Style Empowerment | Shopping Trip Scores & Tips | Beauty Haul

For someone who is a wardrobe stylist, believe it or not, I do not shop very often nor do I enjoy it in the way one might think I would.

Part of my personal brand and services I deliver are aimed at finding a fresh perspective for things you already own, and occasionally interjecting new pieces that make your heart sing or satisfy a need (sometimes that's the same thing and what I would call the "sweet spot"). Several friends have asked me where I shop and if I would shop with them. The answer is "Of course I will," and since I'm not always there with you when you shop and I was inspired by my shopping scores today, I will share my thoughts and tips behind shopping both intentionally and in a way that allows you to leave feeling good. Sometimes that means you leave with nothing. Sometimes that means you leave with nothing you planned on finding. And sometimes that means you leave with that fresh perspective I always strive to facilitate you finding in your own closet.

Today, I was on a mission to the mall to use a Sephora gift card I have held in my possession for months now. I also knew I wanted to go to Anthropologie to 1. find more delicious smelling candles and 2. enjoy the time spent taking in the well merchandised nooks and crannies of that cozy space. More often, that store serves to re-energize my creativity and feast my eyes and soul.

Once at the mall, my first stop was at the newly opened H&M where I was instantly overwhelmed. My energy quickly shifted and I began feeling anxsty as I tried to focus on one section at a time.

Leah Lou Tip: If your energy shifts from good to weird, angry, out of control, etc. you either find a way to shift it back to comfortable/equilibrium or you get the hell out of that store because nothing will go well from this point forward.

Luckily I was able to focus my energy on trying on some clothes and landed a super soft olive green sweater shirt that I knew would look great with my latest leopard love affair and my draw toward the color burgundy. Since I did not have the best of luck in the fitting rooms I went to the accessories section to find some less "commital" pieces.

Leah Lou Tip: If you're afraid of commitment when it comes to clothes or you're finding things just aren't fitting you the way you'd like, try your hand at accessories. They boost your wardrobe and give staple pieces longevity. With accessories, you can take an outfit in any direction be it fun, sophisticated, edgy, over the name it!

spiked necklaces from H&M stacked to create a bigger statement piece

I chose the above two necklaces so that I could stack them and create an even bigger statement necklace.

Leah Lou Tip: look at accessories as the potential they have. Look at what might be created from them, what spin can you put on them so that your personality shines through.

Now, shopping costume jewelry can be tough as it has the tendency to "turn" quickly. And, not all costume jewelry is created equal. Cheaper does not always mean you buy more or load up because of the price-point. Be choosy.

Leah Lou Tip: Gold costume jewelry holds up considerably better than silver. Even when it turns, the change is not as noticeable and can then lend to a vintage or antiqued feel. When costume "silver" gets dirty, it just looks dirty.

olive green sweater top with layered spiked necklaces and two patterned zipper pouches

I also found those zippered pouches and snagged them for a cool $3.95 each. I thought they were fun and the lips-patterned one could cleverly hold the lip colors I was seeking from my Sephora trip (the entire reason for going to the mall in the first place).

Next stop was Sephora where I scored majorly. I took my time, gravitated toward colors that felt right for me, and utilized two make-up artists to solicit multiple opinions.

sephora shopping splurge with nars, mac jacobs, lancome, and hourglass

When shopping for make-up I tend to do big hauls versus slowly adding to my beauty regimen. Since I know my modus operandi, I have less buyer's remorse when I leave with bucu goodies. Mentally, I have prepared myself for this moment already.

Leah Lou Tip: know your habits. If you build outfits or your wardrobe in stages, do that and respect that version of yourself. If you shop or buy in "hauls" then do that and respect that. Do what serves you, the wearer, you the buyer & never the other way around (these means if a trend doesn't work for you, you don't owe it to anyone to make it work).

which leads me to ...

Leah Lou Tip: know your pitfalls. Are you a sucker for cute? Do you get suckered into the thrill of the sale? Do you like something just for it's uniqueness which poses a styling challenge (personal call out!)? The sooner you come to terms with the dark side of your shopping habits the sooner you can stand your ground and ask yourself the right questions to make a sound decision.

Lastly, I ended the entire trip on a never-fail high-note...Anthropologie. I took my time, evaluated the sale section, smelled some candles, and tried on a hat. All whilst wearing this insanely buttery, cozy, lovingly addictive scarf.

fluffy Anthropologie scarf with sequins

How did I know this item was worth my time and worth not buying a yummy smelling candle? Because I did not want it off my body and my spirit felt at home. Plus, there are sequins woven into the fibers. Sequins!

Lea Lou Tip: tap into what makes your heart smile. (If you've never felt this then I am sorry. email me at and we will set up an intervention). If you are intuition-guided then tap into that. If you are typically the voice of reason, then give that side of you a break while you wrap yourself up in something... a smell, a fabric, an accessory, a color... that you just can't explain why you like it.

Due to all these tips and inner-dialogues with myself, I left the mall feeling empowered. I felt like every decision I made was the very best for ME.

Leah Lou Tip: opinions from others are all well and good. however, the opinion that matters MOST is your own. YOU are the one who has to carry any doubt, criticism, bad feelings, and upset if you allow yourself to be swayed by anyone or anything else other than yourself. Be gentle on the individual you are. 

I do not need to shop for some time now and that's a beautiful thing. I've already painted my nails, tried on my necklace stack, and am wearing my uber soft scarf as I am typing this entire post out in my pajamas.

What do you find helpful when you go shopping? What guides you to make sound decisions?