It’s a good time to be a consumer. Sites like Groupon, LivingSocial, Birchbox, The Plaid Barn and more have made purchasing so much sweeter on the pocketbook. I’ve definitely spent my funds at all of the above sites, and happily. How else do you get to have your first massage for $19 or send an entire box of Fannie May candies for $10?

But the best, the greatest, possibly my favoritest of the how-to-buy-cheap sites might be HauteLook. I discovered through a post on Yellow Heart Art’s Facebook page — she raved that she finally didn’t have to spend a butt-ton of moolah for some Urban Decay makeup — and promptly became a convert.

HauteLook takes high-end products — clothing, makeup, jewelry, art — and makes them a little more affordable for you and me. I’ve made three purchases from the site and have been thrilled each time.

Purchase No. 1: Two costume jewelry rings

HauteLook sends me a deal email every day, and I can always be relied upon to browse any jewelry deals (big surprise, I know). The first time I hit the “add to cart” button was for some BANSRI baubles. I bought two stretchy cocktail rings, figuring I’d either

  1. Keep both,
  2. Give both as Christmas gifts (yeah, I’m one of those early shoppers) or
  3. Keep one and give one

I opted for option No. 3, as one in particular made me very, very happy.

You don’t get to see the second one. I haven’t decided who’s going to get it, and I don’t want the receiver to spy her potential Christmas gift.

The rings retailed for $110. ((blink blink)) For costume jewelry? Fake gold. And …  stretchy? I’m sorry, but nothing that includes a stretchy cord and anything in acrylic should have a price in the triple digits. But for $10 a pop, I’m game.

Purchase No. 2.: Primer

The buzz about primer is that it makes your makeup stay in place so, after work, your eye shadow has not been relegated to the creases of your eyes. I’ve been wanting to try this magic product, but I’m cheap. There is no drug store primer, it seems. It’s all fancy-pants stuff.

I went with some POP Beauty No Show Shine Decline Primer, which had the added benefit of claiming to make me less shiny.

The primer retails for $25 on Zappos, but I picked it up at HauteLook for $6. (Shipping was more than the product, but that total  still beats $25 for primer.)

It came with a very odd film over the cream, which I thought meant it had gone bad. When I rubbed the product with the round makeup pad that hides behind the hinged mirror, the film simply flaked off. Beneath, I found lightweight, scentless primer that, oh yes, kept my face matte and my eye shadow in place throughout the day.

Purchase No. 3: Shoes

I’ve been in the market for some new black leather heels for a while. My current pair actually has a flap where the leather has caught and ripped … and I still wear them. While I do love me a pair of hot pink strappy sandels or heels with hardware, there is nothing as classic or flattering as plain, black, leather heels. They go with everything.

I never thought I’d be the type of girl to buy shoes online, but when I saw these black heels … with the ankle strap … and a 2 1/2-inch heel … for $29.99 … I had to bite. Especially when I saw the same pair on for $129.

Before you get all tellin’ on me for putting my shoes on the kitchen table: I haven’t worn them yet. So they’re clean, I swear. I haven’t even stepped on a sidewalk in them, let alone doggie doo.

Granted, the shoes are not leather but “coated canvas,” but I adore the ankle strap look, and the heel size is hard to find, providing completely pain-free height. Heels today seem to be hellbent on putting your foot perpendicular to the ground so you have to balance on your toes. Ew.

Do you HauteLook? What kind of purchases have you made?