Doing Red Carpet Glam on a Budget…

Last weekend I got the honor of attending the 5th annual La Jolla International Film Festival with a blogger’s pass.  Sooooo very excited about this!

But when you try to live your life “classy on a budget” and are going to be surrounded by people wearing Chanel, Dior and Prada as well as one-of-a-kind designer outfits, it honestly can make you a little intimidated.

But I knew I could pull it off.  I just had to be a little bit creative.  Ok, maybe a lot of creative.  But with the compliments I received throughout the weekend, I say I rocked it.

What do you think?

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This was opening night.  I bought the jumpsuit at Ross on the Las Vegas strip for under $20.  I wanted it super flowy since I was attending a summer event so I went with a size 8P even though I’m a 0/2 (also it was the only size they had it in and I loved it!)  The shoes are Prabal Gurung for Target purchased on sale for about $30.  The handbag and belt were also Target and purchased YEARS ago.  I think I paid $20 for the belt and around the same for the purse.  The jewelry is all from the swap meet here in San Diego.  The ring and bracelets are just simply, inexpensive costume jewelry.  The earrings though are vintage from the 1950s.  I also bought them from the local swap meet but bought them from the little old lady who originally owned them.  So I think total for the outfit was under $130.

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Second day was seminars.  This is an amazing black vintage dress given to me by a good friend.  It belonged to her mom, but didn’t fit either of them anymore.  My friend knew that I would give this dress new life and so she gave it to me.  The shoes are from the local Goodwill store for $5.99.  That’s right, FIVE BUCKS!!!  That killer necklace is once again from my favorite store, Tar-jay, and I bought it on clearance for $10.  The shades are from the Dollar Tree.  Total cost of outfit?  $17 baby!!!

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Day two red carpet!  I ALWAYS get compliments on these shoes.  People always ask me if they are Valentino.  Nope.  $24.99 at Burlington Coat Factory!  The glitter shorts I got at one of the cheap, hole in the wall type stores for $10.  The ruffly shirt is from Wal-Mart.  Got it on clearance for $5.  The blazer is a White House-Black Market one, but got it at my local Goodwill for $10.  And my handbag was a gift with purchase from purchasing make-up brushes!  Jewlery from Target for about $15.  Total cost: $65

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Day three: seminars.  And I brought my little fashionista in training with me!  On me: hat-swap meet for $7, Shirt, belt, shoes, purse from Target for $20, $20, $30, $40 respectively (Prabal, Mossimo, Prabal, Mossimo respectively). Skirt is Bebe from a thrift shop in Temecula called Ritzy Rags for $25.  Cost of my outfit: $142 but the belt is the same one that I wore on day one.  I actually repeated accessories at the same event!!!!

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Final day of the event: red carpet.  The shoes which you can’t see in the photo are the same ones I wore opening night-Target for $30.  The purse was a gift.  The dress is Bebe from once again my trusty local Goodwill and I snagged it for a whopping $14.99. Total cost for outfit: $44.99.

So, how’d I do?  Not too shabby if I do say so myself.  This event really forced me to be creative and to look at my wardrobe in a completely different way.  What do you have in your closet that you can get super creative with?

A Leisure Lunch

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There’s something to be said for the simplicity of having lunch at a sidewalk cafe. Watching the people walk by as you savor each morsel of food, each sip of champagne as the tables around you constantly rotate with new guests as they rush through their meals.  One wonders if they truly taste the flavors let alone experience the pleasure of them.  The pleasure of the brie cheese sauce as I watch it ooze out of my crepe when I cut into it.  Or pleasure the bubbles in the champagne as they travel into my nasal cavity as I sip my mimosa on this hot summer day.

I wonder if they even hear the hiss of the misters as they turn on to cool the diners and tourists.  And then the carefree euphoria of the champagne begins to take effect.  I take another bite of my crepe and can taste the crisp sweetness of the apple.

There’s no cell phone distracting me.  It’s safely tucked away, on silent, in my purse.  I’m actually writing this old-school, on paper in a beautiful journal.

I love that there’s no one sitting with me, chatting wildly about nothing in particular simply to fill the silence at the table.  It’s peaceful.  I’m alone, but not lonely.  I have the company of myself.  A date I’ve not had in a really long time.

I’m eating slowly, savoring every morsel.  I find that I can not even finish my amazing meal.  I am not overly stuffed, not even full, simply satisfied.  I am content, yet know that when I leave this lovely little sanctuary, I will be able to continue walking on, happy, content, at ease, full of pleasure knowing all is good.

I relish these moments.  The clarity.  I feel that’s truly when my writing is the best.  It’s hard to slow down sometimes.  To not look at your phone, to not look at your watch.  But I highly recommend it.  In fact, I challenge you to try it.  Sure you might feel really (and I mean REALLY) awkward at first.  But push through.  You won’t regret it.   And with that the Bellagio fountains have started.  I can’t imagine a more perfect way to end an amazing lunch.

How to Do Vegas Pool on a Budget…

Just a quickie as I am on vacation.  In Vegas.  At the pool.  With a cocktail!   Bien sur!

But wanted to show how you can still look fashionabulous at a swanky pool yet not kill you pocketbook.

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Here’s the down low:

Bikini from Target
Hat from a swap meet vendor
Shoes from Charlotte Russe
Shades from the Dollar Tree
Jewelry were gifts from great friends

All it takes is a little creativity/thinking outside of the box and knowing where to shop!

Happy summer!

The Power of Great Relationships…

One of the classiest things (and not to mention budget-friendly) is cultivating great relationships with people.  It doesn’t cost you a thing and yet it can bring you so much!

I have a colleague that I met a couple years ago.  I had hired her as the hair/make-up artist for a project I was doing and loved her from the get-go.

Through the years, anytime that I had a project in which I needed assistance, she was always the first person on my list.  She’s super sweet, extremely reliable (something that is sadly rare in today’s age) and not to mention obscenely talented!

How talented might you ask?  Check it out!

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Utter fabulousity!  Right!!!  My boring brown hair was completely functional (it covered my grays) but seriously lacked in the form part of it.  I mean, come on!  I work in a creative field!  Shouldn’t I have creative hair to match???

She touched-up my roots and then used the bayalage technique to handpaint in luscious caramel highlights.

Then she got to work chop-chopping away at my snooze-fest of a bob.  First up was some serious texturizing all around.  I wanted to keep a bunch of my length, but desperately needed a new lease on hair.  She finished the cut by adding some great bangs.  I don’t know why I always poo-poo bangs.  I look pretty darn good in them!

Now, here’s where great relationships come in handy!  We negotiated…she did my hair and I cooked her a super yummy, healthy dinner and gave her two large bags of produce fresh from my backyard in exchange for a discount on my services.  If you have great relationships with people, then this sort of thing is possible.  But if you have a bad reputation in business…then forget about it!  Your reputation and business relationships are EVERYTHING in life.  And it doesn’t cost you anything to maintain positive ones.

Always strive to do the right things, treat people the right way.  It most definitely pays off.  In this instance, I got not just good hair days, but GREAT hair days!

And my super cool shades…Dollar Store BABY!!!

Super special thanks to the insanely talented Melissa Dawn Edwards of Southwestern Styling.  Www.southwesternstyling.com

I’m Sorry!

I want to start out by apologizing to all of my readers.  I have been cheating you.  My philosophy is all about being classy on a budget.  Yet I have been completely one-sided.  I have been focusing only on the make-up side of things (I guess that tends to happen when you are a make-up artist by trade.) It didn’t dawn on me to offer you, my readers, more.

I have always had the reputation of being classy and chic.  And I most definitely embody the budget side of things considering a majority of my wardrobe I purchased at my local Goodwill.

But it wasn’t until recently that I discovered that I was shorting you all some stories and knowledge that comes with being classy on a budget wholely and spherically.

A new friend of mine saw my web address in the signature of an email I sent her.  Upon seeing it, she said, “Well, I want to be classy on a budget!” and she promptly clicked onto the link only to find a web site centered around cosmetics.

So, here is my pledge to you…a rebranding so – to – speak of Classy on a Budget to no longer include just cosmetics, but also how to be classy on a budget in all aspects of your life including interactions with others, clothes & fashion, entertaining, food & cooking, career, interior design, etc.  Anything and everything to help you live classy on a budget.

I hope you’ll join me in my journey, share in my experiences as well as share your experiences and ideas with me.  After all, you don’t have to be rich to be classy!

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My classy daughter.  :-)

Bring On the Oil!!!

I was out of country recently visiting family and friends in Belgium.  And since Paris is only a couple hours from Belgium by car, a trip to the City of Lights was absolutely mandatory!  And no trip to Paris is complete with out a trip to a French pharmacie. Those glowing green crosses are a mecca for every beauty obsessed junkie in the world!  I did notice some things this visit though.

Now-a-days there seems to be a certain hype about French women.  It seems that everyone is obsessed with what they eat, what they wear, how they stay looking so great for so long, how they remain sexy into their golden years.  There’s tons of books out there on all sorts of subjects regarding French women (in fact, I’ve read a lot of them!)

But one of the things that has intrigues me the most is the French Woman’s love affair with beauty oils.

Americans seem to have an aversion to oils.  The skincare aisles are full of products to eliminate oils and even those products for dry skin seem to tout “oil-free” on their labels.

But the French women LOVE their oils and have FABULOUS skin.  Hmmm…

They use cleansing oils, moisturizing oils, facials oils, hair oils, cuticle oils, body oils, aromatherapy oils, etc.  You name it and they probably have an oil for it and French women probably use it!

So, needless to say, yup…I picked up some oils in France and also picked up some available stateside and began to play.

Here are some of my favorites…

Kate Somerville Dilo Oil Restorative Treatment

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(Photo from http://www.theglossy.sephora.com)

This oil is from Figi and is rich in natural essential lipids to help fortify and strengthen the skin.  It has omega oils also for moisturization.  And it actually helps with firming up your skin courtesy of lupin seed and marine extracts.  I absolutely LOVED this oil on my face, but at $65 for an ounce, it’s a little out of the Classy on a Budget price tag, but the next time  I get a gift card to Nordstrom, Sephora or Nieman Marcus…

Botanics 100% Organic Facial Oil

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(Photo from http://www.us.boots.com)

This oil is available at Target and who doesn’t love that!!!  It uses sweet almond oil and argan oil as it’s main base and while I’m not a “granola girl”, this product is 100% organic.  I just like it because it works and I can afford it!  Try replacing your night cream with it and see how great your skin looks in the morning!  $8.00 for an ounce.

Botanics Hand & Body Nourishing Body Oil

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(Photo from http://www.target.com)

This is the partner-in-moisturizing-crime of the Botanics 100% Organic Facial Oil.  Uses a blend of saltflower, jojoba and almond oil to moisturise and iceland moss which is rich in natural sugars to help calm and hydrate your skin.  Best way to use it?  After a long day outside at the beach or pool…shower, slather on tons of this stuff and then crawl into a cool bed with cotton sheets.  You’ll wake up feeling like a new woman!  $8.99 for 5 ounces.

Sonia Kashuk Body Oil

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(Photo from http://www.target.com)

Another fabulous Target item!  This uses sweet almond, cottonseed and apricot oils to hydrate as well as a regenerating lipo vitamin complex to make the skin even better.  The cool thing about this one…it comes in four amazing scents (my personal favorite is Red Promisia) and it also comes in a spray bottle for easy application!  $10.99 for 5 ounces.

Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Multi-Purpose Dry Oil for Face, Body & Hair

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(Photo from http://www.beautywowza.com)

And this my friends would be what I brought home from Paris and started this whole oil obsession!  It also uses sweet almond oil as its base but also adds camellia, hazelnut, macadamia and vitamin E oils to moisturize.  Yet it’s not greasy and soaks in super fast!  In fact, you can even use it in your hair without making your hair a greasy mess!  $29 for 50 ml.

So, I must say, I’m a convert.  I love my beauty oils!  And I’m always on the lookout for new ones to play with!

Look Ma! No Tools!!!

I have been completely lazy lately with regards to make-up.  I’m blaming it on the warm summer weather we are having already here in sunny San Diego.  I mean come on!  Why spend 45 minutes doing a phenomenal face when 5 minutes outside and it’s melting faster than my ice cream cone.  (That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!)

One of the things I’ve discovered though is how utterly amazing our fingers are!!!  Truly!!!

I’ve actually started using my fingers to put on all sorts of cosmetics and thought I’d challenge myself to use nothing but my fingers to do my entire face!

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So, what do you think???

Here’s a list of the products I used and used only my fingers to apply!

-No7 True Identity Foundation in Light

-Cream blush from Chanel Paris LA Multi-Use Make-Up Palette

-Chanel Eye Brow Pencil in Brun Naturel

-No7 Stay Perfect Eye Shadow duo in Moonlight Shadows (light shade only)

-Chanel Soft Touch Eye Shadow in Safari

-L’Oreal Colour Riche Eye Shadow in Rose for Romance (rose and medium brown color)

-Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Whiskey

-No7 Exquisite Curl Mascara in Brown/Black

-No7 Precision Lips Pencil in Blush

-L’Oreal Lip Gloss in Blushing Harmony

All in all I’m pretty proud of it!