Friday, October 31, 2008

Going Green Plus My Best Buys

The catchphrase “going green” is all but overused these days. You might even be sick of hearing it. But let’s face it: using fewer resources and reducing the amount of trash that hits the landfill is always a good thing, even if you’re sick of hearing about it!
And retailers are still going at it, selling more green products than ever. Take Fair Indigo’s recycled fleece pullovers, jackets, hats, scarves and mittens. Baby can even get in on the act with the recycled fleece buntings!
According to Fair Indigo’s newsletter, “Our fleece reduces oil consumption, toxic emissions and keeps soda bottles from filling up a landfill because it’s made from 50 percent post-consumer plastic.”
I think it’s so fascinating to know the former lives of some of the green products on the market today—a fleece made from a soda bottle? A cosmetic brush made out of bamboo and recycled aluminum (check out EcoTools at Walgreen’s)? A handbag made out of rice paper (but looks like leather, found at Atticus)?
Since green products are becoming so pervasive these days we might not even notice if a product is green—and that can be a good thing. Items are becoming so fashionably made that a T-shirt out of organic cotton or reusable shopping bags (so much more chic than paper or plastic!) are just, well, everyday things.
Like a fleece that once housed your Coca-Cola. (Above: men's recycled fleece jacket, $59)
Fair Indigo, 702 N. Midvale Blvd.

With Epoch now closed, Anthology is carrying one of the vintage shop’s best-sellers, items by local artist Rebecca Light. Talk about green: Light makes pins and rings out of vintage buttons as well as embellished sweaters out of vintage fabrics and embellishments. Example: on a visit to Epoch a while back I spied a Banana Republic orange cardigan with cute ribbon sewn down the front. And a pair of men’s polyester pants sewn into a chic pencil skirt. And another pair of seventies-ish plaid pants that were made into a really cute A-line skirt. Who knew “old man” stuff could be turned into a hot outfit?
P.S.: If you didn’t read my November column on Anthology, read it here.
Anthology, 218 State St. 204-2644.

So don’t accuse me of being behind the times: I know Sephora opened in July. And I visited it a while back, only I forgot to include something about it on my blog! The shop at West Towne Mall is quite a bit smaller than other Sephora stores I’ve been in; but that’s OK, because we have a Sephora! Yay! I don’t tend to write about chains much but Sephora is very exciting because it’s a one-stop shop for all of the hot cosmetic and fragrance brands out right now, many of which cannot be found elsewhere in Madison (Sephora brand products, Make Up For Ever, Smashbox and NARS, for example).
I use NARS blush and bronzer so when I spotted a two-for-one blush and bronzer palette for $37 my eyes bugged out. You see, the bronzer alone is $29; the blush, $25. For all of you who can’t imagine spending that much on makeup you might want to skip the rest of this entry ☺
For the rest of you: I’m telling you, these products are worth it. NARS’s Laguna and Casino bronzers are universally flattering. The blush choices are either Sin or Orgasm (Orgasm is their best-selling blush). Each product delivers the right amount of bronzy color and peachy-pinkness, with a bit of shimmer. Pick from either the Laguna/Orgasm palette or the Casino/Sin palette. It’s a sure way to perk up your skin this winter. And for $37 the product lasts quite a while so you get a good value for your money. There, I’ve justified purchasing them now.
Another product worth trying out: face primer. Top makeup artists use primer underneath makeup to make makeup “stick” and last longer, plus, primers cut out shine, which is essential for photo shoots that can last all day. But you don’t need to be a model to use primer, try one out from Sephora. They were courteous enough to let me sample two of their Sephora brand primers: one gave my skin a lumiscent glow, the other cut out shine and gave my face a matte perfection.
Laura Geller is known for her primer, as is Smashbox. If you want to find one that’s less expensive, try Sephora’s “Tricks of the Trade” perfection primers ($17). They too, work very well.
Sephora, 71 West Towne Mall. 827-5958.

Another shop I haven’t written about: American Apparel on State Street. This long-anticipated retailer is finally open so you can get your fill of striped tube socks, V-neck tees, leotards, leggings and more. Yes, many of the men’s and women’s items appear a bit … eighties to me, but that’s AA’s aesthetic: funky, updated versions of classics like an off-the-shoulder tunic and a striped rainbow T-shirt dress. Regardless, I own American Apparel gear and I like their stuff a lot. Their basics appeal to me: the long, fitted tanks, workout sweats, T-shirts and polo dresses.
The stuff that I won’t be picking up: the multicolor disco ball-esque shiny bodysuit, their teeny tiny swimsuits and a polyester pullover dress that looks like it was constructed out of hospital scrubs.
One thing to applaud American Apparel for: all of their garments are made in the U.S. under fair working conditions (despite the affordable prices). Employees make fair wages, have subsidized health insurance, free onsite massages and more.
(Above: What I won't be picking up: the "Shiny Bodysuit," priced at $34).
American Apparel, 502 State St. 250-8100.

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