A BANKER girlfriend lamented how the recent financial crisis was forcing her to tighten her belt and go without a lot of niceties.
Maybe it was a little catty, but I told her to suck in her gut and look on the bright side: Forgoing three-hour, expensive lunches would serve her figure much better.
One must adapt or look drab. Make no mistake. In hard times like these, the fittest will survive, but it's the Reccesionista that will do it in top form.
Deep depressions may groove the financial charts now, but is that any reason for them to set in on your forehead? Remember, Botox jabs and fillers aren't free, and a girl has to watch her wallet.
Learn to face adversity with your head held high.
It builds character and allows you to spot a good sale from a mile away.
This is the time to cash in on (cheaper) options.
Prioritise your investments. For example, good money is best saved for shoes - especially the ones that make you look taller to stand out in the crowd.
Let someone else pick up the tab for cocktails and dinner. So ladies, don't shy away from accepting dates. More than ever, the rule of shopping for classics versus seasonal pieces should be observed.
A designer LBD can serve you for years to come, but that flutter-sleeve top is something you can easily find from a high street label store. Buy more separates. Versatile picks, they can be teamed differently, extending your wardrobe and stretching your dollar.
Frugal fashionistas know that good buys may cost you more upfront, but serve you well and often, thus writing off cost in the long run.
This especially applies to beauty products.
The ditty, 'Your face is your fortune', does hold true.
When a $500 jar of face cream keeps you looking youthful and out of the plastic surgeon's chair, that's a necessity, not a splurge.
If you've seen Scarlett Johansson in the 2003 movie, Girl With A Pearl Earring, you will understand that even when bare faced, a woman can be beautiful, if she has good skin.
So if you have a finite or shrinking budget, splurge on what's going to stay on your face for a long time. In skincare terms: That's your moisturiser and serum, and for make-up, a good foundation.
In my (account) books, hell will have to freeze over before I'll part with my favourite creams from La Mer and Sisley, despite their hefty price tags.
La Mer's Crème de La Mer, which by the way J Lo practically bathes in, costs $225 for a 30ml jar, $400 for the 60ml one, and $2,530 for a 500ml tub.
European luxe brand, Sisley's famous Ecological Compound is $275 for a 125ml bottle.
|SMOOTH: (From left) Sisley's Ecological Compound, $275, soothes angry skin; Cle de Peau Beaute's Silky Cream Foundation, $192 for a 20ml, gives you the appearance of perfect skin; J Lo uses La Mer's Crème de La Mer, which costs $225 for a 30ml.
But these are more than moisturisers for me.
They are what I consider miracle salves, because they fix practically all my complexion woes: From tetchy, super dehydrated skin (especially post flight - cabin air can be such a bitch) to healing skin nicks and scratches faster and better, thanks to the creams' rejuvenating and healing properties.
When I need a complexion boost, perfection comes in a foundation pot by Cle de Peau Beaute.
The Japanese premium beauty label's Silky Cream Foundation will set you back $192 for a 20ml jar, but the results almost rival the skin rejuvenating IPL treatments done at the aesthetic doctor's.
Still one of the best foundations I've used, it makes the skin look naturally flawless - and here's the best bit - under ALL light settings, whether it's natural daylight or the scary, unflattering fluorescent bulb.
It also feels weightless on the skin, and you need to use only a little (tap a small gob of it on the back of your hand, then with a foundation brush, pick up the base and sweep on to face, evening out streaks) to make complexions look perfect.
That way, a small pot of it can actually last you two months.
All in all, it's a bargain when you think of all the benefits. And that, folks, is how you bravely face the economic challenges of today.
This article was first published in The New Paper on Oct 26, 2008.