4 Ways To Get A Designer Dopamine Hit In A Cost Of Living Crisis

Get the fancy feels without breaking the bank.

We all love a bit of luxury. And what fashion lover hasn’t coveted a prohibitively expensive designer bag at least once in their lifetime? But for most of us enduring a cost-of-living crisis, there are arguably more important things that need our financial attention than a $5,000 handbag. Like rent, phone bills and health insurance.

It might sound depressing, but fear not. You can get a designer dopamine hit without sending yourself broke. We’ve found four easy ways to give yourself, or someone you love, those expensive designer feels at an entry-level price.

We can always count on Gigi Hadid to be on-trend in the accessories department. Getty Images.

A Shade Upgrade

Classic shapes like cat-eyes and aviators are always in style. For a more on-trend look, the oval shape is making a strong statement this year, seen on the likes of Gigi Hadid and Zendaya. 

A designer pair like these Saint Laurents (model SL557) cost around $600, but think of the money you’ve saved on a new wardrobe. Image: Vision Direct

Look back at old photos and you’ll notice that the shape of your sunglasses can drastically date an outfit. So, by treating yourself to a pair of frow-worthy chic designer shades, you’re practically updating your whole wardrobe in one go. Totally justifiable.

Designer Fragrance

A designer fragrance is heaven in a bottle. It not only carries your favourite designer label, but also comes beautifully packaged, smells expensive and is a luxury that can be worn day after day. It’s a gift that keeps on giving too, as it will remind the wearer of you every time they spritz.

Chloé Eau de Parfum Lumineuse (100mL $248) is elegance in a bottle, dressed with the signature Chloé ribbon. Available now at Myer and David Jones.

The latest addition to the Chloé Signature fragrance line is Eau de Parfum Lumineuse, elegantly dressed in the classic Chloé woven ribbon. The fragrance features the brand’s emblematic rose scent, expressed with accents of Sambac jasmine, vanilla and amber tones. Like her sister fragrances, Chloé Eau de Parfum Lumineuse is vegan and formulated with natural origin fragrance, denatured alcohol and water, nothing else, upholding the Chloé philosophy of responsible luxury.

A Signature Scarf

A beautiful silk scarf is an investment piece you’ll have forever, and the classic Hermès silk scarf is the ultimate statement scarf. It’s an endlessly versatile piece that can be worn as a shawl, a halter neck or bandeau top, a classic neck or headscarf, or tie it to your handbag to bring a bit of French-girl chic to any outfit. 

Is This A Love Story? Scarf by Hermès, $640. Image: Hermès.

Luxury For Less

You might have heard the term ‘lipstick index’ in financial terms, originally used to describe the rise in cosmetic sales during the US recession of the early noughties. A similar rise in eye makeup sales during COVID was also noted by finance commentators, as women dialled up their eye game when rocking their face masks, leading to the term ‘mascara index’.

Rihanna was inspired to create her beauty brand Fenty after seeing a gap in the market for products for all skin types and tones. Image: Fenty.

While most of us can’t justify a new Fenty or Burberry seasonal wardrobe, especially in the current financial climate, a beautifully packaged designer brand lipstick or bronzer is an everyday luxury that feels as special as it looks.

Something to smile about… Gucci Rouge A Levres Mat Matte Lipstick, from $72, Myer.

Luxury brands do come with a designer price tag. But if you’re a lover of luxury brands, these are a more achievable way to own a piece from your favourite designers at a price point that’s significantly lower than that handbag you’ve been lusting after.

Burberry  Quad Eye Palette, $105, David Jones.

So, treat yourself or someone you love to a little everyday luxury. Wear your style and glow from the inside out.

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