Saturday, November 29, 2008


Kudos to everyone who made it out there for black friday shopping! I was pleased to hear that even with this economic mess overall black friday was on par with past years in terms of consumer spending, if nothing else. Curiously enough, I also heard that there were less people.

With the state of my personal finances I definitely have to rethink little things that I was partaking in on a regular basis that could be construed as unnecessary. When looking over things I did some math and realized that getting my nails done (manicure only) could end up costing me (or my mom) almost $520.00 a year. That's money that could be spent on serious stuff like bills, groceries, etc. with maybe a little left over for a new pair of shoes but, I digress. I figured that manicures can't be all that difficult and have resolved to do my own nails each week! After all, practice makes perfect and to save that kind of money it's definately worth a try.

Here's what I've learned:
  • Remove any former polish using a good remover. Don't use anything with gelatin, it makes it harder to rub the polish off.
  • When filing you nails, less it more. Work with the natural shape of your nails which for me (and many other women) is square-ish. While filing them, round the edges because when they are too pointy they crack and chip, not to mention scratch.
  • If your cuticles are beast then you can try to trim them. Although, I recommend getting a manicure once a month so they can do that for you. In the interim you can use a cuticle moisturizing cream and use an orangewood stick to push them back.
  • Now, you can start painting. With any good paint job you need to start with a good base. This is where a general rule comes in. Spending a little more on these products is totally worth it because you will still save tons in the end. Invest in a bottle of my fav base coat! This will make your manicure stay, my nails jobs now last longer than when I went to get them done at the salon.
  • You can choose whatever color you like but again I recommend going with higher quality, I like Essie Wicked for the colder months and Starter Wife or similar sheer pinky colors for the warmer months. These will last you a long time. You should paint two coats on your nails. And, you shouldn't lay the first coat on too thick. The second one can be a little thicker to cover up any imperfections. If you go over the line while painting, that being your cuticle, you can dip a q-tip in nail polish remover and touch it up or you can use a nail corrector pen. I picked one up at my local beauty supply shop and it works great, much more precise than a q-tip which is great because I'm not that delicate.
  • Lastly you need a good top coat to seal the deal. I like OPI Nail Envy. It was recommended by the owner of the nails salon by my house and is the perfect compliment to Seche Base. My nails are stronger than ever. You can follow up during the week with additional top coats to keep your mani fresh!
  • I recommend carrying a nail file in your car or purse so that just in case one of your lovelies breaks you can file it back into shape instead of being tempted to pick at it or bite. What good was all that work if you don't maintain?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


But first, HAPPY TURKEY DAY!!! Don't worry about the calories and squeezing into your fav jeans or that little black dress, you should be allowed a cheat day and honestly one day isn't going to undo all your hard work. I, for one, can't eat the mounds of food that are splayed out before me anyway. Just because it's Thanksgiving doesn't mean my stomach has doubled in size but, I digress.

Any good deal seeking individual is revving up for the biggest shopping day of the year, Black Friday! Frankly, you don't want to be dealing with the crazy people and the crowds if you are not prepared. I will give you a few steps that will make your Black Friday Shopping the most efficient thing you've ever done... yes, shopping can be efficient.

First and foremost, make a list of everyone you want to get gifts for and try to categorize them by how much money you want to spend. While your mom, dad, brother, sister, boyfriend, etc. might be in the higher up area you definitely don't want to spend the same amount of money on Dad's GPS navi that you do on your Kris Kringle at work.

I pride myself on being able to do my Christmas shopping for friends and acquaintances for $10-$20 bucks. It takes some serious dedication and lots of creativity but it's totally worth it when your friend opens their gift, loves it, and while they think you spent mad money you spent practically nothing.

Second, you need to check out the Black Friday fliers. Most companies have posted or mailed them so that you have an idea of what their deals are going to be like and what the door buster items are going to be. For those of you who have never been Black Friday shopping understand that while the door-busters are amazingly cheap there are only 8-15 of them in each store. So while you think that you can show up at 5 in the morning and get the $398 laptop/printer combo at Best Buy, you are wrong because 5 is when the doors open not when they start handing out the tickets. I would recommend showing up at 2 and waiting outside because there are going to be lots of people who will be there at that time or perhaps even earlier. Wear lots of layers and bring a chair or a buddy so you can wait in shifts.

After cross referencing the fliers and your list you should have a good idea of where you need to go to get your gifts so you can plot the course that you will be taking when you wake up before the sun rises and know what stores to hit first. Obviously I would do door-buster stores first, then in order of what time they open. If you have specific items in mind it helps to go with a friend or two so you can send them off to help you. I bring my brother because he has no other loyalties or people to buy gifts for.

Now on to items that I think are worth heading out for, I'll try to group them by store.

  • Old Navy: While I'm kind of over their clothes for the most part they are offering a really cool Black Friday deal, a Free Mp3 player with $20 purchase, while supplies last. I'd like to give it to my mom who would think it was cool but never want to spend the money on a Mp3 player. Maybe for you a little sister, brother, or cousin. And for my $20 purchase I would probably get pajamas for my aunt or someone, and maybe something for myself because I have a gift certificate.
  • Best Buy: For the techy people in your life, there are tons of computers, computer accessories, camera, gps's and such on sale. But for me and my frugal gift giving I'm probably going to hit up the $4.99 DVD section, it's great if you have an inside joke with friend or whatever and you can find the DVD that exemplifies it, and you still have $15 to spend on other stuff. Of you can get some seasons for $14.99 which is awesome too and that's alot of hours of tv watching. See it can be done.
  • Kmart, Target, and Kohl's are on my list also for all the filler bits. You kinds just have to walk around and think hard about who you might be able to give the things you see to but it can be worth it.
  • Ann Taylor Loft: For me, They are having 25% off everything until noon, and there is this gorgeous dress that I want for fancy occasions so I might have to stop by and pick it up.

So overall: don't eat too much turkey (tryptophan bad), wake up early, make a list, make a travel plan, and stick with it! Shopping can be efficient and economical... and my boyfriend just had a heart attack somewhere I should call and make sure he's ok.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

We're Back!

She Spys knows that in these troubling economic times you want the most for your buck while still maintaining a certain style. We can help you in a variety of ways from finding you great deals on your gifting to picking out the perfect party outfit during the holidays. Maybe, you want to give someone the gift of style, we offer gift certificates for whatever services you feel are needed. Or, if you just feel you need a change: personal style evaluations, closet purges, and so much more. We’ll go anywhere in the tri-state area to get you what you need, or take you along if you like. We charge a genuinely nominal hourly fee, no percentage of purchase price or travel fees like other personal shoppers. Email, ASAP and get the most fabulous, yet frugal shopping you've ever done started!