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What Writer Kristen Bateman Bought For $10, $50, $150, $200, and $1500

The fashion and culture writer’s recent buys run the price gamut. Published: October 01, 2019

Money diaries from the mundane to the outlandish proliferate online, their ubiquity suggesting a collective (and voyeuristic) fascination with thy neighbor’s expenses. Living in New York City is many things, but cheap isn’t one of them—which makes maximizing your expendable income a precarious exercise. In this new series, we ask New Yorkers how they allot their funds for the non-essentials.

To kick it off, we called up Kristen Bateman, who writes for Vogue, The New York Times, Allure, New York Magazine, and Harper’s Bazaar, among others. Writing fashion and beauty features has its perks, like getting sent free perfume samples, but she still shells out for her favorite off-the-radar scent. She’s got designer-influenced taste, listing Miu Miu, Marni, and Sacai as some of her favorite designers, but also frequents vintage shopping mecca Beacon’s Closet for $15 dresses. Here are the latest charges on her credit card.

The Last Thing I Bought for $10: Lush bath bombs ($8.95)
I constantly repurchase Lush bath bombs. They come in all different kinds and seasonal varieties. There’s this one called The Experimenter that’s a mix of neon colors like bright pink, blue and yellow. It’s shaped like a hexagon and when you put it in your bath it spins around and creates this really frothy rainbow spiral. I take a lot of baths because I find they’re a great way to relieve stress. But it depends on my schedule. Sometimes I’ll take a bath everyday for a week, and other times I won’t take one for two weeks.

The Last Thing I Bought for $50: Surratt lid lacquer ($36)
I recently discovered this glossy eye shadow by Surratt. I really like the Kira Kira shade. It’s the most unique makeup product I’ve come across recently. You can put it on over a matte eye shadow, which creates a really interesting texture, or you can wear it on its own and it makes a really pretty sheen. It’s got a little bit of sparkle, but it’s still subtle.

I’ve always really liked makeup. I think it’s key to fashion: you can’t have one without the other. I’m someone who wears the full face of eyeliner, mascara, eyeshadow, brow, and lip. I don’t think you can wear too much makeup, it’s just about how you wear it. I don’t like an overdone Kardashian look; I like an unusual look. I’ll create a rainbow smokey eye, for example, and then do a nude lipstick. Or I’ll do a cat eye that’s white instead of black. I like things that are unexpected.

The Last Thing I Bought for $150: Comme des Garçons Black Pepper perfume ($131)
To be truly honest, since I write about beauty I get a lot of free perfumes, so I probably own close to a 100 different scents. Black Pepper is the one I gravitate towards most and the one I wear on a daily basis. I like it because I’ve never encountered anyone else who wears it. It’s a unisex perfume and it really does smell like black pepper, so it’s really different. The bottle is very sleek: it’s black and instead of standing up it lays down on its side. I bought it two years ago while in Paris on a work trip. Comme des Garçons has this little perfume boutique that’s very minimalist and chic and I was like, “I have to buy something here.” Then I picked up Black Pepper and smelled it and fell in love.

The Last Thing I Bought for $200: Ikea shelf ($177)
A lot of the furniture and art in my apartment is vintage, or things my mother bought when she lived in Paris and then gave to me. One item I actually bought was this shelf from Ikea. It's huge and I store shoes, books, magazines, purses and alcohol on it—I like it because you can store a lot but it's still very open, so the stuff I love is still on view kind of like art and not tucked away into a traditional drawer. It's super useful.

The Last Thing I Bought for $1500: Chloé Suzanna boots ($1380)
Chloé releases this boot every season in different colorways and fabrics. They’re so comfortable and they go with everything. I’ve had the same pair—a classic black suede—for four years and I’ve had them re-heeled five times. There have been days where I walk seven miles in them and my feet still don’t hurt.

Curated By

Frances Thomas profile picture

Frances Thomas

Quiddity Content Editor
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