Budget Bombshell - Take Two!

In these economic times, we are counting every dollar and penny spent on the “non-essentials” but really, do you consider your health, image and general beauty to be a “non-essential?” Well, we here at In My Professional Opinion don’t and we strongly believe that now is not the time to skimp on taking care of yourself!

Feeling like a million bucks without feeling like your spent a million bucks can be a reality, especially if you follow the economic tips and tricks listed below by our fellow blogger specialists in the fields of hair, fashion and of course, our own tips on essential beauty products!

IMPO Pro, Melissa Street says, “… the higher end cosmetic companies offer great deals, you just gotta keep an eye out for them!”

Gift With Purchase (aka GWP): now is the time to take advantage of department store brands’ gift with purchase programs, but be smart! Check to make sure how much you have to spend in order to receive the gift and check out the gift products thoroughly. Traditionally, those products that make up the GWP are either best sellers or crap sellers all dressed up in a pretty cosmetic bag. If you decide you can't live without the GWP, purchase something you know you will use, like a bronzer for summer, skincare, eye makeup remover, mascara. Don’t get all caught up in the “glitter” and “glitz” – remember, that is what they want you to do! Those counter babe’s work on commission!

Recycle Programs: take care of Mother Earth as well as yourself! MAC Cosmetics has a unique recycle program called Back 2 MAC. Here is how it works, bring in 6 empties (of ANY MAC product and it doesn’t even need to be totally used up!) to a MAC store and you can redeem a FREE lipgloss, lipstick or eyeshadow. What a deal! Got some old gloss from last season or that crazy iridescent lavender that was hot last summer but is kinda funky now? Spring Clean your makeup bag and get thyself to a MAC store!

Kits: big bang for your buck! One of our favs is Smashbox! They put together great kits and special collections that include everything for the face! Recently, we tried the GlamBox Vol. 4, which is a Nordstrom exclusive. This kit includes full size: eyeshadow palette of 6 standby colors, a gel eyeliner palette with brown, black, dark blue and bronze and an angled brush, a blush palette containing three beautiful pink and light bronze shades AND… there is more… a dual lipgloss! WOW! If purchased separately, this Smashbox kit would retail for $190, but you can purchase it now for only $68! In response to our tightening purse strings, many cosmetic and skincare companies are offering these all in one kits. But beware: they’ll get you hooked!

Daily Makeover – writer: Megan McIntyre says, “don’t resign yourself to a life of perpetual bad hair days!” Read on for tips on how to keep your hair looking it’s best without spending a fortune:

Maintenance: shampoo and conditioner are the foundation to good hair, so look for formulas with lots of moisturizers to keep hair healthy and strong. I’m currently obsessed with Herbal Essences Hydralicious Self-Targeting Shampoo and Aveeno’s Nourish+ Revitalize Conditioner.

Color: for many of us, the thought of giving up our pricy in-salon coloring is cause for near panic. If you’re not into DIY, you can still partake in your usual professional coloring, you just have to extend the life of your hair color for as long as possible in order to get the most bang for your buck. The best way to do this is to opt for products that won’t cause your hair to fade or lose its luster. Protect your hair from frying UV rays, the biggest fading culprit, by choosing products that contain UVA and UVB protectants. I like L’Oreal’s EverPure Moisture Deep Restorative Masque and Pureology’s Essential Repair ColourMax.

Styling: most of us tend to cut our hair when we get bored or sick of our current look. And for me, that happens quite a bit. (That’s why I love my job!) One minute I want short hair; three weeks later I’m pining for long locks. Instead of shelling out the mega-bucks for constant trips to the salon, invest in Ted Gibson's new line of hair extensions. The 18” long, full head extensions clip in easily and look really natural thanks to their multi-dimensional color. Best of all, the synthetic hair can be heat styled so you can go wavy, curly or straight. Now that’s versatile!

Another great way to save some dough is try out a style before you make your hair appointment. You wouldn’t buy a dress without trying it on first, so why would you chop your hair without first knowing how you’re going to look? That’s what makes the DailyMakeover.com Makeover Studio such a great budget tool. Download your picture and then try on thousands of celebrity styles to find your perfect cut.

My Wardrobe Today – writer: Alison Gary says, “your sense of style shouldn’t suffer during these tough times!” Read on for tips on how to be well dressed, composed and in control of your wallet:

Keep it simple: now is not the time to buy the print, the shoe, and the silhouette of the moment. Sticking with classics means you will get a longer life from the garments, you can wear more often without looking like a broken record, and they are more likely to blend with what is already in your closet. Crisp creased trousers, simple a-line or pencil skirts, dark jeans with a simple straight leg, black turtlenecks, sheath dresses and white tailored shirts can be worn multiple times and look different yet elegant with each wearing.

Make accessories your friend: it is amazing how a scarf or a belt can completely transform an outfit. Slip a skinny belt over a classic cardigan and trousers for a new silhouette, or cinch a floaty dress with a wide stretchy belt under the bust. Scarves can be used in the hair, around the waist, and of course around the neck to change the silhouette or cut of a look. I personally love tying a large square scarf “cowboy” style so it hangs in front, and tucking the ends into the collar of a blouse or neckline of a sweater. Also nothing jazzes up an old purse better than a pretty scarf tied to its shoulder strap!

Shop in unexpected places, and don’t be a label snob: some of my favorite day dresses are from Target – they are just as good of quality and style as boutique dresses that cost three times as much! I have recently scored some modern and stylish pieces at an amazing sale price from Talbots – a shop I used to consider more appropriate for my mother. If there is a specific designer or style I like, I check eBay to see if someone is selling a gently used version in my size. I have also scored some fabulous finds – vintage and even current designer pieces at thrift stores – what is one person’s trash very well may be your low priced treasure!

Stop using the mall as a form of entertainment: if you enter it, you will buy something. More often than not, you purchase something you don’t need and don’t even love. I worked in retail marketing for years and know those stores are set up to lure you in and have you purchase something, anything! If you aren’t there, you won’t be tempted. Want to get out? Meet a friend at a local park for a walk or a potluck picnic.

Make a list and check it twice: this rule works for any type of shopping – home goods, groceries, and fashion. If you have a list before you begin shopping, you will be more likely to only purchase what is needed and do your homework to find the best price. It’s far more fashionable to have one perfect skirt or one perfect bag than a closet full of not-quite-rights.

Do a fashion swap: this is one of the best ways to get a new collection of clothes without spending a dime. Make it a party – send out an Evite, make a signature cocktail, and invite your friends to bring items from their wardrobe that are in good condition but just not in regular rotation. Everyone ends up leaving with new looks and no one had to spend a dime!

IMPO wants to thank all our blogger buddies out there who contributed to our Budget Bombshell posts. If you don't know My Wardrobe Today, Daily Makeover, The Beauty Foodie or the Personal Fit Coach, you are doing yourself a disservice!

These bloggers are smart cookies and spend many long days and nights (and some weekends) searching for truth, justice and how to save a dime or two (which is the American way) so, you owe it to yourself and your bank account to bookmark those sites immediately and check back with them frequently!

This week, the Dow was up, and perhaps our spirits have been lifted a bit too. But the tips and tricks listed above are great to keep in mind anytime not just crunch time!!

Up next on IMPO: we are taking it to the streets of Paris with Maqpro! It's a little secret place tucked away in the most romantic city in the world and it is wear professional makeup artists and gorgeous parisian women shop for their cosmetics! Watch IMPO makeup artist, Melissa Street, get a makeover! Don't miss this post!


  1. Great tips!! LOVE Mac and Target :)

  2. Hi Christina! So glad this post was informative!

  3. Awesome advice. I love it all. Thanks.

  4. Thanks Beauty Blogger! We had a ton of fun putting this post together!