Being a frugalista is the new hotness (right Natalie?), but sometimes in my efforts to save money, I find myself feeling a little declasse. That kind of thing happens when you’re rummaging through a bin of shoes at Miami’s Mall of the Americas. You know you’ve found some bargain basement shopping if a grow house was busted in your mall of choice, am I right bellas? But hey – I’ve walked out of that mall with some killer deals!

I love knowing I scored a bargain, but I can’t lie – I also love a product that looks luxurious. And in these economic climes, beauty industry insiders understand that consumers are looking for products that give you a little more luxe for your lucre, a sparkle of gold, a flash of glitz for a little less. Here are some of my latest fabulous favorites that cost a little bit less than you might expect.

You might not be able to afford the glittering rings and bracelets that catch your eye in the stores on Rodeo Drive, but thanks to the new limited edition Essie ‘Love, Beverly Hills XX’ Nail Polish, your nails can be all the bling you need. It’s described as “An opulent red infused with pure 24-karat gold… designed to capture the allure of this world-class destination of haute couture, five-star hotels, decadent dining and all the glitz and glamour of Hollywood.” Well, isn’t that special? And really, it is! I’ve never been one for bright red fingernails (Mama Bella is, not I), but this is the kind of rich, deep glittering color that could change a bella’s mind. It’s very grown, and very sexy — and $18 a bottle.

With all the news about the economy, I’ve been hearing a whole lotta buzz about the so-called lipstick effect — instead of big luxuries like cars and fancy clothes, people splurge on small luxuries. Like lipstick. Red lipstick is supposedly all the rage now, and if you really want to harken to the days when lipstick and stockings were a woman’s little splurges in life, you can’t do better than the enchanting lipstick by Besame Cosmetics. They offer scarlet shades from Red Hot to Carmine. My favorite of all is Noir Red. It’s dark and divine on brown lips like mine. $12 and this little gold bullet comes packaged with a red velvet slipcase pouch.

If those nonstop commercials for investing in gold have transfixed you of late, you can add a little gild to your face — check out the stunning 24 Karat Gold Dust Powder by Jane Iredale! This shimmer powder is said to be “ideal for use on the face, body, or hair,” but not all of the colors are so versatile. For the maximum bang for your buck, check out gold, champagne, bronze, or my personal fave, ROSE GOLD.

This color does double time as a stunning eyeshadow, and a glittering blush that adds sexy evening sparkle to the apples of your cheeks. I love this stuff, and it’s just $12! I actually didn’t score this directly from Jane Iredale, it came as part of my package from Beautyfix — a brilliant membership program for product junkies who want to get their hands on the latest and best beauty products. The $50 package comes in a chic and very useful makeup case, and is ram-cram with cool stuff that I’ve been reviewing behind the scenes. It’s an incredible deal, put together by my friends at Everything I’ve tried so far has been amazing! I’ll be blogging more about Beautyfix soon, so stay tuned.

My love for all things Benefit is no secret — their makeup manages to be both good for your skin and drop dead gorgeous at the same time. Over the holidays they released some killer cosmetics sets, my favorite of which was the Benefit 24K Sexy Gold Set sold only at Sephora, hello! It comes in a super cute gold pouch, and includes a classic bullet-shape lipstick (in what else? True Gold Shimmer), and a pot of 24K Nugget Shimmering Loose Powder For Eyes & Face. It’s a pale, shimmering gold that works as a gorgeous eyeshadow. $22 bucks for the set. Talk about bang for the buck!

What are you splurging on, bellas? Any new beauty products catching your eye?

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Get Togetha says:
January 13, 2009, 1:01 pm
Hey Bella. I splurge on Nars Lip Gloss in ButterCreme. It ain't cheap; but its luxurious.
Gem says:
January 13, 2009, 1:04 pm
"You know you’ve found some bargain basement shopping if a grow house was busted in your mall of choice, am I right bellas?" *passed out*
Caramel Magazine says:
January 13, 2009, 5:54 pm
This recession has really got me down, I've got a gig, but I'm saving as much as I can. However, $12 for that fab eyeshadow...I've got to try that!
notjustfoxybrown says:
January 13, 2009, 6:33 pm
OK, Bella, I've seen your write lovingly about Benefit a few times now and was dying to try those playsticks ... only to discover they have nothing for my chocolate skin tone ... and I was crushed! I know you've addressed this in the past but I'm wondering if there's some way you can find out definitively (or anecdotally even) why, why, why cosmetic companies refuse to expand their range of colors for black skin. We've got MAC, Make Up for Ever, Bobbi Brown, Prescriptives and a few drugstore brands and that's it! OK ... vent complete. Now I'm going to check out that $12 shadow!
glow says:
January 13, 2009, 8:29 pm
This extreme weather had me breaking out. So I splurged on Aveda's outer peace wash and after 3 days my skin is looking better already. I love Avedas products well worth the splurge.
bella says:
January 14, 2009, 11:34 am
notjustfoxybrown - I agree completely!! Benefit needs to extend their line of Play Sticks. Other makeup lines are charting new ground there, but yes, their foundation colors are very limited. I didn't think Teeter Totter would match me, but it does. For an alternative, have you looked at Iman's foundation sticks? They're pretty incredible, and affordable!
DblDee says:
January 15, 2009, 9:53 am
I love Essie polish it holds up well. My favorite is Aruba Blue.
The Frugalista FIles says:
January 16, 2009, 11:01 am
Hey, having a grow house bust at the mall keeps rent down, keeping the prices low! HAHAHAHA! You know I'm loving that Essie! Thanks for the link and the love!
Melissa says:
January 22, 2009, 12:20 am
I like MAC products, Bobbi Brown, Prescriptives and Makeup forever but I have not found a product worth splurging on other than perfume. I like the lipglosses from brands listed from above. But other than that I am pretty simple. One day I will g to sephora and see what they have. Nars is good too.
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