Category Archives: fab on a budget

$30 jeans and other sale items at Gap

Over at The Budget Fashionista, you can find five pairs of Gap jeans for under $30!

I love Gap jeans. My favorite go-to jeans are Gap Long and Leans. I usually buy one pair and wear them to death over the course of a couple of years since they run on the pricey side for non-designer denim, but Gap also has great sales like this where you can get their terrific jeans for less. They have plenty of other great deals right now too, like this great menswear-style shirt for $17.99:

They also have some pieces you can use to transition your summer clothes into fall like this cardigan that comes in four colors and starts at $14.99:

I find that Gap’s tops and tees tend to run a little roomy and I usually don’t need to worry about going a size up like I do some places. The fit of their jeans tends to depend on the cut and style, so you may want to try them on in-store. But if you can’t get to the mall, don’t be afraid to order online: Gap has a very generous return policy and takes online returns in-store.

If falling into the Gap isn’t your cup of tea, check out some other denim options under $40.

All images courtesy of Gap.com.

Make your own cooling skin mist

After an hour or two out in the hot sun, skin can become parched and starving for moisture. There are plenty of products on the market now to refresh your skin on the go: The Body Shop makes a facial mist with vitamin E, and Juice Beauty offers one with natural oils and extracts. Or if you want to just waste some money you can always buy an aerosol can of plain old water for $10.

Evian Mineral Water Spray, $10 at Sephora.com

But if you want a refreshing, cooling facial mist and cash in your pocket, make your own at home using this easy recipe from the July issue of InStyle:

Brew and steep plain green tea (you can find Bigelow tea bags in most grocery stores) and cool. Pour over ice in a spray bottle and voila! A cool, refreshing skin mist. And the antioxidants in the tea will help repair sun damage. You can make this in advance and keep it in the refrigerator, too. And if you make too much you can always drink what’s left over since green tea has plenty of health benefits. For extra cooling power, find a spray bottle with a fan like this one:

You can always experiment with adding extra components if you want, like aloe vera juice or vitamin e oil. Just keep in mind that once you get into mixing things you need to think about spoilage. So it’s probably safest to keep the tea on its own and mix in any additional ingredients on a per-use basis instead of storing it.

Freebie Quickies!

Today I’ve got a couple of freebies for you!

If you have curly hair, you can sign uphere to be a hair model for Ouidad. Ouidad salons and products are targeted to curly hair and they use models to train stylists in their cutting technique. That means there is a risk since you’ll be sort of a training model, but if you’re willing to try it out you get a consultation (which means you get a say in what they do!), a cut, and possibly a deep conditioning treatment. You can check the Salon Locator to see if there’s a Ouidad salon in your area.

Origins is offering free mini facials at their retail locations. (The online ad says 7/8-7/11, but I just got this promoted in an e-mail today, so call your store to find out if this is still a valid offer.)

Summer-proof your beauty routine

It’s hot out there!

Summer means a lot of time outdoors. And while I know plenty of women blessed with gorgeous skin and coloring that requires no makeup, I am not one of them. That means that when summer comes I start worrying about raccoon eyes from melted mascara, unintentional smokey eyes from smudged eyeliner, creasing shadow, and oily skin. That means adjusting my routine to accommodate the heat and humidity as well as the increased oil my skin produces when it’s warm. Continue reading

Weekend Quickie: Hit the Sales!

It’s a big sale weekend, so if you have the time, hit the stores for some great deals.

I just got this dress at New York & Company for $19.99, reduced from $56.95:

Image courtesy of NewYorkandCompany.com

It’s smocked under the bust which creates a flattering line, and it’s super comfortable. Plus the halter top let’s you adjust the strap length.

Other retailers having big sales this weekend:

Bath and Body Works – Up to 75% off bath and body products, perfumes, and cosmetics.
Victoria’s Secret – Get deals on lingerie, clothing, and beauty products (though the clothing is only available online).
Gap – I saw better deals in-store than online, so check out the store in person for additional discounts if you can.
Payless – Select styles as low as $7!

There are plenty more that I’ve missed, so hit your local mall if you have the time for some great summer deals.

DIY Quickie: The 1-Hour Dress

Summer is the time for dresses! And if you like making your own clothes, check out this 1-hour dress at CraftStylish:

Image courtesy of CraftSylish.com

There’s some argument in the comments about whether this dress can actually be made in an hour. (I don’t sew, so I can’t say how accurate those comments are.) But they include a detailed list of what you’ll need and diagrams to help you along your way and the instructions were easy enough for a non-sewer like me to understand. I love that the silhouette is simple enough that you can make it in stretch jersey and have a comfortable day dress, or bring up the hemline and use a fabric with metallic threading for a cute cocktail look.

If anyone makes this dress at home, let me know! I’d love to post your pictures and hear how well this pattern actually works.

Go get yourself some cheap sunglasses…

Christina Aguilera in two-tone sunglasses. (Image courtesy of CelebritySunglassesFinder.com)

Time to break out the shades, people! (Actually, eye doctors recommend you wear sunglasses year-round. But spring and summer are when the new styles seem to come out anyway.) There’s no need to pay for a designer price tag when you’re looking for eye protection. Plenty of lower-priced sunglasses will do the same thing and look just as good.

According to EyeDoctorGuide.com you just need to keep a few things in mind:

• Look for a pair of sun glasses that provides UVA and UVB protection. Most glasses providing this protection have a label that designates them as UV safe. If they do not, do not assume that the glasses will protect you from UV radiation. Just because eye glasses are tinted does not mean they will provide you with ample protection from UV rays.

• Look for glasses that are dark enough they will help reduce sun reflection and glare, but not glasses that are so dark you have difficulty distinguishing traffic lights or signs.

• Find a pair of glasses that covers your eyes and line of site entirely.

• If buying children’s sunglasses, be sure they also protect against UV radiation.

• Make sure eyeglasses do not obscure your line of site.

This year’s sunglasses trends are very retro – oversized Jackie O. shades, the wayfarers look of the 1980s, and 1950s cat-eye shades are all hot right now. Brightly-colored two-tone frames (as seen on Christina above) are also popular. As someone who loves color (the more and brighter the better!), I love the two-tone look. It feels fresh and summery. But the more standard tortoiseshell or black shades are a perennial classic. The most important thing is to find a shape and color with which you’re happy – if you’re not comfortable, you won’t wear them. And no matter how much of a deal you got, no bargain find is really a bargain if it doesn’t get worn.

My current pair of sunglasses cost me $8 on sale at Target (my trusty shopping friend). You can see some of their current sunglasses here, but they have a lot more in-store.

GirlProps.com has a few different color options for only $9.99 if you like the two-tone look. (They have plenty of other styles too.) House of Sunglasses has a lot of options, from the classic to the crazy, all for just $9.99. If you want to imitate a celebrity look, try CelebritySunglassesFinder.com – just be aware that anything you find there will probably be expensive. I recommend using this site for ideas and finding a less pricey option elsewhere.

Keep in mind if you buy sunglasses online that you still want to look for that UV protection. Without it you may actually do more damage, since your pupils will dilate from the dark lenses but won’t be protected from the sun’s harmful rays. And remember – no trend is as important as your confidence! Find a look that fits comfortably and flatters your face and you can’t go wrong.

(Thanks to ZZ Top for the post title.)