If you have flipped through a magazine or logged onto social media in the past few months, you have probably seen these shoes a million times:
They are a fun spin on the classic ballet flat, and totally adorable for summer! As a former ballet dancer I was all over this new trend, and started my research to find a cute pair. My go to places, like Banana Republic and Nordstrom, produced a number of results (click the store to see options), but I was hesitant to spend over $100 on a pair of shoes that will most likely be considered "out of style" once winter hits. Deciding these were more of a fun piece instead of an investment piece, I started searching through a few discount shops. And I got incredibly lucky!
Yesterday, as I perused the shoe section at H&M, I came across a lone pair of the black tie up flats I had been dreaming of! As I flipped over the tag to see the size, I was elated to find not only that they were my size, but they were marked down to $20! I quickly tried them on, and then headed to the check out with my treasure. In natural Sydney fashion, I wore them around the house for the rest of the day, and planned today's outfit around them. See below!
details: Ann Taylor button up [new, $20], Banana Republic skirt [new, $30], H&M flats [new, $20], Longchamp tote [new, gift]
For investment pieces, I rarely consider looking through shops such as H&M and Forever21, as the quality is just typically not there. For a classic, wardrobe building item, it is always a better return in the long run to spend a little more. But for this pair of summer ballerina cuteness? $20 was all I needed!
I would like to think I've been having this much fun since birth, but in reality I've only been a blonde for 3 years. Despite this, my golden tresses have become an obsession, and I keep up the ruse as best I can. This requires a visit to the hair salon every 4-6 weeks, and most of you know that gets expensive REAL quick. The price in SoCal for a cut and color fluctuates anywhere on average between $200 and $400 (without tip!!). GASP! That brings your hair upkeep from a salon alone to a yearly total upward of $3500!! This kind of money could buy me a variety of items off my lust list, like the gorg Chanel bag below:
Chanel soft maxi flap bag $3200 from The Real Real (my ABSOLUTE favorite online thrift shop)
Hair salons come with a high sticker price, but I'm not ready to ditch the blonde locks just yet (and don't trust myself with the do-it-yourself kits, yikes!). I decided to venture out and attempt to find a solution to this expensive problem.
Some serious googling brought me across Paul Mitchell the school, located in Costa Mesa, CA. It is a training facility for Paul Mitchell certification in hair and barbering. Students (monitored by instructors) put what they've learned in the classroom to the test. I was impressed by the facilities, which were super cute, clean, and spacious!
the front desk, and a view of the salon area
My student hair dresser met me in the lobby, and brought me back to her chair. I was even offered water, tea, and coffee, just as any nice salon would do. I told her I just needed a root touch up and trim, and she brought her instructor over to talk her through the process. Every step of the way, my hair dresser would get her instructor's approval before doing anything permanent to my head. I super appreciated this! As the dye was lifting, I looked around to the other brave souls around me. There were a few guys getting barbered, the girl next to me was getting highlights, and another girl was going from rapunzel hair to a bob with shaved sides. Respect! My hair dresser then washed out the dye, gave me a bomb head massage, and blew out my hair. My locks turned out exactly like my regular (and much more expensive) hair dresser would have created!
outfit details: Burberry sweater dress (secondhand, $115)
I gave my girl a hug and headed to the front desk to pay. The prices online were all "start at" prices, so I really wasn't sure to expect. The damage was...a total of $33! Are you kidding me?? I gave the receptionist major heart eyes emoji face as I handed over my credit card. Paul Mitchell the school, where have you been these past three years?? Needless to say, I booked another appt. for my 6 week touch up. And the great part is, I could even make the appt. with the same girl. Verdict? No need to splurge on expensive salon services. Check out your local beauty schools for great deals!
Live for luxury? No trust fund, no problem!
Join the fancy free journey as we seek the
finer things in life, sans millions.
- Marie Claire, September 2016