Life & Beauty Weekly: Hair & Beauty

By Aly Walansky for Life & Beauty Weekly


Just about all of us have found ourselves at our favourite store, torn between buying the highest-quality item or a less expensive version. So how do you decide? We spoke to a shopping expert to find out when it’s wise to save and when it pays to splurge.

Splurge: Shoes and Accessories
Bags and shoes are statement pieces. “A bag can be a great investment piece,” says Kristina Matisic, co-host and executive producer of Anna and Kristina’s Beauty Call. “I think of it as good return on investment. Why not spend more on bag that you’ll use and carry every day for months, if not years?”

Whether you’re investing in bags or shoes, Matisic recommends choosing classics. “You can’t go wrong with classic black pumps, black boots and definitely today, a nude heel. Nude heels truly are the new black; they go with everything.”

For bags, look for classic shapes in neutral colours. “Every woman needs a lighter neutral bag — say taupe or cream — for spring/summer and a good grey or black bag for fall/winter,” she says. For a fun summer accessory, cute straw bags can be bought at every budget, says Matisic. “Straw bags aren’t usually appropriate for work, but they are great for weekends, trips to the mall or market and of course, the beach,” she says.

Just bear in mind that good bags and shoes will need extra TLC — leather polish, suede brushes and re-soling — to keep them looking their best for years. The good news: Once you know what to look for (solid stitching, quality lining, reliable designers), you can shop at thrift stores and auction sites to get great buys on investment accessories.

Save: Denim
When it comes to denim, fit is everything, so you may need to pay a little more to find an item that suits your figure. However, if you can find an inexpensive item that fits you well, go for it. “Designer brands may lead the trends, but less expensive brands are now coming out with similar styles and colours,” says Matisic. “Some of my favourite jeans are from the Gap. But with jeans, it is all about fit.”

Splurge: Lingerie
“When it comes to underwear, I do like to spend more because they can stand up to the wash cycle,” says Matisic. “Plus, I find that pricey underwear is generally more comfortable, which is important, especially when we’re talking about thongs!” Because bras often need to be replaced every six months or sooner, Matisic advises to save when it comes to braziers. Look for a good fit at a good price and stick with that.

Save: Tops
Don’t blow your budget on shirts and sweaters. “Sweaters tend to ball and look worn after a season or two,” says Matisic. “Tops are also the thing that people see and remember most. That great hot pink top? Think about how many times you’ll be able to wear it before everyone is thinking, ‘there she is in that pink top again.’ If you fall in love with something, by all means buy it. Just keep in mind the cost per wear equation.”

Save: Everything Else
Although spending a little extra is always a smart idea for items such as lingerie, shoes and bags, almost everything else should be bought at bargain prices. Attractive, affordable clothing is widely available, and styles change far too quickly to justify spending a fortune on something you might only wear a few times.

Aly Walansky
is the senior editor of, the beauty and fashion editor for, a style columnist for and a contributor to
The Huffington Post and She’s been rated one of the top beauty bloggers by
New Beauty Magazine and
Star Magazine, and
she’s live-blogged from locations ranging from the Miss America pageant to the Emmy Awards. She has previously contributed to Life & Beauty Weekly.

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