Things we bought last month that were actually worth it


words by cait emma burke

What we actually spent our own money on.

Working in editorial, you get sent a lot of stuff, particularly in the realms of fashion and beauty. And when you see enough brands, products and hyperbolic copywriting, you get to be pretty skilled at identifying the excellent from the average.

So I believe an argument could be pretty safely made that when people who work in editorial spend their own money on something, they must really bloody like it. At Fashion Journal, aside from liking something aesthetically, our team has a whole host of other considerations we like to keep in mind.

Keep up to date with ethical designers over at our Fashion section. 

Is this something I’m going to get at least 30 wears or uses out of? What is it made of, and will it stand the test of time? Is it too tied to the trend cycle? Who am I supporting by purchasing this? And do I really need it?

With these and many more questions in mind, it’s a wonder we ever purchase anything. But of course, we find a way. Below, our team shares the particularly standout items they’ve purchased over the last month.

Izzy Wight, Fashion Journal’s Editorial Assistant

Mecca blue eyeshadow


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by MECCA MAX (@meccamax)

It was my birthday this month, which usually signifies a month of frivolous spending and constant ‘treating myself’. While birthday gifts from me to me will remain a ritual, I was in hardcore saving mode this time around – which meant the little treats had to be really little.

I found this teal blue cropped sweater at the op shop and had a vision of wearing it with cowboy boots, a mini skirt and matching eyeshadow – think Alabama Worley. This $8 Mecca Max eyeshadow is the exact teal of my sweater and just what I needed to complete the look. It’s highly pigmented, full of sparkle and totally cruelty-free.

Secondhand Maison Kitsuné pants

Clearly, my hardcore saving mode was granted a few (important) exceptions. While completing my routine browse of the Brunswick Goodbyes store, I found a glorious pair of cream-coloured Maison Kitsuné suit pants. My mind was telling me no but the perfect straight-leg fit and delicate tortoiseshell buckle were telling me yes. I bought them, because my brain is often wrong anyway. They’re flattering, comfortable and really versatile. I’ve already worn them on a night out and to work – range. You can find a similar pair here.

Ella Taverner, Fashion Journal’s Account Manager

Krystal Deans Staple Mini


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by KRYSTAL DEANS (@krystaldeans)

I visited the Alt-House designer pop-up market a couple of days ago and picked up the Krystal Deans Staple Mini, a style I’ve been eyeing for a while. Designed in the label’s quaint studio in coastal Victoria, the skirt is made from a super soft cotton jersey with the perfect amount of stretch.

It’s the ideal mini length to make you feel confident and sexy without fearing a bum cheek will slip out and features a cute side split detail at the hem. I’m a huge fan of Krystal’s high-quality staples and plan on sporting this one whatever the season.

Secondhand Burberry mary janes

Since the beginning of 2022, I’ve made a really conscious effort to prioritise pre-loved and vintage purchases over anything straight off the rack. As a result, I’ve been spending my evenings scouring Vestiaire Collective like a madwoman searching for any sartorial gems that I can add to my wardrobe. I’d been on the hunt for a pair of chunky loafers or leather sandals that could become my new everyday shoe. After some decent searching, I happened upon these gorgini Burberry mary janes in my size, and swiftly added them to my wishlist.

The wonderful thing about Vestiaire Collective is you’re notified every time an item you’ve saved has been reduced. I ended up purchasing the sandals for $265, about $150 less than what they were originally listed for, and 70 per cent off the typical retail price. I have been wearing them non-stop since they arrived in my hot little hands and I’m so happy I waited to find the perfect pair.

Giulia Brugliera, Fashion Journal’s Managing Editor

XxFlos Aquarius Water Bearer floral arrangement


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by XXFLOS (@xx_flos)

Looking at my spending this path month has been both reassuring and dreadful. I haven’t bought ‘stuff’ per se, and have instead haemorrhaged money on food, drink and gifts for other people. These gifts have included a series of flower deliveries to loved ones (including our very own Taurus and Editorial Assistant, Izzy Wight) which, if you ask me, is one of the most heartwarming ways to spend my cash.

I’ve leaned heavily on the FJ directory of our favourite flower delivery services, and each time the results have been stunning. My pick for this month was this incredible arrangement from XxFlos but you can find plenty more here.

Dr Dennis Gross Alpha Beta wipes

This month I, sadly, once again, reached the tail end of my bulk box of Dr Dennis Gross Alpha Beta wipes. Anyone who has ever contemplated forking out for the Mecca bestseller will know they’re not cheap at $132 for a 30-pack, but if allocated carefully, they’re well worth the money.

The product itself is an AHA-based two-step chemical peel that seems to work like magic. The box says to use these wipes daily, but I’ve capped my usage at weekly or just before a big event. This month was my third time repurchasing the big, 60-piece box and I can’t imagine it will ever be bumped from my skincare routine.

Cait Emma Burke, Fashion Journal’s Digital Editor

Frisson Knits striped Isabella knit


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Frisson Handknits (@_frisson_knits_)

I can’t tell you how many years I’ve had my eye on a Frisson Knit for, but I know it’s been a long time. I’ve been aware of the label since it first started out as a very low key one-woman operation, and as a New Zealander, it’s hard not to feel in awe of Frisson’s progression. Within a few short years, the made-to-order label was seen on practically every second fashion girlie in the country.

I’ve borrowed friend’s Frissons over the years, but when I finally bit the bullet earlier this month I knew I wanted something that was both classic and eyecatching. I settled on the Isabella in a thick black and white stripe. It was a pricey investment, but if the amount of wear I’ve got out of it already is anything to go by, it was more than worth it. You can find your own favourite Frisson here.

Baggu Reusable Bags Set of Three

The Baggu items I’ve purchased over the years have withstood some serious wear and tear, so the brand has definitely earnt my loyalty. My most recent purchase from its range was this trio of candy-coloured reusable bags. They fold up super small, and as someone who is particularly fond of a stripe or two, I like the pleasing colourways they’re in. I carry them in my workbag, so I always have the exact right amount of bags if I choose to do a big supermarket shop or have lots of beauty products to take home from the office (they’re very roomy).

For tips on how to shop sustainably, try this.

Lazy Loading