I’m going to cover a variety of topics in this post, but they all relate to one thing… my friend Lesley.
My more regular readers will also know Lesley as “The Stylist” because she has an uncanny skill for dressing others and bringing out the best in them in terms of style. Often we will be browsing in a leisurely fashion and she’ll emerge from behind one of the stands holding something. She will invariably thrust it at me and tell me to try it on ‘because it’ll look fabulous’. She is always right. It does look fabulous!
She also always manages to look glamorous through a variety of money and time saving tricks.
Lesley Tip Number 1: Buy Benefit Brow Zings
For months I had been buying an eyebrow pencil at a cost of £9-11 and going through them at a rate of 1 every 5-6 weeks. Lesley suggested that the Benefit Brow Zings set would be a much more economical way to go about things. At £22 for the set, I originally baulked at the price, but upon further research it turned out that this set could last up to a year, or even longer if used economically. I need to ‘pencil’ in my eyebrows every day as I have long hairs and they move around more irrationally than a group of starlings at sunset. The wax is great as it hold unruly brow hairs in place and the powder beautifully fills in any gaps without leaving a harsh line like a pencil, though you do need a steady hand! The brushes are well designed and the set comes with a mirror and a mini set of very accurate tweezers.
By buying the Brow Zings kit at £22 I have saved £73 if you consider that £11 every 6 weeks means a cost of £95 for the year.
Lesley Tip Number 2: Don’t brush your hair.
This is a lot more glamorous than it sounds but it does only work for specific types of hair. I am fast finding out that mine is not one of them. My woefully limp locks have been a source of almost constant distress since the age of 13 when I discovered boys. It’s true that people always think that the grass is always greener on the other side (though in the case of Lesley’s hair this is actually fact). My hair is straighter than an American highway, straighter than a builders ruler, straighter than Phil Mitchell in a gay bar. It’s straight. I don’t even have to blow dry it and it’s straight. I can blow dry my hair upside down and not brush it afterwards and it is straight. It also sits flat to my scalp in a way that can only be replicated by a worm repeatedly run over by an HGV. I know there are going to be curly haired girls out there that will be screeching at their laptops, demanding my location and forcibly removing my locks for their own wig simply as a punishment for being so ungrateful over my well behaved hair. But just once I’d like to experience some volume!
Lesley always has great hair, full of body and bounce. She’s like a Claudia Schiffer Loreal parody. Her secret? Not brushing her hair. She goes for days, even weeks just washing and drying it. No brushes, no combs.
I thought that I would give this a shot, with my über fine tresses, and see if leaving it alone would inject some life. It hasn’t. My penchant for wearing scarves basically left me with a bit of a matt around the nape of my neck, a matt that I spent 45 minutes combing out with my fingers in the absence of anything better to do at work. That’s a lie, I had lots of things better to do, but yanking my fingers through my hair and tugging at my scalp repeatedly was by far a more enjoyable and satisfying way to spend those 45 minutes than wrestling with the data base which is still stubbornly refusing to cooperate with my way of thinking…
Lesley tip 3: Gellish nails.
This is a wonderful long lasting manicure (as long as you can leave it until your nails grow out) that doesn’t chip. It is pretty much bomb proof. Prices vary, though Lesley has the gorgeous Belinda come and do her nails as part of a home visit service up in Inverness, she is highly recommended and costs just £25 for a treatment. You can see an image of my nails below – this is after 1 1/2 weeks growth and they are still very much in tact. The best £25 I have ever spent. They are like the icing on the cake. No matter how shabby the sponge, you can always dress it up with fancy icing! £25 might be considered an excessive expense to some people, but to me my manicured nails are worth their weight in gold because even when I’m wearing leggings and lycra, my nails look great and it adds that coiffed touch to my look.
Lesley Tip 4: Get yourself some branding. Lesley’s branding is Mrs B, pure and simple.
Everyone likes to have a brand, something that says something about themselves. I know one girl who’s brand is purple (you know who you are ;)). My brand is shoes, people know me for my shoes. However, I recently got myself some more branding courtesy of the very generous Mrs B:
These gorgeous Tatty Devine necklace is made from laser cut perspex and you can pretty much write whatever you like. You even get to choose a little charm to go with it. Personally I think that these are fantastic value for money considering you have a bespoke necklace exactly to your liking that no one else has in the world. There is even a range of fonts, so you really can stand out from the crowd for only £27.50. Imagine having something that no one else has for so little!
So, as Jordan proves every time she steps out of her front door, money can’t buy style, but spending your money wisely means that even when you spend a little more you can save in the long run, and in the end its all a case of getting the best value