Saturday, September 21, 2013

Luxury For Less : Your Quick Guide for Getting the Goods for Less

Luxury for Less

Who doesn't love Luxury? Webster's dictionary says that luxury is the state of great comfort and extravagant living. I'm sure we all love the thought of the Lux lifestyle, but most of us can't afford to live like a millionaire! Wouldn't it be great to look like you just stepped off the runway, carry designer bags, and sip champagne from crystal flutes? Here is your quick guide for living the lux life for way less!

1) Clothes

Designer clothes are great, but they can get really expensive. I'm talking thousands of dollars! I don't know about you, but I can't shell out that kind of money on clothes. I love having a closet full of clothes, but I love it more that they are all affordable! Here are a few options for feeling lux and spending less!

~ Most designer brands have outlet stores! These stores sell items at a fraction of the cost.

~ Check out department store clearance racks! You will be amazed at how low some stuff can get marked down!

~ Consignment shopping is a great way to grab fabulous pieces at really affordable prices! You can even find vintage pieces! I love consignment shopping! You will be surprised at the great pieces you find, which is why I call it "treasure hunting" most of the time!

~Thrift shopping and goodwill is similar to consignment shopping. These stores tend to have the lowest prices. These items were usually donated to the stores as opposed to "consigned" to resell. You can still find some pretty great stuff!

~ Discount stores have great name brand finds for a fraction of the cost. A few examples would be TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Ross, Burkes, and Rugged Warehouse.

2) Handbags, Shoes, and Accessories

These are some of my favorite items to shop for! Designer handbags are one of my favorites! As much as I love buying handbags I definitely couldn't afford several thousand dollars a pop! Here are a few suggestions for grabbing a designer bag and other items for less!

~ Consignment Shops are the same with clothes, shoes, handbags, and accessories! These items are usually good quality designer items that someone has decided to sell. The consignment shop sells the items for their clients. The prices are really affordable!

~ Wholesalers and Outlets are a great place to start. These stores sell their merchandise for a fraction of the retail price. These stores also have great sales!

~ Online sites such as ebay are great for picking up a super affordable piece! Just make sure that what you are getting is authentic! I have purchased several items from ebay and have been happy with all of my buys!

3) For the Home, etc.

Your personal space is just as important as your style when it comes to feeling luxurious! Its great to have high quality sheets and towels or fabulous framed photos and décor! You might have some of these items passed down to you from other relatives or have purchased some of your own. For great finds that are affordable try these:

~ People tend to throw away things that they are unsure of. Some peoples tastes tend to change or they don't really know the actual value of an item. Thrifting again is a great way to pick up some awesome décor! I've found some amazing sterling pieces, and even Waterford crystal while thrifting! The best part is they were super cheap!

~ Department stores tend to have great sales and coupons for housewares! Check those out!

~ Discount stores have great selections of home décor that is fabulous and fun! Did I mention that they are super affordable!

~ Online retailers and ebay is another option for housewares and décor!



Tips and Tricks for the Lux Life : How To...

1) Wear heels. Nothing says fabulous like a great pair of heels! Heels can change the look and feel of an outfit! They also make you feel more confident! Confidence says luxury!

2) Buy a great bag. If you don't have a designer bag, don't worry! Luxury isn't always about the "brand". Find a great structured bag that looks amazing and rock it! It doesn't have to cost thousands to me amazing or make you feel luxurious!

3) Wear diamonds. Who doesn't love diamonds? Diamond stud earrings are classic! These are perfect for any look! If you can't afford diamonds try some CZ or lab created diamonds! As long as they stay on the smaller side no one will know the difference!

4) Dress up. I'm not telling you to get decked out just to run to the grocery store, but putting together more of an "outfit" and avoiding the "yoga" look will help! I love my yoga pants, but sometimes you just need to put in more of an effort! Luxury is about being put together!

5) Wear Makeup. Sometimes the simple act of putting on a little makeup can make you feel amazing! Makeup will finish off any look and make you look more polished!

6) Take a hot candle lit bath. Ok that is luxury! We all need a break sometimes! I love to get in a nice hot bath (bubble, oils, etc) and relax. Scented candles or even regular candles can change the feel of a room. I love the flicker of a candle while relaxing in the tub. Take a book to read too!

7) Get a massage. If you don't want to go to a masseuse or spa get your spouse/significant other to give you one. A relaxing massage will make you feel amazing. If you do get a professional massage do some research! They can actually be super affordable!

8) Get a pedicure. I love a good pedicure! I love sitting in those relaxing spa chairs with my feet in the warm bubbling water. I also love the foot massage you get while sitting there relaxing! If you aren't a fan of salon pedicures give one to yourself! Polished toes are great!

9) Organize your closet and your life. I try my best to stay organized. My closet is always organized! You would be surprised at how easy it is to put together tons of outfits when you can actually see your clothes. Everything should have a place! When you can see and find everything it makes such a difference! Being organized and neat definitely says luxury! A cluttered closet with clothes in disarray does not say luxury! It says "help"! Try to keep all aspects of your life organized. This will relieve tons of stress!

10) Drink champagne and eat chocolate covered strawberries. Doesn't that sound fabulous! Imagine relaxing in your nice hot bath drinking a glass of champagne and eating chocolate covered strawberries! That is luxury! You can get your own fondue set for pretty cheap and make your own chocolate covered strawberries and treats! Fondue is luxury!

champagne and strawberries

I hope you enjoyed some of these tips on how to have luxury for less! I'm ready for some champagne and strawberries! Who's with me?

Thursday, September 19, 2013

10 Beauty Buys Under $10

10 under 10

These are a few of my favorite beauty buys under $10! 1) The elf duo works great and keeps the contour and blush easily accessible. These are also great colors!
2) I love the Not Your Mothers products and the smoothing hair cream definitely tames fly away hair!
3)Wet n Wild blue pallet is amazing! I love the way the colors go on and they last throughout the day or night!
4 and 5) Pure Ice and Sinful colors is some of my favorite polish! These are both super affordable and have a large selection of colors. These polishes last about a week for me when doing a mani and longer for a pedi!
6)NYC lip stain is great! These go on great and last for hours!
7)The elf eyebrow duo is perfect for filling in your brows!
8) Maybellline Dream Matte mousse is currently my favorite foundation! I am in love with the way it goes on and the coverage it provides! Love it!
9) The Goody ouchless ribbon elastics are my favorite! I always have one on hand. They hold hair in place and don't crimp it or leave dents!
10) Last but not least is the Wet N Wild lipstick. These are a fun and inexpensive way to add a pop of color. They come in a variety of shades and go on great!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

How to Find Your Personal Style

There are so many girls and women running around wondering if they have a sense of style. They question their taste in clothes and seem lost in the world of fashion. Some people have a love for fashion, while others seemed overwhelmed at just the thought. It isn't really about fashion, its about expressing yourself through your style. If you are sitting there thinking you don't have a style then you're wrong! Everyone has their own special style! Ready to find yours? Ok, lets go!

Maybe you are sitting there reading this in your pajamas. Maybe you are in yoga pants with your hair in a bun on top of your head. You might be sitting there laughing at the thought of you with style. Well don't! Its in there!
We have all seen a movie or looked at a picture of someone and thought "oooh I love that dress" or "those shoes are awesome" or even "man I wish my hair would do that". That is where we are going to start. I have worked with several different people who claimed they didn't have style or felt they lost it completely. Those women didn't lose their style, they were just not sure on how to pull it together or express it.
Having your own sense of style doesn't mean you have to look totally different from everyone else. In fact you can pull elements from those looks you have seen on others and incorporate it with who "you" are. Style is what you make it and today I'm going to give you a few examples with one of the clients I worked with. We will call her "Jane".

Jane walked in my store in a tiny tank top, super short shorts, and your basic plain jane flip-flops. When I asked her about her style she was puzzled, but then replied "I'm just really casual". Here is a basic synopsis with example Q & A.

Me : Great! Casual it is. What items to you tend to gravitate towards when shopping?

Jane : Usually t-shirts, tank tops, athletic shorts, or jean shorts. This is basically what she was telling me her "style" was.


client one before


 Me: What is it about these items that attract you to them or make you want to buy them?
Jane: Comfort and they are easy. I guess that's not much of a style though.
Me: Lets try this. I'll show you a few pieces and you tell me what you think. We will base this off your like of comfort and ease.
Untitled #218

We went through a few items and discussed likes and dislikes of each. She liked the knit material, but wasn't a fan of bold stripes. She liked the ruffle of the peplum top, but wasn't a fan of bold ruffles at the neck. She also leaned more towards more muted shades and didn't really like neon's or big prints.

Me: When you watch TV, look at magazines, or see someone walking down the street what catches your eye? Do you ever see something and think "hey I like that" or "I want to try that out"?

Jane : I like those off the shoulder tops. I also think that heels or wedge sandals are cute with shorts.

Based on Jane's likes and dislikes we pulled a few more items. I showed her that by changing the length of her shorts and putting on a classic tee could transform her look. All she needed to do was add those adorable wedges and a statement necklace to create something casual, comfy, and chic. It was the same basic outfit with a few minor tweeks! The outfit went from blah to wow!

We also put together a few more looks and turned Jane into someone who was proud of her "comfy chic" style. It was fun to show her that comfort didn't always mean tee's and tanks or athletic shorts and cutoffs!  Here are some similar looks we put together.


I have worked with quite a few different clients and they each had their own unique style. It is so much fun helping someone discover what they really love and what works best for them. Its great to pull elements from other sources and incorporate them with what we already know and love. So what inspires you? What do you gravitate towards and why?

I hope you are all having a super fab day! Would love to know how you found your personal style!

Monday, September 16, 2013

"Face" Facts Makeup Series : Part Four - All About The Eyes

Today we will cover the eyes! This is one of my favorite features to play up! Eye makeup can be a great way to change your look! You can easily take a daytime look to a night look with just a touch of liner and some extra shadow. Lets start with liners!

Your basic liners are going to consist of pencils, liquid liners, powder based liners, and gel or cream liners. I love them all! Your most basic is the pencil. This is super easy to use and they start at under $1.00! You definitely can't beat that!

Liners are a great way to open eyes and to create drama! Check out these two looks. You have a basic look and then a more dramatic look.

This is from the Alexander Wang 2013 show.

 There is so much you can do with liner and so many different looks you can create! Check out this guide via pinterest!
Different looks with black eyeliner
Next up is shadow! This is definitely one of my favorite beauty products to buy! Your basic shadows will include : powder (compact/pressed), creams, pencil or crayon shadows, and loose pigments.


Shadows, in my opinion, are one of the easiest ways to change your look! These can be a lot of fun to play with! There are so many options when doing shadow! Check out some of these looks!


Any shadow type will come in a variety of colors. Colors can be tons of fun, but a rule of thumb is to always start with your basic colors! A quick and easy option for the basics is to start out with a pallet or quad.

Drugstore finds like  elf  or Rimmel are going to cost much less than department or specialty brands.
You can pick up some for as little as $3.00! Once you have your basic colors then you can splurge on the more "fun" shades!

The last thing on the list today is Mascara! This is a must for me. I have very light colored lashes and wouldn't look totally "put together" without my mascara! Mascara, in general, will help to lengthen, thicken, plump, or curl. It can be found in a variety of shades and in most cases can be purchased in a waterproof formula!


I have tried so many different mascaras! It takes a few trial and errors to find your perfect match! I prefer mascaras that plump and lengthen the lashes! Your average price is going to be in the range of $6.00 to $10.00, but some will be as little as $3.00 for drugstore/Target type brands.

I hope you are all having a great week so far! Stay posted for part five which will cover the lips!

Quicky DIY :Vanity Project - Time to Revamp

I wanted to post this long before now, but things don't always work out like planned! This was a quick DIY transformation I did several weeks ago when I had some free time!

My husband and I were driving home from errands and this very old vanity was literally sitting on the side of the road to be picked up with the trash. No way! I was not letting that happen, so we grabbed it! Someone's trash is another's treasure, right? In this case I was happy we grabbed it!

Here is a shot of what it looked like when we got it.

Time to start sanding. I used a regular grit sandpaper and did it by hand.

This is a shot of inside the middle section of the vanity before sanding.
Close up of the fixtures. 

After I sanded the vanity I filled in some of the deeper worn areas with a wood putty and sanded those down. I didn't take pictures of that process, but its very easy. Wood putty comes premixed and ready to go. You simply apply a layer of it. let dry, and sand down.

While waiting on the putty to dry and continuing to sand the front side of the vanity I removed the fixtures and spray painted them a chrome silver color.

I also painted the drawers. There are two drawers on each side and the middle area that opens with the mirror. I decided on a black semi gloss paint.
Once they dried I put the freshly painted fixtures back on the drawers.

Here is a shot of the vanity before finishing with the drawers and fixtures.

The camera flash made somewhat of a reflection against the black paint in the before and after picture!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Week In Photos

It has been another busy but productive week. I'm still in the process of working on a few organization projects and some DIY's! I'm also finishing up part 4 of the "Face" Facts makeup series, so keep an eye out for that. Here is a few pics from this week via instagram! Don't forget to follow me there or search Flair By Brandi!

Time to relax!
Did a little shopping!
 Birthday gifts for a friend.
My favorite new fall bag. This is more of a purple shade than shown in the picture. Love it.
Out and about...
Ty and I
Woke up this morning to Gloria Jean's coffee and a gift from Sephora from Ty.
I hope you are all having a super fab weekend! Don't forget to follow me via pinterest, twitter, facebook,and instagram for more updates!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

"Face" Facts :Makeup Series Part Three - Your Face Shape and Eyebrows


Today we are going to discuss eyebrows! Some people aren't aware that your eyebrows are big focal point of your face, but they are! When applying your makeup remember they need attention too! Your brows essentially frame your face and the shape and maintenance of your brows are important. You want to make sure your brows compliment your face, not overpower you.  
When applying your makeup don't forget that a complete look includes the brows! It is important to make sure they are filled in and groomed ! There are quite a few different products to choose from when grooming your brows. These can include pencils, gels, powders, and even combinations of those products.
I fill my brows with a blonde pencil, smooth with a brush, and set with a powder. A clear brow gel is also a good option for perfectly groomed brows! Here are a few of those products :


I prefer a natural looking brow that isn't too thick or too thin. I have never been a fan of those huge 80's bushy eyebrows or those crazy pencil thin ones! Here are several brow shapes. Do you see one that resembles yours?

When picking your brow shape it is also important to consider what will work best for your face. This chart shows a variety of face shapes and explains why the specific brow shapes are chosen for each face. Keep in mind this is just a guide. What works on some people doesn't for others. Many people will have much trial and error over the years perfecting their look and this includes eyebrows! I must admit I had my own "eyebrow issues" years ago...I'm talking no eyebrows just think pencil lines! Not a great look for me I assure you!

Check out these celebrity photos to see who has what shape. Below the shape will also give several more celebs with the same shaped brows.
eyebrow shapes
Stay tuned for our next post that will cover eyes! We will discuss shadows, liners, mascara and all in between. If you have any other questions about brows or want more detail on how to achieve your proper brow look let me know! I plan on doing a quick tutorial on filling in your brows soon! I hope you are all having a fabulous week so far!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Michael Kors Collection: Preview of What's New at Belk

I was doing some browsing (ok shopping) at Belk and had to check out there new Michael Kors display. They recently expanded their collection with new displays and, of course, new merchandise! Here is a sneak peak of what I found!

This is the Cynthia Logo bag retailing for $348. I didn't end up with a good shot of the great polka dotted bag in the background right side. That is the Kiki tote! Adorable!
 Love these colors for Fall! These are the Weston bags. I really like the tassel detail. These retail for $298.

These were on sale! The nylon crossbody Kempton and Selma Studded Clutch were great deals! These started at $70!
 This one was my favorite! I love the blue and black combination and structure of this bag. This is a must on my list for fall bags! This is the Selma large zip satchel retailing at $358.

What do you think of the latest additions? Will you be adding any of these to your collection?