3 tips for living luxe for less

Luxury for less1

Twice a month, on payday, I look at my bank statement and get excited. A wad of money is direct deposited into my account and for a moment I feel not so broke. Then the credit card auto-pay hits, the rent check is cashed and lofty student loan payments are made. Suddenly, I’m back to where I started.

Being newlyweds, my husband and I joke that we’re rich in love. It’s true and makes us smile but living in one of the most expensive cities in the country definitely has made us well aware of our finances. We are so fortunate not to have to worry about our basic needs being met but when it comes to those luxury items, there’s never a shortage of designer clothes or cosmetics on my wish list. Needless to say, I’ve learned a few tricks to make my money go farther -like when to make small trade-offs, what to splurge on and when to simply be happy with less.

Here are my top 3 tips for living luxe for less:

1. Splurge on designer cosmetics. I can’t afford designer handbags but I do treat myself to luxurious lipgloss, perfect pink polish and lash-plumping mascara on occasion. In my opinion, investing  in makeup is money well spent because when it comes to skincare, I truly believe you get what you pay for. I find the products I love most go on easier, last longer and just feel better. Then there’s the whole experience of putting them on. I love my morning makeup ritual, painting on some tinted moisturizer, brushing on a bit of bronzer and peachy blush, coating my lashes with black mascara and dabbing on a bit of gloss before running out the door. I leave the house feeling like a million bucks.

Drag a few girlfriends to the cosmetic counter with you and have fun testing out a variety of products, colors and brands. Take home samples to figure out which ones you’ll really use and splurge on those. I actually find buying one at a time makes the experience even more of a treat.

2. Become sale savvy. We all have our favorite stores to shop at and know those certain brands that fit us just right. Paying attention to the types and frequency of sales at your favorite stores is a great way to save some serious cash on must-have clothing and accessories.

For example, J.Crew always offers an additional 30-40% off sale items towards the end of each season, which is how I scored this blazer for 64% off. They also frequently offer 25% off everything which is great for saving on their new arrivals. Waiting for those coupons and sales to hit your inbox pays off. If I am patient long enough I can snag my favorite designer jeans from Piperlime for 20% off and save about $40 a pair. In addition to coupons, I recently discovered you can often finagle an additional discount on furniture shipping from popular housewares stores like West Elm simply by speaking with a sales rep . Oh and I’m also a huge fan of designer discount stores like TJMaxx. It’s my go-to place for cute, quality handbags.

I recommend getting on the email list for your 5 favorite stores and learning their sale strategy. Resist the urge to make an impulsive purchase and bookmark items you want instead. Know your target savings,usually the highest percentage a store typically offers, and strike when the deal is hot.  But know this means you actually have to open those emails instead of habitually hitting the delete button.

3. Simplify your closet space. I know this may seem counterintuitive but having just transitioned from a massive walk-in to a much more modest closet, having less is more. Before moving, I purged my wardrobe of poor quality, outdated and well-worn clothing. After filling quite a few bags full of old tank tops, pants that never fit quite right and shorts I wanted to think I’d wear, I decided to change my shopping habits.

When I’m shopping now, an article of clothing has to check three boxes: color, fit and functionality. If the color doesn’t work, the cut isn’t flattering or I can’t visualize three different ways to wear it, I pass on the purchase no matter how good of a deal it may be. This usually means I spend more on individual garments but spend less in the long run. I now have a small closet full of properly fitting, flattering basics that can be worn in a hundred different combinations.

So those are my go-to tricks for saving my hard-earned money and shopping smarter.

What tips do you have for living luxe for less? 

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  • I need to purge my wardrobe. It is time to look at what didn’t work for me this summer and evaluate what I already have for fall and winter before I’m tempted in the store. A tip I use for cleaning my closet out is to hang every hangar backward on the rod at the beginning of a season. At the end you will be able to tell quickly what you never took off a hangar because they will still be hanging backwards. That is my next rainy day project.

  • These are some great tips! I like to mix and match when it comes to make up. I like to spend a bit more on foundation, lipstick and a good mascara then go for cheaper eyeliner, blush and powder. I get most of mine online as I find it way cheaper than the shops! :)

  • Love this post very much. I need to remind of myself on all points you stated. I have a tendency to pick something looking nice but do not know how to use it with stuff I have in the closet. I also moved to a smaller place due to my husband’s job, so I try to be creative minimalist, yet stylish. I love your fashion posts very much. I cannot wait to hear more about it and learn more from you. Thank you

  • some great tips love t he last one I have always donated my old clothes but then I have also inherited some from my friends who were getting rid of things that no longer fitted them but some I know for a fact I will never wear and my wardrobe is now full to bursting! Will definitely get a purge on with it this weekend.


  • Healthy and organic foods are a main splurge for me. Trust me, I work for Barneys New York. I am tempted by amazing and unnecessary items every single day. However, at the end of the day I would rather pay my ridiculously overpriced yoga membership and spend $100 on 5 items at Whole Foods…most of the time. I treat myself once in a while..ok, a lot.. ;)

  • Last point is pretty original. I love donating unworn clothing, but locating my wardrobe into a smaller space might be a key point in making me wear my clothes more often. There’s always pieces that get more love than others, and before ya know it, the weather doesn’t permit you to wear them. Damn seasons.

  • I feel the same way every other Friday but at the end of the day – its the same story again. I try to stick to good makeup brands but dont care too much about designer clothes. I am really bad at sales and using coupons need to change that aspect.

  • Agreed! I’m trying to become more aware when I’m shopping and only buy the pieces I absolutely love and that fit perfectly. I completely agree with the less is more. Have you heard of Hukkster? It’s a bookmarking site that alerts you when the items you want go on sale.

  • Lovely! This is a wonderful post. One thing I always do it hit up TJ Maxx for soaps/lotions/haircare because they are so reasonably priced. Recently (for reasons possibly related to the limoncello soap from your wedding) having fancy hand soap and bath soap has made me feel like a queen :)