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If It’s Friday it Must be Make-Up

20 Apr

Hey skint girls! This morning’s post comes with a warning to you to watch your pennies at the beauty counter today. See, Friday is traditionally the day where most cash is splashed spent on make-up. You know how it is: you’ve worked hard all week and want to treat yourself to a little something, but don’t have the time to schlep around clothes stores pulling stuff off and on. A new lipstick or nail varnish isn’t just the easiest way to brighten up your weekend look, it’s also cheaper than a new outfit and so relatively guilt-free.

Economists even refer to the Lipstick Index, which sees lipstick sales rocket every time the economy declines; the reason being that whilst women pull back on buying clothes and larger luxuries they still view lipstick as a permissible, not-too-expensive, treat. Perhaps soon the Lipstick Index will soon be renamed though, for it looks as if nail varnish has overtaken it for the first timeduring this current spell of financial gloom.

bundle of make-up

Remember girls, a bargain's not a bargain if we buy a billion of them . . .

So, before dashing out to bag yourself some face and nail candy today, take a look at Skint’s list of where to save and where to splurge when it comes to cosmetics. And here are a few more ways I’ve found to make make-up go further:

  • Put eye and lip pencils in the fridge before sharpening. It will stop them breaking, meaning they’ll last longer.
  • I don’t bother buying separate eyeliner: I just apply dark eyeshadow with a thin, damp brush.
  • Lipbrushes let you reach down to the bottom of near-empty tubes, giving you  dozens more applications than you’d get otherwise. Lipbrushes also reduce the need to blot – and therefore waste – lipstick. They give a great finish too.
  • Remove fake tanning mistakes fast by rubbing whitening toothpaste onto the offending orange area. Takes away the whiff too!
  • Got a little perfume left in a bottle? Add water and use as a light body spray.
  • Painting your nails in a hurry? Wait a few moments after applying the top coat then put your hands in a sinkful of cold water. It sets the polish faster.  
  • Turn lipstick into lipgloss by slicking Vaseline over the top
  • Consider going barefaced. Hey, I don’t mean to a night out, but do we really need to waste make-up on a trip to buy the Saturday morning newspaper? Your skin will thank you for the breather. In turn, with your skin looking better, you’ll need less make-up all in all. It’s a virtuous circle.

There’s a nice selection of cosmetics deals available this week too if you fancy bagging some Bourjois stuff on a bread-and-water budget. Martin Lewis – God bless him – has a good round up here. 

You’re looking great today, by the way! x


My Best-Ever, Most Bargainous Vintage Finds – And How Much They Cost

20 Mar

Hey folks!

Hope you’re all doing great.

Today I’m going to indulge myself a little by writing about one of the subjects closest to my heart. Not family, or home, but vintage – is there anything better? Though the last couple of years have seen a vintage explosion, I’ve been a fan of pre-loved clothes since I was a teenager skulking round Oxfam’s doorway, embarrassed to be caught there by my friends. Today’s teenagers need have no such fears – vintage is now as stylish as it gets, stocked everywhere from the high street to random sales that are popping up in bars and halls every weekend.

As far as living the stylish life on a shoestring budget goes, there really is no better way to make yourself stand out from the crowd than to wear vintage. You’re guaranteed not to bump into anyone wearing the same, and the cut and detailing of vintage garments is so superior to today’s high street clothes that it’s more on a par with the quality you’d expect from designers. Plus, it’s amazing value for what you get.

I’ve now been vintage shopping for so long that old clothes make up at least half of my wardrobe – the best half. And today I thought I’d share with you my favourite vintage pieces, along with what they cost (as far as I can remember!), to show just how bargainous vintage can be.

First up, this cape. I bought this is Glasgow retro store, Mr Ben, about three years ago. The label says it’s Welsh wool, and the  monochrome pattern looks Celtic to me. , Period-wise, I think it’s from the sixties. It’s white mohair, cosy and always draws compliments. And right now, when I’ve got a baby Skint cooking away, this swingy cape’s better than a coat for covering up and keeping the bump warm. It cost £35 – can you imagine buying something like this new? I reckon it’d be more like £300. Just look at the weaving on the tie collar and pockets – you don’t get craftmanship like that on the high street without paying through the nose for it. 

My next best buy is also my newest: these red cowboy boots. vintage ralph lauren bootsVintage Ralph Lauren, I got them on ebay. I’ve had a bit of a clothes buying moratorium lately – there’s little point when nothing fits. But hey, my feet haven’t changed, so boots are still on the hitlist and these were just what I needed to brighten up this winter and spring. They’re pretty in your face, so I tend to wear them with casual clothes or all black, but the detailing is gorgeous and I know right now that I’ll have them forever. Yep, I’ll be the granny in the red boots, forty years from now. These cost £60, which is more then I usually spend on vintage but they’re great quality leather, and you couldn’t buy a decent pairs of high street boots for that price. Ooh, how I love them.

Flapper dresses are having a moment right now, inspired, I’m guessing by the runaway success of Downton Abbey. But in my book, flappers have never fallen from grace. The twenties and thirties are my favourite fashion decades and when I saw this dress in a church hall jumble sale about fifteen years ago I knew it had to be mine. Swishing those tassels is addictive and I admit, I sometimes take it a little too far! The dress cost me about three pounds, yes siree, and I’ve worn it to some of my most glamorous evenings out. Honestly, it’s worth paying three pounds just to hear how it swishes and to feel the fringes in your fingers. Sometimes I just take it out of the wardrobe and touch it. Right, I’ll stop before I get carried away.  (Except to say I’ve posted a gratuitous snap of the fringes at the bottom of this post, because I love them so). 

This lush carpet bag was found in a vintage shop in Greenwich. It cost me forty pounds. You couldn’t buy a decent handbag new for that money, certainly not one of this quality. See that little Versace-looking clasp? It’s solidly-stitched and will last forever. I like it better too as it gets a bit battered. Plus, it’s roomy enough for all the stuff I carry around all day, which seems to multiply all the time.

And finally, drumroll please . . . my best-ever vintage buy!I bought this dress twelve years ago in Los Encantes market, Barcelona. I was living in Barca at the time, very skint, and used to visit Los Encantes regularly for clothing bargains, furniture for my flat or just a good snoop around. The place sells everything from rabbit’s ears to communion candles to first edition books, but when I saw this dress, on sale for just 200 pesetas (that’s £1!), I knew it had to be mine. Off the hanger isn’t the best way to show it. The cut is truly fabulous when it’s on, and if I didn’t have such a bump just now I’d demonstrate. Still, believe me, it hangs beautifully. I loved it from the minute I saw it: the drape, the sparkle, the colours. Then, about three years after I bought it I looked properly at the label for the first time and found out that it’s designed by Emilio Pucci. Well, I nearly fainted and promptly phoned my pal Clare to scream my excitement down the phone. Googling the value of vintage Pucci dresses just now I see they’re coming in at around £500. I’m not for selling, but it’s nice to know it’s in my wardrobe just in case hard times strike. Who needs life insurance when you’ve got vintage, eh?

So, those are my top five, costing in total the princely sum of £139, which is roughly what a poorly made high street coat would set you back. See why I love vintage so much? Really, I could wax lyrical all day long, but I shan’t. If the government is ever thinking of introducing the much-needed post of Vintage Tzar or Retro Ambassador, I’ll be there in a jiffy. It’s good for the environment, it’s perfect for these tough financial times and wearing vintage brightens up a trip to the supermarket way more than a tracksuit and a pair of  Uggs ever could.

With the return of Mad Men to TV screens this weekend, we can expect the vintage star to rise higher still as the quest to copy Betty and Don’s looks gains heat. For more vintage inspiration, check out Queens of Vintage, Oxfam Vintage and My Vintage, all great sites.

What your best-ever vintage find? Was it a bargain? Or doesn’t vintage float your boat at all? I’m dying to know. Till next time, x

To get every future Skint tip delivered straight to your inbox click the Follow Skint button at the top of the page. It’s a bit like having a whizzy personal assistant for Skint girls.

The fringing, in all its glory.

Best Money-Saving Fashion Websites

27 Feb

Hey Skint pals,

Hope your weekend was good. Mine was one of those chore-filled ones, yawn, which involved trips to bathroom stores when really I’d rather have been out shopping for vintage. Still, I managed to snag a hefty discount on the bathroom suite after a lot of haggling – more on that another day. For now I’ve had enough talk of waste pipes and grout, so I’m escaping to a more glamorous place in my head and using today’s post to dream of all the clothes I didn’t get to see at the weekend.

Inspired by last night’s Oscars I’m dreaming of how to get red carpet style on a linoleum budget – and figure the only way is to turn to some of my favourite money-saving fashion websites. In a matter of a week or two the high street stores will be swamped with copies of last night’s Oscars hits, but if even the high street versions are still out of reach where do you go for a red carpet fashion fix on a teensy budget? Step forward these beauties, which tick the style-on-a-shoestring box for me: 

1. Buyosphere: Our Oscars actresses didn’t go out shopping for their dresses. They didn’t spend hours in sweaty changing rooms, listening to chart music. Instead they called no 2 on their speed dial and briefed their personal stylist. For us skint girls, Buyosphere is as close as we’ll get to ringing Rachel Zoe, allowing us to tap into a large network of fellow shoppers and ask their advice. Need to find some skinny red jeans, pronto? Buyosphere readers will tell you where to go. Looking for the perfect orange minidress for less than £40? Buyosphere to the rescue again. Really, it’s so heroic it should wear its pants on top of its trousers.

Is it just me, or are these pre-bagged Oscars really, really creepy?

2.My Celebrity Dress: Remember the scene in the first Sex And The City film, in which Carrie’s assistant rents a Louis Vuitton handbag from a company called Bag, Borrow Or Steal? Well, the same service is now available to us all! The trend of renting dresses, shoes, bags and jewellery that you can’t afford to buy has taken off over the last couple of years, and MyCelebrityDress has a great range to choose from. Costs vary depending on the popularity of the item with a Louis Vuitton Judy GM handbag, valued at £1570, for example, typically costing £45 for a seven-day rental. Items can usually be hired by the evening, the week or the month and prices get proportionally lower the longer you hire. For those super-special occasions, designer rental is an option worth knowing about, but don’t get carried away. It’s as far from investment shopping as you can get and normally you’ll need to give your credit card details for the full value of the item, just in case it gets stolen or spoilt in your care. See also

3. This is a new site but I’m liking it already. A one-stop shop for fashion vouchers and deals, from House of Fraser and Karen Millen to Oasis and New Look, don’t go shopping without checking in first. 

4. Billing themselves as ‘the world’s biggest online fashion swap party’, bigwardrobe offers designer brands and high street brands, as well as accessories and fragrance. Clothes swaps are a terrific way to make space in your wardrobe and bag some gorgeous freebies into the bargain. Invite some pals round with their cast-offs, organise snacks and get swapping, or ‘swishing’ as it’s called by those in-the-know. 

4. Poshmark: Like eBay, but for clothes only, Poshmark makes it easy to sell clothes by uploading pics straight from your phone and browse fellow sellers sites easily. If you’re having a wardrobe clearout before spring comes, Poshmark is a good place to connect and sell with like-minded fashion lovers. 

5. Brand Alley: One of the flash sale sites that I blogged about here, Brand Alley is perhaps the best known, though Achica has been snapping at its heels lately in terms of PR. Flash sale sites are basically websites that advertise massive sales at very short notice for a limited time only, typically just 24-36 hours. So, you’ve got to be speedy to get what you want, but the savings can be massive. You generally have to sign up first – often just your name and email address – then you’ll get notified before a sale starts.

My favourite dress from the red carpet last night? Gotta be Gwyneth Paltrow’s Oscar’s outfit. While

oscar's red carpet 2012

Batwoman cape + Wonder Woman cuff = Super Gwyneth

I was buying a new toilet she was wriggling into this dreamy number. Oh, but I wouldn’t trade places with her for anything. Ha.

Today’s Daily Record Woman section features some tips from yours truly about ways to deal with debt, including a couple of extra money-saving fashion tips. If the spirit moves you, you can check it out here.

What’s your favourite money-saving fashion tip? And your favourite Oscars dress from this year’s red carpet? I’d love to know.

Please hit the Follow Skint button at the top of the page to get every Skint post comin’ straight atcha. Right, that’s enough of that sort of talk.

Skint Makes Huffington Post Front Page Today!

15 Nov

Well Skint chums, this morning’s going great so far – cos I’m delighted to have been Huff Post-ed! Yep, the Huffington Post, blog extraordinaire with about a gazillion daily readers and a power base roughly equal to Angela Merkel and Lady Gaga’s combined (but without the dodgy accessories), has today picked up a post by Skint and is running it on the front page of their site.

Cue much victory dancing and probably a wee slope off for celebration cake quite soon. See, the Huffington Post’s got a HUGE readership. Like, we could fit myself and all you lovely readers into the Huff Post’s little pinkie nail and still have room left over a giant Skint picnic in the sun. So I’m hoping that being featured on the Huff Post today will bring lots more lovely readers Skint’s way. 

You can read the post here  – front page of the Huff Post.

If you’re new to this site, having beamed in courtesy of the Huffington Post, welcome! Delighted to have you here. If you’d like to read more about the tireless quest to live the high life on a budget tighter than Kate Moss’ skinny jeans, please click the Follow Me button at the top right of the page and you’ll receive all the updates, but no nasty marketing stuff – cross my heart. 

Hope your day’s going really well.  See you soon. x

Viva Vintage – Why Secondhand is Trumping The New

31 Oct

Hey, Skint pals. Sorry for the delay since my last post – I squeezed in a break. Well, much as I love the city we all need to see a few trees every now and then.  

Anyway, I returned to some disturbing news. As a long-time vintage lover I greeted the news this week that Tesco does vintage with the same horror I’ll be reserving for any Trick or Treaters who come to my door tonight without a costume. (What’s that all about? Gotta make an effort kids).

Now, looking at this dress (you’ll need to click on the link above) – and noting that you can order it in different sizes – I doubt very much that it’s vintage. Might just get my lawyers to question Tesco under the Trades Description Act – yep, that’d work.

Seeing this on sale got me thinking about just how popular vintage has become recently that even the big boys like Tesco are now using it to flog their wares. Only a few years ago vintage was considered a bit shabby, musty round the edges with the faint suspicion of fleas. Now? It’s hotter than couture, dahling. In fact, fashionistas are dubbing vintage ‘couture for the ordinary girl’, and that’s music to the skint girl’s ear.

Skint has always been a vintage fan. I remember hiding in Oxfam’s doorway aged fifteen, embarrassed to be seen buying secondhand by my pals (it took me another couple of years to get out and proud). I knew even then that if you want to look good on a budget, vintage is a far smarter way to go than discount high street chains where you buy a T-shirt for three quid to find it falls apart in the wash. In Skint’s book, getting the luxe look for less has always been about key pieces and  vintage.

Seeing that Tesco dress got me wondering, how did vintage get so darned popular? A decade ago you’d whisper the word ‘secondhand’ under your breath – now it gets you extra style points. How come?

Celebrity Style – Kate Moss; Chloe Sevigny; the one and only Dita von Teese, these three women have each played a massive role in making vintage cool again and taught us all a valuable lesson – if you want to make sure you’re the only one wearing your outfit at a party, you’ve gotta go vintage.

The Rise of Primark – I don’t think it’s a coincidence that vintage has risen in popularity just after Primark and cheap supermarket clothing boomed. Pile ’em high sell ’em cheap fashion means you’re bound to bump into someone wearing the same outfit; there’s only so many times you can stand that without looking for a cost-effective way to get clothes that no-one else has.

Recession Chic – Vintage has boomed since skint became a way life, and it’s no wonder. The cut, quality and details of most vintage garments can’t be matched today. Forty pounds will net you a fabulous fifties swing coat, fully lined with a velvet collar and shell buttons. What would the same money buy you new?  With less cash in our pockets vintage is at the forefront of the drive to live stylish for less.

Vintage is the New Green – Whether you call it vintage, secondhand or pre-loved, recycling and reusing clothes is way more sustainable than cheap garments that fall apart then fall into landfill. Customising and upcycling, whether clothing or furniture, are the darlings of the green movement.

Mad Men – Yep, our favourite fifties programme has got everyone rocking the sweater, kitten heel and circle skirt look. Queens of Vintage reports that vintage sales have rocketed since Christina Hendricks started rocking our world.

So, there’s little doubt in Skint’s mind that vintage trumps new every time. Still, I admit that I liked the thrill of vintage shopping more when it was just a little bit less popular – a bit like telling everyone about your favourite hotel then being sad when it gets booked out. And with major retailers like TopShop launching their own secondhand concessions, has vintage become as mainstream, as commodified, as the high street fashion it is supposedly an alternative to? Just saying.

If you want to read more about vintage here are some of the sites Skint likes:

Queens of Vintage – A daily update for vintage lovers, packed full of great case studies

Oxfam Vintage – Terrific online stores which allows you to shop by decade, size and price band.

My Vintage – Beautifully designed site featuring vintage clothing, homewares and accessories

In the next post I’ll share some tips on how to seek out the best vintage fashion your city has to offer. How do you track down vintage? Granny’s wardrobe? Jumble sales? What’s your best-ever vintage find? I’ll share mine next time.

Makeup – Where to Save & Where to Splurge

24 Sep

‘A total waste of makeup’: that’s how a friend of mine describes a rubbish day. I know just what she means: when three items can easily cost well over £100, you can be looking at a couple of quid just for a crappy-Monday-in-the office face.*

So, is it worth it? If the thought of going to the bin without make-up gives you the cold sweats then you can’t be making every item a luxury one. Regular make-up users need to know where to splurge and where to save. Opinion will be divided on this, but here’s the Skint in the City opinion on which make-up items deserve the bulk of your budget and which can make do with the scraps.


  •  Eyeshadow: What’s the difference between posh eyeshadows and the cheap ones? Certainly not the vibrancy of the colours so it can only be the amount of time they stay on. But then it’s not very hard to re-apply eyeshadow, is it? Save your cash. Eye palettes containing three or four shades of mascara are much cheaper to buy, overall, than a few individual pots.
  • Lipbalm: Chapstick is just as good as the posh ones in my book. Ditto lipgloss – it comes off in an hour whether it’s cheap or dear.
  • Self-tanner: Johnsons and Johnsons is as good as they get in my book and costs about four quid.
  • Mascara: Some would disagree with this, but  Maybelline mascara is not only the world’s best-selling mascara but the world’s best-selling cosmetic product. The price? A fiver a pop. If you’ve only got cash for ordinary mascara instead of lash-lengthening just dust your lashes with powder before applying your mascara: makes your lashes look dramatically longer. (PS – If you’re desperate, stand a dried-out mascara tube in a glass of hot water for a few seconds to bring it back to life.)


  • Good make-up brushes: the closest thing to airbrushing us mortals can get.
  • Foundation: mineral foundations are tops in my book for great coverage whilst being kind to skin. And a shout-out to Lily Lolo for being the best of them all. 
  • Nail polish:  if you wear it all the time it’s worthwhile buying a more expensive one that will stay on for several days. There’s nothing more unprofessional than sneaking a touch-up in the office. So, if it needs to last, go for good stuff. If, on the other hand, you only wear varnish for parties then stick to cheap brands like Rimmel.

Nail varnish dried out? Add a drop or two of remover to bring it back to life. By the way, a dab of nail varnish also halts ladders in tights from getting worse – keep a bottle of the clear stuff in your make-up bag.  

What do you think? Which one must-have item would you spend the rent money on? Do tell! (It’s Beauty Flash Balm for me)

* Scientifically calculated using the skintinthecity  cosmetology system. Ha. With extra pentapeptidelipogamamides. Pantent pending. 

Make-Up Alley – My New Best Friend

20 Sep

Over the last few days I’ve been thinking about what a money-eater make-up is. The cosmetics counter is where budgets go to die. You could leave work at five on Friday and have blown your whole month’s salary at the make-up counter by six. Factor in the occassional mistake – the powder that’s too orange when you get it home; the lipstick that’s just too dark for your skintone – and you’ve got budget meltdown on your hands.

That’s why I’m delighted to have found the fantastic Make-up Alley site with its genius swap board. You know how we all buy the wrong shade of foundation sometimes, except we don’t know it’s the wrong shade till we’ve opened it, which then means it can’t go back to the store? Makeupalley lets you swap those cock-ups with someone who really, really wants a tube of orange foundation. The swap section is hugely busy, which means there’s tons of choice. Just imagine offloading your old glitter nail varnishes for a nice Rouge Noir . . .  I’ll be hauling my spare make-up bag (the one that houses all my bad buys) out of the cupboard tonight.

Another great feature on Make-Up alley is their wishlist, where you can send out a Wanted alert for much-loved cosmetics that have now been discontinued, in the hope they’re lurking unopened in someone else’s cupboard.

The site also gives great, balanced product reviews  and interesting discussion threads, full of  tips. I just got sucked into a thread started by a woman with a big spot on her chin and a wedding in two days time. Advice was flooding in from around the world. You can bet she won’t turn up at that wedding looking bad!

In the next post I’ll list where Skint thinks you can save on make-up and where it’s worth the splurge. Meantime, what’s your much-loved, discontinued make-up item? Isn’t it a bummer when cosmetic companies do that?   

To get every future Skint tip delivered straight to your inbox click the Follow Me button at the top of the page. It’s a bit like having a whizzy personal assistant for Skint girls.

Save on Salon Colour – Skint Style

29 Aug

In my last hair post I shared the triumphant tale of how I’d managed to stretch out my time between salon visits to eleven weeks. Triumphant because I’d saved some cash, not because my hair was looking particularly spectacular by the end of the salon-fast. Still, salon prices being what they are it’s good to have a few tricks up the sleeve to rein in the spend.

And for many Skint girls the big budget-blaster isn’t haircuts but colour. All those chemicals don’t come cheap but many of us – myself included – consider colouring their hair to be just about as essential as wine and coffee (whaddya mean they’re not essential? You shouldn’t even be reading this.)

But all those touch-ups, highlights, lowlights and slices can punch a great big hole in the monthly budget. A hole big enough for your whole month’s plans to all fall down. Here then is Skint’s guide to saving money on hair colour, without ending up looking like Cruella Deville.

DIY Touch-ups: Now, Skint doesn’t age and tell, but I don’t mind letting you know that a grey hair or six has forced its way into my life over the last couple of years. Regular root touch-ups are now just part of my routine – till I started looking at how much they cost. Ooh-yah. But without running back to the salon every three or four weeks for touch-ups what a girl to do? Do it yourself. Ask your stylist if you can have some of the colour she uses to take home with you . Some will say yes, some won’t, but it’s worth a shot, because it’s the best match you’re going to get. If she refuses, your other option is an over-the-counter kit. Having tried a few, I’ve found Loreal’s root touch up kit to be the best.

Wash your hair less: Hmm, sounds slightly scuzzy, I know, but there’s no doubt that washing fades your colour. So if you can discipline yourself not to automatically reach for the shampoo bottle every single morning you’ll be repaid by seeing your colour say vibrant for longer. Less hassle too, frankly.

Use colour shampoo: I used to think colour protection shampoo was a gimmick. Not any more. Having conducted various experiments in near laboratory conditions (ie the shower) I definitely notice that my colour stay better when I use a colour shampooo. Worth the spend in order to save on salon visits.

Cover up in the sun: The other thing that fades colour fast is exposure to sunlight. When I returned from camping in France earlier this summer I’d to practically sprint to the hairdressers to nix the  crazy tiger look, where my ends were about twelve shades lighter than my roots. If you’re on holiday, always wear a sunhat. At home where straw boaters are only permissible if you’re going punting, you can buy a range of sprays designed to block suns rays from getting to your hair. Like colour shampoo, it’s worth investing in if it cuts down on touch-ups.

Be a salon floozy: Some of us would rather ditch our best pals than our hairdressers, but for those more fickle sorts, there are more and more salon deals to be found on the likes of Groupon and Wahanda. If you’re brave, or were looking to change stylists anyway, these deals can be phenomenally cheap.

Do you have any more tips for saving cash on colour? Share them by leaving a comment below. 

To get every future Skint tip delivered straight to your inbox click the Follow Me button at the top of the page. It’s a bit like having a whizzy personal assistant for Skint girls.

How to Save on Haircuts

20 Aug

Yikes. Feeling a little skinter than usual right now folks, after blowing the budget and then some at the hairdressers.

I love my hairdresser but like many city centre stylists, she ain’t cheap. Still, I’m choosing to stick with her rather than go to a cheaper, local salon, which means the only way to slice the bills is to stretch the time between visits. BCC – before credit crunch – I’d get my hair cut and coloured every six or seven weeks. Now? Well, I’d just hit the eleven week mark before I could take it no more and practically ran to the hairdressers this afternoon begging for help. Still, eleven weeks is the most I’ve managed between salon visits since I was about 18 and embracing hippy chic. Back then I think I went three years – you can only imagine the ‘style’ I was rocking.

Shock your friends at how long you can go between cuts!

Here’s how I managed to stretch the time between cuts this time round.

Keeping calm and carrying on: We’re basically programmed by the beauty industry to get a cut every six to eight weeks. We’re warned of the disasters that will befall us if we don’t: split ends, lopsided fringes, and all-round ugliness of Quasimodo proportions. Know what? It doesn’t happen. A great cut can last three months. Skint has been delighted to read in the media recently about the rise and rise of the ‘lob’ ie the long bob.  Terrible name but great news for skint girls because the bob is the very best style when you’re trying to stretch time between hairdresser visits.  

Lob aside, here are the other ways I managed to extend time between re-styles:

Request a free trim: Just about any hairdressers will do a free fringe trim between your salon visits, meaning you can extend the life of your cut by about a month. This time round I actually got two fringe trims. Takes two minutes, I tip, everybody’s happy.

Backcomb: when the extra weight from my longer hair started to drag down my style, backcombing the roots worked wonders. just be sure only to do the roots and to smooth over the top layers unless you actually dig the Russell Brand look.

Ditch the Heat: Hairdryers and straighteners are bitches on the hair, leading to split ends which lead in turn to more salon visits. Laying off the straighteners except on special occasions and letting hair part-dry itself in the mornings makes a massive difference to the condition. I’m also a convert to the more relaxed,  less ‘done’, look it gives.  

She maybe waited a little too long . . .

Dust-it: When even backcombing fails, this little tub of fairy dust is the business. A celeb secret till recently it’s now available to us all. A shake or two at the roots gives volume like you wouldn’t believe, transforming longer locks into a Cheryl Cole mane and keeping the hairdresser at bay for another week or two.

Tie it: In the last week or two, an up-do was my saviour. Teamed with some vintage clips it got me through those final shaggy days.

I also stretched time between getting my colour redone – that was way tougher. I’ll blog about that next time.  Meanwhile I’m off to shake my head in front of the mirror and generally act like I just stepped out of a salon.

How long could go you between haircuts?

Till next time, peeps.


Catch Them If You Can – Flash Sales, Big Savings

31 May

What did you do this bank holiday weekend? Visit friends? Picnic in the park? I spent much of it reading the fantastic Freedom by Jonathan Franzen – and steering clear of the shops.  See, I promised myself that until I sold all of my unwanted clothes culled during the Wardrobe Audit, there would be no new ones. And I’m not there yet.

One of my pals called me in a state of great excitement last night after using her bank holiday Monday to snag herself a cut-price designer handbag at an out-of-town discount outlet. These places are great for bargains – if you can call spending £400 on a handbag a bargain, that is. (Half-price or less, though – that’s got to count for something argued my mate). 

If online shopping had been around then, think they'd have been queuing?

For those who don’t want to venture to those massive shopping outlets (I’d rather stick pins in my eyes), I’ve been checking out some flash sale websites. Much more Skint’s thing – you can shop whilst sipping wine, without speaking to a soul. Flash sale sites are basically websites that advertise massive sales at very short notice for a limited time only, typically just 24-36 hours. So, you’ve got to be speedy to get what you want, but the savings can be massive.

You generally have to sign up first – often just your name and email address – then you’ll get notified before a sale starts. Brand Alley is one of the best known, bringing together quality fashion, homes and beauty brands, with big big discounts on well-known names. More and more luxury brands are getting in on the flash sale action too, using sites like Gilt and Achica to advertise their goods. There’s typically a 70% price reduction on flash sales of luxury brands – though remember that the goods will have been expensive to start with, so some of the prices may still seem quite steep. But, if you know you’re after some shoes to make Carrie Bradshaw green, or a top-of-the-range handbag at a knockdown price these sites are definitely worth checking out before you hit the town.

red Fendi shoes

Ooh, I would if I could . . .

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