If you have someone on your holiday shopping list that is into fragrances and super fancy soaps then this might be the perfect gift for them. Pearl+ and Olo Fragrance have joined forces to create a limited edition box set of fragrance and moisturizing soap, available in either Toji or Forêt Noire. Pearl+ luxury soaps are a modern interpretation of one of Asia's oldest skin treatments, utilizing crushed natural pearl, moisturizing oils, and 100% natural ingredients. Toji by Olo fragrance is based on the baths popular in Japan during winter solstice and contains notes of citrus and cedar, while Forêt Noire is inspired by the deep forest with notes of pine and cedar. The set is available now at Oko Gallery and Table of Contents, as well as the Portland Bazaar coming up this weekend. Limited edition of course means once they are gone they are GONE, and just looking at the beautiful packaging I am going to guess that these will sell pretty quickly.
Last Thursday French Cut Hair transformed their salon space into a venue suited to present Haute Couture Hair, a runway show that celebrated their one-year anniversary, as well as having recently been named one of Elle Magazine's top 100 salons. In its so far brief span of existence, the salon has made a name for itself by providing clients with distinctive, fashion-forward and versatile hairstyles using French technique (hence the name), with owner Monica Marteau having moved to Portland after growing up in the South of France and spending most of her career in Paris.
For the show, the stylists created major runway appeal by focusing not on everyday hairstyles that clients are likely to request, but instead on the possibilities presented when hair styling is treated as an art form. The packed house was treated to a series of avant garde looks that would have been fit on a runway for Gaultier or McQueen. First up was a model with hair styled into a very chic doughnut:
After that the volume and drama only went up, with styles like this hair braided into a giant basket shape:
Back when I wrote about how totally stoked I am about the new fancy toiletry outpost Spruce Apothecary back in August, I mentioned that the shop—which comes to you from the same minds who created Canoe—had a forthcoming collaboration in the works with Imaginary Authors. Cleverly marketed to a more literary-leaning scent customer, Imaginary Author's product descriptions read like:
Devante Valéreo was raised in a dusty Spanish village on the Balearic Sea. He fondly recalled going to the bullfights with his father, an ex-picador, and credited those early experiences with inspiring his most popular novella, Bull’s Blood. The book’s lurid tale of seduction garnered obscenity charges against the author. Though the charges were rejected by the court, a ban on the sale of his works persisted for a number of years.
"Bull's Blood" being the name of the scent in question, of course. IA also has the best packaging design, and their new one with Spruce, "Mosaic," is no exception:
This "mineral waterfall" of a scent contains notes of "Petitgrain, Bergamot, Oakmoss, Cedarwood, Limestone, Artesian Well," and is being officially launched at Spruce next Thursday the 10th (6-9 pm), which also doubles as a celebration of the shop itself opening:
Don't forget to RSVP!
Pearl based salon French Cut Hair is not only about to turn one, they were also recently named one of America's top 100 salons by Elle Magazine, and they're celebrating on First Thursday with a hair show and party. Doors will open at 7pm, and cover is $10 for a seat and $8 for standing room. To get tickets stop by the salon or call them at (971) 263-1511, and hurry! Space is limited and they'll sell out any minute.
In this week's Sold Out column, I stopped talking about clothes for one goddamn minute long enough to turn my attention to... soap! Or, more broadly, the delectable—and delectably packaged—range of bath, hair, skincare, and fragrance products on offer at the new Spruce Apothecary in downtown's quickly filling Union Way complex. The most succinct way of explaining why I'm so excited about this small but excellently curated, modern, and gender neutral specialty store is that it is owned by the same partnership that brought us Canoe, which remains one of the most sophisticated design stores in the city. Read all about their savvy mix of contemporary and classic-European, and take a gander at some of the photos we didn't have room to run in print.
The Dragontree Holistic Day Spa is celebrating 10 years of being in the de-stressing business with a party on Thursday July 11th from 6-8:30 pm at their NW Thurman location. This party is open to the public and will feature $10 mini-massages, $10 eyebrow & lip waxes, refreshments, raffles, live jazz music, and great deals on Thymes candles and Lollia bath and body products. Sounds like the perfect way to ease into the weekend.
Forget waxing: The latest craze in hair removal is sugaring. After my bestie in LA told me how much she loved the results and natural alternative to traditional waxing, I knew I had to try it. I turned to Sugar Me Portland, located in the cute little Fremont neighborhood, for my first visit. The salon is warm, welcoming, and relaxing. My esthetician was very nice and explained to me what was about to go down. Sugaring has been a form of hair removal for centuries, dating way back to the Egyptians (you go Cleopatra, get your Brazilian on!). The sugar itself is an all-natural mixture made from sugar, lemon, and water whipped up into a taffy-like consistency. I don't really get irritated or think regular waxing hurts, but sugaring is even more mild. The sugar is simply applied to the skin and rolled around and then peeled off, getting your hair from the root. It sounds like it wouldn't even work, right? I was very pleased with my brows and loved the results, which lasted about two or three weeks. Click here to give it a go!
Now this is a happy hour that your body will thank you for: Löyly is offering a summer weekday happy hour on their most popular services. After a summer of boozin’, sunning, and late nights, a steam and body treatment is just what you need. Score on massages, facials, and foot soaks. Special offer available weekdays from 3-6pm, services must be booked before 6pm, with the discount taken at check-out. I treated myself to a steam before leaving on my trip, and Löyly just never disappoints. The super clean facilities, über friendly staff, and amazing add-ons available keep me coming back for more. Check out all they have to offer here.
Turn to one of Portland's first and finest beauty shops for a summer sale extravaganza. On the heels of the July 12-14th sidewalk sale along 23rd avenue, Blush is celebrating summer with markdowns galore. Now is the time to stock up on all of your top beauty must-haves. Find soon to be discontinued items, overstock and other bits and bobs all on the cheap. Pop by at 513 NW 23rd Ave.
Estheticians, like so many specialists, are the sort of people you find either by word of mouth or stabbing in the dark/trial and error. A facial, which usually starts with a commitment of around $60 and an hour or so of your time, is no minor purchase, and so recommendations are crucial to finding someone whose practices match up with your needs and comfort levels. For instance some people don't like to deal with the heavy machinery that you can get into for microdermabrasion, ultraviolet light therapy, microcurrents, etc. Some people value all-natural products over everything, and in general people either get facials as part of the regular maintenance of their bodies, like going to the gym or dentist, or they do it every once in a blue moon just to pamper themselves. Or you have a specific problem that needs to be addressed, perhaps.
Most estheticians will cater to any one of these client profiles, but considering how overwhelmingly many options are out there, it's worth it to seek out someone whose practices perfectly dovetail with your own. And there are more options than you may even know. Aside from the visible salon signs on the road, there are places ensconced on the upper floors of office buildings, people who work out of their homes, and still others who are tucked away off of busy commercial corridors.
The later situation is the case with Illume Day Spa, a petite, tranquil space located just off of Sandy Boulevard at 2453 NE Pacific. It's the workspace of Cate Wheetman and Stara Laborde, a cozy environment with bowls of chocolates in seemingly every room.
On my visit, as I waited for Wheetman to finish with her previously client, I scoped out the all-important product wall, which features a comprehensive but well-edited selection of botanically based, high-quality lines like Astara, iS Clinical, and Epicuren. (One thing I will say about skincare products, is that you really do get what you pay for, and there's something about your skin that is really bothering you it's worth finding something that gives you real results, and you can certainly expect to pay more for it than anything you'll find at Wallgreens. That said, don't waste your money plunging blindly into a $60 face cream. Estheticians are loaded with product samples, and you should try as many as you can before taking the plunge. You know you've found the right one when it seems worth the money to buy.)
Wheetman's approach is based on what I think is the most logical thinking: That your skin's needs are the same as your body's. Your diet and lifestyle are—at least eventually—going to present a direct reflection onto your body, especially your skin. (Both Wheetman and Laborde were educated at The Euro Institute for Naturopathic Skincare in Renton, WA.) Illume specializes in working with clients in the long term to trouble shoot factors that might be provoking unwanted blemishes, dryness, puffiness, and other issues. And while she has a good number of plug-in toys at her disposal, once you're in her hands you'll find that she relies more on applications of some truly exquisite, personalized products than on her gadgets.
But the best thing about a facial with Wheetman is that it's basically and two-in-one facial and massage. The Illumination signature facial includes serious attention to your skin as well as massaging of your hands, arms, calves, feet, and scalp. It is probably the most indulgent facial I've ever had in that regard and at $125 for 90 minutes of thoughtful skin therapy and ridiculously pleasant massage it's a screaming bargain.
If I were to imagine the perfect match-up between client and Illume, I would say that you 1) understand the symbiotic relationship between your overall health and appearance, 2) gravitate toward organic/holistic/all natural products, but make room for some exceptionally effective innovations, 3) aren't particularly eager to break out the heavy machinery (but open to it when deemed advantageous), and 4) you know a good value when you see one—their facials start as low as $60 for 45 minutes.
I've only ever had a facial at Illume, but it's also worth noting, if you like their approach, that they also offer body treatments like wraps, bronzing, and scrubs, waxing, brow and lash tinting. If it sounds like your jam, check 'em out.
Penny pinching is not particularly a strength of mine, however keeping up with my usual beauty routine lately has gotten to be pretty spendy. In my mind I think “Oh one little lipstick here, eyebrow waxing there.” Before I realize it I’ve spent a sizable chunk of change on my grooming habits. Dreaming of the perfect coral lipstick, but not wanting to shell out $15+ on a designer brand I popped over to my local Walgreens last evening, here’s what I found and how I’m liking it:
Maybelline #880 Electric Orange Lipstick: Comparable to MAC’s extremely popular ‘Lady Danger’ shade, but at half the price! Seriously, this color rocks, it’s the perfect orangey coral of my dreams, not overly shiny, but not flat matte. Don’t forget to compliment the this lippy with a pretty peachy blush—anything too pink will clash with the orange hue.
Roc Multi-correction Eye Treatment: As I recently discovered some pesky eye wrinkles (Aghhh!) I decided to ponder the skincare aisle, where a friendly sales associate recommended this Roc eye cream. I was desperate for something effective and affordable, and this fit the bill.
Sally Hansen Hair Remover Wax Strip: Accounting for monthly brow/lip waxing appointments can be dicey, so enter these handy little wax strips. Ok, so maybe not as glam, but Sally Hansen delivers in the waxing department. I had zero irritation and saved a whole lotta $$$.
L’eggs Silken Mist Ultra Sheer: A cutie customer at Yo! (where I work) recently turned me onto the L’eggs stockings. I’m super fed up with American Apparel $14 tights that rip the moment I attempt to put them on, so L’eggs' $6 price tag intrigued me. I opted for a sheer black shade called “Black Mist,” and although I’ve already managed to get a small snag in them I’d still say they are worth a try.
Studio 35 Oil-free Witch Hazel: A welcome addition to your normal skincare routine, this affordable witch hazel astringent is key after cleansing your skin for the evening.
But this Dove ad—in which an FBI sketch artist draws women first the way they describe themselves, and then the way a stranger describes them—plays to female insecurities in a fucking masterful way. "These women are prettier than they think they are, so maybe I am, too." 'Course, if they'd picked some less conventionally attractive women it would be a much more powerful message... but then they probably wouldn't sell as many soaps.
I am always on the lookout for new beauty products to fall in love with, and lately I just can’t get enough of:
Who would have thought silvery grey would be the next big thing in hair! Many ladies dread the day they discover their first grey hair, but now the fashion glitteratti are all gung-ho on going grey. Is grey just the new “it” shade to replace lavender, vibrant blue, and dip dyed ends or is the Ice Queen vibe here to stay?
This is that time of year when our skin starts to wrinkle and pucker, our faces start to twitch, and every part of our body starts to generally disassemble. It's times like these that we most need a massage, and steam, and a facial. Luckily, Loyly (off of SE 21st and Clinton) has new packages with cheaper rates through March 31st.
For $89, you can get a 45 minute massage, an aromatherapy foot soak, a facial mask, and two hours use of their sauna and steam room. This is a great way to de-stress, and it's much cheaper than flying to Florida.
Even though I am not a straight edge vegan like I was in high school, I have remained a staunch supporter of using beauty products that are not tested on animals and make a conscious effort to put my money where my mouth is. Recently Europe, who has always been on the forefront regarding these types of issues, has stated that they will be banning the sale of animal tested cosmetic products and ingredients on March 11th, 2013. This comes has a huge victory for animal rights advocates everywhere, and hopefully they will set an example and other countries will soon follow suit. One country that will be harder to crack will be China, however, as they actually require animal testing on all of their products, even ones that are manufactured in other countries. While there are some Chinese scientists who are taking steps to remove this requirement, setting up ethical regulations in China in general is pretty hard (remember the fire that no one noticed for three hours because their air quality is so bad?).
In the meantime, we can make sure to buy products from companies that don't test on animals, and write to the companies that do and state you are boycotting them until they change their ways. For a comprehensive list of companies that do and don't test on animals click here.
A new product line, "M. Steves," launched this weekend at Blush Beauty Bar on NW 23rd. I recently met with THE "M. Steves" for an interview, in her quest to be the next best-selling provider of "high-impact, natural, anti-aging skin care." She is quite high-impact herself; a graduate of Parsons school of design, an ex-corporate attorney and interior decorator, and an LA resident.
Steves' selling point is the anti-aging benefits of rose hip seed oil. "Rose hip seed oil is different than just rose oil," Steves' notes. Rose hip seed oil is derived from very few places in the world, and in the case of her product, high in the Chilean Andes mountains. What makes rose hip oil different, according to Steves, is that it has "the highest percentage of natural fatty acids, like Omega-3" out of any anti oxidizing agent. Steves' also makes her proprietary blends using a particular mixture of "anti-aging botanical actives." "Not all oils work well with rose hip seed oil," says Steves.
Her products range in pricing; from affordable to hardcore. The consumer can commit to her product in varying degrees; from a once-or-twice-a-day pat of her serum, to an elaborate, multi-step regimen. Her product has already sold tremendously well in its hometown of LA, as well as at its Blush launch this weekend. "I have customers that are on their 5th round of purchases, and we just launched last November," Steves dishes.
She was kind enough to donate free samples of her product to me, including the lovechild of her line, the "RHSO Power-Packed Ultra-Nourishing Boost." After using this product for a few days, I can safely say this product gets an A+ for anti-aging; this magical "boost" serum fought my age so well that my face broke out like an overweight 15 year old in gym class. This could have been due to a number of other factors; I'm in my twenties and have an oily complexion. I also have yet to grow the wrinkles that maybe are necessitated for such a product. But if you're looking to fight some of those years off your face, I'd recommend at least giving it a try. It's all-natural; can't hoit, right?
There's nothing quite like being out with your Valentine's date, wanting to kiss them, but realizing your lips have shriveled into a couple of yellow raisins. Event Cosmetics, a cosmetic studio on SW Broadway specializing in make-up for special events, is hosting a lip product sale, from February 12th-16th (perfect timing!).
Also, if you're in the mood for a little more beauty help than just lips, they'll be giving out a FREE lip and cheek palette, and tote bag with every purchase of a Clarisonic Cleansing System. With such a youthful, pampered face, your date won't even notice that you've ordered four martinis on his bill!
Anyone who has met me knows how completely obsessed with eyeliner I am, so when this look hit the fashion week runways I was really excited slash nervous to try to steady my hand enough to recreate the look. Now, I don’t think this is an “everyday” look, however I do think it would be super rad to try for a special event. What do you guys think?
I got hooked on local beauty e-tailer b-glowing when I briefly worked for them as a graphic designer. They recently launched a beautiful brand new website chock full of hard to find brands like Rodin Olio Lusso, Ellis Faas, and Paul and Joe. Look no further for all of your skincare, hair care, and cosmetic must-haves. I recently fell in love with the Ellis Faas skin veil foundation, I find it much less chalky than my usual MAC formula but with a great coverage on days my skin is looking less than perfect. Another one of my favorites has got to be the super affordable Adara coconut oil; use it for practically anything! Slather on your skin as a moisturizer, put a dab in your hair for hydration, and use it as a gentle eye makeup remover for mascara. B-glowing’s headquarters are located in the Pearl, which makes it easy for me to pop by and pick up my order to save time on shipping. Skip Sephora and click here to start shopping.
In a town with this much love for vintage, it comes as little surprise that there's a photo studio that caters specifically to fans of retro-style pin-up photography, in that they have a huge studio, an enormous wealth of wardrobe, hair and makeup services, and experienced assistance to help you model for your own classic pin-up style portraits. It's called Pop Art Pinup, and I recently had the goofy-fun pleasure of sampling the experience.
In an assuming SE Industrial building stands a surprisingly spacious—and when I say "spacious" I mean "amazingly huge" suite that houses both Pop Art and Tatyana Cathcart's Baby Girl Boutique. There's a velvety, lounge-y office space, a large warehouse for Cathcart's inventory of pinup style clothing, costumes, and accessories, and a roomy photo studio with an attached dressing room. Pop Art owner and photographer Tony Mancini has a symbiotic partnership with Cathcart, and is able to use much of her vast inventory as costuming for his shoots.
"My background is as a visual artist," says Mancini. "Photographically, I practiced still life and macro photography—lots of pictures of flowers and bees—but I also used the camera when planning a painting or drawing as a visual reference. This was important for portraits as I could not pay a model to sit for me for that long. It was a natural progression to start processing the images as works of their own. I'd develop the film in my kitchen, and print in my laundry room—very do-it-yourself. Once I switched to digital I started doing more photography than anything else, and after practicing portrait, fashion, still life, and other forms of studio photography, I found myself shooting pinups more than anything else."
Along with Mancini and Cathcart—who, at least in my experience was very hands off other than in supplying the wardrobe, from which I was able to pick my own getup—is stylist Kira Distler, a very sweet model and self-taught hair and makeup artist who is not shy with her falsies and mascara wand (nothing peeves me more than a mere single coat of mascara) and draws some of the most impressively dramatic cat-eyes I've ever worn. Having been in front of the lens many, many times for this style of shoot, she obviously has a good handle on what works best in the final product. Her experience also made her a great help on set. Pin-up style is over-the-top cheesy, with big goofy grins and "s-shape" postures, and she helped make it fun and easy instead of awkward.
"I'm fascinated with classic pinup illustration, the work of artists such as Charles Dana Gibson, Gil Elvgren, Earl Moran, Vargas, and others," continues Mancini. "I'd try to create photographs that looked like old pinup illustrations, and Kira modeled for most of them. It was natural for us to concentrate exclusively on pinup photography because of our love of classic pinup illustration and a desire to create positive, fun, colorful images."
Mancini also is great with direction, which amateurs like me are always grateful for. Also helpful is the fact that Mancini works quickly. Modeling, while usually fun, is work, especially if it goes on for too long, but having people who are specific and un-shy goes a long way toward getting what you're after efficiently. Mancini says their clients include people "from all walks of life. There is no typical age or background, but the attitudes are often the same. We find our clients confident, liberated and looking for an empowering way to express themselves and enjoy a positive, memorable experience. Plus, we have found that everyone loves to play dress up."
Hello, Christmas cards! Or, an idea I think is really cute, is that Pin Up will make you your own calendar. Either 12 months of you in different get-ups, or you and a group of your friends. Mancini told me that a bride and her bridesmaids all did this once, which sounds like a super-fun way to create keepsake. As for my own shots, which involve a travel theme and leopard print pencil skirt, I'll be keeping those under wraps for now, but you should check out Pop Art's gallery to get a sense of the mood and variety.
This is the time of the year where most people try to rid their bodies of the booze and crap they consumed the last couple of months and start fresh. I am not really a fan of New Year's resolutions or crazy beginning of the year exercise and diet plans, because inevitably they are abandoned and old habits win. I am a huge believer of starting with small and easy to execute rituals that lead to a healthier life, and this one is cheap, fast, and super simple. Dry skin brushing takes about a minute a day and offers huge benefits. Often called the third kidney, the skin is the largest organ of the body and is responsible for a quarter of the body's detoxification, resulting in one pound of waste each day (so gross, I know.) Dry skin brushing stimulates the lymphatic system which in turns helps your body to detoxify itself. Other benefits include dead skin cell removal, a stronger immune system, reduced cellulite, and tighter skin.
As I said before, dry skin brushing is super simple. All you do is start at the bottom of the feet and brush up and always toward the heart. Brush upwards on the legs and torso and down on your chest. Then brush up the hands and arms. Do this everyday before showering or bathing, preferably in the morning. Brushes can be found pretty much anywhere, but make sure it has natural bristles and opt for one with a long handle to reach your back. I have been doing this everyday for a while and I personally definitely feel the benefits, plus if I am feeling a little sluggish doing this and taking a quick shower always makes me feel energized.
As the year comes to a close it is the perfect time to make resolutions, take a second to re-evaluate, and hit the ground running in the New Year. Now I’m not a granny or anything but I am not getting any younger. Doing a little reflecting of my own I realized I have been breaking a few of the cardinal rules in skincare, style, and overall mind, body wellness. (The first step is admitting your issues right?) Therefore I am going to do my damnedest to actually follow through with my resolutions, and make 2013 “my” year! What are you some of your resolutions? Not to make resolutions? Hit the gym, be a “yes” person, whatever they may be I’ve read writing down your goals, and telling your friends makes you more inclined to follow through. So...Here’s my top three for 2013!
1. I will not sleep with my makeup on.
Although this may seem like an absolute no brainer, after a few glasses of Malbec it happens much more often then it should. Besides just being gross, your skin will get clogged up with dirt, oil, and bacteria. Also sleeping with mascara and eyeliner on can cause your lashes to become dry and brittle. If you really can’t make it to the sink before hitting the sheets, stash some makeup cleansing wipes next to your bed. I just pick up the generic kind from Walgreen’s or Freddies, the options are endless.
2 .I will not buy cheap shit from F21 or H&M.
Ugh you would think after going to that incredible event with Elizabeth Cline I would have given up the cheap goods forever. Alas, I did have a mini Forever 21 spree about a month ago, and I still feel bad. To each his own, but for 2013 I want to purge my closet of all junk and focus on a very carefully curated wardrobe. I basically want it to be like Frances May, where clothes are so much more than clothes, they are art. Each item is exquisite, with impeccable quality and longevity that will undoubtedly last past one season. The focus will be investing in a few amazing pieces per season, first on my list, a custom hat from Pinkham Millinery, and anything by Adam Arnold.
3. I will limit my drinking to 2 nights a week.
Talk about empty calories. Drinking is the absolute pitfall when it comes to diet and exercise. It’s like a chain reaction, go to an event, drink, continue the party well into the night, then either the hangover sets in or you seem to be late to work out in the morning. In Portland there is always an art opening, fashion thing, or music show to go to. Going forth, it is essential to prioritize partying nights! Since I’m terrible at math I found this evil website that adds up all of your drinking cals during the week, check out your number here.
The holiday season is the perfect excuse to try that hair and makeup trend you’ve been lusting over on Pinterest all year. Crazy nails, why not? Big hair? Yes please! And obvs the more glitter the better. Here are my picks for fun, festive looks:
All images via Pinterest.
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