Birkin bag lookalike!

Okay, pop quiz: which of these is the real Hermes Birkin bag?

 

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Give up? It’s the one on the left, but the one on the right gives it a run for its money. In case you’re not familiar with the Birkin, it can retail for tens of thousands of dollars. I just threw up in my mouth. I was perusing Amazon yesterday and found this Birkin inspired bag for a mere $43. Happy bargain hunting, girls!

 

XOXO, the Chic Cheapskate

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My unhealthy obsession with eBay

Until about 6 months ago, I thought that eBay was only good for selling and buying school books, or for my dad to sell his ancient digital camera or old car parts he found in the garage. One day I happened to notice that they had a clothing subsection, and from that day forward I was a hopeless addict. 

Even being a frugal person, I do sometimes crave name brands and their top-of-the-line quality. Using eBay, I have successfully purchased brands from American Eagle to Ralph Lauren to Nordstrom, all for less than $15 each. Don’t believe me? I have compiled some of the best eBay deals as of today. Now I picked items that have at least 5 or 6 days left in their auctioning, so proceed with caution.

Some general rules you should follow when using eBay:

  1. Remember to look at the shipping price. Getting a skirt for $5 is awesome, but not when you have to pay $10 to ship it from Hong Kong.
  2. Consider how much time an auction has left. You might find a coat from J Crew that retails at $400 for $25, but if it still has 12 days left in the auction you can expect it to skyrocket.
  3. You can add items to a “watch list” which allows you to monitor an item without placing a bid. This way, you can jump in at the last minute and win the item without driving up the price for 3 days.
  4. Make sure to check the quality of the item, which should be listed underneath it (if it’s not, that’s a huge red flag). If the item is “preowned,” don’t expect it to look brand new. The seller is also obligated to list flaws including stains, rips, missing buttons, etc. Fully review an item before purchasing it.
  5. Look at the seller’s profile. Do they have good ratings? What do their other items look like?
  6. You can look up specific designers (e.g., Anthropologie) or simply “blouses” and select your size, check off brands you’d like to see, check off the acceptable qualities, and more. Explore your options!

Without further ado… (the pictures are links)

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Anthropologie dress, size small, 6 days left, $19.98 + $5.99 shipping

 

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Banana Republic alpaca cardigan, size medium, 6 days left, $12.00 + $6.50 shipping

 

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Banana Republic sweater, size small, 6 days left, $14.99 + $3.65 shipping

 

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BCBG Maxazria kimono scarf dress, size small, 6 days left, $9.99 + $5.00 shipping

 

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Free People tank, size medium, 6 days left, $29.99 + $4.95 shipping

 

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Lucky Brand jeans, size 6, 6 days left, $5.99 + $7.99 shipping

 

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Lucky Brand sweater, size medium, 2 days left (eek!), $28.00 + free shipping

 

Now get to eBay and make momma proud!

 

XOXO, the Chic Cheapskate

Shop without making your bank account sigh!

I am a confessed fanatic of Forever 21 and sites like it- they provide uber cheap clothes year-round, and let us indulge in passing fads (as hi-lo skirts and wedge sneakers will hopefully be) without feeling overly guilty post-purchase. If online window shopping was an Olympic sport, I would have a gold medal. I have searched the depths of the internet for as long as I can remember looking for websites comparable to the F21 fashion giant. I give you the fruits of my labor, with examples of what each company has to offer.

Love CultureVery edgy with a few classics thrown in for a great mix.

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Papaya ClothingVery dainty, adorable clothes for any girly girl.

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SheInsideThis site reminds me the most of Forever 21, and I adore their dresses. These clothes do ship from overseas, though, so don’t order anything from here if you’re in a rush.

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Urban OGThis is the best shoe website I have ever found- it has something for every style and, best of all, it’s extremely affordable.

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MakeMeChicThis site is for girls not afraid to take fashion risks- definitely edgy (be sure to look at their shoes).

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I may do a follow-up to this as I have a very long list of go-to sites, but please get at me with your personal favorites! Also, keep in mind that you get what you pay for. If you buy a $20 blazer, know that it’s not going to fit like a $50 blazer. That being said, think about your purchases before you hit “Checkout.” Have at it!

XOXO, the Chic Cheapskate

My favorite (DIY) facial

Let’s be honest, our faces need some extra help once or twice per week. I wash my face every day, but I cannot express how much I love a good mud mask sesh. I used to buy single use mask packets, but after buying ten or more it just makes better sense to buy a bottle. I could hardly believe my luck when I found this in my local Ulta:

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$5.99

I’ve found, at least with this mud mask, that it’s best to press your face with a hot wash cloth before applying it (and, obviously, remove all make up).

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I was surprised to find that, while this is a mud mask, it was much lighter in tone and texture than I expected. It’s an orange bergamot formula, so it takes on that color and scent.

Case in point:

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I apologize for the duck face.

Tell me what your favorite masks are, I can never get enough. Cheers!

XOXO, the Chic Cheapskate

It’s bathing suit season! (Sort of)

So I know, for most, that right now may not seem like the most appropriate time to be looking for your bikinis. For your wallet’s sake, start shopping now! Buying great brands’ “last season” styles allows you to get great quality at a much lower cost. Victoria’s Secret has always been my store of choice for swimwear, but some of their teeny weeny bikinis can run up to $70. Ouch.

I’ve compiled (what I think) are VS’s best swimwear clearance deals right now, so get while the gettin’ is good!

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Silver Rays Top & Bottom – $32.98

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Ruffle Push-Up Bandeau Top & Matching Bottoms – $39

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Neon Paisley Push-Up & String Bottom – $39

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Ruffle-trim Triangle Top & Bottom – $29

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Add-2-Cups Push-Up Halter & Very Sexy Bottoms – $44.98

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Madi Push-Up Bandeau & Bottoms – $22.98

*Note: The price on this one varies by a dollar or two based on the color you choose.

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Adds-2-Cups Push-Up Halter & Very Sexy Bottoms – $25.98

Need a cute coverup? Try Forever 21’s normally too-short sundresses, they’ll serve the purpose and look adorable. Spring break’s just around the corner. Happy shopping, lovelies!

XOXO, the Chic Cheapskate

Comfy and cute Friday night outfit

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I love to go out to the bar as much as the next college senior: I love the atmosphere and the company, not to mention my never-ending whiskey and Sprite marathon. Once upon a time, I shimmied into a tiny black skirt and teetered in platform stilettos all the way to karaoke night at the nearest pub. Nowadays, I want to look good but feel like I’m in sweats. Bring on the leggings!

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Forever 21 – $5.80

I don’t like to wear such tight bottoms with a tight top too, so I paired a Rue 21 flowy sleeveless button-up (on clearance for $3.00) with an open front cardigan.

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Charlotte Russe – $12.99

I always belt it, mostly because I’m a bustier girl with skinny legs. Therefore if I don’t belt such a baggy top half, I end up looking like a circus tent that’s held up by tiny poles. Overall, though, this outfit cost me about $23.00 all together. I wish my night at the bar was so cheap.

XOXO, the Chic Cheapskate

Makeup remover cloths: Bang or bust for your buck?

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We’ve all dealt with this issue: how to take off the now greasy, worn down makeup at the end of a long night. I admit that I was once a faithful patron of makeup remover wipes such as Neutrogena, or even the generic brand to save a buck. I would pay $5 once a month or so and not think twice. And then, one day, an epiphany of divine proportions saved me from my financial sins.

I discovered that the baby wipes our mothers used to wipe our tiny behinds are actually perfect substitutes for makeup removing cloths. Best of all, they’re way cheaper. If you do the math, one Neutrogena cloth costs roughly $0.25 while one Pampers wipe costs less than $0.03, plus they’re sensitive enough for a baby’s bottom and, by proxy, safe for your face. The more you know!

XOXO, the Chic Cheapskate