Penny Pincher Fashion January 2016 | Penny Pincher Fashion

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Weekly Top Finds

When I head to the mall, I usually have a short list of stores that I always go into. But, last week, I broke away from my regular routine and stopped into Banana Republic. I was so pleasantly surprised with the deals I found & can safely say that they've now been added to the shops I'll be visiting on a frequent basis. While their full-priced items can be a bit expensive, their sales tend to make up for it. With a great mix of good quality basics and fun trendy pieces, you can’t really go wrong. Here are my top picks for this week - these are all from their sale section, so they are an extra 50% off (the discount is automatically taken at checkout) + you can get free shipping on orders over $50!


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Friday, January 29, 2016

Super Soft Denim


I consider myself to be a bit of an expert on the Rockstar Jeans because I've been wearing them for so many years. What I love about Old Navy is that they take customer feedback seriously and, over the years, they've continued to adjust both the fabric & fit of their denim to create their softest & most flattering version yet.  So, if you've tried them in the past & felt they didn't work for you, I would encourage you to give them another shot because their latest styles are remarkably comfortable & complimentary.  Today I'm sharing two of my favorite new pairs + some versatile layered pieces that you can wear now & well into the spring!

I found that this blue pair ran a bit big - in my experience, you want to buy them a little snug because they do stretch a bit with wear.  So, if you're ordering online, you might want to buy your usual size & down one size or if you're heading into the store, make sure you grab two different sizes to take into the dressing room with you.  Because I'm on a mission to embrace more color in my wardrobe, I paired my new jeans with this bright cropped sweater & layered it over a lightweight striped tunic for a relaxed weekend look.



What I'm wearing:
c/o Old Navy Cropped Sweater (wearing an XS), c/o Old Navy Striped Tunic Top (wearing an XS), 
c/o Old Navy Mid-Rise Rockstar Jeans (wearing size 2), Joan & David Boots (similar), 
c/o Old Navy Bucket Bag (similar), Similar Necklace


The fabric on this gray-wash denim is ultra-soft & I found it to be even stretchier than the blue pair (almost like a jegging material).  Because of that, they fit a little smaller, so I bought my regular size in these & they're just perfect. I really loved the unfinished raw hem, which gives them a cool modern vibe.  For those of you who don't care for distressed denim, I would recommend these or these.  I personally prefer a mid-rise for my jeans and this pair hits at just the right spot on the waist.  I decided to style them with other soft colors for a polished casual look - this chiffon-hem tank is an essential layering piece (I'd also wear it under a blazer or cardigan) and this pretty pastel sweater has a lightweight feel that will transition seamlessly into next season.





What I'm wearing:
c/o Old Navy Textured-Stripe Sweater (wearing an XS), c/o Old Navy Chiffon-Hem Tank (wearing an XS), 
c/o Old Navy Mid-Rise Rockstar Jeans (wearing size 4), Ivanka Trump Pumps, Zara Bag (similar), 

OLD NAVY FAVORITES



Thank you to Old Navy for kindly sponsoring this post.
All opinions are 100% honest & completely my own.

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Thursday, January 28, 2016

Simple Contouring


After I mentioned how much I've been loving my new contour palette (here), so many of you expressed interest in learning how I've been using it on a daily basis.  I know there are a million contouring tutorials out there, but I hope that mine will show you that you can achieve subtle definition in a few simple steps.  My philosophy with makeup in general is to use it to enhance, not overpower, and my goal is always for mine to look as natural as possible.  I realize that most women don't have a ton of time to spend getting ready each morning, so I hope that this guide will be easy to incorporate into your usual routine on days when you want that extra little oomph.

The concept behind contouring is fairly simple - you apply a darker powder on any areas you want to recede (or push back) and a lighter shade on any areas you want to highlight (or bring forward).  While there are very dramatic ways to use this technique, I like to apply the principle in small doses to play up my features & enhance the shape of my face.  I also don't like the way my skin feels when I'm wearing a lot of product, so my approach produces a much more natural effect.  It took me a little longer the first few times I tried it out, but now that I've gotten the hang of it, I can do these steps in less than 5 minutes!




STEP 1: It's absolutely crucial to start with well-hydrated skin so you get that soft dewy look.  I've mentioned it before, but I can't say enough good things about this POND'S Dry Skin Cream.  It has been a life-saver for me this season & has quickly become one of my winter skincare essentials!  I rub a small amount on my face & neck before applying my makeup and it keeps my skin well-moisturized all day long.  Tip: Give it a few minutes to "soak in" before putting on your makeup OR mix a small amount in with your foundation to create your own luminous tinted moisturizer.




STEP 2: After you've applied all your makeup, start with a darker shade powder that matches the undertone of your skin (I used Fawn).  Using a fan brush, sweep the color lightly underneath your cheekbone, focusing on the area back by your ear and stopping in the hollow of your cheek.  Then using the same sweeping motion, also apply the darker powder underneath the line of your jawbone.  Tip: Start with a light application and build up the intensity as needed - it's easier to add more than to take away. 




STEP 3: (optional) Because I have a long nose & tall forehead, I also contour these areas.  (I found this illustration helpful in determining the areas to focus on.)  Using the fan brush, apply a small amount of the dark powder all around your hairline at the top of your forehead.  Switch to a small definition brush & apply the dark powder in a straight line down the sides of your nose.  If you have a wider nose, you can extend the line all the way to the tip and this will have a narrowing effect.  Tip: The key to subtle definition is blending until there are no visible lines, only a gradual change of color.




STEP 4: Using a fluffy brush, apply highlighter to the tops of cheekbones in a crescent shape, sweeping up to your temples.  You can be more liberal with the highlighter application - I like a generous amount and this particular shade (I used Sand) is hard to overdo.  Tip: I also like to rub a bit of highlighter on my finger tip and apply it on the bridge of my nose & my browbones.




PRODUCTS USED:

WEARING:


This post was created in connection with my appointment as Influencer for POND'S.
Visit POND'S Pinterest for more skin care tips.
All opinions are 100% honest & completely my own.

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Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Petal Pink



When I bought this sleeveless top back in December, I thought I would have to wait until the spring to wear it.  But after playing around in my closet, I discovered that I could layer it under a shorter-length sweater, which allows the fun fringe detail to peek out below the hem.  This petal pink cashmere (an amazing Goodwill find from two years ago) seemed like the perfect pairing for a polished feminine winter outfit.  

Words cannot describe how happy I was to discover this bag - I'd been looking for one with a similar shape for a while, but everything I came across was too expensive.  The soft gray hue is so versatile and the size is ideal for everyday (plus, the strap is adjustable so you can wear it as a crossbody or on your shoulder).  The designer-inspired style instantly elevates any look and, at under $35, it's a steal!  The owner of the store, Rachel, was kind enough to name it after me and I couldn't be more flattered.  Update: it looks like this bag has recently sold out, but I contacted the shop & she said she will be restocking more soon - for those who are interested, you can pre-order by emailing info@yosa.co.uk and she will add you to the waiting list.  


What I'm wearing:
J. Crew sweater (current version here; similar here or here), J. Crew top (similar options here & here), 
Forever 21 pants (similar here or here), Pour La Victoire pumps (similar here or here), 
Yosa bag (also in cognac & black), ASOS necklace (similar here or here), Zara ring (similar)

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Tuesday, January 26, 2016

20 Under $20

Instead of building outfits for this month's edition, I decided to focus on expensive-looking pieces.  Rich cable knits, luxe faux fur, textured fabrics & special embellishments make these all stand-out styles (and no one will know how little you paid!).  There are still tons of amazing deals happening as retailers are moving out their winter inventory. Right now you can get an extra 40% off all sale items at H&M using code 3301 (also free shipping over $50 with code 3296), an extra 50% off all sale styles at Ann Taylor & Banana Republic (no code needed) & an extra 40-60% off final sale styles at J. Crew using code SHOPNOW (plus free shipping on all orders today only!).  Believe it or not, everything you see here is just $20 or less!



MORE UNDER $20


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Monday, January 25, 2016

Modern Menswear


For those who were affected by Winter Storm Jonas over the weekend, I hope everyone stayed safe & warm.  The blizzard just barely missed us and we are expecting some warmer weather this week, so I'm looking forward to that! Someone asked me the other day what I feel my best in and I would have to say that tailored pieces are by far my favorite thing to wear.  My style has definitely evolved as I've gotten older, but my love for structured styles has stuck with me through the years.  When I'm unsure of what to wear or when I feel like nothing quite looks right, I can fall back on these sophisticated basics and they never fail me. 








What I'm wearing:
Mango vest (similar here or here), H&M sweater (also love this one), H&M shirt (similar here or here), 
H&M pants (similar here or here), French Connection flats, NastyGal bag (similar here or here), 
Madewell necklace (similar), Madewell ringsPilgrim earrings

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Saturday, January 23, 2016

Weekly Top Finds

We recently got a Madewell store in our local mall and I couldn’t be more excited about it. Though their brand can be a bit pricey at times, they almost always have a great sale going on. I have always been impressed with pieces I've purchased from them over the years because they really do stand by their name & the quality is amazing. If you don't have a store nearby, they offer free shipping on all orders (no minimum!). In addition to some great clearance items, they are also currently offering 25% off when you buy 2 or more of their whisper tees when you use code WHISPER (these are an essential layering piece & have a perfectly lived-in feel). Here are a few more of my favorites all under $50:


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Friday, January 22, 2016

Vegas Moments


My husband & I had the most amazing time in Las Vegas this week - even though it was a business trip for him and he was busy working each day, we still got to enjoy spending the evenings together.  For those who weren't following along, I thought I would share a quick recap from our stay.  I mentioned this on Snapchat (ppfgirl), but we purposely chose not to stay on the strip and instead booked at the Marriott Grand Chateau.  We did this so we could get a room with a full kitchen and then buy groceries at Whole Foods - I made my own meals for breakfast & lunch and, that way, we only needed to spend money on dinners out (and special treats, like the macarons below). With my dietary restrictions, this was the easiest way to ensure that what I was eating was safe and it also helped us stick to our travel budget.




On Tuesday, I had the opportunity to visit the Rent The Runway showroom, which is inside The Cosmopolitan.  It was so much fun trying on different styles of dresses and it was also a great learning experience - I discovered that my size varied greatly by designer, which was a good reminder not to worry about the number on the tag & instead to go by how the garment fits.  My top favorites were this red strappy sheath (wish it hadn't been so expensive) & this hot pink dress.  All of the Elizabeth & James dresses that I tried on fit me like a glove, so at the end of my shopping freeze, I might go hunting for a discounted one on eBay or PoshMark.  




Ultimately, I ended up with this Cynthia Rowley dress because it was my husband's favorite and it felt the most appropriate for our evening plans.  If you've never tried out Rent The Runway before, it's a great option if you have an event you need a special dress for, but don't want to spend the money purchasing a new evening gown.  You can select a dress & accessories online (they will send you two sizes to ensure a perfect fit), you keep it for four days and then ship it back when you're done.  You can get 20% off your first order using code FIRSTRTR20P.  They are also currently running a massive clearance sale, where you can purchase designer dresses, jewelry & bags from their inventory for up to 85% off!

Thursday was our last full day and because my husband was done working, we decided to rent a car and drive out to Red Rock Canyon.  I had heard so many things from people who said it was a must-visit while in Vegas and I'm so glad we took their advice.  It was the most beautiful day for hiking around and exploring the area + the views were spectacular.  It felt good to get away from the noise & crowds on the strip, get some exercise & enjoy the great outdoors.  We decided to forgo the traditional hiking trails around the canyon and instead climbed through the rocks on our own - it was definitely not for the faint of heart, but it was so worth it!  If you're ever in Vegas and have some extra time, I highly recommend driving out & spending the day there.






*None of this trip was sponsored & our stay was not comped.  
However, Rent The Runway did waive the rental fee for the dress 
& accessories that I wore on Tuesday evening.

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Thursday, January 21, 2016

Q&A: Affordable Handbags

Thank you so much to everyone who wrote in with suggestions for my new Q&A series - I'm excited to get started with helping you solve your beauty & style dilemmas.  This week's edition is in response to an email I received from Alison, who said she needed help finding an affordable everyday handbag.  She mentioned that she is on the petite side, which makes large satchels & totes look too big against her frame.  So, to help answer her question, I've rounded up the best bags I could find under $100 (with some as low as $30!).  I included a range of saddle, crossbody & bucket bags and I kept the colors somewhat neutral to make them more versatile for pairing with various outfits.  Keep sending in your questions and I will do my best to answer them here with a post!


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Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Touch of Lace


This winter has been like a dream come true - though we've had a few days in the single digits and a little snowfall, we've also experienced plenty of uncharacteristically warm weather.  On those days, when it jumps into the high 40's, I am quick to shed my outerwear and instead opt for warm & cozy layers.  This poncho is comfort meets chic at its finest - anything that feels like a blanket, but looks polished is a win for me.  The lace detail at the hem & subtle sparkle that's woven throughout instantly upgrades the relaxed shape. You could also belt this at the waist to create a little more definition.

This crossbody bag is the perfect size for everyday - it holds all my essentials with a little room to spare, comes in three classic colors & is under $30!  I'm wearing it as a shoulder bag here but the strap is adjustable so you can make it just the right length, depending on how you'll be using it.  I'm equally obsessed with this chevron necklace - it's one of those pieces that will go with anything, doesn't feel overly fussy & because of the mixed metals, you can pair it with any jewelry you already own.  Charming Charlie has so many great new arrivals for spring that I just had to share more with you beyond what I'm wearing today - take a look below at my top picks, all priced under $40!

What I'm wearing:

Thank you to Charming Charlie for kindly sponsoring this post.
All opinions are 100% honest & completely my own.

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