A Toast to Nailtini

Summer is almost over, but that doesn’t mean that your nails have to reflect the end of everyone’s favorite time of the year.  Nailtini’s Janie Bryant “Garden Party” polish collection offers a last chance to rock light summery colors before the earthy tones of fall take over. 

The possibilities are endless with just the four distinct colors that make up this martini-inspired collection.  “Admiral Perry”, a vibrant royal blue, “Garden Jubilee”, an iridescent yet rosy bronze, “Blue Carnation”, a powdery blue-gray, and “Blushing Lady” a light pink, are all easily combined to create new looks each time you paint.

Nailtini suggests that painters follow their simple recipe for mixing up the perfect garden party cocktail. 

For the best combination one should begin with a base coat, whether it’s a clear coat or one of the four that make up the “Garden Party” collection.  Follow up with one or two coats of the color of choice.  Then finish with a garnish coat to bring the perfect Nailtini to completion.  My personal rule of thumb is to always end with a clear top coat to protect against unwanted chipping.

As with art, there are no rules for how one should paint their nails.  A few winning combinations that I crafted with the four colors definitely stand out against the everyday au-naturale look.   

The first time around I chose to begin with a base of “Blushing Lady” and I put a twist on the French manicure by using “Admiral Perry” as the tip color.  As a result the look achieved was fun and a refreshing change from the usual light pink base and white tips. 

Next I chose “Garden Jubilee” as my base, but opted to paint three coats to solidify the sheer color.  I repeated the French manicure look with Sally Hansen’s Hard as Nails “Black Out” polish.  The result was a professional look that was reminiscent of Chanel’s neutral, yet polished image.  The iridescence of “Garden Jubilee” definitely can’t be found on the shelves of any local drug store.

Most recently I gave “Blue Carnation” a whirl and it’s my favorite color out of all four.  It’s appropriate for a work setting, but can be dressed up for a funkier look.  For more fun I applied OPI’s Katy Perry “Last Friday Night” glitter polish over my original base of “Blue Carnation”.  In the future I will be experimenting with “Last Friday Night” over the remaining three “Garden Party” colors.

For the ultimate look, apply “Admiral Perry” as a base coat and follow up with OPI’s “Black Shatter”.  At first glance it’s just black and blue, but the cracked look allows for different patterns each time you apply.

Each of the nail polish colors can be removed easily with any nail polish remover.  This allows for each clean-up if the paint goes above and beyond onto cuticles by accident.  However, beware of painting on humid days; the nail polish will bubble a tiny bit due to the extra moisture in the atmosphere.

“Garden Party” has become a reliable collection of staple colors in my nail polish box.

For more information on Nailtini’s Janie Bryant “Garden Party” polish collection, visit the ‘tini beauty lounge homepage.

Up and Coming T-Shirt Entrepreneur on Newbury Street

From the moment I met Paul “PJ” Logan Jr., the creator of The Green Lunch Box t-shirt company, I knew that I needed to become acquainted with the man who carries his business cards in a miniature briefcase and works the crowd of shopaholics that roam Newbury Street daily.

Logan described how he has always had the dream of designing his own clothing and then wearing it to showcase to his friends.  Two years ago, the entrepreneur spontaneously decided on the name The Green Lunch Box and the company was born.

“It started off as wanting to have a unique and creative name,” Logan said.  “My favorite color is actually blue, but somehow green just seemed to fit.”

The company began to develop a connection between its green title and the idea of earth and everything that the planet entails.  One of Logan’s original t-shirt designs represents this persona with an image of earth complete with a banner overlay displaying the company name.

With the help of John Goodman, a long-time friend and fellow entrepreneur, Logan markets his t-shirt business towards skaters, young college students, or anybody involved with the street wear culture.

“It’s fresh at the speed of sound,” Logan exclaimed.

The Green Lunch Box has five new t-shirt designs in store for shoppers to look forward to.

Logan would only divulge in one hint about his new designs.  We’re told to think about what a giant squid, a giraffe, an elephant, and a gorilla all have in common.  He later added that his sneak peak clue has nothing to do with the beginning of a knock-knock joke.

“I’ve been really racking my brain around some effects with the sun and things we can do with color changes,” he said.  “I’m trying to bring something new to the table and put a fresh spin on it.”

The Green Lunch Box is not to be confused with other big name t-shirt companies like Johnny Earle’s Johnny Cupcakes, another retail location on Newbury Street.  Logan described how he has respect for Earle and his approach, but he feels the one thing that sets the two apart is their vision for designs.

The future of The Green Lunch Box may lie within trade shows in Las Vegas and New York; however, there is only going to be one street location for now that will present Logan’s t-shirt designs and the man himself.

The Fall line to be anticipated will include more t-shirts, sweat shirts, and maybe even some hats.   At some point in time, Logan hopes to have his own store on Newbury Street to house his merchandise.  As for now, Logan will continue to expand The Green Lunch Box and his reputation as a business man.

For more information on The Green Lunch Box, visit the homepage at http://www.theglb.com or simply take a stroll down Newbury Street and find Logan at his sales table.

Move Over Martha Stewart–Anthropologie Turns Home Decor Into Fashion

Anthropologie, a high-end store that sells women’s apparel, home decor, and a variety of unique knick-knacks, has been taking interior design to another level with the items and displays on their sales floor this summer.  The item displays throughout the multi-level location on Newbury Street in Boston, MA., serve as inspiration sources for those who put a fashionable spin on home decor.

On the floor level, the store is promoting a sort of Bombay-inspired collection.  It includes dinnerware sets complete with large and small plates, bowls, drinking glasses, chalice glasses, and serving pitchers.  The addition of house plants and cookbooks transforms the display into an example of home design as opposed to sticking with pure sale intentions.  In the same area, a centerpiece item that resembles a large bird cage creates a cause to stop and look at the display.

Further into the store there are more kitchen displays that have a beach house feel to them.  There are large white-washed counter and cabinet displays with a light cornflower blue backdrop.  Items such as wine glasses, napkin rings, and coasters are scattered upon the counter tops.  The section as a whole suggests a trend in home design that attempts to capture the beauty of a lived-in summer house.

Another kitchen display has a more kitschy look to it as it holds quirky items like an entire alphabetized line of white mugs with single letters on their front sides.  To contrast the large majority of neutral colors in this display there are brightly colored salad bowls randomly placed in between the mugs and plates.  Similar to the other kitchen display, this section shares the same white-wash and blue color scheme.

A bedroom display in the store cranks up the colors with lime green bedroom shelves that house a collection of red jars and rolled up linens.  This display inspires home designers to play with bright colors for walls and built-in wall shelving.

Other design ideas that Anthropologie provides for their shoppers are innovative ways to turn scarves into art.  Color coordinated scarves are knotted upon a ladder to create a loom of color.  On the second floor of the building there are scarves knotted into balls and piled upon a coffee table for a centerpiece look.

Home designers don’t have to pay the high prices that Anthropologie sets for their items; however, the store displays create great examples for home decor ideas to be recreated at a more affordable price.

Tour of LF on Newbury Street

LF, a fashion boutique on Newbury Street, is a hidden gem between two major retail companies like Bebe and Urban Outftitters.  Prices at this boho-fashion store are a little pricey when items aren’t on sale; however, shoppers are paying for exotic footwear items and innovative ways to keep the hippy look fresh on the street.

The set up of the store creates a laid back image for the company’s name.  There are a scatter of low tables all throughout the space with messy piles of items organized into loose categories that separate shorts, accessories, tanks, dresses, and even scarves.

I must admit the first thing I noticed upon entering the store were the large pairs of platform shoes in between a bunch of tank tops.  To my left there was a pair of United States flag platforms that are reminiscent of the United Kingdom platforms the Spice Girls used to rock.  On the other side there was a Bedazzled pair of hot pink platforms.  These kicks require some serious attitude in order to pull them off in public.

There were some throwback graphic t-shirts that had fringes cut half-way up the torso to add a subtle Western vibe.  On the mannequins the shirts were combined with layered rosary necklaces and purses on the side to complete the outfit.  Another mannequin bore the other trend that the store was suggesting: light airy floral and solid color tops with a cut-out criss cross pattern on the back.

A table on the right-hand side of the store revealed stacks of fraying cut-off denim shorts that had a wash of pink dye fading from the bottom up.  They were accompanied by vibrant colored shorts that came in shades like hot pink and robin’s egg blue.

Further down the line of shelves there was a great pile of straw hats that differed from each other by the bands of fabric around the rims and the stitching around the straw weaving.  The last thing that caught my eye was a big box full of ribbon bow hair clips.  I do believe LF has any type of bow that you could ever want to put on your head.

LF is a great little boutique to get new ideas for outfits, but the only downside is that it’s rather expensive.  Items from this store should be considered gifts to yourself or something for your future child to wear when they’re older.  It’s definitely worth the effort to check out this spot for new style.

Forever 21–Forever My Favorite!

Sometimes a shopaholic must restrain herself when she walks by Forever 21; however, there is no harm in checking out what’s on the shelves at any point during the week.  I just so happened to be on Newbury Street and those ominous doors were beckoning me towards them.  The brief moments I had before the store began to close revealed racks upon racks of cutting edge jewelry that had just come in.

The newest necklaces are completely embellished with oversized charms like acrylic flowers and golden butterflies.  The various pieces of jewelry range from styles which are more girly to those that can be considered connector items, or in other words, pieces of jewelry that can be worn in a number of different ways instead of being limited to one specific style like punk or boho.

On another rack there were long strands of pearl necklaces with different color ribbons laced in between each pearl.  The necklaces have enough length as to allow for layering multiple strands at one time.  These necklaces in particular can add a flirty touch to an outfit, but the pearls create a sense of elegance to maintain an even balance between the two elements of style.

One last thing that caught my eye were a pair of unique earrings nestled between some dull ear garb that I have seen during previous visits to the store.  Each earring is constructed of silver metal shaped into the word “Love”, written in cursive.  The simplicity of the earrings allows for them to be paired with a wide range of outfits.

One can only assume that within a week or two all of these amazing items will be out-of-stock.  Make haste women and snatch up these awesome items before they’re gone!

Smell Good–Courtesy of Crabtree & Evelyn

Crabtree & Evelyn, a bath and body works company targeted towards hand care that was once foreign to my knowledge is now at the center of my attention as they launch a variety of new products that will continue throughout the summer season.  Crabtree & Evelyn is promoting their new Floral Fragrance Collection, 60 Second Fix For Hands, Black Mud and Seaweed Triple Milled Soap, Antibacterial Moisturizing Hand Gel, and La Source Spa Products that are due to release in July.

“We have all these unique scents,” exclaimed Kate Bucklin, the Marketing Coordinator for Crabtree & Evelyn.  Bucklin described how many of Crabtree & Evelyn’s products are inspired by their motto, “Explore everything, keep the best.”

One of the more prominent lines that Crabtree & Evelyn have recently released is their Floral Fragrance Collection, available in Lily, Lavender, Rosewater, and Iris.  The Floral Fragrance Collection is available in many different types of products with long-lasting scents that compare to the strength of perfume.  Fragrance fanatics can embrace these scents with shower gel, body lotion, candles, diffusers, and even drawer lining papers that are printed with watercolor illustrations that depict one of the four flowers.  The Lily body lotion has a strong and refreshing scent that if dabbed on the neck and wrists, can turn the heads of anyone who gets a whiff.  The lotion goes on smooth, but a little bit of this scent goes a long way, turning generous use into overpowering flowers.

A majority of Crabtree & Evelyn’s innovation lies within their Floral Fragrance home products because they’re not something that can be found in Wal-Mart or Target.  The Linen Mist can easily replace store-brand sprays like Febreze to cover up unpleasant odors that plague household upholstery.  Another interesting floral product is the Scented Padded Hangers which can turn closets into gardens.

The 60 Second Fix For Hands, another one of the newer products available at Crabtree & Evelyn locations or online, comes in three different scents: Citron, La Source, and Gardeners.  Citron combines notes of honey and coriander in order to create soft hands in a time pinch.  The instructions that come in the miniature tote box along with the hand therapy and hand recovery creams are a bit difficult to understand in terms of what order the creams should be used; however, my educated guess is to use the exfoliating hand recovery first and the thicker hand therapy second.

Bucklin continued to say how the 60 Second Fix For Hands coincides with Crabtree & Evelyn’s niche market in hand care.  She said, “We’re the hand care specialists.  We like to definitely talk about hands a lot.”

Crabtree & Evelyn is also celebrating the new additions to their Heritage Soap Collection including Avocado and Olive Oil, Almond Milk and Honey, and Black Mud and Seaweed.  A series of test runs have revealed that these bars of soap provide the perfect lather for shaving legs and they fill the bathroom with their unique scents.  The spotlight is put on the Black Mud and Seaweed soap because it’s pure black in contrast to the other white soaps in the collection.

“It’s a blend of sea air and a blast of citrus,” as Bucklin tried to pinpoint the soap’s new and different scent notes.  Bucklin noted that the Black Mud and Seaweed soap in particularly is vegetable-based and contains algae and coconut.

The Antibacterial Moisturizing Hand Gel does everything that it says it does.  The hydrolised jojoba ester and sugar derived vegetable protein combination works together to fight against bacteria, but keep hands moisturized at the same time.  Unlike Purell, Crabtree & Evelyn’s Antibacterial Moisturizing Hand Gel comes in La Source, Citron Honey and Coriander, Gardeners, Lavender, and Rosewater scents.

Crabtree & Evelyn is waiting with great anticipation for their release of the new La Source Spa Products this summer.  Bucklin described how La Source has a ‘crisp clean scent that’s reminiscent of sea air’.  The main different between the products available at spas and La Source Spa Products is that these treatments enable spa goers to forgo travel expenses and relax at home.  La Source will have its own foot care line released July 15th.

Visit Crabtree & Evelyn for more details or get the latest news at Crabtree & Evelyn on Twitter.

Read this article with the supplemental vocabulary list “Smell Good–Courtesy of Crabtree & Evelyn–and Know What Everything Means“.

Smell Good–Courtesy of Crabtree & Evelyn–and Know What Everything Means

Everybody loves to smell delicious with the assistance of Crabtree & Evelyn’s new products for the summertime, but it’s always best to know what you’re putting on your body so you can tell your friends all about it.  This supplemental vocabulary list can teach you all about scent notes and how tripled milled soap benefits you.

Read this article in addition with “Smell Good–Courtesy of Crabtree & Evelyn

All definitions provided are courtesy of Merriam-Webster Dictionary.

Milled - to subject to an operation or process in a mill: as a : to grind into flour, meal, or powder b : to shape or dress by means of a rotary cutter c : to mix and condition (as rubber) by passing between rotating rolls.

Note – a characteristic feature (as of odor or flavor).

Hydrolysis – a chemical process of decomposition involving the splitting of a bond and the addition of the hydrogen cation and the hydroxide anion of water.

Jojoba – a shrub or small tree (Simmondsia chinensis syn. S. californica) of the box family of southwestern North America with edible seeds that yield a valuable liquid wax used especially in cosmetics.

Ester – any of a class of often fragrant organic compounds that can be represented by the formula RCOOR and that are usually formed by the reaction between an acid and an alcohol with elimination of water.


Contest Winner!

I have reviewed all the entries for the Honey Cat Cosmetics, Sasha Varon, and Ferrum contest and the winner is Gianna Patton from Moorpark, CA.

She thinks the sexiest gift she could receive from a significant other, other than Honey Cat Cosmetics products, would be a lickable, preferably chocolate or marshmallow, body butter.

Other contestants suggested perfume, massage oils, and gift cards for Sephora.

Congratulations Gianna!

Last Chance For Free Honey Cat Cosmetics, Sasha Varon, and Ferrum

Just a reminder that the contest for free products from Honey Cat Cosmetics, Sasha Varon, and Ferrum ends tonight at midnight. I will choose one lucky contestant based on their answer to the contest question: What is the sexiest gift you can receive from a significant?

The winner chosen will receive all three of the gifts. Contest entries entered after midnight will not be included. Email all entries to Laura.McGovern@newbury.edu.

Three hours to go!