Monday, April 6, 2009

Christian Louboutin on Gilt 4/8 at 12pm EST!!!

Hi bougie ballers!

I haven't posted in a long time, I know! I'm on hiatus until real life goes back to normal... but I've come across a deal I absolutely had to share :)

This Wednesday, April 8 2009, starting at 12pm est, Gilt will host an online Christian Louboutin sample sale! Prices will range from 50-70% off retail.

A preview of some of what's to come (source:
L-R top: JS Pump & Decoltissimo Pump
L-R bottom: Vizu High Ankle Boot & Yoyospina Pump

Christian Louboutin is my favorite shoe designer! His shoes are phenomenal in person and the red sole gives them a pop that no other shoe designer can match.

So now here's your chance to get a pair of iconic shoes for great prices. Remember, you need to be a member of Gilt in order to participate... not a member? Not a problem, just click here: Join Gilt Groupe :)

So good luck fellow bougie ballers! Remember... log-on quickly... I guarantee these shoes will be gone in minutes!


PS - Louboutin shoe sizing is very strange and unpredictable. I recommend sizing 1/2 size to 1 full size up from your normal US shoe size! You can find more information on CL sizing *here* !!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Happy Inauguration Day!

Hey bougie ballers,

So sorry for being M.I.A. for so long! Life has been crazy (but in a good way). I'll try to slip back here as often as possible (ps - if you want to share your tips, just drop me a note!).

But for today... I wanted to stop by and drop off a quick note... I'm feeling "inaugural" (and somewhat giddy... and happy!) and I hope, whatever your politics, you're able to see this day for the historic moment that it is. Best wishes to Barack, Michelle, Sasha, & Malia :)

Happy Inauguration Day!


Monday, December 1, 2008

Make Me Over

It's been a while ladies and gents!

Thankfully I'm surrounded by talented and savvy people who have great ideas... so today we have an amazing guest column from Andi... great tips for the ladies (and great tips for men looking to buy presents for the women in their life!


Hey kids!

The Bougie Baller shared her wisdom on dressing your best while keeping your finances in check. I’ve seen faaar too many chicas with great shoes, fly ‘fits and terrible-- I mean horrendous makeup. But polishing your look doesn’t mean you have to blow your budget.

Recession? Depression? No problem. Your portfolio may have taken a hit, but you don’t have to look like the economy slapped your face. If you are looking for simple daytime makeup, full on black tie glamor, or a look for standing in a breadline-- don’t worry. Let’s explore how ballers on a budget get glammed up without paying department store cosmetics prices.

I. Big Events : Seek Smart Professional Help
For big events such as black tie affairs, professional photographs, being honored at an awards dinner, prom, etc.; budget ballers seek professional help.
Yes, yes, you may wonder how a makeup artist will save you dough. It sounds luxurious. It can be. But don’t sleep:

**student estheticians

For makeup, hair and skin, students work wonders at a fraction of the cost. I’m talking hair cuts, color, facials, peels, microdermabrasion….the list goes on. And because their grades depend on how well they help you, they may just care more than a random stylist. Don’t worry, teacher/overseers won’t let you leave looking crazy. Make sure you book in advance, and allow plenty of time in case there is a wait the day of your service. That said, pack your patience.

Bonus: top notch style at a fraction of the cost. Where to find them: try Aveda Institutes in your area.

**The Makeup counter

Department stores are great places to have full makeup done for free, or for a nominal fee. You’ll likely pay $50 with the ability to redeem the cost in product! Hiring a pro makeup artist starts at $100, plus an hourly fee. On top of that you WON’T get the ability to redeem the cost in product with a hired artist. So for your next big event, professional photograph that will last a lifetime- why not trust your face to a pro? Many artists at the counter see and work with all types of people every day. As a result, they are some of the most versatile and talented artists.

  • Call a couple of days ahead to schedule an appointment.
  • Communication is important. A good artist will have a chat with you before getting started. When you go, walk in ready to explain to the artist why you are there. If it is for a photograph, let it be known! Your artist will customize your look for black and white photography, color photography, etc.
  • If you don’t exactly know what you want, take a few magazine clippings of looks you find attractive.
  • Use your time wisely. Ask questions and pick up tips while you’re in the chair. It’s your time, so find out how the artist achieves your look so that you can re-create it later! (then practice practice practice the next day)
  • Shower before you go and wear a button down shirt. This helps prevent wardrobe change accidents. Pulling a shirt over your head can be fatal.
Bonus: A fabulous face without the worry. Makeup customized for your event, at a fraction of the cost for a personal make up artist. A small fee, redeemable in product.

II. Every day: do- it- yourself (and do it well)

Most days and weekends you’re not going to go to the makeup counter. If you’re like me, you aren’t even inclined to wear makeup daily. Okay. That’s fine. But you can still look just as good doing your own makeup without spending unnecessary amounts of money on products from department stores.

The premise is simple: save money by eliminating excess.

How? Do your homework, make products work for you by pulling double duty, practice proper technique, and when all else fails: fake it ‘till you make it.

Before you spend one dime- do a self- assessment.

I believe it when people say makeup doesn’t give you anything you don’t already have. It just enhances what you do have. With that in mind, what would you like to enhance? Love your eyes and want to bring them out more? Love your bone structure? Your Lips? Figure out what you’d like to highlight. This will tell you what your essential products are. Make these the basics for a great look- and add other features from there for fun.

For example, if I want to highlight my eyes this season, I don’t necessarily need to purchase a new, trendy lipstick color. I’ll take that attitude with me to the store, so I wont be tempted to purchase something I don’t need.

What are your essential products? Decide for yourself what you need the most.
Lips: seek a great lip liner, and gloss and/or lipstick.
Bone structure: highlighter / bronzer / blush.
Eyes: mascara, liner.
Skin: moisturizer, foundation, concealer.

What are you willing to compromise?
Some people can live with drug store mascara. Some people can live with drug store moisturizer. Bargain with yourself.
I personally think Maybelline mascara works just as well as any department store brand I’ve tried. But you’ll have to pry my LaMer moisturizer out of my cold, dead hands!
It’s not a fault- it’s a preference, honey. What’s yours?

Get samples!
Cosmetic counters and stores give samples! And they give enough samples to live off of sometimes. My travel mascaras are samples. Want to try a new foundation? Ask for samples first! Try it out in daylight, at home, during the day, at night—really test drive it. Don’t drop $ on foundation that doesn’t work for you outside of the store.

The most aggressive approach you can take to cutting costs is to choose products that pull ‘double duty’. That means each product is great for multiple purposes, so you don’t have to purchase so many items. A few suggestions follow, but you can certainly get creative with this concept.

A) Pigments – The hardest working product in the biz
MAC and Loreal HIP make excellent pigments! However, HIP is about ½ the price of MAC.

Pigments are sold as vials of powdered color and can be used anywhere on the face, décolleté, cheeks, eyes, lips, nails and hair. They can be used as a blush, contour, highlight, to enhance, whatever you want - anything, anywhere. But, make sure you read the packaging because different colors are not appropriate for use on eyes, or lips.

To pull double (or more) duty with pigments, use them dry for blush, or for eye color you can place them on top of a cream eyeshadow base. If you’d like to use them alone for eye color just add them to a mixing medium such as saline solution *the stuff for your contact lenses*, and use as a paint. Press them into wet clear nail polish for a change of nail color.

B) Makeup Primer
Makeup primer is a great way to help foundation stay put all day, and it really smooths out the skin before application. I love Smashbox Photofinish. But it is not exactly the easiest on my wallet. That’s where Anti-Chafing Gel comes in. Both products are dimethicone based and have nearly the same ingredients. But the anti-chafing gel costs 75% less!!

The downside is that the maker is Monistat, which may make some people believe it is for ‘personal’ use. However, the product is meant to be used between knees and thighs for those who chafe there, for example: runners.
Bonus: 75% savings for the same product; easy to purchase at any drugstore; regularly goes on sale bogo.

C) Foundation/Moisturizer = Tinted Moisturizer
Why buy foundation, tinted moisturizer and moisturizer?
On a normal weekday you may not like to wear foundation. Especially if you just don’t need that much coverage. So why not purchase foundation, and blend with your moisturizer to make tinted moisturizer? You’ll save the cost of buying an extra product, and you can customize the blend to get the exact amount of coverage you need at the time.

D) Natural Oils
Coconut and grapeseed oil are two of the most useful tools in your arsenal. They both do so much!

Unrefined Coconut oil (found in the grocery store!) can be used for Cooking your food. It’s been shown to raise metabolism (hello skinny jeans), and fight heart disease. But did you also know it’s one of the best hair conditioners around? That’s because it is one of the few oils that can actually penetrate the hair shaft and not just sit on top. Try it as a pre-shampoo treatment. Let it sit on your hair for an hour before shampooing and enjoy the difference.
Coconut oil is also great for dry skin. Apply directly, or add to a warm bath.

Grapeseed oil can be used to remove makeup, without harsh chemicals. To use as a remover, simply massage your face with grapeseed oil before washing as usual. Easy!

E) Tend Skin
It’s getting cold outside, and unless you’re fortunate enough to be beach bound, you’ve probably put those bikinis in winter storage—and the Tend Skin along with them. Tend Skin is the razor-bump solution with a cult-like following. It’s just that good. But good doesn’t come cheap. So what else can it be used for?

According to Estheticians at Georgette Klinger, guys and girls can use Tend Skin as a great facial toner. Now you can cross Toner off your list of things to buy. Simply swipe Tend Skin on with a cotton ball. Follow up with a good moisturizer.

Now, if you want to save even more, you can make your own with this easy recipe. Just make sure to shake it up before each use.

solution 1:
18 tablets uncoated aspirin, crushed
5 oz. rubbing alcohol

solution 2:
8 tablets uncoated aspirin, crushed
2.5 oz. witch hazel

Combine the two solutions. the aspirin will settle a bit, so shake it before use. It can also be used to spot treat blemishes. (aspirin is acetic and salicylic acids.)


Makeup application technique is important. It will save you product over the long run, which saves you money. Less product is necessary when it is applied properly. Also, it will look better if it is applied as intended, so you’ll be less inclined to run out searching for something ‘better’.

Ways to improve your technique:

  • Practice.
  • Take advice from people you admire.
  • Ask questions of professionals when you have the chance (like when you’re at the counter)
Bonus: Stay organized to prevent double purchases

Tool Time
Tools are very important for getting the look you want, but are an investment. Makeup brushes can easily cost $40 each. But Bougie Ballers know to shop in the local craft store for artists brushes at a fraction of the cost. Pro makeup artists love LOEW-CORNELL brushes from Michael’s craft store. Budget fashionistas also rave about the Sonia Kashuk line from Target.

Curl Power
Invest in good eyelash curler. It will save you from using so much mascara, and as a one time purchase, It’s a wise choice.

Clean Slate

Makeup removing wipes are convenient on the run or at work, when you don’t have time to break out the coconut or grapeseed oil. But at around $25 for 100 sheets, they must contain the tears of babies born on February 29th.

Speaking of babies, you can use baby wipes to remove makeup for about $4 for 77 sheets. And they work just as well. Really.

Color Combos
Last suggestion for today is that you can always fake an expensive color combination. Rich color combinations are key. Bronze and gold is hitting the runways hard this season. Interpret the trend without going overboard by using a light hand, and the proper tools.

Check out makeup pallets designers release for color combination ideas. They typically coincide with current runway trends. Then head to the nearest drugstore and re-create the look for less. Want to know which drugstore color is equivalent to your favorite designer hue? Print this list to take with you.

Now get out there and look great this holiday season! Enjoy!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Balling on a Budget

Hi everyone,

Please check out this article... told you I've been busy!

You can post comments here :)


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Economy Needs a Hug

Seriously, the economy needs a big ol' hug and a band-aid right now!

In other news... hi everyone...yikes, I've been gone for a while!

But I'm back for now with some financial tips.

The economy has taken a beating in the past few months. My friends and I have been watching our 401ks go UP and DOWN and UP and DOWN... not fun and very confusing.

So I decided to go out and educate myself. I started reading financial blogs, magazines, and websites. I started speaking to financial advisors (off the record of course) and money market brainiacs. And of course, I broke out my Suze Orman guide... just to see what she thinks about stuff like this!

All in all, my sense of the economy is still up in the air ... but I feel a lot more knowledgeable about my situation.

*disclaimer: please take this with a grain of salt. Do your own research and speak with your own advisors. As my lawyer says - I am not responsible for any of the decisions you make (smile)!*

One of my favorite blogs right now is Bargaineering. It's a "average joe" website for your average spender/budget. It's a great place to discuss "discuss matters of shopping, insurance, investing, retirement, loans, credit cards, mortgages, bargain hunting and other issues related to personal finance." Check out the articles section which is chock full of great discussions.

Another piece of simple advice - make sure all of your funds are FDIC-insured and under the cap ($100,000 or less, wow!). Unfortunately, stocks are not FDIC-insured... but certificate of deposits (cds) are!

Well what else have I done to pad myself for the economy? A while ago, I opened an ING-Direct orange savings account... and invited my friends to do the same. For every friend that signed up, I received $10 and they received $25. Pretty cool huh? But more important - the ING-Direct orange savings has automatic deductions and is FDIC-insured. I call that account my "rainy day" fund and the interest rate of return is great.

Sometimes I'm tempted to take out the money... but then I remember that this is a long term process... and that I need to be patient. FYI - ING CDs are at a 4.25% annual percentage yield if you deposit for 24 months or 60 months... which means if you deposit $1000 in a 24 month CD, you'll earn $42.50 per year just for leaving it alone!

So what else?

The common sense approach is my favorite - cut back on spending. Take a good hard look at your day-to-day expenses. A financial advisor friend recommended that I keep a financial diary - either a written account or an excel document that tracks spending. Am I spending too much on takeout food? Too much on shopping? Too much on travel and gas? Figure it out and cut back!

So keep smiling my bougie ballers... times may be hard but we will make it through... and learn a lot in the process!


PS - If you really feel the need to invest right now... Bargaineering has some great starter codes... some as high as $50!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Been So Long...


I've been gone a long time... so sorry! Things are crazy at work *sigh*

But in the meantime, I'll try to post every once in a while... and today, I'd like to bring your something special... introducing Ganache Couture, luxury accessories online boutique!

Owner Quiana has generously provided all Bougie Baller readers with a 15% discount on footwear and luggage! Enter code W2GCB at checkout!


Recently launched, Ganache Couture is an online boutique featuring luxury footwear, handbags, and other accessories from indie and up and coming designers, such as Tarah Smith, Kathryn Amberleigh, and Velvet Angels.

Quiana Smith
, owner and buyer of Ganache Couture, has always been a avid lover of unique, luxury footwear and handbags. She is a strong proponent of each person having his or her own style and people not looking/dressing alike. In Quiana's opinion, accessories create the skeleton of an outift. A woman in striking heels, a unique handbag, and chic outwear looks great regardless of the top and bottom that she chooses to wear because those are the items that make of break an outfit.

Quiana's belief in creating unique personal images drove her to target indie and up and coming designers. "Most people are not aware of Tarah Smith handbags, but you will frequently see Coach or Louis Vuitton bags. While Coach and Louis Vuitton are great brands, I prefer to be ahead of the fashion curve and find and wear items from those talented designers that will become widely known in the future. Once that happens, I'm on to the next up and coming designer!" says the fashionista. Ganache Couture only features a limited quantity of products from these designers, so customers don't have to be concerned about many people wearing the shoes or carrying the handbag that they purchased from Ganache Couture.

Visit Ganache Couture's online boutique at, and feel free to contact Quiana via email at if you having questions about the boutique or would like be a featured designer on Ganache Couture.

Ganache Couture - Putting the Icing on Fashion...Richly, Deliciously, Completely!

Remember - owner Quiana has generously provided all Bougie Baller readers with a 15% discount on footwear and luggage! Enter code W2GCB at checkout!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Short Summer Features

Hi folks!

A friend just sent me this website... talk about savvy and budget conscious! I love it!

I like Her Style is a blog devoted to getting a high end look without blowing through your savings... I adore it! I'm especially loving the Get It Shorty feature... who wants to spend a gazillion dollars on itty bitty fabric? Check it out!

Also, be sure to check out P.O.S.H. Life's new website... they've got some interesting topics on health and beauty over there... and the relationship discussions are crazy!

-the bb