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To Splurge, or Not to Splurge?

It’s only been a couple of days since Christmas. You’ve been frantically running around, scouring the shelves and picking up last minute gifts for your friends and family. Now, it’s time to take that wad of cash you’ve accumulated from those relatives that had no idea what to give you, and use it to treat yourself for surviving the holidays.

But what to spend it on?

If you find yourself repeatedly gravitating toward that Louis Vuitton bag every time you’re within a ten mile radius of the store, or if you feel like your wardrobe is seriously lacking a go-to staple piece that will last longer than a month, maybe it’s time to consider a splurge purchase.

Of course, a splurge to one may just be a normal purchase to another, and there’s no perfect splurge for everyone. For instance, a pair of designer nude heels is a perfect foundation piece to build a variety of outfits off of, but if you can’t see yourself wearing them very often, maybe they’re not the right purchase for you. Here’s a list of possibilities that will hopefully inspire you to find the right splurge for you:


Photo Courtesy of Chanel

Designer Cosmetics

For me, buying foundation in a drugstore was always a nightmare. The bottles were sealed, and when I ended up deciding on one, it’d usually come out looking orange, cakey, a dreadful combination of both, or it would rub off throughout the day.

At a makeup counter, like in Sephora, Clinique, or MAC, among many others, a specialist will help you find the perfect foundation for you, based not only on your skin color, but also your skin type and the amount of coverage you want.

Lipstick and blush can be tricky too, but a makeup counter can help you find the perfect shade before you buy anything.


Photo Courtesy of Madewell

A Good Pair of Jeans

Jeans are a staple item that we all have in our closet. But how heartbreaking is it to have to throw out your favorite pair of jeans because they started to rip for no apparent reason? Avoid the heartbreak and go for a pair that will last. Madewell has a variety of styles, from wide-leg, to boot cut, to skinny, and everything in between. If you struggle with jeans being too long or short on you, try Ann Taylor, who caters to women tall and short alike.


Photo Courtesy of Marni

A Designer Bag

Okay, so maybe this one was kind of predictable. A bag by your favorite designer is a good candidate item to splurge on because it can be used daily, and most are classic and don’t go out of style, such as Chanel’s trademark quilted bags. If a bag is too high over your price range, no need to deprive yourself! Just opt for a wallet instead – it will still get as much use as a bag, and it won’t fall apart from being tossed around or rubbing against your keys.


Photo Courtesy of Misikko

A Salon-Approved Heat Styling Tool

That $20 hairdryer you picked up from Walmart could be the culprit for those recurring split ends. An ionic hairdryer by Misikko will do minimal damage, and comes with an attachment piece at the end to direct the air where you want it and to keep it away from spots that have already been dried.

If you use a flat iron more often than a hairdryer to style your hair, Chi makes flat irons that you’d find in a salon. They also double as a curling iron, and depending on the size of the barrel, can help you achieve perfect soft waves or bouncy tight curls.

Ideally, if you choose to splurge, it should be something you’ve been fantasizing about owning for a while, or something that will be used daily or often enough that it will pay for itself. Never should a splurge be a spontaneous, on-the-spot purchase, unless you have the means to do so. In that case, please help me pay for my college tuition! And buy as many Christian Louboutins as your heart desires.

- Lauren Arute

Style Intern | Dec 28 2011 7:44pm | BEAUTY, SHOPPING, hair, makeup, Ann Taylor, chanel, Chi, clinique, MAC, Madewell, Marni, sephora | Comments 3

Want Fake-Looking Lashes, For Real?


When I think of a porcelain doll, one of the first things that pops into my head are the eerily long, thick eyelashes that are all the same length.

Just before Halloween weekend started, I ventured into Rite Aid to pick up the finishing touch of my porcelain doll costume – fake eyelashes.  The store was almost completely cleaned out, but I managed to pick up a pair and the last bottle of adhesive.

When I put them on, I wished I didn’t. Even paired with my normal mascara, Clinique’s High Lengths Mascara, I felt like my eyelashes didn’t look as dramatic as when I just applied my normal mascara on its own. The lashes I picked out probably weren’t that great, I should point out.

My advice? Spare the money you’d otherwise spend on drugstore fake eyelashes and splurge on Clinique’s High Lengths Mascara instead.

I try to buy drugstore brands when I can, but sometimes it makes more sense to go with department store brands. This particular mascara not only lengthens your lashes, but it gives the illusion that they’ve multiplied. Drug store brands like to promise this effect, but from my experience, they don’t deliver.

–Lauren Arute

Sweet Treats

Courtesy of Daily Candy

Courtesy of Daily Candy

With Valentine’s Day around the corner, Daily Candy has some suggestions. Their slide show, 19 Gifts for Your Valentine features some pretty cool stuff including these vintage Mexican valentines. A not so romantic gift idea?  This key chain that makes toilet flush sounds.

If you’d rather make up stories about Valentine’s Day, feel free to submit your ideas to the Coach website.

If you’re looking for a gift to give yourself, Bloomingdale’s currently has a pretty awesome Clinique Bonus.

In addition to having her own series that we covered earlier this week called Kell On Earth, Kelly Cutrone also released a new book called If You Have to Cry, Go Outside: And Other Things Your Mother Never Told You. This Elle article also mentions that she used to read tarot cards in Venice Beach and Los Angeles, and still gets occasional requests from people to give glimpses into their future.

MAC Cosmetics has always had makeup for every shade, but their new campaign All Ages, All Races, All Sexes includes products that promise to look good on everyone.

Lastly, Nylon has the lowdown on Dior’s new compact featuring Egyptian Hieroglyphs.

Merry Monday

Courtesy of

Courtesy of

One of the best things about holiday shopping is – free gifts! My dad, sister and I have always gone shopping on Christmas Eve. It’s a little silly since it’s not a day known for good deals, just crowds.  The one thing that we make sure we get every year is the featured animal from Macy’s.  If you make a purchase at Macy’s you can get the featured animal for around $20, depending on the year.

The stuffed animals correspond with new balloons or re-issues of balloons at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in NYC. Featured animals include Babar the Elephant, Goofy, Rocky and BullwinkleRocky was a little ornament and Bullwinkle was a big stuffed moose, as well as Curious George. This year it’s Mickey Mouse, complete with a compass.

In addition to Macy’s, there are also other gifts with purchase out there. Sephora has this cute clutch with a ton of samples inside, and it’s Clinique Bonus Time at the The Lord and Taylor at the Bala Cynwyd Mall.

Of course there are a few things from Urban Outfitters that have caught our eye: The Bob Ross Paint Kit, Ceramic To Go Cup – it looks like just your average Starbucks cup but it can be reused. Our only reservation with this cup is that it could drip, unlike reusables that seal tight and be tossed in your purse. Also from Urban: the endlessly fascinating Birthday Book.

Barbie and Christian Louboutin have teamed up to create a Christian Louboutin edition Barbie. It looks like all the dolls are sold out, but the slide show on Net-A-Porter is cute anyway.

Target has this cute ‘powercup’ to charge electronics in the car, so you don’t have to get car adapters for each individual electronic and mobile device that you own, while Banana Republic has this necklace to compliment the Cocktail Rings from Friday’s Blog.

Lastly, not everything we love in this month’s issue of Self magazine is on their website, but this slide show has some of the things that caught our eye – the soaps featured in the picture, the USB Port ‘hub man,’ a coffee press so we can burn the candle at both ends without burning out, and an iKaraoke mic so we can belt out tunes when the Philly Weekly office gets quiet.