Friday, October 7, 2011

Frugal Fashion Friday - Not So Cheap Bargains

You all know I love a great bargain. Most times I will choose the bargain option over quality if it's a trendy item. However, there are things (products and services) that I choose to spend more money on because the quality is worth it to me.  These items perform better, last longer and provide a better value in the long term than the cheap version. For me that makes them "Not So Cheap Bargains".  They weren't inexpensive initially but their quality gives them value and makes them a bargain for the money.

#1 - Professional Hair Styling - Cut and Color
The best outfit in the world can take a down turn if your hair doesn't look good too.  A good haircut can last much longer than a sloppy cut or no cut at all.  I've believe that my hair is my best accessory. I'm adventurous with my hair. I don't hesitate to change it up. It's been half way down my back and Halle Berry short and every length in between.  When my hair is shaped and trimmed it takes less time to style and looks better. I've been almost every color, except black.  I'd love to dye streaks in my hair a crazy color like bright blue but it wouldn't work at my paying job. For many years I've colored my own hair and helped friends color theirs but I have made a few mistakes.  That drugstore savings doesn't compare to the value I get from good salon color.  The dyes are better, the application is done by a profesional and the results can't be equaled. Some hairdressers charge less, some more and color charges vary depending on the process.  If you don't color your hair. That's fantastic!  I've paid over $100 for a pair of shoes I wear occasionally.  Why wouldn't I spend that and more on my hair?  I wear my hair every day.

#2 - Clé de Peau Beauté Concealer
It's hard to explain my devotion to this product. It's amazing. I've battled under eye dark circles my entire life and tried every product that claims to help, hide or cure them.  They don't exist due to lack of sleep. They are hereditary. Even if I'm incredibly well rested, I still have them. I hate them so much that I never leave the house without concealer. This is the only product I've ever found that makes them seemingly disappear. One tube costs about $70.  Everytime I spend that money I cringe. However, I know I will only have to do that about every 10 - 12 months and I use it every day.  I purchased my current tube in April.  I still have about 1/2 of it left. 19¢ a day is a small price to pay to erase my dark circles.

I can't even believe that I'm posting this picture. This is my before Clé de Peau  picture. I must really want to share with you guys. I don't have any concealer under my eyes in this picture. None, nothing, zip, nada.

With Clé de Peau you don't even know I have those dark circles. It's my miracle product.


#3 - Foot Petals Tip Toes and Strappy Strips
You can buy high heel shoe cusions in every drug store today.  Ten years ago, that wasn't the case.  They had big clunkly soles but cushions for your stilettos and strappy sandals were much harder to find. I heard about Foot Petals and placed my first order. Since then I've tried other brands but for me, these are the best.  The material they are made from stays put, doesn't cause my feet to sweat (more than they already do) and they make uncomfortable shoes more confortable. They let me stand all night in shoes that used to be relegated to sitting only.  They wear very well and don't leave a gummy residue when you want to remove them. One pair of Tip Toes in shoes that you wear about once a week can last for years. That's a great cost per wear in my book. A pair of Tip Toes and a set of Strappy Strips cost $6.95 each or you can get multi packs for a discount.  I usually buy the three pack of Tip Toes for $10.95.  Also, you can sign up for their newsletter to get discounts or Google a discount code.  I found several 20% off coupons in one search. I don't think I've ever paid full price for an order from Foot Petals. If I did, they would be worth every penny.

#4 Dry Cleaning
The amazing blouse that you purchase at the thrift store for $3 isn't a bargain if it just sits in a bag waiting to be cleaned.  I can say this becuase I know.  I'm a dry clean procrastinator.  Until a one price dry cleaner opened in my neighborhood, I had a bag of clothes sitting in my closet waiting to be cleaned.  In reality I should have never bought those items in the first place if I wasn't prepared to pay for dry cleaning.  Wearing an item a couple times a year isn't a value no matter how much of a bargain it was.  If I want dry clean only items I have to be willing to spend the money or I leave them at the store.

#5 Eyebrow Maintenance
I subscribe to the same philosphy as Elle Woods. "Why let someone else do for you what you can do yourself -- except in the case of eyebrow maintenance."  There are lots of home products you can use to shape your brows.  They make it look fool proof. However, when you are doing them yourself, you don't have the same view as a professional.  You also don't have the same skill set.  For many years I only lightly plucked my brows on the edges to get rid of stray hairs. My mom gave me great brows.  Finally, I decided to have them shaped.  Pardon the pun but it was an eye opening experience.  I couldn't believe how great this simple procedure made my face look.  The shaping made my eyes look bigger and framed my face.  Depending on your body and how quickly your hair grows you can go months between shapings.  Occasionaly plucking can help extend your shape but for me, nothing compares to a professional. If you hate waxing there are other options, such as sugaring and threading.  I think checking for recommendations is important. It's worth your time. Years ago I had my brows done on a whim, by as woman I'd never used before.  They turned out looking like this...

They were much too thin for my face and they took forever to grow back.  It's worth it to me to spend the money and get them done professionally.

What do you think is worth the extra money?

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