succesfull-sale-shopping-2

First of all, I hope you had a wonderful Christmas. I spent mine with family, lots of food and of course Home Alone 1 and 2. But let’s get back to business since the sale is finally here! A little over a week ago I posted some tips on how to successfully prepare for the annual winter sale. Now let’s move on to the shopping itself:

* Stick to your list. Don’t go running around like a headless chicken. Which is easier said then done when some stores look like a hurricane just went through it (looking at you ZARA!) and you have no idea where to start. Take a breath, pull out your list and work your way through it.

* Don’t be tempted by a low price tag. Take a second and ask yourself: would I buy this for full price? If not, walk away. Don’t buy something just because it’s on sale. This will stop you from getting carried away and spend money on things that you don’t need and most likely will never wear.

* Buy the right size. Again, don’t buy something just because it’s on sale. I mean, are you really going to wear that size XL blouse with your size Small? Unless you’re aiming for an oversized look or you’re planning to take it to a tailor to have it fitted, buy the size that looks best on you.

* Always check the clearance return policy. If you’re trying to avoid a big line, or just want a couple of days to think about your purchase, make sure you can still return it. Some stores offer store credit during the sale, others like Zara for instance maintain a return policy of 7 days instead of the normal 30 days.

Are there any crucial sale tips that I missed? And what are you hoping to find?

how-to-be-parisian-wherever

The only upside to having a stomach flu is that you can finally catch up on all your favorite shows and read some new books. When you’re not crawling your way to the bathroom, that is. Number one on my reading list was ‘How to be Parisian wherever you are‘. Before I bought this book I read some disappointing reviews, but since I rarely rely on other people’s opinions on music, books or movies, I had to read it myself. I totally get the confusion, because if you’re looking for a style guide on effortless dressing etc., you got the wrong book. Yes, it does include a few useful tips on how to dress like a true Parisienne (if such a thing even exists):

You don’t have to spend a decade’s worth of salary on your wardrobe, or flaunt designer brands the whole time. All you need is one signature item: the one you wear when you need to feel strong.

But it’s mostly a very entertaining book written by four French women who like to poke fun at the stereotypes of the ‘Parisienne’, while discussing topics such as: motherhood, love, style and the city itself. Mind you, it’s all very tongue-in-cheek, so a sense of humor is definitely required (which some reviewers seem to be lacking). But if you just want to have a fun read, you can appreciate a little sarcasm here and there and you’re interested in all things ‘Parisian’, you will enjoy this book. The chapters and sections are short and you can easily flip through it and start reading wherever you like. What I like most about it, is that it finally breaks down the Parisian cliche. There’s no such thing as the perfect woman. Even the Parisienne has bad habits and has to deal with imperfections, just like the rest of us. But what makes her different is that she accepts those flaws and embraces who she is, which most likely explains her confidence. So maybe that French je ne sais quoi isn’t so difficult to explain after all, hmm…

Despite all these routines, the Parisienne retains her little imperfections, cherishes them even (the gap in her smile or her slightly crooked tooth, her prominent eyebrows or strong nose): these are the signs of a certain strength of character and allow her to feel beautiful without being perfect.

succesful-sale-shopping

I am by no means a sale shopping expert. But of course that won’t stop me from sharing some tips for successful bargain hunting that always seem to do the trick for me. So read on if you looking to come home with fewer purchases that will ultimately find their way to the back of your closet.Let’s start with part #1. You know what they say, preparation is everything.

* Asses your wardrobe and make a list. Find out which gaps need to be filled and which items need to be replaced. It’s the perfect moment to either buy a statement piece from a high end brand that works well with the rest of your wardrobe and you weren’t able to afford before, or to replace some of your basics with luxurious fabrics. Oh, and don’t forget to take that list with you to keep you focused!

* Set a budget and stick to it. It’s easy to overspend when sale signs and discount tags are screaming buy me! at you. So take out your list and consider how much you’re willing to spend on each individual piece or simply decide on an overall budget and subtract every purchase while shopping.

* Try to find out when they restock. For instance, here in the Netherlands the H&M online shop restocks every morning around 6 am. Yeah, that’s early. But why not take a chance and set your alarm clock (and download the app to order from your bed). When it comes to other stores, just ask a sales assistant.

* Wear comfortable clothes and shoes. Nothing worse than trying to get out of a pair of thigh-high lace up boots in a dressing room. At least, that’s what I imagine. Assuming you will want to get in and out of your clothes quickly without too much fuss, take that into account while your picking out your outfit for the day. The same goes for shoes of course. Flats, loafers or slip ons are my preferred options.

PS. I know, I promised to post my London purchases, but let’s consider this a sneak peek…
hema-longer-lasting-lipstick

Previously mentioned in my Holiday gift guide, but this longer lasting lipstick in 06 by HEMA definitely deserves some extra attention. It took me a while to get my hands on this fabulous color, because it sells out every single time they re-stock. Why is it so fabulous? Because it’s almost a perfect dupe for MAC’s legendary Ruby Woo for only a fraction of the price. So it’s cheap, it’s matte and it’s extremely long-lasting. It does dry out your lips a little, but no more than Ruby Woo does. Just make sure you moisturize your lips before applying it.

Sometimes I wonder why it took me so long to start wearing lipstick. I guess it felt too fashionable and/or too grown up. You know, models, business women and your grandma. It wasn’t until I read an interview with the gorgeous Jen Brill that I finally gave it a try. Ruby Woo is her favorite lipstick and our skin color is very similar, so I didn’t have to search for a color that worked for me. Although both lipsticks are a lovely bright red for an evening out, it also looks great with a simple pair of jeans and a T-shirt. Actually, I prefer the latter with perfect skin and tousled hair so the lipstick really stands out. Très chic!