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Diva on a Dime: 'Queen of Chic' Daisy Lewellyn

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Now that summer’s officially arrived, we’re ditching our winter coats for warm weather beauty, shopping, and travel essentials. Starting summer off on a pretty note doesn’t have to require a million dollars and a glam squad so we reined in the queen of effortless chic, style expert, television personality, and author of “Never Pay Retail Again: Shop Smart, Spend Less, and Look Your Best Ever” Daisy Lewellyn to give Essence.com her top 10 money saving tips from beauty deals to summer vacations.  

Beauty Bargains
#1. Are you gel-lin’?: The sun is the best part of summer, but sometimes the sun can turn our weekly mani/pedi combo dull before it reaches the end of the week. To get the most out of the summer’s bold hues and bang for your buck, try getting gel nails because it lasts longer and has a glossier effect than traditional manicures. “Many divas in training are turned off when they hear the cost, usually 50 to 70 percent higher than a standard manicure.  But I discovered an insider secret that your technician most likely won’t share - just ask for the gel top coat instead of a full on gel manicure!  You’ll save money, but get the same results.”

#2. Smooth operator: In a rush and can’t find your toner to close pores after cleanings? Instead of rummaging around for toner in the medicine cabinet, just head on over to your kitchen! Lewellyn suggests reaching for ice cubes if you’re in a last-minute pinch or have run out of product and need something to tide you over before you hit the makeup counter. Divas don’t need to sacrifice beauty; it’s literally a free and all-natural beauty product right from your freezer!

#3. Whip your hair: It’s always nice to visit a salon and get our hair done, but doing our hair at home might be a different story. Lewellyn has the best hair around town but admits that she isn’t the most talented when using styling tools to get the perfect ‘do at home.  “Instead of paying $65 to $100 every week for a full wash and flatiron, I just get a weekly flatiron for about $20, a fraction of the cost.  Your stylist will work with you if you specify what you want,” says the television personality who has appeared on Good Morning America, The Rachael Ray Show, and The Nate Berkus Show.


Smart Shopping
#4. Perfect clothes, perfect prices: It’s tempting to walk into a store and snag the first designer item you see, but why not pay less when you can? Lewellyn advises learning about the big designer’s diffusion lines, or kid sister lines, as she calls it. The kid sister lines bear the same designer’s talent but are less expensive – same designer, smaller price tag! Lewellyn even gave us a list of three classic kid sister labels: BCBGMaxazria’s kid sister is BCBGeneration, Calvin Klein Collection’s is Calvin Klein, and Michael Kors Collection’s is MICHAEL Michael Kors. Some department stores might even sneakily stash the kid sister line in a different section of the store from the main label so take a walk around the store before making your decision. Shop on, divas!

#5. DIY: Lewellyn bought a fabulous pair of six-inch Christian Louboutin wedges a few summers ago – then it was knocked-off! Lewellyn didn’t want to toss her babies out or let the fakes walk around town so she used embellishments from a pair of Target sandals to add a little somethin’-somethin’. “Don’t waste embellishments, buttons, trim, and such. There’s always an option to channel your inner mini-Martha and transform an older item into something cool and new,” says Lewellyn, who has worked at InStyle, Glamour, Health, Marie Claire, and our very own Essence.

#6. Ahead of the game: There are always new trends every season, but some trends have stayed for several seasons and don’t show signs of leaving. Espadrilles, wedge and thong sandals, aviator sunnies, and bright citrus-hued dresses are all on Lewellyn’s list of summer wardrobe essentials because it never goes out of style! Shop off-season when there are markdowns on sale items in stores, or even shop during the summer months since these staples always seem to be on a perpetual sale.

#7. Globetrotting: Divas can look like they’ve travelled the world (even if they really haven’t!) with a few boho, tribal, and global inspired pieces this summer. Head to an ethnic neighborhood or even a flea market for the real deals on colorful saris and wooden bangles. “Shop locally in the native neighborhoods where the goods are available year around. I am obsessed with a dress that I got in the rainforest in Puerto Rico.  If I had purchased it in New York City, it surely would have been well over $500, but I paid under $50!”

#8. Wake up call: Do you love it when your girlfriends score great deals and wonder how you can also get an early bird special on your favorite brands? Well, sign up for sale alerts on ShopStyle.com or ShopItToMe.com to get personalized emails about sales and markdowns on all your favorite designers and brands. It’s your very own bargain-hunting personal shopper!

Fun in the Sun
#9. Fashion Food: After a day of sweet deals on summer must-haves, continue the fun at happy hour! If you’ve got a few bucks left over from a shopping trip, Lewellyn suggests grabbing a few friends for happy hour specials. Appetizers are usually half off and there are more drink specials than you can count, $10 can buy you more than you think! If you can’t make it out of the office to lunch with girlfriends, Lewellyn suggest breakfast. “Breakfast foods tend to be cheaper. After all, how much can they really charge for eggs, butter, and bread?”

#10. Summer getaway: Summer wouldn’t be summer without a stress-free and work-free vacation. The key words are stress-free and work-free. This summer, think before splurging on hotels and cruises. Why not save some cash by renting a vacation house or cabana in the Hamptons or the Bahamas with a group of friends?  “The house itself can become the lounge of choice for the vacation. You play the music that you like, dance on chairs sans controlling bouncers, and as soon as your platform pain kicks in, head to the room for a quick wardrobe change,” says Lewellyn. 

For more of Lewellyn’s tips on living the Chanel life for the Target prices, check her out on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and at www.daisylewellyn.com!
Filed Under: Diva on a Dime
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