The Budget Babe | Affordable Fashion & Style Blog

Today at Gilt: Tibi, Badgley Mischka Platinum Handbags, Zac Posen

Today's sales at Gilt Groupe include Tibi, Badgley Mischka Platinum Handbags and Zac Posen. No need to rush with the Zac Posen or Badgley Mischka sales, the prices are steep enough to preclude a shopping stampede (as is often the case with these sample sales). Tibi's colorful prints are making me giddy, and the prices are reasonable for fans of the label. Additional ongoing sales include Cynthia Rowley women's fashions and handbags, and Oscar de la Renta Home. All sales start today, Wednesday 2/26 at 12 PM ET. Use this link to join the sales:

Ask BB: Cheap Chic False Eyelashes

I was wondering if you knew of any budget-friendly places to get full-looking false eyelashes. I'd be a newbie in sporting them so I'm looking for a pair that's easy to put on and take off and probably something that stays put. I'm wondering if I need to just splurge on a good pair (I hear Shu Uemura's are nice) or if there's anything just as good but not pricey. —J

Shu Uemura may be the haute couturier of eyelashes, but drugstore brands can also give you the same glamorous look achieved by top models and movie stars. For beginners, try the Andrea Modlash Starter Kit, just $5.99 at I once heard this brand recommended by Barbara Walters' makeup artist of 16 years, Lori Klein, so they must be good!

To ensure those lashes stay put, you'll need to be patient and take your time to apply them properly: First, trim the lashes to the length of your eyelid. Next, put a dab of glue on your fingertip and run the base of the eyelash through the glue, then allow it to dry to the right degree of tackiness before slowly pressing it onto your eyelid (not your lashes, or you'll have a tough time getting them off). Add a touch of mascara to blend your real eyelashes and the fake ones together.

Once you get comfortable applying the full set of faux eyelashes, you can graduate to individual lashes which I think are trickier to apply, but can look more natural (though no less dramatic). A cheap yet effective choice would be Andrea PermaLash, just $3.29 at

I happen to own a pair by MAC, and they have served me well on those rare occasions when I want to look glam. Not cheap (average price of $12) but they have a lot of styles to choose from, and if you go to a makeup counter as I did, you can get help picking a pair that's right for you.

Are you a fan of false eyelashes? Share your secrets!

Deal du Jour: 3 for $99 Shoe Sale at

BCBGirls Lotun High Heel Maryjane Pump With Zipper, part of the 3 for $99 shoe sale at

If you are on a self-imposed shopping ban, please avert your eyes. If not, read on for a fabulous two-day only dealio going on now at Buy 3 specially marked pairs of women's shoes for the very reasonable price of $99! And we're not talking last-season dumpster material, oh no: Styles being offered are current and covetable from designers such as Steve Madden, Franco Sarto, Carlos Santana, Kenneth Cole, Jessica Simpson, BCBGirls and many more. My advice: Look for real leather, and think about what you need before you begin to browse. Evening shoes for an upcoming wedding? Proper low-heels for work? Gladiator sandals for spring? Chances are, this sale has got you covered. Thanks to Shoe Smitten for the tip!

Shop it: 3 for $99 event at

Ask BB: 4 Good Reads for Great Style

A reader from San Francisco asked me if I had any books to recommend that include good tips on incorporating more color, textures, patterns, and jewelry into one's wardrobe. She says she's got the basics down pat, and is now looking for a little guidance on how to take her style to the next level, as well as advice on which statement pieces to splurge on. I think this is a fabulous question, so I did a little research and put together the following list. Budget Tip: Hit your local bookstore or library for hours of free entertainment before you buy.

How to Have Style by Isaac Mizrahi ($18.85 at

I'm a visual learner, so I was drawn to the many photos that can be found in this book by the darling Isaac Mizrahi. And I'm a huge Isaac fan, so there. He shows you what to do, what not to do, and gives you style exercises to help inspire and elevate your own look. Accessories are such a huge part of having "style" as opposed to just wearing fashions, so right from the get-go, Mizrahi's book is singing our tune.

The One Hundred: A Guide to the Pieces Every Stylish Woman Must Own by Nina Garcia ($14.93 at

If you're looking for an excuse to splurge, Nina Garcia gives you 100! But buying everything on her list isn't the point of this book, rather, it's meant to get you dreaming about your own essentials, things you will want to have in your closet for years to come. I'm also partial to illustrator Ruben Toledo, whose beautiful drawings enliven the pages.

The Lucky Guide to Mastering Any Style: How to Wear Iconic Looks and Make Them Your Own by Kim France and Andrea Linett ($18.80 at

This book is also full of photos and features ten versatile archetypes (Euro Chic, American Classic, Gamine, etc.) that can be customized to fit your personal style. Lucky breaks down each iconic look by its various components, so you can hone in on the key accessories and figure out how to mix and match essentials while staying true to your own style. Ok, so Omiru is not a book (yet) but I had to mention this fashion blog because it does a marvelous job of deconstructing on a granular level such topics as "how to wear color," "how to wear patterns," or "how to wear statement jewelry." The writing is straightforward and the visuals are all clickable (thank you world wide web).

What books have you found most useful when it comes to defining your personal style?

3 New (To Us, At Least) Online Sample Sale Sites

Dozens of online sample sale websites seem to have cropped up over the past year or so, each promising designer fashions at drastically reduced prices. Here are three of the latest ones I've come across for your bookmarking & browsing pleasure. All are free to join and you don't need a special invite. I haven't shopped at any of these yet so let me know if you do! This website offers weekly one-day, one-deal sales. Currently, you can score a pair of Modern Vintage Leather Butero Black Boots, originally $295, for just $49.99. Not bad! If you love infomercials, then you'll love their video presentations about the day's sale. Warning: They are very persuasive! Look for daily sales to roll out in just a few weeks.

>> Click here to join ShopFlick This premier designer sample sale company has been around since 2001 hosting in-person sales, and has recently added online sales at their website. Word on the street is that Thursday's sale will feature beautiful jewelry and leather pieces by Beyrll. Sign up for their emails which will notify you when a sale starts.

>> Click here to join Another online outlet store for members only, Secret Style's strong point seems to be featuring lesser-known (but no less fab) designer labels, which means price points are often much lower than, say, Gilt or Rue La La. Recent sales included Trish McEvoy cosmetics, while Morphine Generation clothing is currently up for grabs. Once you sign up, you'll get email alerts for all their sales, which last about 24-48 hours or until they run out of stock.

>> Click here to join

Have you scored any great deals at an online sample sale website? Which one is your favorite?