Tuesday, October 28, 2008

LOOKS FOR LESS: Mad for Plaid

Not since grunge rockers buried hair bands have we seen so much plaid on display. While we drool over that Dolce and Gabbana stretch wool dress, we don’t salivate over that $695 price tag. Fortunately, our favorite economy-conscious stores seized on the trend. Consider these three must-buys:

1. This button down, cotton blouse from the Gap ($48) features a deep-v and ruffled front that adds a sexy, feminine touch. The black on ivory, large check print delivers boldness.

2. The four-pocket plaid dress from Forever 21 is flirty and functional ($19.95). A perfect daytime dress to match with boots, it is made from 100-percent cotton with a removable, elastic belt for an extra cinch at the waist.

3. With a pair of black tights, the Silence & Noise Embroidered Buffalo Plaid Frock from Urban Outfitters rocks it day or night. White, patterned embroidery accentuates the red picnic-table print. The cap sleeves add a girlish twist to the scoop-neck dress.

PROFILE: The Picasso of Uggs

The salt city wears on sheep skin, leaving winter staples like Uggs stained and grimey. But senior painting major Kristin Lubsen found a way to celebrate fashion without surrendering practicality. Lubsen put her major to use, covering up her dirty Uggs with a colorful design and creating one-of-a-kind footwear in the process.

She began transforming her own Uggs two years ago, but now charges $35 to make others’ boots stand out in a sea of boring brown. On each boot, Lubsen paints a whimsical line design, varying in color from purple, green, blue, and yellow to earth tones to subtle gold. Instead of being inspired by shapes or objects, Lubsen gets her inspiration from color.

Lubsen grew up with her artist mother in Bethlehem, Pa. and always had an art room at her disposal. She wears a short, blonde cut and a pair of square, brown glasses and ends her sentences with the exuberance of spoken exclamation point. Her creativity extends beyond Uggs transformations, recently upgrading an “old lady floral shirt” to nighttime loungewear.
Lubsen paints each pair of Ugg boots per customer specifications. Customers choose their own color scheme and any specific detail they want. What better way to stand out in the snow this winter.

HOW-TO: Pretty in Pinks

Mark the end of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month with limited edition beauty products whose proceeds help find a cure. Now, thanks to generous donations from several beauty companies, you can fuel important research and your love for all things pink with a few purchases that give back in a big way.

1. Paint it On. Polish-junkies covet OPI, and its exclusive nail lacquer for October lives up to that lust. In addition to donating $25,000 to Susan G. Komen for the Cure, OPI created a limited edition 2008 Pink of Hearts nail lacquer ($9) that offers the perfect transition pick from fall to winter. The cotton-candy colored polish boasts a light pink sheen, contains no dangerous chemicals such as DBP, or Formaldehyde, and is available at national salons and beauty stores such as Dillards, JCPenney, Regis, Trade Secret and Ulta.

2. Spritz to Save. Striving for a cure has never smelled so sweet than with Lacoste’s Touch of Pink fragrance ($52). The enticing blend of jasmine, violet, blood orange, sandalwood and vanilla offers a fresh take on feminine floral in an elegant pink bottle. This perfume is perfect fit for a flirty female on-the-go, and a portion of the proceeds from each 1.6 oz Eau de Toilette supports the Young Survivors Coalition.

3. Pamper your Pout. C.O. Bigelow the oldest apothecary in America is known for its old-school beauty product approach. The celebrity-shopping hotspot in the West Village donated $250,000 to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and teamed up with cartoonist and author Marisa Acocella Marchetto to create the Cancer Vixen Mentha Lip Tint in Pink Mint ($8) available at Bath and Body Works. The gloss is part of a limited edition collection benefiting breast cancer research, and delivers with an extra pop of color and peppermint oil to sooth those chapped lips.

OBSESSIONS : Double-Duty Pinks

It's not true of your heart, and it's definitely not true when it comes to your face: There is no one true love. If you don't believe me, then visit the latest, beautiful addition to the Syracuse landscape: the Bobbie Brown beauty counter at Lord & Taylor in the Carousel Mall. In particular, the pot rouge in Pale Pink, which works on your cheeks and your lips and offers a matte look that mimics the makeup trends of Fendi, Versace, and Anna Sui on this season's runway shows. Whether you dress it up or dress it down, that shade of innocence attracts all manner of true-love attention. (Retail Value:
$22 – www.bobbibrowncosmetics.com)

Photo credit: fashioning.com

Another pink that does double duty is Smashbox’s O-Glow Cheek Stain that goes on like a clear gel and adjusts the color to the shade you blush naturally. Its lightweight texture leaves you feeling fresh, and the smart-shade gloss adjusts to your skin's flirty hue and transforms your pucker into the center of attention. It will not only double as your cheek color and lip-gloss, but it can take you from the office to a fun date with a swipe of mascara. Talk about your multiple personalities.
(Retail Value: $26 - smashbox.com)

photo credit: thisnext.com