Wednesday, November 30, 2011

$25 and 10 minutes to 1 million bucks!!

There's a lot here but only a few that
I absolutely need to have to survive!
The saying goes, "you look like a million bucks!" but what some of you may not realize is that it doesn't have to be literal.  Meaning, you don't have to spend an arm and two legs to illicit that kind of response.  The reality is that the modern day Power Chick (moi) gets up and goes to work, maintains a household, raises a family, has a side hustle, and spends any down time plotting and planning with her fellow Power Chick about ways to elevate to the next level.  Therefore, we don't have a lot of time or unlimited resources to sacrifice on trying to look like a million bucks all the time. Besides, its the simple things that create the most effortless, chic and pulled together looks.  Now don't get me wrong.  I have a bad habit of spending money and I do like nice things, but I learned a long time ago that you can't buy style, class, or confidence!  So it's not so much about the label or the price tag or the volume, but more so about the way you put a look together and carry it.  Sometimes I can spend an eternity standing in my closet surrounded by a bunch of stuff and trying to put together a little something; but it's always the simpler things I feel the most comfortable and pretty in and it's always those same simple things that I generate the most "you look like a million bucks!" comments!

Out of the kindness of my heart (LOL), I've compiled a list of 10 things that I consider my must have easy ways to look pulled together and pretty without spending more than $25...

1) Eyebrow grooming -- I can't stress how necessary a well maintained eyebrow is! This is absolutely my pet peeve (for myself).  It is the easiest, quickest and inexpensive way to totally transform your face and clean up your look. It makes your skin look clearer, brighter and it attracts people to your eyes.  It also motivates you to maybe do one or two extra small things (add some mascara or lipgloss) to really complete the look even when you aren't in the mood for the million bucks look.  I prefer waxing.  I tried the threading and sweet baby Jesus!! I felt like I was getting a tattoo across my face....painful beyond words!!! Never again for me, but a lot of people swear by it so I say give either a try but do something!  It's important to make sure you find someone who knows what they are doing.  Your eyebrow should start, end and arch at a certain point.  Here's a link with a picture for a guide: .  A good eyebrow guru will also use a small scissor to trim the length of your hairs before they remove the hair.  If you are looking for an eyebrow guru be sure to ask for a recommendation when you see a woman with a great eyebrow.  Also speak up when you sit in the chair.  Let them know how you like your eyebrows and that you are familiar that there is a proper way to do them. I prefer mine thick with a very subtle natural arch.  I don't like super thin and I don't like a U arch or a V arch... it doesn't look natural on me.  Keep in mind that everyone's eyebrows are different so you can't necessarily go in there asking for the "Halle Berry" brow but you can definitely verbalize what you like but understand that they have to work with your brow and some shapes and sizes are better for some than for others.  The same way a great eyebrow can be the best thing ever is the same way a bad eyebrow can be devastating to your look and eyebrow hair grows back slowly, if at all, so take the time to find a good person and speak up about it (and find a great powder/pencil/or gel to fill in spaces, errors, or what have you...I use a MAC dark brown eyeshadow as my brow powder and I can NOT live without it).   Happy waxing/threading/plucking or whatever but happy doing it! 

2) White shirt (a tee, a button up and a tank) -- Do I really need to elaborate here? There is nothing more sophisticated, clean, classy, and sexy than a simple fitted white tee/tank or button up.  I can't even count how many of each of those I own and purchase on a seasonal basis. When I can't figure it out or I'm in a rush or I want to just relax I always go for a white shirt. I may add a blazer, a belt (on the list), a scarf (also on the list) a necklace, or just keep it simple but it is the chicest thing you can do.  It's like a clean slate that you can wear alone or add to and turn it into something extra.  It matches just about everything and you don't have to spend much buying one.  A white tee or tank can run you $10 max and a good button up around $25.  You never feel inclined to spend more b/c it's just a white shirt so who the heck cares who made it or how much it costs?? Save that money for the bag and shoes...thanks! My favorite place to get a white top is really anywhere but Target, Banana Republic, and H&M are my usual places that I grab a white shirt from or wherever I see them for cheap!  

3) Simple hair...bun or ponytail (with or without accessory) -- This could actually cost you nothing but definitely won't cost you more than $25. There is not one man (white, black, big, small, green, purple, tall, or short) that doesn't LOVE a woman in a simple sexy ponytail or bun.  It takes no time and sometimes the less perfect the better (the sexy messy bun is like an actual hairstyle??)! I guarantee you I get more play with my hair in a simple bun than I do after spending 5 hours in the hair salon getting the lux treatment.  And honestly, my hair simply pulled off my face is one of my absolute favorite looks.  Again, you are easily sexy, classy, clean, and chic with this simple look. I like to add a cute headband every now and again, change my part from middle to side or  wear it lower or higher up for a totally different kind of look.  Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters, and Target (Goody Brand has great styles to choose from) are my favorite places to find cute hair accessories.  I usually don't use gel to slick my hair back b/c I like the natural finish so I'll use a good moisturizer or smoother that I purchased from my stylist at Bliss Elements or elsewhere.  

4) Scarf -- I'm kinda addicted to scarves and if you haven't noticed, so is all of Hollywood.  I think I even keep one with me in the summer but definitely throughout the entire fall and winter otherwise I feel kind of naked without it.  They are kinda like the new necklace for me and adding one to the simplest outfit makes it look more pulled together and rich (I'm sorry but that's the best word to describe it).  There are a lot of pricey scarves out there (Tiffany's, Hermes, Missoni, Pucci and on and on) but you can find some very chic and rich looking scarves at H&M, Anthropologie (wait for it to go on sale so you can get it for $25 or less),, and a few other places b/c they are everywhere!  And don't stick to just solid colors either; grab a crazy color or pattern or texture and add it to your white tee shirt above and you'll learn to love it! And if you screw up and exceed your scarf budget, remember you can use a scarf as a belt or headband too so going over $25 for three or more purposes makes it more than worth it. 

5) Sunglasses -- I have a confession, I don't pay $25 for sunglasses.  I'm kinda obsessed with them and buy at least one designer pair per spring/summer and although you can get a great pair at the lower price I'm just suffering from some type of delusion and instead spend anywhere from $300-450 on sunglasses but it's b/c I'm sick so what can I say??  That's just my thing (along with shoes and bags). Anyways, a great pair of sunglasses is very Hollywood but its such an easy, inexpensive way to  accessorize and pull your look together.  You can even use them for a headband when you aren't having the best hair day or don't have a real headband to do the job. Talk about multitasking!  And let's not forget the protection of the eyes thing that they do??  I just know they look good but i hear they are good for you too?? Who would've thunked it? :-) 

6) Earrings -- A great pair of earrings can make an outfit.  When you don't feel like doing a bunch of anything with your outfit you can just grab a good pair of earrings and keep it moving.  I don't go anywhere without earrings and I have a ton but there are maybe 3 simple but chic pairs that I actually wear regularly.  You can get a great pair of earrings for $5.  There are times that I know I look like crap and get a ton of compliments and I'm pretty certain it's really about the earrings. :-)

7) Manicure/Pedicure -- I'm the biggest believer in a great nail job (you guys should know this by now)! My nails are every much an accessory as a piece of jewelry would be.  The pampering that goes into having your nails and/or toes done is enough to make you feel and look like 1 million bucks.  And on those days you are slipping or not feeling it, your nails and toes are still manicured so you are more put together than you even know! I won't even start with how some men are totally turned off by a chic who is looking all good but doesn't have her nails or toes done!  So spend a few bucks in this area and your'e definitely winning. 

8) Belts -- Skinny or wide, a great belt is like a cherry on top. It can spice an outfit up or totally change it.  It can also make something simple (jeans and a white fitted tee) go from casual to sophisticated.  You can also diversify a great scarf (discussed above) and use it as a belt too.

9) Teeth Whitening -- Yup a beautiful, bright smile is often times all that matters! Crest Whitestrips are my favorites (and a lot of dentist agree but won't necessarily admit it b/c while it's costing you only $25 they could be charging you $300-600 for the same thing).  Check magazines and weekly ads because there is always a pretty good coupon in there for whitening products to keep you at that $25 price line.

10) Nude lipgloss -- The trick with nude lipgloss is that it's like you didn't try but ended up absolutely gorgeous.  I'm not really a makeup girl but I love a great nude lipgloss and when I'm trying to spice it up without turning into Rupaul or just neaten up my look my go to is my MAC Lipglass in Spite. I've been wearing it consistently for yearssssssss and it never fails me! Find a good one that compliments your skin tone and you feel comfortable wearing all the time.  You don't even need a mirror to apply! 

I hope this helps Honeeyz (It darn sure helps me)!!  Now your turn to share! What essentials or routines do you have that make you look and feel like 1 million bucks without spending more than $25???


  1. Love this post!!! I think you have just outlined my mantra that less is more when it comes to fashion and style! It's reminiscent of something my mother told me when I got my 1st apartment. She told me to be sure to keep "staples" in my home so that I would never go hungry. Things like egga, milk, bread, etc. I would compare your listing to that wonderful advice my mother gave me years ago. You have created the STAPLES of FASHION and I adore you for it! A few quick notes to mention...I love scarves and I think every woman should learn how to WERK a scarf her way because it is a very personal thing. I don't ever suggest buying a scarf without trying it out first. Also keep in mind that the price does not dictate how well the scarf will work for you. I have scarves that cost $5 which look and feel like they cost a fortune and I also have expensive scarves which I barely wear. I love clothes that feel good and this is especially true for me and scarves. I have to want to wrap myself in it or it stays in the store:-)

  2. Hi Lee,

    This is Jen! I posted the last comment but for some reason its not allowing acces to post under my login...only as Anonymous. Go figure.

  3. Hey Jen!!! Welcome to Milk and Honeeyz!!! We are so glad to have you honeey! :-) I couldn't agree with your comment more! A great scarf that you are most comfortable with is an absolute must and you can't go wrong. And your point about the cost is well taken! You will hear me say time and time again that expensive doesn't equal luxury, fashion, style, or comfortable. It just means expensive and that's about it! I'd rather rock a $5 scarf that is absolutely fabulous than a pricey scarf that looks a hot mess just for the sake of saying I spent a fortune...that is so not fabulous! And I'm loving your mom's "home staples!" LOL.

    Lastly, I've had a few Honeeyz have problems with posting and I'm not sure what the heck is going on here on blogger but I've found that if you select the name/url profile and enter a chosen name (you can leave url blank if you don't have a website address to add) it usually post through without any issues. Happy future posting!

  4. So JustJen I'm just realizing that this is you posting. I thought you were another girlfriend name Jen. LOL! You know you must distinguish yourself as JustJen attorney extraordinaire!!!

  5. This is my favoritist post!!! I can't add another item to the list that would be as necessary as the ones you listed. Nearly as important is a smile however. I got a picture taken on Thursday and I was a bit annoyed so I asked that it be done quickly (like ripping off a bandaid) and I had a scowl on my face the whole time. The photographer showed me the picture and asked that I please retake it. I did it because the sight of that picture made the left side of my upper lip rise and curl. So I smiled and the difference was a big deal. So a smile and some mascara are small additions. I half way want to mention fun underwear is a great base to begin with. I won't go into detail but I think it's important to wear underwear that are just as attractive as you have made your outerwear. Speaking of, what happened to my stuff!!!!

  6. Friend of Shanika checking in!

    Great list here. I'd add a good quality girdle/foundation garment and quality black pumps as well.

    Im an eyebrow stalker - I've been known to follow a woman around a store, staring at her brows . They probably think im stalking THEM, but no's the brows! lol

  7. @Shan, you know I love underwear!!! They are one of my favoritest things ever!!! I had to keep the list down but I do agree with you and Eboni that the foundation (undergarments) can make the entire outfit and give you confidence for days! About your was sold out...I went straight there looking for it. I promise to never let it happen again.
    Also, your point about the smile is an absolute! I should've elaborated more when I mentioned teeth whitening b/c it kinda went hand and hand! That's all it takes is a free smile to change everything around! And can you stop scowling up on the job? You are scaring the kids!
    @Eboni, welcome to Milk and Honeeyz!!!! Thanks so much for sharing and perusing the blog! I'll be sure to check out your site and share it with my friends and honeeyz!!! And make sure you come back!!! I love your suggestions and comments!:-) You are so right about the black pumps! I have a pair that I wear all the time and funny, I get just as much if not more compliments on them than I do on some funky over the top shoe!
    LOL @ stalking eyebrows! You have to though. It is like imperative b/c you risk looking like Bert of Bert and Ernie (a short little straight bush of brow with no shape or proper definition) if you go in it blind!


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