Feel Free to Skimp #FashionFriday

I came across this feature in my latest issue of InStyle and I thought it was fun. These are 8 items they feel there’s no need to splurge on.


I was right there with them at first. Cosmetic cases, sure, you can pick one up for around $20 that will do the job. Makeup brushes, yes, the Sonia Kashuk collection at Target is fabulous and at $5-$15 a piece, they won’t break the bank. Elf lip gloss goes for about $3. Cotton ribbed tanks at Old Navy for $9 are a great bargain.

Even $60 for a bathing suit, while not exactly cheap, is still far less than what I spend to get something that offers the modesty and support I need.

Then I almost choked on my latte when I saw what they thought was skimping for a bottle of wine — $15 is their idea of a wine that “won’t break the bank if you’re buying multiple bottles for a dinner party.”

Which leads me to my next question: How much do you generally spend for a bottle of wine? I know that a lot of wines go for upwards of $20 a bottle and well into the hundreds for serious connoisseurs, but for our everyday table wine, I stick to the $10-12 price point and I feel like that’s still pretty extravagant.

I thought $60 for ballet flats was pretty steep too. I have definitely paid more, but I’ve paid a lot less too.

And $15 for hairspray? PLEASE!

So I thought I’d put together my own list of Feel Free to Skimp items.


Feel Free to Skimp

1. Jewelry
I appreciate a nice piece of jewelry, don’t get me wrong. But for everyday wear, inexpensive fashion jewelry can jazz up your outfits without breaking the bank. Places like Etsy and Everyday Icing and retail outlets like Target and Forever 21 have tons of cute bracelets, necklaces and earrings for less than $20. For nicer jewelry that is still affordable, a lot of handcrafted shops like Studio Jewel and Lisa Leonard and even direct sales retailers such as Silpada and Stella & Dot have some lovely pieces for less than $100.

2. Eye Makeup Remover
There’s no need to buy expensive eye makeup remover. Sonia Kashuk makes one for $10 that works great, but in a pinch I love to use coconut oil from my kitchen. I keep it in a small rubbermaid container in my bathroom. Not only do I use it to take off my makeup, but I also use it as a moisturizer during the warmer months.

3. Contact Lens Solution
I always buy the store brand contact lens solutions. I can’t tell a difference.

4. Mascara
I’m a Lancome mascara girl through and through so I was shocked to discover that CoverGirl Last Blast mascara is almost as good and last twice as long for 1/3 the price. If you’re on a budget, definitely save your bills for worthwhile investments like foundation and eye shadow and go for the drugstore brand mascaras.

5. Self Tanner
With Jergens Glow Daily Moisturizer, there’s no need to spend twice as much on the department store brands. I do sometime splurge on the Clarins, but if you prefer to eat (I usually do!) the Jergens does a good job; it just takes a bit longer to build up.

What would you add to this list?


  1. Kelly O says

    I actually skimp even more than that on the eye makeup remover. Target makes an up & up version of the Neutrogena eye makeup remover (the kind you have to shake) and it’s awesome. Maybe $5 for the bottle.

  2. says

    I always skimp on jewelry. Lip gloss too because I lose them pretty much after one use. And white tank tops. I buy a bunch of them every summer when they go on sale at Target and turn them into dog toys at the end of the season (yep, I make my own dog toys; she NEVER gets the store bought kind).

  3. DeAnn says

    I find In Style’s suggestions to be a bit pricey as well. I am known to..ahem…splurge every now and then but very rarely find something reasonable enough to purchase in those magazines. Some of the outfits they put together are over $1000!!! Is there a fashion magazine for the rest of us?? As in: non-6’2 105lbs and eats a burger every now and then, on a budget etc.?? I don’t think so…it’s fun to dream but it’s also nice to have reals suggestions. That’s why I love WIWW and other blog posts from real folks.

    We have a great little wine shop here that is committed to finding excellent wine for about $12 per bottle. I’ve received a great wine education from them and I really try not to spend more than that on wine. Any less than that and I can definitely tell a difference– headache and feeling yucky even after just one glass. I’m going to try the CG mascara. I have tried every fancy brand out there (Mostly thanks to my sister’s discards) I have skimpy blondish lashes so mascara is the most important makeup item that makes me look somewhat put together. I have settled on Dior’s Iconic but I hate paying that price every time!!! I tend to spend a little more on lip gloss with non-toxic ingredients because I figure I swallow most of it. :) I like Fresh’s lip balms and Korres gloss. Love the Sonia K. eye makeup remover. Yes to Carrots also makes great remover wipes that I take with me if I’m going out of town. Thanks for the suggestions. This may be a great regular post! I’d be happy to “road test” products.

    • says

      Yeah, you make a good point about lipgloss. I actually spend a decent amount on my lipgloss – I like the Chanel ones that have color. I use them over my lip liner, and they stay on really well.

      I find some realistic suggestions in those magazines but mostly they’re geared to urban working girl types who can justify dropping $1000 on a handbag. I like to see the recent trends and how they put outfits together and then make it work for my life and my budget.

  4. says

    Ok, I like your list a whole lot better!

    I feel like a lot of the jewelry I buy is somewhat trendy and most often in the colors of the season, so I don’t spend a lot on it. I’m pretty much in love with Charming Charlies. They have a huge selection and really great prices for all accessories.

  5. says

    Oh love this! I agree on the everyday jewelry. We have a local shop called $1 Jewelry Galore, all of the jewelry is $1 for each piece, and no it doesn’t usually last very long, but at $1 you can afford to replace often anyway! They also sell purses, wallets, sunglasses, and a few other accessories that are between $5-$30 bucks.

    I also skimp on lip gloss too, I don’t wear lipstick and lip gloss doesn’t last that long anyway.

  6. says

    $15 for hairspray? Never. I spend $3 for a bottle of Herbal Essence hairspray at Target. I bought my bathing suit at a JCrew warehouse sale last month. It’s a one-piece and I scored it for $5. Can’t beat that. (It retails for $88. I COULDN’T BEAT IT IF I TRIED.) Sorry. I’ll stop with the all caps now.

    On a bottle of wine, I typically buy it on sale and have found that I can get the exact same wine at Sam’s Club for a few dollars cheaper. So at the grocery store, I’ll get a bottle for about $12. At Sam’s, I can get it for about $9. (Not on sale, it would be between $15 and $20.)

    Contact solution – Target brand. I get 2 bottles for about $8. Most “staple” items I can get at Target for way cheaper than magazines promote. I love Target in a bad way. :)

  7. Megan says

    I discovered Charming Charlies a few weeks ago and fell in love! Some things I skimp on – eyeliner (I like the L’oreal that screws up just as much as the pricey MAC ones), moisturizer (for the body, not the face), every day lip gloss (I actually like the Burts Bees tinted sticks) and pretty much any applicator sponge, cotton ball, q tip, bandaid, etc.

    I would never skimp on shoes or bags. But that’s why I love outlets and TJ Maxx (especially the one near my office!).

  8. Beth says

    I agree that $60 for ballet flats doesn’t sound like skimping at all! I rarely use hairspray, but guarantee I’ve never paid $15 for it. And like you I usually spend $10-12 on a bottle of wine. I think the only times I’ve paid more were when we were buying from local wineries. I certainly wouldnt spend $15/bottle if I was buying for a party.

  9. Rachel says

    My swimsuit was $30 at Target last year with coverage and support. I get my dry shampoo for $4.50, I don’t use hairspray, but I know you can find it less than $15! I don’t wear sunglasses or drink wine, either…I guess I REALLY skimp! That’s a good price for lip gloss. I use Neutrogena makeup remover wipes, and there’s a Target copy that’s almost as good. We have a wonderful local boutique for jewelry at great prices. I guess I don’t splurge as much as I thought!

  10. says

    Love the idea of skimping on contact solution and embarrassed that I haven’t tried it before! And I love the everyday jewelry! If I wore mascara I would definitely skimp on that too;)

  11. says

    Great list! I would add skimping on eyeshadow. I use a good quality eyeshadow primer (Stay, Don’t Stray by Benefit) and find that any drugstore shadow stays on all day long – even during hot Texas summers! I like the Almay trios – not only do you get three colors for $5, but they also coordinate the palette for your eye color (blue, brown, green, hazel) and tell you exactly which color goes where. Also, I’ve discovered that Infallible eyeliner by L’oreal is great at around $7.

  12. Jen T says

    Please explain coconut oil as moisturizer to me. Do you just plunge into the jar and rub it on as a solid? Isn’t it greasy? How much do you use? How do you keep from licking yourself, lol?

    Seriously, I want to try to use it but rubbing oil on me seems gross.

    • says

      LOL, I just dip a finger tip into the jar (the jar being the vessel I use for coconut oil in my bathroom – I do not use the one in the kitchen for personal use, lol!) and get out what I need. It is solid at room temp but it melts when it hits your skin. It’s greasy, yeah, I guess, but it soaks in.

  13. Lee Ann says

    I try not to spend too much on any of the items. I get a lot of my cosmetics from CVS or Rite Aid where you can get extra points to apply to future purchases. $60 on a pair of flats as a skimp?! I did splurge on a pair of wedges just yesterday at TJMaxx. They are so cute, and they were marked down, but still more than I usually pay for shoes. I also skimp on clothing, always heading to the clearance racks first! I got a pair of maroon jeans from JCP for $4.95! Now I need your styling expertise on what to wear with them. :)

    I have the same questions as Jen about the coconut oil for eye makeup remover. I used to use Vaseline to remove eye makeup and it feels greasy. Does the coconut oil?

  14. Erin Rue says

    I routinely buy wine that is $20-60 bottle from our local wineries. I use them for parties and gifts in addition to my usual drinks. I’d rather my money go to a local business than somewhere that doesn’t invest back into the region. Plus they don’t usually leave me feeling crappy like some of the cheaper wines will do after a glass or two. There is a good $7 bottle of Columbia Crest Two Vines Cab Sav if I’m saving my other wine for something.

    I use the CG mascara too and love it. And I never spend more than $15 on sunglasses because I lose them almost as soon as I buy them. Never fails.

  15. Kate S. says

    My favorite go to wine is only 8 bucks a bottle – love it. I actually bought that $15.00 hairspray and hate it – it smells so badly. I skimp on face wash. If it cleans your face and your skin feels good, who needs expensive stuff? You are ” washing” it OFF!!!! I love Purpose by Johnson & Johnson. It’s so gentle.

  16. says

    Great post. I’m going to try some of the ideas.

    I skimp on my entire family’s wardrobe by shopping at thrift stores. I’ve spent too much money on “store bought” clothes only to have them look like thrift store clothes after several washings. Plus, I can buy a very trendy top or skirt for $4, wear it for a season, then not feel badly for getting rid of it. Or if my son jumps in mud and ruins his clothes, it’s no big deal.

    I don’t skimp on soaps or lotions, however. Skin is our biggest organ, and I don’t want to absorb toxins (fragrance, coloring, preservatives.) Whenever possible, I look for products fragranced with essential oil and made without parabens or coloring.

  17. Brenda says

    It’s interesting how we all find different things to spend or splurge on. :) For instance, I spend more on clothes than some of my friends and they probably think I’m crazy, but I’m a little shocked by what they spend on what I consider fancy food. The differences between us make life more interesting.

    On the sunglasses, I have to splurge because I need prescription lenses. I’ve tried the cheap places online and haven’t been impressed, unfortunately.

    I also splurge on ballet flats because my feet are annoyingly picky. So I get Born flats that have arch supports.

    But I save on hairspray, wine, and dry shampoo by avoiding them completely. I wish I liked the taste of wine, but considering the cost it’s probably better than I don’t. :) And for a cosmetic case, I use one of those plastic containers with a zipper that we get from the dentist with a toothbrush and floss in it. When it wears out, I throw it away and use another one. With seven mouths in the house, we have plenty of those zippered cases around.

    On the coconut oil, it melts almost on contact since it won’t stay a solid over 76F. I find it a little bit greasy, but that probably depends on the dryness of one’s skin.

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