Having it all for less? It’s a dream for women who obsessively dream about living the luxe life, like yours truly. Okay, “obsessive” may not be the right word, but I do covet the finer things in life and I’m not ashamed to admit it. I’m no Hollywood starlet, though, nor am I a socialite of Hilton-esque proportions. The best I can do is create my own personal version of luxury — those special little indulgences that make the toughest days easier and generally make life more enjoyable.
Believe it or not, this is easy to achieve without sacrificing my life savings. Though I can’t pretend I don’t love a great designer handbag, a trip abroad or a sexy dress straight off the red carpet, I also love shopping smart. Here are a few tips I adhere to from time to time:
1) Give in to temptation — wisely. If there’s a designer piece I really can’t get out of my mind, I hang on to the name and shop around a few months later, when it’s likely to be sold for less. Discount websites like RueLaLa, Hautelook and Gilt are great sources.
2) Don’t discount “cheap” clothes on the basis of their price. Some of my best pieces are tops and accessories scored at bargain-basement prices, and they’ve lasted me for years.
3) Goodwill is a surprising source of luxe for less. I eschewed this option for a long time until I discovered the retailer’s auction website, ShopGoodwill.com. Spend some time browsing — you’ll be surprised at just how many new (with tags!) items there are, priced obscenely low.
4) Traveling is a huge luxury that usually comes with an equally impressive bill. Popular discount websites like Groupon and LivingSocial make it really easy to find great deals, whether my interest is traveling to a neighboring state, across the country or overseas.
5) Subscription boxes are affordable and fun to receive, especially if you’re commitment-phobic and don’t want to spend big bucks on products you aren’t sure you’ll love. Many are beauty-specific, like Glossybox, and each monthly yields generous sample sizes of makeup, fragrance and skincare products.
6) I am a spa fiend. I’d live in one if I could. But being that it’s not quite an option, I sometimes opt for the next best thing: at-home spa days, which admittedly require a little more energy, but can be equally pampering and indulgent. From facials to manicures to deep conditioning masques, there’s nothing I can’t do at home — for way less than I would at the spa.
7) I’m no longer the beauty snob I once was. Sure, I can’t part with my $70+ moisturizer because it just plain works, but I can easily round out the rest of my routine with drugstore products that do their jobs perfectly. I’m no stranger to $5 face masks, $2 lip balms and $4 body lotions — they’re all phenomenal. And these days, budget beauty offerings feel incredibly luxe thanks to more effective formulas and better packaging.
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