Live Large Like Oprah or Gwyneth for Less
Oprah Winfrey's "favorite things" and the shopping discoveries in Gwyneth Paltrow's Goop newsletter are presented as must-haves for living the celebrity life. For us common folk, though, spending $60 on cherry pie that's eaten in an hour or an admittedly ridiculous $244 toothpaste squeezer (for people who want to get the most out of a $3 tube) is anything but practical. Not everyone has a bank account like Martha Stewart or Reese Witherspoon (newer to the lifestyle-maven scene), but that doesn't mean we can't have a little bit of luxe in our lives. Here are some affordable alternatives to celeb faves.
That'll be $49, please, for a bamboo container filled with three types of high-end salt intended for fish, meat, and veggies. It bears the name of a celebrity chef and a pricey Napa Valley restaurant, which no doubt adds a considerable markup.
Oprah says $148 buys "a great present for the woman who has everything": a makeup brush set hand-assembled by Japanese artisans.
EcoTools makeup brushes are made with sustainable bamboo handles and recycled materials, so you can feel good about makeup application. They are also only $15.
Save for other treats by picking up a plaid leash that's just as cute as Reese's pick but is on sale for less than $8. (Just keep in mind that this lightweight leash is best for small dogs.)
These coffee table books cleverly stack on their side to form an image from Grand Central Station, but at $650 for eight books, it's doubtful anyone will feel comfortable thumbing through one with a cup of tea and a snack. (Crumbs! Spills! Stains! Fingerprints!)
"Humans of New York" is a New York Times best-selling coffee table book, based on a blog of the same name with millions of followers, that tells the life stories of everyday New Yorkers. For about $17, the book can be displayed proudly on a coffee table yet also browsed freely without concerns about disturbing a piece of décor.
Martha Stewart touts the Magimix by Robot-Coupe Vision Toaster, on sale for $250 at Williams-Sonoma. The clear sides allow a breakfast perfectionist to see how dark the toast is getting. It's billed as a gift for a graduate.
An Oster toaster oven likewise lets users see the toast while it's toasting and fits in a small space, such as a recent grad's apartment. At $30, parents can wrap it up for a graduate and give the difference between this toaster and Martha's in cash. Let's face it -- that's what grads really need anyway.