{good reads} How to Look Expensive: A Beauty Editor’s Secrets to Getting Gorgeous without Breaking the Bank

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“Beauty Sleuth” reveals tricks of the trade to help you look fabulously high-end—in any economy. Andrea Pomerantz Lustig has spent twenty years as a beauty editor, and her contact list is packed with the names of the most exclusive stylists in the business.

In her new book How to Look Expensive: A Beauty Editor’s Secrets to Getting Gorgeous Without Breaking the Bank, she combines her own experience with highly coveted secrets she’s learned from the experts to help readers achieve buttery highlights, luminous skin, flawless makeup, and more, all on a budget. Delivering red-carpet looks without putting readers in the red, tips include:

1. Make your hair a wearable status symbol; master a professional blow-dry.
It takes practice, but it’s truly empowering, and you’ll have great-looking hair for the rest of your life. Two of my favorite DIY hair products are Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray—a single spritz is like a professional blow-dry—and the Remington Keratin-infused straightening iron is genius, and it’s only $40!

2. Don’t be a product snob: I’ve tried a million shampoos, and although I love the luxurious smell and feel of some high-end brands, Alba Botanica’s Hawaiian line is a favorite, and it’s only $10.50 a bottle. I also just discovered an amazing new product from Garnier, Sleek Finish 5-in-1 Serum Spray. At $6, it’s the most affordable argan oil product I’ve found. Some of my favorite low-cost, high-quality cosmetic brands are Sonia Kashuk at Target, Sephora collection, Nyx Cosmetics, Milani, and NYC Color.

3. Stay close to your natural hair color—enhance it, don’t change it. Women get into trouble with color when they veer too far away from what they started with. If you go no more than two or three shades in either direction, or highlight leaving your base color as a low light, you’ll be able to stretch out salon appointments.

4. Collect interesting statement necklacesDress in neutrals and solids, and accessorize with bold necklaces you find when you travel, shop in funky neighborhoods, or buy from street vendors. They’ll make anything you wear look more expensive.

5. Master a chic chignon: Wearing hair up and off your face elongates your neck, makes your cheekbones look higher, and gives you a more regal appearance. I love Spin Pins from Goody for making a professional, tidy low-bun, as well as a more dramatic top knot.

6. Streamline your skin care regime: Many products now combine active ingredients, making it easy to get all of your skincare needs in two or three products. Most BB Creams (beauty balms or blemish balms) include sunscreen and anti-aging ingredients and even offer coverage; they’re more than a tinted moisturizer but less than a regular foundation. My two favorites are Dior Hydra Life BB Crème SPF 30, and Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream.
7. Accessorize with jewel-toned nail polish: Wearing a chic sapphire blue or ruby red polish is an easy way to give your hands an elegant look. When your nails are a mess, you feel like a mess; it doesn’t cost much to buy a great new nail polish or get your nails done, but it makes you look and feel polished.

8. Think of your makeup collection the way you do your wardrobe—invest in one or two luxe items a season. Sometimes having a Chanel lipstick or Dior compact in your bag is the little luxury that makes you feel like a million bucks.

9. Become best friends with a makeup artist at the department store; she can hook you up with samples: Most women don’t realize that if you ask at the cosmetic counter, many upscale brands will give you a little bit of the product to take home and test. I also sometimes hit up the beauty adviser for a free makeup application before an event—most will gladly oblige for a small purchase, or a discreet $20 tip. It’s like having your own celebrity makeup artist!

10. Tailor your clothes, even if they weren’t expensive, and even if the tailor is just the guy at the dry cleaner: Fit is everything; taking in the waist, or tapering length so it has a cleaner, more modern silhouette can turn even bargain finds into your own personal haute couture.

We love this book, this is a shopping guide and an in-depth tutorial, with everything a woman needs to know to look her best in a budget. Available at &

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