What To Gift Him This Season

Don’t worry guys I haven’t forgot about you at all. Shopping for guys can actually be difficult because they are so simple…I know right, mind blown! But its true most guys will say “Get me whatever” because the idea of them and shopping in the same sentence, even when they aren’t the ones shopping, is terrifying. But there are some pretty good grabs out there for the him this holiday season that will make him happy.

  1. Beats by Dre Headphones or Pill ($109.99-$139.99) Loud music for no reason describes everyone from my dad to my little nephew. In their cars, while they are at the gym, and just because its a Tuesday are all the reasons why guys play their favorite music. So if you don’t mind his music then I highly recommend the Beats Pill. But if you would rather him enjoy it on his own then the Beats headphones will work perfectly.
  2. 2K16, Fallout or Call of Duty Black Ops ($49.99) If the guy is a gamer he probably has all of these already but if he doesn’t then these would be the top picks.  If he has the Xbox or PlayStation then the shoot ’em up action or sports games are going to be the way to go. And don’t be afraid to jump in and play a game or two with him, there’s nothing better than beating him at his own game.
  3. Gym membership Certificate ($$-$$$) Lets face it ladies, guys can tend to be more motivated than we are to head to the gym. Not saying we don’t but guys love the gym.  So what would be better than making that next visit your treat.  After doing my research, overall gym memberships are expensive in my opinion but you can ease the payments for him by doing something like a 30 day pass at his local gym for $54.99 (This is the price at my local gym, 24 hour fitness, 30 days). And if he already has a membership then pay for his next month or two as a Christmas gift. Happy toning!
  4. Jean Paul Gaultier Cologne ($28-$113) I remember seeing a meme on Facebook about something with hugging a guy and smelling their cologne and I thought to myself like that is so true. We love a man with a great smelling cologne and one of my all time favorites for men and women is the Jean Paul Gaultier collection. It is long lasting but doesn’t over power you to teary-eyed status. And did I mention the packaging is amazing, trust me you can’t confuse their bottles with any other brand.
  5. Fitbit ($79.99-$249.99) Yes I’m going to do it, I’m going to do the annoyingly cute matching gift idea. If you saw my post on what to get her this season then you know I put the Fitbit on that list as well. Let’s face it, this is a hot item this holiday season and again who doesn’t want to set those healthy goals after all the holiday parties with great food and sweets. And just think this would be a perfect combination with his 30 day membership you got him.

There are tons of ideas for gifts and this is just the tip of what is out there in the stores but I hope this made your shopping a lot less stressful. And if you already got him his gift then look for these deals to be even bigger right after Christmas to grab for him…or for you. Happy holidays!

 

 

Shopping 101: What To Gift Her This Season

The holidays are upon us. Yay!! My fellow shopaholics and I love this time of the year because this is our biggest excuse to go shopping. Now if you are an expert level shopper, like me…yes I’m bragging, then you have finished all of your shopping and now am silently tormenting your mom as she tries to figure out what she has under the Christmas tree. Or maybe that’s just me, hehe. So now that your shopping is done this is where you turn your screen for the loved ones to read on and get ideas.  You may think we have it all since we shop all the time but honestly, we don’t. And being a shopaholic it is actually really sweet when a person gets me something other than a gift card. It takes little effort to go and grab a gift card and fill it up and give it to your shopaholic. But I get it, she’s the shopper and you aren’t. So I want to give you guys, parents, loved ones or friends, including mine, help with what to get your shopaholic for this holiday season.

  1. Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 Instant Camera ($69.95) This fun new take on the polaroid camera that died in the beginning of my generation is that perfect gift for your shopaholic. This is the digital age but one thing you can count on is the need for memories. Instantly print out that fabulous selfie or keep a pic of your outfit of the day, this will be one of her favorites.
  2. Fitbit Charge ($89.99) This is a gift for all of our shopaholics wanting to get a jump start on their New Years Resolutions. Its easier to say take more steps in a day than to say go to the gym 3 times a week. Help her set those attainable goals.
  3. Gift Certificate, Not Gift Card ($-$$$) Again the gift card is so easy and takes little thought. So if you really don’t know what to get her as far as a gift under the tree then think bigger. Where is her favorite place to eat? Make her next mani and pedi your treat. Give her a certificate to a nice salon for highlights or a trip to the spa for a massage. This shows more thought and is something she will remember.
  4. Concerts or Play Tickets ($$-$$$) These take a lot of thought and bring even more memories. Adele just announced her U.S. tour right on the rim of Christmas and who doesn’t love Adele. If you are Southern California native then you know Disneyland is a favorite for all ages. There are many great people, plays and events in 2016 and these would be great gifts for her.
  5. Lush  ($-$$) If you have not yet discovered this store then this is definitely what she needs this year for Christmas. Bath bombs, shower gels and face cleansers fill this store and your senses as you walk in. Handmade brands with natural products and so much more to give her that relaxing Saturday afternoon or Sunday night right before she starts off her work week.

These are just a few ideas, most under $100, to get for her this holiday season. This is definitely things I would love and some were a little vague but they are a test on you to see how much you know your mom, friend, sister, cousin, best friend, or daughter. Time to get shopping. Happy holidays!!

10 Beauty Products Under $10 That You Should Try

I am such a frugal person.  I definitely owe my massive collection of, well, everything to the fact that I search for great bargains.  This includes my beauty routine. I know a lot of great products promise shiny, luxurious hair and healthy glowing skin but also cost a pretty penny.  I for one would love to wake up with all those things the commercials promise without any added beauty routine but once I wake up from that dream I start my day with a couple products that I use that won’t break the bank but are effective from starting the day to ending the night.

  1. 20150808_193949_resized  Cream of Nature, Strength & Shine Leave-In Conditioner, $4. Starting from the roots, my scalp is extremely dry. I do so many treatments and try deep conditioners among many other things and although I haven’t completely cleared it, I have gained a handle on it thanks to this.  Its super easy and convenient or wet or dry hair. And now that I am wearing my protective style, I just spray it on and rub it in around my twist. Just shake it to mix all the ingredients, point and enjoy!
  2. Maybelline, Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser, $4.  Talk about 20150808_194005_resizedamaze balls in a tiny little tube. Not only does this thing last forever, being that it is less than one ounce. But it is truly INSTANT. Before I even put on my makeup I use this primer and I see smooth baby skin as if I had a full nights sleep….Which is great since i rarely get even 4 hours of sleep. So this is definitely one for all the busy ladies.
  3. 20150808_194045_resizedSephora, Soothing Cleansing Milk, $7. I found this at Sephora of course when I was looking for eye make up remover and the girl helping me that day said that it was gentle enough to use around the eye area. I looked at other products but went for this one of course because of the price and I couldn’t see Sephora having a line that wasn’t good. So I took the little sample tube that they give you and it did a great job removing my makeup with no irritation. I don’t wear foundation anymore but my heavy make up is eye make up, which is also the hardest to remove. I am able to put it directly on my eyes rub it in and it smears all the liner and mascara off…Did I mention it leaves the skin moisturized.
  4. Maybelline, Great Lash Mascara, $3.79. In the past I haven’t liked the 20150808_194057_resizedMaybelline mascara but this one was a re-vamped version that I do enjoy using. I like a lot of volume and fullness with no clumping and this is what i get from this mascara. Typically I would dish out the money for my mascara but I do have a lot of frugal tendencies and love that is under $5. I don’t get as much fullness from my other mascara brands but this is way more clean and clump free.
  5. 20150808_194139_resizedL’Oreal, Magic Skin Beautifier BB Cream, $5.99. This has been my coverage for the past 2 years now after I decided to stop using foundation. It doesn’t offer coverage of blemishes and break outs but it does bring a natural glow and moisturizes. This combined with a little sheer glow gives me a really soft refreshed look for everyday. No highlighting necessary.
  6. Freeman, Avocado & Oatmeal Facial Clay Mask, 20150808_194151_resized$3.27. Hands down the best facial wash, mask, exfoliate, acne treatment and more. I think this has been the longest running product in my medicine cabinet. I cannot go more than two weeks without it. You put this on let it dry, rinse off and immediately see your skin awakened and refreshed. I use it as a spot treatment on my breakouts at night and even mixed it in with other face cleansers. If this products goes away it may be the end of everything for me….It’s that good.
  7. 20150808_194204_resizedFreeman, Charcoal & Black Sugar Polishing Mask, $4.29. So what could be better than the Freeman mask you might ask? Well this polishing mask is the answer. I love these two products from the Freeman line but what makes this one a little better is that is serves more purposes. It is so gentle that I use it to remove even my eye make up and have never had any complications with it. I can smooth it on my skin and let it sit a few minutes and then rinse it off. I can also wet my face and rub it on as an exfoliation cleanse too.  There are so many possibilities with this and the other mask, that they are hands down my favorite products on this list.
  8. Organic Root Stimulator, Olive Oil Replenishing Pak, $1.00. Who doesn’t like a good20150808_194218_resized deep conditioner. I struggle so much with dry scalp and trying to keep my thick hair moisturizer that I am always looking for different products to help. This product from Organic Root Stimulator comes in these fun convenient packs for a dollar and you get two to three uses out of each pack. I use a pack during every wash, again I struggle with dry scalp. I put it on my dry hair and usually let it sit over night then I wash my hair and put it on again and sit around with the shower cap or under the dryer. Soft and shiny hair that lasts and I see the flaking diminish.
  9. 20150808_194237_resizedEquate (Walmart Brand), Baby Oil, $1.00. This isn’t some cutting edge new beauty product. This is going back to being the little baby that you were and using a product that’s gentle and great for all over. I had to add this to the list because I think that even with our daily lotion we look for things like how does it smell? Will it help my dry skin? Will it be gentle to my sensitive skin? This is your answer for all of that. And it’s super simple. Shower, rub on in shower, pat dry and go. Silky smooth skin for $1.00. Can’t beat that.
  10. Hard Candy, Sheer glow Illuminator, $8.00. This is the product20150808_194256_resized that I mix with my BB Cream before applying. You only need a small amount of both then I rub it in like a moisturizer and pat on a little bit of pressed powder so it’s not too shiny looking. This is really great for a natural look like I do for a little glow but I’ve also tried it out as a high lighter and mixed in to foundation for a full coverage glowing skin look. It comes in handy when my skin is doing really bad and I just need a little help looking awake and alert when I’m really just ready to pass out and sleep for 20 hours. This is the busy girls go to product.

I have tons of products that I want to recommend. These are just a few and since I love a deal I thought I’d share with you some that inexpensive and for all your daily beauty needs.

Retail Therapy: 30 Days of Shopping Detox

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What happened if the world stood still? What if the end of days was tomorrow?…No just kidding but this is what my next 30 days are going to feel like. If you know me then you know that I am an extreme shopaholic. So, after a very successful 30 day skin detox, I have decided to go on a retail detox. This comes from a very obvious reason of, simply put…I have a problem. But it also comes from me wanting to do more. I am ready to travel. I want to pay up and pay off some debt like student loans and credit cards. I cut my retail spending fund in half at the beginning of the year and now more than half way through the year, I was able to put together a whole summer concert series for myself with the extra money. Now I’m ready to see what I can get done when I completely cut out that fund.

This little trial is going to be similar to my skin detox because I had to build the habit. I had to cut out bad things and add healthy alternatives. I plan to do the same with this detox. I am going to cut out spending on the shoes, clothes, make up, purses, etc and add that extra money to my savings, bills and travel funds. The good thing is that since I am a low-key hoarder I don’t have to worry about running out of anything. I am both excited and scared of this challenge but then again it is called a challenge for a reason. I have made my last retail purchase for the next 30 days today, of course, and cannot make any more of those purchases until the 1st of August. I will post updates on my progress and techniques I am using as well as try to not completely lose my mind. Stay tuned.

My name is Elle and I am a shopaholic.

Inventory Chaos, What’s Your Number?

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Have you ever gone through your shoes and fell in love all over again? I definitely have. I most recently started my spring cleaning which will include cataloging all of my shoes. I started the other day while at home sick by going through all the shoes under my bed and take snapshots of them on my Ipad. I am a little too attached to my shoes and found this to be more of a fun photo shoot rather than a chore…Go figure. Now since I don’t have an amazing walk-in closet (yet) this method I am using is to have some ease from shuffling through shoes on a day to day basis. What I am doing is taking snapshots of the shoes on top of the boxes with a clear reading of the name. I get a lot of shoes from Shoedazzle.com so this helps a lot to know the name and since I sometimes get the same shoes in different colors this also helps when the colors in the fashion world can get complicated. The bad thing about getting your shoes from a common place is that all the boxes look the same so I really rely on the name of the shoe and what it looks like. Not only can I easily scroll through my Ipad to pick out the shoes but I now know exactly what they are stored in and where to find them. I have the photos grouped by where they are in my room; so I know that my first grouping of pictures are for the shoes under my bed, the next grouping is going to be the shoes on my shoe rack and the last grouping is going to be the shoes in my closet. This is extremely helpful if you are a pack rat with not enough places to store your shoes. If you have a lot of shoes this is the perfect time to get your spring cleaning out of the way and take inventory of your merchandise. I still have tons more to do but eventually I will be able to tell the world, and myself especially, how many pairs of shoes I have.  Just under my bed and recent purchases I am currently at 75 (Please don’t judge me)…But tell me, what’s your number?

What to Wear Where: Office Edition Midi Skirts

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I continue on this mission to get you office savvy, one piece at a time. Hey, patience is key right? Okay so I started off with none other than the perfect pumps because we know my obsession with shoes runs deep. So lets move up to bottoms. I am the ultimate girlie girl so my choice for bottoms when it comes to office wear is the midi skirt. The midi skirt is the pencil skirt re-vamped. Body-con, skater, leather, slit or no slit, you can get the midi in every style. And the best part of them all is that they sit high-waisted and still come down to your knees. This is a very classic style that has come back after our long run with hip hugging jeans and skirts.

My favorite combo is a a midi skirt with a long-sleeved blouse and matching accessories. Oh and did I forget to mention how affordable they are? I have been grabbing them from Forever21 and CharlotteRusse online and have yet to pay over $15 for one…Can you say bargain. You definitely want to stop by one of these stores on your next visit to the mall and give these the once over. We always want to feel confident when going on that important interview or just another day on the job.  I think they are flattering for all shapes and sizes and offer a fashionista’s touch to the office. Stay fabulous.

What to Wear Where: Office Edition Pumps

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Lets talk about a few of my favorite things…Shoes!! This is all about building your wardrobe for that office friendly look.  My transition from part timing at a uniformed-issued sweat shop to a full-time business attire office had been a little challenging I must say. When you have a uniform you don’t ever think about what you have to pair together and most importantly what shoes will match. You just throw on and go.  I remember I even had my go to accessories because we were only allowed to wear a certain size. Now you would think being a fashionista I would love to finally get to show my style, and I do but you have to be very careful. Those short skirts and high-high heels they portrayed on The Devil Wears Prada and Sex In The City aren’t going to fly in our real world office.

I think it’s best to start this series with heels because, well, I freaking love them! And I think this is where you will have the most freedom with your outfit. Take for example these green and black pair I featured for the article cover. I wore an all black top and all black pants that stopped right at the ankles and threw on these heels to bring life to the outfit. I stayed very conservative while showing some fun with my heels. Have fun with your heels but be kind to your feet. Six-inched pumps that you are breaking in all day at the office are not going to be as fun as they were when you tried them on at the store. These pumps I’m wearing today are 4.5 inch and this can still be pushing it for some people but I personally cannot do the kitten heels in every style. And yes your feet will not be the most attractive if you are constantly breaking in new heels. I will be the first to admit that. (Hey have you seen some of these celebrities feet, mine are way more attractive than theirs)

If you ever have any doubt on which style to pair with your pencil skirt and blazer, I say go with a nice pair of pumps over any other style. Comfortable, classic, and one of the most common styles to find in any budget range.

**Chartreuse colored pumps; Clique; Shoedazzle.com; $20.00**

Outfit Of The Day: Venomous Steps

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Well whoever thought gray and gold don’t mix, didn’t see this outfit coming. This is actually my outfit from yesterday, but of course I couldn’t get it uploaded in time but I feel like this still works. Right? Okay. I bought these items online around the same time with no intention of wearing them together but once I laid everything out I had to do this combination. The shoes are from Shoedazzle.com ($39.95), of course where I always look, and they are to die for! The style, the color and lets not forget the snakes wrapping up the heel, there’s no wonder why they are sold out now. I typically will hold off on the full priced items, yes I am cheap, or use my free credit to buy the full priced items but I knew these wouldn’t last in my size. Even with all that they have going on they are some of the most comfortable shoes I own.

Moving on before I turn into a commercial for Shoedazzle, my gray jumpsuit ($20.99) is from Charlotterusse.com and I caught one of the sales and grabbed quite a bit that day…and days after. I can usually find inexpensive jumpsuits from their site and this one was a little higher than what I usually find but I loved it and everything else I got was really inexpensive so I splurged with this item. I wore this combo at work, and I do work in a very professional setting but everyone knows me for doing the non-traditional business attire. All I had to do was safety pin the front of the jumpsuit and throw on a blazer over it and I was good to go. I went with a gray blazer to keep the look toned down for work and the only other yellow I wore was the necklace. This is by far one of my favorite outfits and it is perfect for a day to night look. From the office to happy hour bold statement outfit. Elle Styles.

**Download the Charlotterusse app on your phone and you get free standard shipping on all orders through the app, no min.**

Money Management: How To Splurge The Bargain Hunter Way

shoppingI am constantly asked do I spend a lot of money on clothes and shoes. Well…yes, but in the long run. When I compare my shopping to that of most around me I find that I use a totally different way of thinking and technique. There are a few basic rules I give myself when I am ready to “splurge” spend:

1. Shop around.
You can definitely find all the trends pop up in many of the well-known stores but what is it worth? Department stores love to advertise all of the trends by name brand companies and it should be no surprise that they come with a steep price tag. If it is an item that you absolutely love and more importantly will look good in (hey some trends are not for everybody) then don’t be afraid to leave it in the store and check out smaller chains for that very similar look. This is when online shopping is ideal because you can pull up multiple windows and compare prices all at once from the comfort of your room. Not only are you saving time but you ultimately save money.

2. Set a limit.
Now this is different from setting a budget. The budget is going to be how much you spend overall while the limit is what you are willing to spend on a particular item. For example whenever I am shopping around I always have my limits in mind. I have come to a point now that when I am browsing any online store that I immediately go to the sale’s tab, sort the items from low to high, and stop looking when it reaches a certain price. This comes with a lot of discipline but really becomes easy if you follow the first step because you learn that there’s always going to be another store that has them for less. Next time you shop try this; for a complete outfit (top, bottoms and shoes) set your limit for your top at $8, your bottoms at $10 and your shoes at $20. This is very easy to do with stores such as Wetseal who always offer an additional discount off of their clearance section, Forever21 that have the “Style Deals” section and Shoedazzle who offer a $15 clearance section for VIP members.

3. Set a Budget
As mentioned above, your limit and your budget are going to be two different things. Why? Well 9 times out of 10 you are going to be purchasing from different stores and if shopping online you have to consider shipping and tax. So be realistic with your budget both with your income and your source of shopping. My budget ranges from month to month depending on several things. Such as, am I planning a trip, what priorities (bills) do I have to take care of first, what sales are happening at the time and I work three jobs to support my habits so most of the time it’s based on how many hours I raked in. So lets say $100 is your shopping money for the month. My biggest problem is that I LOVE shoes and would rather buy shoes all day everyday, then realize that it’d illegal for me to walk around with only shoes on (I know, such a cruel world we live in!). So try to find a balance in your budget where you split it and set aside have on shoes and half on the rest of the outfit. If you follow my limit plan above you can easily come out with items or outfits with the $100.

4. Stick to 1-3.
There is nothing worse than having buyers remorse on something you thought you absolutely needed. A lot of splurges are due to that extra income or just finding a great deal at a store, but these two scenarios together can be a recipe for disaster.  First, you might not have had the opportunity to buy yourself anything for a while and you feel that you deserve to get that new blazer plus the shoes that match.  Second, both the blazer and the shoes are on sale so maybe you decide to buy multiple blazers and get the shoes and a purse you also found on sale.  Finally you find yourself at the register with all these sale items that add up.  Yes I speak so in detail because this has happened to me…multiple times.  If you only remember one thing from all this, remember this step because this step is just a reminder of steps 1-3.

Don’t expect to be this amazing budget friendly fashionista right from the start because that is not going to happen. Instead I encourage you to make mistakes. I did. A few Ramen noodle cups for lunch in a row and I learned my lesson rather quickly. Enjoy a responsible splurge  with these tips all on your dime with Elle Woods.  Happy Splurging!