How I Got My Red Carpet Look | Great Deals and Excellent Customer Service

I’ll be the first to admit that after I got married, I didn’t try so hard with my appearance. I went from someone who wouldn’t even walk out the door without wearing makeup or having styled her hair to someone that often sits around in jammies and no makeup all day long.

Getting back into that mind frame has taken a bit of effort on my part, and it was something I definitely did not achieve on my own. I have a lot of people to thank for helping me pull myself together for this extraordinary, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to attend a Red Carpet Premiere in New York City.

Before I did anything else, I needed the perfect dress. When we asked Marshall about the dress code for this premiere, we were told “glamorous”. I have a dress that I wore what feels a lifetime ago to a school dance that would have been gorgeous, but it’s a size 0…and well, I’m no longer a size 0. I’ve come a long way in my weight loss journey with Nutrisystem, but I still have a few sizes that I am longing to drop. Even so, I found the perfect dress. And truthfully, I didn’t have to look very far.

The Dress

I’m not one of those girls that is willing to spend a whole day of my life trying on dresses, second guessing how they look, and dragging my bored friends along for the ride. I trust my instincts, and I trust my taste. When I got married, I only considered one store for my dress: David’s Bridal. I browsed online before even stepping a toe over the threshold of their store, and I narrowed down the choices to a few different dresses. I wrote those codes down on a piece of paper, and armed with that and my Maid of Honor, went to the store. The third dress I tried on, and the one I was leaning toward when still browsing online, was the dress I purchased. We were in and out in less than an hour, and I’m sure I had a very happy sales associate as well.

That same magic happened when I started browsing for my Red Carpet dress. I only had one store in mind: Nordstrom Rack. A frugal friend of mine often shopped there in our youth, and though I never have, I decided to give it a try. After browsing for a while, I found The Dress. Perfect color, perfect shape, and perfect price. And when I received it in the mail several days later, it also had the perfect fit.

The Hair

My next stop in getting ready for the Red Carpet was a trip to my favorite salon, Gemini Salon. Brittani L. has been coloring and styling my hair for a couple years now, and I trust her completely. She’s friendly, professional, and I’m always happy to see her. I always walk out the door completely thrilled with how my hair looks and feels. She also offers waxing services, and since I’m incapable of waxing my eyebrows myself for fear of messing up, Brittani does it for me. I love the new wax she has started using; one pull and it’s all over, and I have perfect eyebrows. The sales associate at Sephora even complimented me on the shape of them. Thank you, Brittani!

The Shoes

We headed to the mall on Black Friday of all days to find a pair of shoes that I could wear with my Red Carpet dress. There were so many people there it was hard to find someone help me at the different stores that I visited. I’d never really closely looked at the shoes offered at shi by JOURNEYS, but the sales associate that assisted me was friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable about the products her store offered. I had thought I’d end up paying more for shoes than I did for the dress, but I actually ended up spending only $29.99 on the shoes (plus tax). I wear a size 7, and they were a bit loose, but she had a trick for making them a better fit. There are these stick-ons that she gave me (no charge) along with the shoe that you affix to the back of the shoe so your heel won’t slide in and out of the shoe while you’re walking. They made a huge difference for me, so I made the purchase.

The Makeup

I received two $25 gift cards compliments of Slim*Fast for working with them on a review of their new On-the-Go shakes, and put them to great use last night. I walked in at 8:40, thinking I’d only need a few minutes to find what I needed. The sales associate, Nikki, was friendly, knowledgeable, and very helpful. Shopping at Sephora is a completely different experience than shopping at the makeup counter in a certain department store that I used to go to. Everyone at Sephora is friendly and approachable, and they make you feel like a valued customer. Nikki helped me find the right colors to match my dress, and even gave me a mini-makeover so I could see how it should all look. I walked out of the store having spent $67 and feeling confident that I know how to use my new eyeliner brush and shades. By the time I left, it was 9:15, and the store had already been closed for 15 minutes, but Nikki never rushed me, even though she still had tasks left before she could go home.


1. Before you even walk out the door, browse online at your preferred stores’ websites to make sure that inventory is in stock. If it is, then look for retailers that might have a lower price. Try on the product at the store to know which size you need, then order at home at other retailer if they offer a lower price.

2. Remind yourself of which stores you have shopped at before that provided you with excellent customer service. A friendly face and knowledgeable sales associates will make your shopping experience a better one.

3. If your special occasion is around a holiday, anticipate the sales and look for online coupons that you can print out and take to the stores to save yourself a little money.

4. If possible, head to the stores right when they open or right before they close. Most of the time, this is the best time to get the undivided attention that you need.

5. Consider shopping by yourself. You’ll find that you’ll get a lot more done in less time if you go it alone. Treat the sales associate like a friend, and you’ll have a great experience and get friendly, honest advice, too.

*Disney/DreamWorks is providing me with an all expenses paid trip to New York City to attend the Red Carpet Premiere of War Horse and a special screening of Beauty and the Beast 3D. I did not receive any compensation from any of the companies mentioned in this post. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.*


Jen currently lives in Utah with her family, and enjoys reading and writing in her spare time. She is active on popular book websites including paperbackswap.com, Goodreads.com, and luxuryreading.com.

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