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Beauty and Fashion Splurges That Are Worth the Money at 50+

Even one over-the-top luxury item can go a long way


spinner image & Other Stories Relaxed Sequin Top in Cream; Chanel Gabrielle Chanel Essence Eau de Parfum Spray; Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Pur Couture Caring Satin Lipstick with Ceramides in R21 Rouge Paradoxe; Coach Lana Polished Pebble Leather Shoulder Bag in Black; Mejuri Baguette Diamond Stacker Ring in 14k Yellow Gold, Diamond; Madewell The Curvy 90s Straight Jean in Belmere Wash
(Left to right) & Other Stories Relaxed Sequin Top in Cream; Chanel Gabrielle Chanel Essence Eau de Parfum Spray; Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Pur Couture Caring Satin Lipstick with Ceramides in R21 Rouge Paradoxe; Coach Lana Polished Pebble Leather Shoulder Bag in Black; Mejuri Baguette Diamond Stacker Ring in 14k Yellow Gold, Diamond; Madewell The Curvy 90s Straight Jean in Belmere Wash
& Other Stories; Ulta Beauty; Sephora; Nordstrom; Mejuri; Madewell

What’s considered a splurge these days? It can mean anything from a $45 lipstick to $200 jeans. Every woman has a “someday” beauty and fashion bucket list in her head, but what’s on it varies from person to person, bucket to bucket. Though fast fashion knock-offs and drugstore dupes continue to pave the way for cheap chic, the urge to splurge is far from over. Want to get a little extravagant without breaking the bank? Here are the beauty and fashion indulgences that’ll make you say, “No regrets. It was worth it!”

spinner image Aimee Kestenberg Day Dream Leather Hobo Bag in Black Croco; Coach Lana Polished Pebble Leather Shoulder Bag in Black; Melie Bianco Brigitte Large Satchel in Black
(Left to right) Aimee Kestenberg Day Dream Leather Hobo Bag in Black Croco; Coach Lana Polished Pebble Leather Shoulder Bag in Black; Melie Bianco Brigitte Large Satchel in Black
Saks Fifth Avenue; Nordstrom; Anthropologie

1. A black bag that makes you feel posh

For most women, their bag is practically a body part. Crammed with everyday essentials, it hangs from shoulders, drapes across the body or dangles from hands and elbow crooks. Deluxe designer bags like the Chanel 2.55 often top social media dream lists, but who can afford to spend thousands on a bag — or even wants to? Take my advice as a personal shopper and wardrobe consultant for women 50-plus: Skip right past the ostentatious styles and logo-laden prints, and head for sleek modern hobos and shoulder bags like the Aimee Kestenberg Day Dream Leather Hobo Bag in Black Croco ($298, saksfifthavenue.com), Melie Bianco Brigitte Large Satchel in Black ($128, anthropologie.com) and Coach Lana Polished Pebble Leather Shoulder Bag in Black ($495, nordstrom.com). They look lavish without being too showy, have secure zippered closures and interior security pockets, work with jeans and the most tailored clothes, leave your hands free and are roomy enough to haul it all without stress and strain on neck and shoulders. Why black? It’s resistant to coffee spills, sits happily on the floor of cars and restaurants, and looks right day or night.

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spinner image SLVRLAKE Grace Wide-Leg Jeans in Dark Wash Denim; Mother The Tomcat High Waist Ankle Straight Leg Jeans in Lasting Impression; Madewell The Curvy '90s Straight Jean in Belmere Wash
(Left to right) SLVRLAKE Grace Wide-Leg Jeans in Dark Wash Denim; Mother The Tomcat High Waist Ankle Straight Leg Jeans in Lasting Impression; Madewell The Curvy '90s Straight Jean in Belmere Wash
Bergdorf Goodman; Nordstrom; Madewell

2. Jeans that make you feel rock-star sexy

Jeans are one of the hardest-to-fit items of clothing. If you’ve always wondered how anyone could buy jeans that cost $200 or more when you can buy jeans for $30, the answer is: Try them on. Nothing against low-cost jeans, but premium brands have the kind of ooh factor reserved for cashmere sweaters and really good thread-count sheets. They offer more even low-key neutral washes and denim with a lived-in feel (even the dark washes!). Plus, they have built-in stretch that hits the sweet spot between structure and comfort. Say no to ripped knees and frayed edges, and choose styles with a contemporary fit that are not too extreme like the SLVRLAKE Grace Wide-Leg Jeans in Dark Wash Denim ($239, bergdorfgoodman.com), Mother The Tomcat High Waist Ankle Straight Leg Jeans in Lasting Impression ($218, nordstrom.com) and Madewell The Curvy '90s Straight Jean in Belmere Wash ($128, madewell.com), all in a dark wash or black to keep the elevated look going.

spinner image Frédéric Malle Portrait of a Lady Perfume; Maison Francis Kurkdjian Baccarat Rouge 540 Eau de Parfum; Gabrielle Chanel Essence Eau de Parfum Spray
(Left to right) Frédéric Malle Portrait of a Lady Perfume; Maison Francis Kurkdjian Baccarat Rouge 540 Eau de Parfum; Gabrielle Chanel Essence Eau de Parfum Spray
Bergdorf Goodman; Nordstrom; Ulta Beauty

3. A perfume that turns heads and gets compliments

Wearing any kind of scent — even low-cost ones and body sprays — can provide a feel-good boost. However, costly scents have superpowers that go beyond that. They connect with our brain, emotions and memory to conjure up a mood, enhance self-confidence and make us smell, for lack of a better word, expensive. Though the price of all this well-being can range from $120 to $500 a pop, the psychological impact is priceless. Expensive perfumes are more complex. They use quality ingredients, as well as more natural ingredients and oils rather than going heavy on synthetics, and they last longer on the skin. All you need is a single spritz, making perfume one of the most cost-efficient (if invisible) splurges of all. You can control the price a bit by opting for a smaller bottle or choosing an eau de toilette versus an eau de parfum, but don’t hesitate. Three on the most-wanted list now are Frédéric Malle Portrait of a Lady Perfume ($290 for 1.7 ounces, bergdorfgoodman.com), Maison Francis Kurkdjian Baccarat Rouge 540 Eau de Parfum ($325 for 2.4 ounces, nordstrom.com) and Gabrielle Chanel Essence Eau de Parfum Spray ($165 for 3.4 ounces, ulta.com). Trust the compliments as they pour in.

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spinner image Caroline Rose Sequined Easy Knit Tunic in Silver; & Other Stories Relaxed Sequined Top in Cream; Vince Velvet Bias Long-Sleeve Shirt in Gold Shadow; Le Superbe Smokin Liza Sequin Midi Skirt in Smokey Sunset Sequin; Banana Republic Inaya Maxi Dress in Gold Bronze
(Left to right) Caroline Rose Sequined Easy Knit Tunic in Silver; & Other Stories Relaxed Sequined Top in Cream; Vince Velvet Bias Long-Sleeve Shirt in Gold Shadow; Le Superbe Smokin Liza Sequin Midi Skirt in Smokey Sunset Sequin; Banana Republic Inaya Maxi Dress in Gold Bronze
Saks Fifth Avenue; & Other Stories; Vince; Neiman Marcus; Banana Republic

4. A dressy item that keeps glamour on the ready

Outside of weddings, no one at 50 ever splurges on dressy clothes. We put it off until an occasion comes up and then scramble for a solution on sale. Sure, the idea of investing in a dress, top or skirt that is not exactly a wardrobe basic may feel like money down the drain, but my motto is “Buy it when you see it. You’ll never find it when you need it.” Look for your current favorite styles reinvented in sequins and shimmery silver, gold and bronze like the Caroline Rose Sequined Easy Knit Tunic in Silver ($350, saksfifthavenue.com), & Other Stories Relaxed Sequined Top in Cream ($159, stories.com/en_usd) and Vince Velvet Bias Long-Sleeve Shirt in Gold Shadow ($425, vince.com) to pair with black pants and skirts for a risk-free purchase. Or push the fashion edge with a midi skirt like the Le Superbe Smokin Liza Sequin Midi Skirt in Smokey Sunset Sequin ($395, neimanmarcus.com) or a relaxed dress like the Banana Republic Inaya Maxi Dress in Gold Bronze ($250, bananarepublic.gap.com) that can handle boots or ballet flats. You’ll say “great buy” with every wear.

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spinner image Brilliant Earth Silver Juniper Diamond Cuff Bracelet; Kendra Scott Avi Pave Heart 18k Yellow Gold Vermeil Charm Necklace in White Diamond; Mejuri Baguette Diamond Stacker Ring in 14k Yellow Gold, Diamond
(Clockwise from bottom left) Brilliant Earth Silver Juniper Diamond Cuff Bracelet; Kendra Scott Avi Pave Heart 18k Yellow Gold Vermeil Charm Necklace in White Diamond; Mejuri Baguette Diamond Stacker Ring in 14k Yellow Gold, Diamond
Brilliant Earth; Kendra Scott; Mejuri

5. A piece of jewelry that makes you glow inside and out

It’s time to let the cubic zirconia studs and stacks of cheap bangles go and give yourself some serious fine jewelry. No need to wait for someone else to gift you or overspend on a tennis bracelet. Think outside the box and make a choice that reflects your true personality and taste at 50. Diamonds in any form never fail to add some sparkle. Whether you choose a stackable ring like the Mejuri Baguette Diamond Stacker Ring in 14k Yellow Gold, Diamond ($298, mejuri.com), an elegant necklace like the Kendra Scott Avi Pave Heart 18k Yellow Gold Vermeil Charm Necklace in White Diamond ($250, kendrascott.com) or a modern cuff bracelet like the Brilliant Earth Silver Juniper Diamond Cuff Bracelet ($275, brilliantearth.com), it’s an empowering splurge that will celebrate your independent attitude.

spinner image Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer; Crème de la Mer Moisturizing Cream; Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Pur Couture Caring Satin Lipstick with Ceramides in R21 Rouge Paradoxe
(Left to right) Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer; Crème de la Mer Moisturizing Cream; Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Pur Couture Caring Satin Lipstick with Ceramides in R21 Rouge Paradoxe
Ulta Beauty; Neiman Marcus; Sephora

6. A longed-for prestige beauty product

No matter how much you love the idea of drugstore beauty, there’s an unmistakable pleasure in using a coveted cream or whipping out a gorgeous lipstick. Going upscale is not easy when you consider the excellent results from many of the more affordable skin, hair and makeup products available, but even one top-tier beauty item can offer immediate gratification and improve your daily experience. What this item is will differ from person to person, but three are superior in their own rights and truly have no comparable low-cost dupes. Try Crème de la Mer Moisturizing Cream ($200 for 1 ounce, neimanmarcus.com), a dual day-night ultra-rich antidote to dry dull skin. The Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer ($430, ulta.com) is lightweight and jet powered, offering the fastest, safest blow-dry for all, even for those with fine hair and sensitive scalps. Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Pur Couture Caring Satin Lipstick with Ceramides in R21 Rouge Paradoxe, a blue red, or R1 Le Rouge, a ruby red ($45, sephora.com), is a hydrating formula in two teeth-whitening shades for flaunting your “so worth it” smile.

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