How to Look Expensive Q & A with Andrea Pomerantz Lustig

I’ve known Andrea Pomerantz Lustig for a few years now. I forget how we got in contact, but once I met her, that was it. There was an instant connection — maybe it was the common ground of being both career-oriented moms who love beauty, or maybe because Andrea is just so down to earth that I enjoyed her company. Chances are, it was both.

Andrea’s been pretty busy lately; when she’s not being a beauty editor, she’s promoting her new book, How to Look Expensive.  I love this book for so many reasons, not just because there is an intelligent woman behind it, but because so many of us don’t have bottomless wallets to buy $300 lotions or make trips to high end salons. Yet, Andrea tells you how to look expensive without cashing in your 401K.

Q: What inspired you to write How to Look Expensive? 

Andrea: I came up with the idea for the book one night during the financial crisis a few years ago. My husband was working late and my phone and email were being bombarded with updates from celeb experts who’d just finished glamming a star for the Oscars. It occurred to me that we were all so obsessed with this hyper-expensive beauty ideal we saw on celebrities, during a time when many Americans were facing lay-offs and foreclosures. I realized that people were unaware that a ton of money was being spent to glam up celebrities not just for Oscar night, but even to go to the grocery store. What we see on the red carpet, or even on the pages of a gossip magazine is a walking major movie star beauty budget! I wanted to give real women a way to compete, so that’s where my book idea came from: I had a wealth of beauty knowledge to share, amazing tips, secrets and advice from working as a beauty editor for the past 20 years and an inbox full of expensive beauty advice and relationships with all the top celebrity beauty experts. I realized I could solve the problem, by helping women bridge the gap between what they want to look like and what they can afford to look like, help them upgrade their look to upgrade their life without breaking the bank!

Q: What are you favorite inexpensive beauty products that help you achieve the look or claims of the expensive products?

Andrea: I am loving Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine 5-in-1 Serum Spray, a shine, texturizing, humidity and frizz-busting product based on Argan oil which is usually found in expensive products.

I’m a big fan of Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Moisturizer to give my skin a glow like an expensive department store shimmer moisturizer—I use it under my makeup.

RoC Daily Resurfacing Disks are like a peel at the dermatologist’s office, in my own bathroom.

The Alba Botanica products are awesome. I especially love the Hawaiian shampoos/conditioners and the Hawaiian coconut milk face cleanser really makes me feel like I’m at a tropical spa and makes my skin clear and bright.

Sonia Kashuk’s makeup and Sephora’s private label makeup line are awesome. I use Sonia’s makeup brushes, which cost about $20- $30 for a set and come with a cute bag to tote them in. These brushes are just as good as ones sold for much more per brush from makeup artist lines at department stores.

Q: Out of all of the tips offered in your book, which is the one you live and breathe and was a must-have secret to let the world in on?

Andrea: The tip I live and breathe and share with others isn’t such a secret, but it’s a new way of thinking about beauty beyond aesthetics–that when you look good, you feel good. Looking your best isn’t trivial, it’s essential to living your best life and feeling great about yourself. When you look like a million bucks—by which I mean your best self–you exude confidence that helps you to get the job, get the guy, get the life you want. Another important tip from the book is that looking expensive is about less is more. Paris France, not Paris Hilton! You don’t need a ton of makeup, you need the right makeup for you. Natural and understated looks more expensive than loud and contrived.

But, my life philosophy aside, one of my current favorite tips is how I “duped” my makeup bag. I found drugstore or inexpensive alternatives for all the products in my $500 makeup kit and you would never to able to tell the difference on my face.

Q: How has being a mom made you prioritize which products or treatments you should splurge on and which ones are best done/purchased inexpensively?

Andrea: I’m all about short cuts and saving/finding time in my busy working mom days. If I find a product that’s a splurge but will give me back precious minutes, I tend to invest. For example, I don’t often have time to blow dry my hair in the morning while getting three kids and myself out the door. Oribe’s Dry Texturizing Spray is a little pricey, but it’s like having a live-in hair stylist. , I just flip my head over and give it a good spritz and it looks like I just walked out of a salon.

Another thing I splurge on is skin care. I use some great products that are inexpensive, like the RoC Disks I mentioned above, but my serum and moisturizer from Dr. David Colbert’s line, Colbert MD, are non-negotiable splurges because they really work on me. The results allow me to wear less makeup and therefore save me time in the morning, but more importantly, these products make me feel great about my skin, and when my skin is under control, I feel in control.

Q: What is one thing you learned during the 20 years you were a beauty editor that has stuck with you?

Andrea: One thing that has stuck with me is the technique of lining your eyes with shadow. When I started it was an entirely new idea meant to give you the natural look without smudging or causing raccoon eyes—applying black or brown shadow liner right at the base of the lids so it looked like liner, only more subtle. I used taupe under my lids for invisible definition. Now that idea has evolved and expanded to include using shadow as liner for a smoky look rimming tops and bottoms in metallic and all sorts of colors. I especially love the look with bronze and charcoal shadow.

You can get How to Look Expensive at (which also has it for the Kindle!) What are some of your tips for looking expensive on a budget?

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Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty, Hair Care, Makeup, salon, skin care, Spa Leave a comment

About the author

Shannon Smyth

Shannon began A Girl's Gotta Spa! beauty blog in 2005 to morph her love of beauty and in educating women on what truly works and what does not. She has been featured in Glamour, VOGUE Australia, Woman's World, Nail Pro, SHAPE and on WBRE's PA Live. She is a go-to source for social media consulting when it comes to beauty brands.

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