perfectly straight, says Christian Siriano, who designs a line of shoes and bags for Payless. Also, make sure that the lining doesn’t look bubbly or hang lower than the hem of the garment.
Check the high-stress points.
Clothing that has been tried on over and over again may be damaged before it leaves the store. Inspect each item for holes in the underarms, a stretched neckline, torn tops of pleats, pulled seams at the waistband, or threads dangling from buttons and buttonholes.
You Can’t Go Wrong With Simple Shapes
A simple sheath dress
Think clean lines.
A-lines, shirtdresses, wrap styles, sheath dresses, and straight-leg pants always look polished. Generally, the more complicated the design, the greater the margin for error in the execution. If you have to choose between a sleek pencil cut or something with a more elaborate structure, such as a tulip skirt or a trendy jumpsuit, “go for the basic silhouette every time,” says Von Sperling. Even if, say, military is all over the runways, buyer beware: “Things like epaulets and too many pockets can get very gaudy very fast,” warns Feldon.
Fit Is Everything
Fitted knee-length dress
Alterations can make an average piece outstanding.
Even a $1,000 Prada creation looks sloppy if it’s ill-fitting—so imagine the effect with a $30 dress. Luckily, you can upgrade a budget buy with a relatively low-cost visit to the tailor. Keep in mind: You have more leeway to take a garment in than to let it out. These alterations yield the highest payoff.
• Lowering the hem. The most flattering skirt hemline is at the knee. If you have two inches folded at the hem, a tailor will be able to extend the length by an inch.
• Narrowing a bodice. There shouldn’t be excess fabric under the arms or the bust.
• Stitching up bulging pockets. Have the linings removed and the slits sealed for a streamlined look.
• Shortening pant hems. They should stop just short of kissing the floor.
• Taking in a saggy waist. You should be able to slide only two fingers inside the band.
• Tacking up long shirt cuffs. Full-length sleeves should hit your wristbones.
But don’t bother with these pricey fixes: A droopy crotch area, too-big shoulders, and any problem that’s in an area with a zipper or pleats. These will require a complete overhaul, which in the end will cancel out the money you’re saving.
Find Costume Jewelry That Wows
Coral statement necklace
When in doubt, go with the best imposters.
You’ll have the most luck with reproductions of turquoise, coral, abalone shell, black jet, and silver-tone metal. Weigh your options: Jewelry that is heavier hangs better.
Hold the rest to the highest standards.
• Artificial pearls: Choose resin, ceramic, or glass (anything but Disney-princess plastic). “A nice strand of medium-size globes, about half an inch in diameter, looks more expensive than small or oversize ones,” says New York City–based jewelry designer Katharine Sise, who has her own line and has collaborated with Target. Avoid pure white pearls in favor of ivory, beige, or even black, says Bloch.
• Beads: Hold them at arm’s length. If you can tell they’re plastic from that distance, ditch them. Or buy a piece that mixes beads with other materials—fabric, rope, metal, resin—all in a restrained monotone color scheme, suggests Sise.
• Gold-tone metal: Make sure it’s not too glitzy or yellow. Slightly distressed and burnished “gold” will seem more authentic.
• Imitation gemstones: Smaller (less than one carat) is more believable. Opt for crystal, which “looks more realistic than cubic zirconia or plastic, because it’s natural,” says Von Sperling. And pay attention to the setting. Obviously, you shouldn’t see any glue.
Bags and Shoes Speak Volumes
Classic peep-toe pump
Quality is paramount.
Beware of peeling fabric, frayed edges, and visible glue, which scream “junky.” But if your budget permits, follow the advice of designer Vera Wang: “Spend more on an investment handbag and fabulous shoes that will last.”
Faux can be ok.
Just wear it wisely. “Microsuede doesn’t look like suede up close,” says Von Sperling. That means artificial suede is doable for shoes, not bags. Pleather, on the other hand, works for either, if it’s distressed and has some heft. “Bad fake leather is really smooth and lightweight, and that’s a dead giveaway,” says Amason. Other convincing options are synthetic patent leather and mock crocodile. Roy suggests pieces that combine textures: “When I create an inexpensive accessory, my rule is to mix fabrics so the eye doesn’t focus on one shoddy material.”
Surprise! Classics are classy.
Opt for the tried-and-true, such as peep-toe pumps and cap-toe ballet flats. Bypass flashy hardware, lots of straps, and chunky plastic heels, says Siriano. The same is true for obvious knockoffs. (No one is fooled by your wannabe Birkin.)
Shop Smart on the Web
Sign up for flash-sale sites.
Members-only websites, like Gilt.com, Ideeli.com, and RueLaLa.com(Real Simple readers can join immediately at ruelala.com/realsimple), offer discounts of up to 60 percent on designer labels, such as JBrand and Michael Kors, for a very limited period of time (36 to 48 hours). Inventory goes quickly, so get there when the sales start (each day at 11 a.m. EST for RueLaLa and Ideeli; 12 p.m. EST for Gilt).
Ebay is not just for vintage.
The auction site is rife with big-ticket purchases from shoppers who splurged and regretted. Search for items labeled NWT (new with tags) or NWOT (new without tags). Fear being outbid by voracious eBayers? Sign up for eSnipe.com: Enter the most you’re willing to pay, then eSnipe bids for you in the auction’s last six seconds (and charges 1 percent of the auction price if you win).
Check out social media and mobile apps.
Follow designers on Twitter or Facebook to hear about exclusive deals, says Andrea Woroch, a Santa Barbara–based consumer-savings advocate and a frequent contributor to Fox News. One of her favorite apps is Coupon Sherpa. “You type in your store, click on a coupon, and present it on your phone to the cashier when you’re making your purchase.” For comparison shopping, Woroch likes Amazon’s iPhone app called Amazon Remembers, which has a feature that allows you to take a photograph of something while shopping, upload it, then get a roundup of similar items along with their prices.
Know How to Put It All Together
Follow the 70/30 rule.
The ideal ratio is 70 percent nicer clothing and accessories to 30 percent cheap thrills. According to Wang, you want a mix of pieces—say, cultured pearls and Coach pumps to elevate an H&M dress.
Mask unfortunate details creatively.
Swap a chintzy sash with a smart leather belt. Cover an elastic waist with a long tunic. Trade garish buttons for refined ones. Hide a cheesy logo with a brooch.
Think like a stylist.
The reason everything looks cooler in magazines? Fashion stylists layer to add depth to basics. Try a blazer over a cardigan with a camisole peeking out. A little attitude helps, too: Push up your sleeves; roll up your cuffs; pop a collar.
Add one more accessory before leaving the house.
Contrary to the old adage, moderation in accessorizing can read as mediocre. Go for the extrabangle and push your outfit to the next level.
Glam it up with red lipstick.
Take a cue from perpetually crimson-lipped Gwen Stefani, who can make a Hanes tank topseem like the height of fashion.
Best Times to Go Shopping
It’s a simple fact that clothes wear out and styles change. This means that it’s inevitable that everyone needs to repair or replace clothing once in a while – even those that absolutely despise shopping for new clothes. For frugal shoppers, this means buying clothes when you can get the very best prices, which can often take a bit of pre-planning. Luckily, there are a few simple guidelines you can follow when trying to get the best deals on new clothing.
Stores typically reorganize their racks on Thursdays in order to replenish stocks for the weekend rush. Stores also generally mark down items that will be on sale over the weekend on Thursday evenings. If you want to beat the rush and get to those sales items first, Thursday night’s a great time for bargain shoppers to hit the malls. You won’t have to compete for the bargains like you would during the busy weekend either.
Six Weeks into the Season
If you’re in need of clothes for this season, try to avoid giving in to the urge to buy all the exciting new arrivals when they’re first in the store. About six or eight weeks after an item arrives, the price is marked down. If you can wait a measly six weeks, you’re likely to get a better a price than if you buy immediately. One of the downsides is that some very popular items might sell out over the six-week period. Although, if you’re purchasing from a chain store, you can always ask a sales associate to phone other locations to see if your item might be in stock elsewhere. Another great perk of waiting to buy is that it helps to curtail any impulse spending. If you’ve completely forgotten about that item before the time is up, chances are you didn’t really need it anyway.
End of (or out of) Season
If your clothing size doesn’t change much from year to year, stocking up on clothing at the end of the season is a great way to save money, and to have a good supply of new clothing available for next year. This works well for many classic or staple items, like suits, pants, jeans or cardigans that aren’t prone to going out of style too quickly. Trendy items may be a bit more risky as they tend to become passÃ© after a season or two.
Keep in mind that fashion seasons are different than the seasons marked on your calendar. When it comes to fashion, the new season usually begins about two months prior to the official change of season. Given this fact, if you wait until the end of the season, you should still be able to get a little bit of wear out of a new item before having to pack it away for next year.
In January or February, you can start looking for cold weather clothing. Jackets and winter accessories often start to go on sale around this time. August is when you’ll find bathing suits, summer clothes and sandals on sale as the summer starts to come to a close. Athletic footwear often goes on sale in January when people are looking to get going with New Year’s resolutions, though you’ll often find sneakers on sale again in April. Jeans go on sale in October after the back-to-school rush has subsided.
Scout the Sales Online
Many popular clothing retailers allow consumers to subscribe to their newsletters online. Stores will often send out advance notice to their subscribers of big sales, or perhaps even allow subscribers to pre-shop at special events. If you get the newsletter, you’ll know when all the promotions are happening at your favorite stores so you’ll know when and how you can save on those clothing items you’ve been admiring. You may also find that some stores offer discounts at their online stores that may not be available at the brick-and-mortar stores.
Discount and off-Price Retailers
Not interested in planning your shopping trips according to seasons and sales? Discount and off-price clothing stores can be a great choice. These stores typically buy large volumes of clothing from stores that have excess inventory, are clearing space for new merchandise or have gone out of business. You may not always be able to find what you need, and you might find that some of the clothes on sale in these shops are completely out of season. But if you’ve got the time to spend and the desire to dig, you might find a few gems. Keep in mind that many of these discount retailers also sell staples like socks, hosiery, t-shirts, active wear and other items that are not as prone to seasonal changes.
The Bottom Line
Whether you find shopping for clothes to be the most entertaining activity in existence or whether you detest it more than anything, we all need clothing. Not only is it a good idea to buy once a season’s already started, it’s typically best to avoid buying too close to a major holiday when many clothing items are purchased as gifts. On the other hand, once these major holidays have passed, clothing items usually go on sale to liquidate the excess stock (sales after Christmas, for example). Though it’s prudent to follow these guidelines for frugal clothes shopping, keep in mind that bargains can be found at any time during the year, and in every season. It’s just a matter of scoping out the sales and having the courage to battle the crowds.
This article is part of a series related to being Financially Fit