Blog: Pam's Pennypinching With STYLE

Freebie Queen Goes on about makeup, jewelry & other girly stuff

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

My whole life is a bargain and everything I have has a story to it. I have all sorts of cosmetic and health samples, which I use for weekend traveling/presents/and when I am running short...I also carry around the little sunblock samples so I can reapply when I sweat it all off...and offer some to my husband...The little containers are so nice for your purse or makeup bag, so you don't have to carry a whole one!. (That's why they make nice gifts for frequent travelers.) 

My oh my I just got a to-the-door-delivered sample from a cosmetic co. on the net complete with tissue paper and a lovely gift bag.  No wonder it's so expensive.  If any of these cremes/lotions were drastically better than what I use, I would.  But there is not that much difference.  Altho I did get some Avon samples at a farmer's market, of all places, and at the prices the face creme was selling at, I would buy it next time.  But I had just gotten some fancy face cream at 1/2 price at the health food store.  (Not to mention other samples...I look for them when I go.) 

It helps to go window shopping when you are in a drug store, say, to pick up a prescription, and then you have a better idea what a good deal would be elsewhere.  I actually have gotten a lot of nice skin/eye treatments from our 99 Cent store.  There is a local brand that must sell off ends or something to the store - I stock up when I see that - & it can keep me going for MONTHS. 

And if nothing like that has come along, I can always go to and buy some eye cream from THEM at a good price. 

I suppose bargain hunting does make you slightly impulsive - as I do pick up things - I have to confess I actually ordered a ring from the Home Shopping Network site...omg...I don't know how I ended up there, but there was a very inexpensive gold-washed silver ring with an artificial alexandrite stone in it - & I have been searching for something like that for a long time, so I snapped it up.  Alexandrites have a color shift, depending on the light - and go from green to purplish - This one looks lovely.  I will tell you when I get it.  This is a case when artificial stones are almost as good...real alexandrites have gotten pricey & the man made ones are so pretty...

I do have some jewelry & everything there has a story, too. I have picked up nice pieces for good prices at gem stores and craft faires...pieces for $40-50 that would cost $200 or more in an L.A. boutique...(in the boutiques you are paying for someone else's taste, and the decor...) And these are pieces with real semi-precious stones...From the time I was a girl, I have loved amethysts, and garnets, and carnelian and rock crystal  and amber and the like- none of it too expensive - but it's real and classier than costume stuff...

I have silver jewelry from when I was a girl and girls wore silver becaz it was inexpensive - but with the price of silver, that is now longer the case!  I get all sorts of compliments on an Indian bracelet I inherited from my mother  with a turquoise...and I have other silver pieces I inherited/kept - including my silver charm bracelets...

Cocktail rings go in and out of style - & I have an old one with an amethyst I have to break out - and another one with garnets...I do think that real jewelry is a nice gift for a young girl, to try to educate her tastes, and give her something good to wear.  I always try to give the girls I know who are graduating, etc. a nice piece of "real" jewelry...Often it's not that much more expensive than the costume stuff!

It's funny how life sort of winnows down the pieces you actually wear daily.  But I feel more special when I put on my special jewelry for a special occasion...I have a lovely necklace that was a wedding present  - I wore a $7 linen dress & this lovely necklace! 

And all these pieces can be passed down, too.  It's nice to have family things.  It give you a sense of continuity - I have pieces I have my grandmother gave me - 20's costume jewelry - which started my whole taste for old costume jewelry.  It used to be cheap but no more!  I grab up pieces I can afford now, and even get things to repair.  I figure I will sell it all off when I am an old lady & go get out much any more! In the meantime, it's a hobby as well as something to wear.

I say all this because I don't think glamor or girly stuff should be ignored when penny pinching!  I always have good/formal clothes on hand for occasions that come up - so I don't have to run out & buy an expensive outfit.  No one has to know the cinnamon linen dress came from a thrift shop in Pasadena!  Or the designer satchel was a gift from a friend who is a travel writer, who got it as a freebie on a travel junket to Paris! I might tell every one the story about how I got the turquoise bracelet after winning $200 on the slots just before leaving Vegas - but that's different....(& it was, as I mentioned before, a bargain, anyway!)

I see reading glasses for $17.99 in the store & shudder - when I get mine at the 99 Cent store! Maybe they are vaguely recognizable - but I always lose/break them, & they take the strain off my regular prescription ones!  Now that I am getting so blind, I have them in every room to read labels, etc.  And I also stock up on sunglasses there (with UV tags, too)...I lose/break them at an alarming rate, too.  (And those Jackie O glasses that P. Hilton etc wear are just too much for me.  Imagine that much for sunglasses!)

A friend interested in fashion trends sometimes accused me of being too plain - but I like to start that way and then have the options of dressing up with accessories...Her way was to get a lot of knock-offs and get rid of them regularly.  I prefer to get basic things of good quality that I like/suit me and wear them to extinction!  I have pieces left from high school!  But it's fun to look at the trends - there is so much on the web, one can almost do without fashion magazines anymore....

Of course, I am in L.A. - and the fact is I spend most of my time in jeans and tshirts!  And I have several pairs of sneakers for different uses/occasions...and hoodies and so on.  But one has to have stuff to drag out to make a personal appearance - depending upon where you are going & the people you are seeing...But I don't want to dress like an eternal teenager - it's so aging, for one thing.  I see women dressed like their daughters, and it doesn't flatter them. We have to grow up and accept this womanly thing. I struggle with that in the land of youth and sunshine here...And I guess, the jewelry & the nice purses do help!  And my self skin care has kept me skin nice enough for compliments & that's without spa treatments, too...











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