The Budget Babe | Affordable Fashion & Style Blog

Spring Trend 2008: The Fringe Sandal

Fringe Benefits: Looks from the Etro Spring 2008 runway

Free-spirited fringe sandals made a splash on the Etro Spring '08 runways, and now we're seeing this hot shoe trend everywhere. Fringe naturally lends itself to all the bohemian inspired looks and ethnic prints that are so popular this season (two trends I hope will stick around), but this tassel-trim can also look modern, urban and funky when paired with something like a leather jacket and bold floral skirt (see above). If you like the look, then you'll love our affordable fringe sandal finds below...

MICHAEL Michael Kors Fringed Leather High Heel Sandals at, Was $139.00 Now $79.92

Malta Fringe Sandal at, $19.80

Flavio Fringe Sandal at, $79

Suede Fringe T Strap Sandal at, $28.00

Minnetonka Fringe Bootie at, $45 (Not a sandal, but still cute for running errands on cooler spring days.)

Jeffrey Campbell 'Top' Fringe Sandal at, $94.95

The Best Budget Facial Moisturizer

As I see it, the basic function of a facial moisturizer is to keep water in the skin - something that many budget skincare products can certainly accomplish. But when it comes to my precious face, I'm willing to look beyond the drugstore aisles and spend a little more, which is why I've been using Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion for years.

This popular moisture "drink" was developed by Clinique’s dermatologists to maintain optimal moisture balance for very dry skins, or skins dry in the cheeks, and comfortable to oily in the T-zone. Despite the changes my skin has undergone over time, I find that this formula keeps my skin smooth, soft, and clean-feeling, not oily. (Although natural oils are good for your skin, the sensation of oily skin isn't pleasant.) It also creates a perfect base for applying all other makeup.

Clinique's facial moisturizer is not exactly cheap, but it's still a great deal when you consider that a small dab goes a long way, so a big bottle of this stuff (4.2 oz) - which costs $23 - will last you many months. And let's not forget some moisturizers cost triple that price (or more). I also buy my bottle during Clinique Bonus time so I really feel like I'm getting my money's worth.

There's just one problem: While I don't have any complaints about Clinique moisturizer's quality or reliability, I'm getting a little bored using the same ol' product day after day, year after year. I'm also beginning to wonder whether I need something with more fancy "anti-aging features," you might say. I should note that DDM does not contain SPF, which may be a plus for some, and a problem for others, depending on your stance on wearing sunscreen daily.

So tell us: What's your favorite facial moisturizer? Does the price matter? How much are you willing to spend when it comes to getting healthy, radiant skin?

>> Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion at, $23

Savvy Travel: Fifi Goes Sailing

Anchors away! The Budget Babe's International Travel Advisor Fifi LaMode sets sail for the British Virgin Islands. —TBB

by Fifi LaMode
I am not a sailor. So it was with much trepidation that I agreed to go with my husband on a sailing vacation to the British Virgin Islands, especially since we'd be sleeping on a boat. Did I mention that I'm not into camping either? He was so convinced I'd like it that he paid my way - what a guy! It was starting to look promising...

We flew to Road Town, Tortola, the capital, and there was our boat, the Panacea, in the harbor. It was a 37-footer, complete with bathroom, shower and the sleeping quarters which were surprisingly adequate. So was the storage space. We sailed in a flotilla, which means there were 12 boats and a leader who plans an itinerary and each night you dock or moor in a different spot.

You sail about 3-4 hours a day and then when you're in the harbor you do what you want. They suggest a restaurant in each place and you can go and meet up with others from the group and share experiences, or not. You buy your own groceries for making breakfast or other meals if you'd rather just stay on the boat. For you non-sailors, you get from the boat to the restaurants by dinghy, which can be an experience when you come back after a couple of drinks and can't find your boat because it's dark and they all look the same!

This was quite a trip and I would highly recommend it for the following reasons:

Marc by Marc Jacobs Stewardess-Chic

Marc Jacobs has a knack for making the off-beat seem chic. According to runway reviews, the cute dress on the left is a nod back to a seventies-era flight attendant's uniform, which doesn't exactly sound appealing, but somehow Marc makes it so. While you can get this dress for a mere $321 on sale at Net-a-Porter (that's me being funny), we think you can create a similar look with the adorable frock on the right instead. (We spotted this retro number at our local Forever 21 and have to say it looks better in person than on the web.) Budget fashion for a first-class gal.

Left: Marc by Marc Jacobs Alessandra pussy bow dress at, Was $428 Now $321
Right: Mod Shift Dress at, $24.80