Budget and Beauty Tips

I admire many classic, beautiful items, but I would never spend $4,200 on a handbag. This one was only $59.95. I carry it often because it looks as great with a jean jacket as it does with a dressy look to go out to dinner. That’s the beauty of classic items. They can be worn daily for years, and they still look elegant.

I have learned to adjust my taste to my budget. If you see something you like but it is out of your price range, look for something similar. The items I wear most often and feel most comfortable in are based on timeless classics. If you stood in my closet, you might say, “Well, this is boring!” The magic happens with accessories. Wearing well made, simple clothing in neutral colors and adding a few carefully chosen accessories for the finishing touch keeps my look attractive, up to date, and appropriate.

These are such fun, trendy sunglasses. They are very comfortable, and at $19.95, I can sport the trend for a while. The version I saw on someone else whose style I admire was $425 here. Spend the bulk of your budget on the best basics you can find and not too much on the trendy things you want to have fun with. Adding a trendy item to your look keeps you current and spices things up a bit. Too many trends at once make it look like we are trying too hard.

My hair is much straighter in the dry winter air, so I get a trim more often in the winter to keep it looking fresh. The cut I have now is a slightly stacked inverted bob, which means it is shorter and a bit layered in the back. I pick it out into the shape I want and let it air dry after using the Volume & Shape Collection from Beautycounter. If you have curly hair like me, you know that brushing it or combing it too much takes the curl out.

I have been so pleased with the Beautycounter line that I have not purchased anything else since I started using it last summer. This means this is the first winter I have been using the products. Many of you write to ask about my skin and what foundation I am wearing. If I wear a foundation, it is the Dew Skin Moisturizing Coverage #2 (Light). It is never heavy on my skin because it is a tinted moisturizer.

The Nourishing line is an excellent line for most skin types. The Nourishing Cream Exfoliator is something I won’t be without at this time of the year. My dry skin gets flaky and not so pretty in cold, dry air. Flakiness shows even more when I put on foundation, so I mostly skip it in winter. I have not worn face powder in years.

First, I cleanse and exfoliate, then use moisturizer. I have come to appreciate the Brightening Facial Oil more than any product I have ever used. It makes the skin so soft and healthy-looking. I follow that with Countermatch Adaptive Moisture Lotion.

I am a Senior Manager for Beautycounter. You can visit my website here. I will receive a small commission on any purchase you make.

The most crucial beauty or style tips I can offer you would be to eat whole natural foods, drink lots of clean water and get a good night’s sleep. Those are my top priorities every day. You can find all my favorite recipes and more here on my old blog.

Stay beautiful!

  1. When do you decide to wear foundation? What is your personal criteria for that? And do you have on foundation in the picture above?

    I had a facial yesterday because my skin has been so “winter” dry and I am toying with the idea of “no foundation” but can’t decide. Also, there is some skin protection factor with foundation but, personally, even minimum foundation these days seems blotchy after awhile.

    1. I had just returned from the Dentist in that photo with the sunglasses, so I did not have on foundation or blush. I never skip the moisturizing step, but I often skip foundation and even blush during the daytime. I do sometimes wear foundation during the evening. My eyesight is not what it once was, so I figure a clean, healthy face looks much better than poorly applied foundation and blush for everyday wear. Thank you for your questions and comments.

      1. Well, you look beautiful! Of course, I love your ideas about healthy living and a positive outlook So important!

  2. Susan, i love your blog!! I’ve learned so much from you!

    Does Beauty Counter offer body care products also?

    Thank you

  3. I would love to not use foundation, but I have brown spots on my face. You have a beautiful completion so you don’t need any cover up. Does any of the beautycounter product help with eliminating brown spots? Thank you

    1. I do have some brown spots from sun damage and a scar from skin cancer, but they don’t always show up in photos. I don’t think they have any fade creams, but the No. 1 Brightening Facial Oil has helped me eliminate some of the rough spots that would never go away before.

  4. Thank you for your reminders about eating healthy. I usually follow a diet similar to yours, but something happened this holiday season. I ate way too many sweets and rich foods. I certainly did not feel well and energetic! Now I’m back on track. Lesson learned! Thank you for your encouragement!

  5. Your advices are so wise, and clever – and realistic, in the same way : I read you since one year, now, or more, and I always notice these great qualities.
    Once more today !
    I do love too all your ideas to be really smart (some blogs on the same subject are not at all concerned by elegance, but only by the fact to seem young…According to me, it is not the only thing to consider when one chooses clothes, shoes, and accessories…but, also, style.
    Thank you very much, Suzan, and congratulations !
    Bonne année 2018, à vous, et à M. Mickey !!!
    Hélène G. (from France)

  6. This is a great post. If you’re young, you follow trends and shop at Forever 21. If, like me, you are way past 21, you want to look cool without breaking the bank. Classics and an accessory or two are the answer. I like the things on your shopping site. I’m loving your sunglasses, by the way.

    1. It’s just a salad. I rarely use a recipe. I buy whatever veggies look good at the market, wash, cut up, arrange and enjoy. Another note about food choices… grains, greens, and beans is my mantra. All these items are likely included in the salad. It looks like there is some steamed broccoli in there too.

  7. Susan, my skin has become very flaky during this cold season even though I’ve been using a Clarisonic brush which should provide exfoliation. In your opinion, would it be safe to begin using the BeautyCounter Nourishing Cream Exfoliator and the Facial Oil while continuing to use up existing skin products as I transition over to the BeautyCounter line?

  8. Susan, you look so chic in the photo where you’re wearing the sunglasses. My question is what lip color are you wearing? I love it and it looks gorgeous on you

    1. Thank you. That is Scarlet by Beautycounter in the Sheer Lipstick. I had just returned from the Dentist’s office so the color may seem brighter than it really is.

  9. Those sunglasses are so fun! I can’t wait to get mine I just ordered. Thank you for sharing your good finds with us.

  10. Could you tell me where you got the long cardigan and pants that you’re wearing in the post….love this look!!!

    1. The cardigan was purchased at White House|Black Market last year. The pants were from ShopMyFairLady.com a previous year. They are the Lior Paris pants. Look for a long duster length cardigan and slender style of pull on dressy pants to get the same type of look.

  11. Susan, I agree with you on the accessories. If the majority of your wardrobe is classic, then you can have fun with pretty scarves and glasses. It’s all about balance. Trends will come and go, but solid tops and bottoms will stay.

  12. I love your style! Just yesterday I tied my Twilly to my handbag handle and today it’s in my hair. As a blogger who just turned 40 I appreciate a more mature approach to fashion. So happy to have found your site. xoxo Jenn

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I share tips and inspiration for using what you already have in contemporary ways. Defining words include effortless, classic, refined, discreet, and elegant. My style is chic, minimal, and timeless with a bit of edge.