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Anya's Advice, tips for shopping well

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i live in Chicago and own my own business.  which basically means i get high all day and surf on the net for beauty products, fashion and social clips.  not such a bad life. i also work out with a trainer 3X a week so i can fit in my clothing as getting stoned as most of you know, gives you the munchies.  another subject i can advise you on.


when i want to purchase something i first do my research online.  read the reviews, where to buy, how much? etc.  then i go out in the field and purchase the items.  i find if it's a beauty product, go to the store that carries your product and establish relationships with their beauty reps.  for example: i use LaMer moisturizing creme de le creme.  i have relationships with la mer beauty experts at each store i frequent, such as barneys, neiman marcus, saks, nordstrom and bloomingdales.  they treat me well & most importantly they give me SAMPLES!. 


Samples are great for a few reasons such as:when you run out of your product you have a few days "saving grace" of that product to get you through until you re-stock (and get more free samples).  they're also great for traveling.  i go to ny frequently and do not check my bags.  this is because if they lose your bag they are only responsible for like $250-$500 to reimburse you.  hello!  you can't even buy a good pair of shoes anymore for that amount of money.  let alone ALL of your accessories (shoes, bags, etc), your clothes that you packed (another fortune) and of course your skin care & beauty products (which as we know add up to a small fortune).  so obviously i carry on my bags which is why samples are almost crucial as they will TOSS OUT anything that's regular sized when you carry your own bag on.  so samples are great for that.  samples are also an extra perk we get when we outlay these really high amounts of money for this stuff.  it's like getting frequent flyer points (they should do that by the way!), you buy a lot of this product you should receive samples of what you are purchasing, as well as a sample of a NEW PRODUCT they should WANT to sell you.  ya dig?!


Samples are something you can't get when you buy online.  again, samples are great for making up for the exhorbitant costs of the product(s).  it gives us just a little something back, which is an emotional satisfier after you've spent your salary on this stuff.  helps.


Fashion is great to buy AFTER you've researched it online, of course, at the stores DIRECTLY.  first off you can again establish relationships with sales reps.  that way your shopping experience is better, and also they will put things on hold for you (for up to 3 days if you plead).  the problem with ordering clothing online is you don't always pick the right size, which is a pain in the ass if you have to send it back, order another one, all that.  also, the color is often just a little bit (or in some cases, a lot) different that how it shows online.  the lighting, whatever --unless the product is black or white, it will vary just a little bit.  if you are really particular (which you should be!), this can often be a problem.  50% of the time at least.  the other 50% the color might be even better.  but why not select the PRECISE item, fit &color you are looking for IN PERSON.  especially if it costs you more for shipping which it typically does, particularly when you have to exchange or return the item for discussed reasons or if you are returning entirely, re-stocking fees are often applied.  that is why i read the return policies of every online vender i purchase from.  be smart and do the same thing. don't forget ladies, that these large dept. stores have paid tailors availible to advise and alter ANYTHING you purchase, yes, even (or especially), those Juicy sweats everyone must own at least 1-2 pairs of, along with LuLu Lemons (who alter for FREE in case you didn't know).  the tailoring does often cost more but is worth it.  something you just can't get online.


of course, if you don't have access to these stores you and you have to buy online you don't have a choice.  but again be wary and check the reviews and return policies of each store if it isn't a big dept store that you are already familiar with their policies.  researching companies websites also gives you an idea of whether or not they are selling REPLICAS.  don't even get me started on that one - have tons of online tips for sniffing out SCAMS over the REAL thing.  you want to buy the real thing, trust me.  replicas are cheaply made and more importantly CHEAP looking.  even if it looks okay, and it will only look okay, not fxxng! fabulous, it will fall apart within 1 year of use.  trust me on this.  i once was standing in line to get into a club (i know me? i never should have BEEN in line, hello), carrying a fake Chanel bag, and the metal Chanel symbol fell off of the bag and clanked onto the ground!  Can you say new level of EMBARASSMENT?! and i loved this fake!  it was a cute little number, small satin Chanel bag and i was in college so i didn't have the dough back then to buy real.  but obviously that had to go, i only buy real now and never look back.  authentic is the way to go, you'll get more mileage out of the real deal.  always.  and you deserve it too.  you really do.  be good to yourself, be good for your own self esteem level.  i can't stress this enough.     


Now, if you live in the city (which i do), it might cost you a cab ride downtown to procure these items (which it does), but hey! again i'll tell you this can be gratifying when they all know you (which they do, i can't go into any store without running into at least 4-5 sales reps who know me, sad i know.  but sort of Fabulous too!), you get the size and color you want, say hello to everyone and most importantly, see what's in the stores now and hear about what's coming in for the beginning of season.  your sales people know this, it's what they're trained to do.  they're getting paid to be there and work, so utilize them for shop sakes!

these are just some thoughts on what i do every day, all of the time.  i have ton's of shpping advice if you are interested send questions to me at friday.anya@gmail.com. you should know that i only review HIGHER END products which i must advocate here.  you get what you pay for.  if you don't have deep pockets buy less, but better products & clothing.  quality over quantity no hands down.  you will feel better about your purchase (which is an investment in you), and you will look more chic and exude a pride of your beautiful ensembles.  take care of them too for goodness sake.  these are investment pieces.  always buy the classics and keep the trendy stuff cheaper if you must.   happy shopping.


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