Jennifer Gilbert, 43
"My book chronicles a life described through events—the ones you plan and the ones you don't."
I Never Promised You a Goodie Bag (Harper), a memoir that details her comeback from a horrific stabbing attack in 1991.
"I definitely mix high- and low-end designers," says Gilbert, who also works as an event planner in NYC. "I don't mind spending money on clothing that I love and will love 20 years from now. But for trendy items, I shop at Zara, H&M, and Forever 21."
A Donna Karan dress Gilbert nabbed for $75 at a sample sale. "It's a long black silk jersey halter style, low cut in front and dramatic," she says. "I've had it for nearly 20 years, and I still wear it at least once a year."
Her Makeup Story
The conflict: "I love richly pigmented lipsticks, but they can be a little overwhelming on my full lips—especially during the day."
The denouement: A sheer stain comes to the rescue—Gilbert can have fun with bright colors on her lips without looking too made-up. (A stain also wears off evenly and won't bleed over the course of a long day the way a creamy lipstick can.)
The drugstore hero: Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Adore ($9)
eShakti.com dress, $69.95;
Merona for Target belt, $12.99;
Agabhumi bracelet, $16;