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Ladies (and well-groomed gents), please meet the singularly best, most helpful, and downright genius beauty and fashion book we've ever encountered: How to Look Expensive: A Beauty Editor's Secrets to Getting Gorgeous without Break the Bank.
Author Andrea Pomerantz Lustig (a contributing beauty editor at Glamour) dishes insider tricks on the best drugstore buys, how to get flawless skin on the cheap, and why you don't need a Black Card to look like a gazillion bucks. We were so immediately smitten with the book that we ran out got copies for everyone on our team –and asked Lustig to share her top tips with us stat.
BUY YOUR SIZE
“Anything will look cheap if it’s too tight on you. Also, get refitted for new bras. It’s amazing what a bra makeover can do to make your clothes fit you in a more flattering way.
GO FOR ONE-OF-KIND STATEMENT JEWELRY
“Yes, diamonds are nice, but a great statement necklace can make any old black dress look like a million bucks. I have a gold necklace I bought in Thailand that I wear all the time and it always makes me look and feel more expensive. I’ve also bought great statement necklaces from street vendors, from the Indagare website and at stores like J. Crew and Anthropologie. And I love Kara Ross’ inexpensive jewelry line for modern luxe jewelry that makes a statement without breaking the bank.”
TAKE IT TO A TAILOR
“Two of my favorite fashion gurus –Tory Burch and Mary Alice Stevenson –both shared with me the tip of tailoring your clothes to make them look more expensive. It works! Tapering a skirt, hemming a sleeve, nipping in the waste of a shirt, lifting a shoulder can make a huge difference and turn something from H&M (or the back of your closet) into a brand new must-have—even if it’s just the work of the local tailor at your dry cleaner.”
THINK LUXE, NOT LOUD
“Paris, France not Paris Hilton! Always go for understated chic. If you play up one feature, play down the others. For instance, if a gown is va-va-voom, wearing your hair in a chic ponytail with a bronzy, smoky eye and nude shimmery lips can look a lot sexier than the expected red lipstick and movie star curls.”
MIX HIGH AND LOW MAKEUP
“It’s just like what you might do with your wardrobe. To build your cosmetics wardrobe, add a ‘designer’ cosmetic or two each season –what I call in ‘Blue Chip Beauty’ products in the book. Then rely on more affordable, high-quality makeup .I love Sephora Collection and Target’s Sonia Kashuk line and drugstore brands like NYX Cosmetics, Milani and N.Y.C.”
(Our two cents: whether your splurge or skimp on your beauty products, store them in our brand new cosmetic cases. They're made for travel, available in two sizes, and covered in chic croc-embossed vinyl!)