I think Meghan makes some excellent points, and I started to think out the products I feature.
First, I would like to say that most of the people I know work for the government or are similarly enslaved to a price fixed salary system by which they make just enough to live in DC, not look like a slob at work, and afford a weekly binge drinking session at whatever dive bar is happening at the time (somehow last week was Millie and Al's?)
Second, I would say that, while I love drooling over the pages of Vogue and fantasizing about a life where dollar Jello shots are not a way of life, I certainly splurge a lot when it comes to beauty and fashion.
So, in honor of the upcoming end of the fiscal year, I present some tenets of my personal budget balancing philosophy, and how I choose products for my blog so as not to drive you all to the poorhouse.
Try before you buy. I think this is essential. Not only could you have some horrific allergic reaction to things, it could look just plain awful. I wholeheartedly endorse companies that are liberal with the free samples (hence the multiple references to Kiehl's products in my blog) and I am never shy about asking for a tester to take with me.
Know what's important. Don't ever scrimp on stuff like sunscreen. You may think you are being frugal by saving money by applying teensy amounts of sunscreen and splurging on Creme de la Mer, but the joke will be on you when you have spend all that money on reconstructive surgery after they take out that melanoma and half your head.
Also know what is important to you. I love lip gloss. Love it. And I like expensive ones. And I'm willing to cheap it out a lot of other things to get the fancy lip gloss.
Buy drugstore mascara. I know people rave about DiorShow. I love bloggers who swoon over Lancome. But honestly, the best way to save money is to spend less on the thing you are (hopefully) throwing away every three months. However, refer to the aforementioned rule if mascaras make you weak in the knees with lust and maybe use Chapstick instead of Chanel on your mouth.
Body wash. Honestly? It's soap. I don't fuss around here. There are some sick ass generic moisturizing washes that are just as nice as the expensive stuff. It just doesn't look as pretty in your shower.
Shampoo and conditioner. Ditto. Pantene is God's gift to my head.
Forever 21. When it comes to clothes, I swear to all that is holy, I get more compliments on the stuff I bought here than anything I picked up at Barney's.
Lastly, I would like it to be known that I do actually buy and use many of the products on my blog (which might explain the lack of posting lately). I try to keep in mind that not everyone has access to a Sephora, 24 hour drugstores, and relatives who know me well enough to give beauty gift certificates at every possible holiday (well, Starbucks too) and promote products accordingly.
So...let me know...do you carry a Balenciaga bag and wear Payless shoes? Use Wet n Wild exclusively on your face but get weekly manicures? What is your biggest beauty or fashion splurge and where do you pinch your pennies?