Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Launches in the Luxury Market - Blog Talk Radio - 5/4 3pm Central

Join us for an hour long look at two favorites in the luxury market - Pevonia Botanica Spa/Skincare and Brazilian fashion line Poko Pano Swim. Find out how both are expanding in the market today without sacrificing brand reputation.

This segment is recommended for: general audience, beauty & fashion buyers

Janet Morgan, Pevonia International - women, teen, men skincare

Amy Snyder Hackbart, Poko Pano (women) & Lil' Bettie (young girl) swimwear

Special discount codes will be available to listeners.

Oh Yes He Did! - Quote Reveal

Clinton Kelly, who is making over 255 women (but apparently no close friends) across America with the help of Macy*s.(

Follow Clinton as he announces his ambushes on Twitter: @clinton_kelly

Oh No He Didn't ! - Quote

Who said this?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Sneak Peek at Spring '10?

Rumor has it beauty is in the form of Robert Palmer girls

Note: That is RObert Palmer, not Bert Palmer:

The Bold Colors are Back

I'm not sure I can take it if the suits come back too.

Will Vlog for Makeup Line - Lauren Luke

Little did Lauren Luke realize that when she started offering makeup tips in 2007 on YouTube, she would one day end up with tv and gaming appearances, and not one but two offers for her own makeup line. The popular vlogger from the UK is also proud of defying standard beauty stereotypes, classifying herself as an "average size" woman breaking through where it is "hard to get attention".

Luke launches ByLaurenLuke on her own website April 2009.

Summertime: Crocs?

Forget the massive plastic chunks with aeration - Crocs is seeking to make ergonomics more appealing with this line of cute little kickers. Would you buy this style?

Monday, April 27, 2009

Laser Engraved Calendar Fingernails

Forget the new black tip/clear base nail look seen all over Milwaukee that is the current rage. Laser Engraved Calendar Fingernails are just around the corner.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Oh Yes She Did! - Quote Reveal

Who said this?

no i'm not wearing a weave

The new queen of Twitter goes where most fear to tread. Oprah Winfrey.

Kid Tip - Perfume box playtime

Hey Beauties! Perfume departments have fab box freebies. My son likes his crayons in Gwen Stefani's L.A.M.B

Oh No She Didn't! - Quotes

Who said this?

no i'm not wearing a weave

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Quick Tip: Tan Towels

If you must be tan, topical towel applications are a convenient method for DIY. Not sure what brand to go with? Tan Towel owns the patent and licenses out the towel - so any company using towels uses that technology.

Have you used this type of application before? What was your experience?

Friday, April 24, 2009

Susan Boyle - A Makeover Do Over?

Susan Boyle has received a much anticipated makeover, but not everyone is singing praises. Not that there isn't approval for the fresh cut & color that has removed the grays, artfully applied makeup, thinning of the eyebrows and Burberry scarf clad outfit. It's just that some wonder if Susan will lose her charm by gaining attractiveness.

Boyle shot to fame with her rendition of "I Dreamed A Dream" on the show Britain's Got Talent. The song heard round the world was only slightly louder than the disdain for her plain jane looks. Boyle spent years caring for her mother and putting other needs above her looks. Now, Amanda Holden, the knockout blond judge from the show, claims Boyle is in jeopardy of losing her appeal by becoming more attractive.

She needs to stay exactly as she is because that's the reason we love her. She just looks like anybody who could live on your street," (Holden in interview with Daily Mail)

Pardon me Ms. Holden, but people responded to Susan Boyle because of her voice and what is clearly a feisty personality. People responded to the underdog with an amazing talent, and to have her continue on this silly gong show without any improvement in looks - when we know there are hordes of makeup artists, stylists, wardrobe budgets, etc - would be the sham. People normally transform in these competitions as they go anyway. Why deny Susan the same pleasures? Because she's had to live her life without so far, does not mean she cannot succeed with what others get so easily or take for granted.

Frankly, people begin to look weathered when under stress or living a hard knock life. And in the long haul, the public wants as much beauty as can be mustered. Most people don't look as attractive if they don't keep up with a regimen of exercise and learned grooming. We'd dare Amanda Holden, who has admitted to botox use, to go without her stable of help for a few weeks, but we're sure she'd say her success depended on it. Let's not deny Susan Boyle the same tools.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

CafePress -ing shopkeepers for profits

Cafepress , one of the largest online design & sell shops, has suddenly changed selling tactics. Along with establishing the price points in their own marketplace (creating a conflict with their own merchants), the final payout for shopkeepers will be a mere 10% commission.

With shops like Zazzle around, why would associates stay with CafePress? Do you think they are cutting their own throat or really looking out for everyone? Please chime in if you are currently selling, and whether you are staying or going.

Dear Shopkeeper,

The CafePress Marketplace launched four years ago as a way to showcase Shopkeeper designs to a broader online retail audience. Since then our catalogue has grown to over 300 million products, and each month over 11 million shoppers visit CafePress to find unique and expressive products.

While our Marketplace growth has benefitted many Shopkeepers, others have seen commissions flatten or decline as the Marketplace becomes more saturated with redundant content. It is clear to us that to continue growing our Marketplace, we need to deliver a higher-quality shopping experience to customers, continue to invest in customer acquisition, and maximize conversion.

To do this we're making two key changes:

Beginning today: We'll be making changes in our search platform and algorithm to ensure we're better delivering the designs and merchandise shoppers are looking for. This includes bringing the best designs to the front, and reducing redundant designs.

Beginning June 1st: We'll start setting prices in the Marketplace, and Shopkeepers will receive a 10% commission off the final retail prices from all Marketplace sales. This change provides our shoppers with consistent pricing that's competitive with other online retail stores. It also allows us to better invest in a quality retail experience and continued growth.

These changes DO NOT impact the pricing, markup, or sales you are driving in your own shops. By separating our Marketplace pricing from the prices you set in your shops, we're able to preserve shop base pricing and continue to support Shopkeepers who drive their own sales.

We recognize that the implications of this strategic shift are significant and will affect Shopkeepers who sell designs in the Marketplace in different ways. The purpose of this email is to inform you of changes, and to help you understand how this will improve the overall retail customer experience at CafePress and help us ensure continued growth.

How these changes may impact you:

As with any decision that impacts our Shopkeepers, these changes were made only after careful consideration.

For some Shopkeepers, the impact will be on the upside as their designs receive more premium placement due to algorithm changes. Others may see no change or a decline in their commissions due to the new set pricing and commission structure. The first check you'll see based on the new 10% commission structure will arrive in August (for June sales).

We've posted complete details and a list of FAQs of these changes.

On June 1, 2009 the current Shopkeeper Agreement, Shop Services, and Pricing Policy will change to reflect the new changes to the CafePress Marketplace. The major changes are to the Shop Services and Pricing Policy. You can review the new Seller Services (currently Shop Services) and Shop Pricing Policy (currently Pricing Policy).

If you have questions, please email us at Depending on the questions, we'll either answer them directly or publicly at the Shopkeepers News & Announcements page.


Cedar You in My Dreams

It is Spring Cleaning season, and I thought I'd share a bit of closet envy.

We all know about people with entire bedrooms devoted to their wardrobes, or Carrie's dream shoe closet (or the above male wet dream according to Heineken). Me? It wasn't so much the space but the type of space. Personally, I've always dreamed of a cedar closet.

I'm not sure why I had such a fascination with cedar. Growing up on the west coast everyone was familiar with the Lane cedar chest (do girls still wish for hope chests?). I'd never really had a problem with moths - not like we do in Wisconsin. But I also detested the moth balls used to keeps wools safe, and longed for the chemical free use of cedar. It just seemed like such a useful, little luxury.

In our digs, I first laughed at the little slip of a door in the hallway:

Then I opened the door: Holy bananas!

This tiny little space is floor to ceiling cedar, including the door. There are two rails allowing for double hanging. And the shelf is adjustable.

What is the purpose of the cedar closet?

Protection from predators
If you live in Wisconsin and have wool, chances are you've seen this little bugger. I brought two wool rugs with me from California, and one disintegrated before I realized the problem. The other is hanging onto dear life. The natural oils in cedar help repel insects. For added protection, it is still recommended to "bag and ball" (did I just coin a phrase?).

How does it work and what keeps it working?
This floor-to-ceiling cedar closet is ideal because it is the natural oils in cedar that give the distinct aroma that drives bugs away. It is the destructive larvae that eat through tasty fabrics, and adult moths won't lay eggs in such a pungent smelling environment.

The oils don't last forever though. Cedar should be refreshed with a light sanding to revive the wood. Too much contact with air, dirt and simply time turns the cedar from a nice red to a brownish tone. This color change or lack of scent is a sign to perform maintenance or risk creatures getting cozy in your goods. Sanding once a year is a common recommendation, with a light application of cedar oil as an option. Maintenance is so easy, even Spiderman can do it!

How do I get my own closet?

If you don't already have a built-in and are looking to convert or build, there are two ways:

1) Use Eastern Red Cedar. This is the original cedar harvested primarily from the southern Appalachian Mountains. These planks produce the strong cedar scent. This is the more expensive route but will provide a beautiful finish.

2) Cedar flakeboard. This was my backup in college, and I have pulled those boards and taken them with me everywhere I've gone. You simply nail them in and you're done.

If you share the same dream I've always had, don't despair. Seems dreams really do come true!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Pierce Mattie’s Forecast of The Top 10 Consumer Trends for Summer

Consumers beat the heat by stocking up on sunscreen, burning off calories at their favorite cardio class, putting their birth control to good use and enjoying an economic night about town with their favorite speed-rack vodka.

04.20.2009 – With the economy in a state of flux, retailers, vacation hot spots and consumer goods’ manufacturers have been anxiously waiting to find out about the consumer trends for summer. This year, due to the extended winter season, summer has been the last thing on people’s minds. While shorts, flip-flops and bright colors usually can be seen on Broadway right after Easter, this year people are still wearing their winter coats.

Here’s what made Pierce Mattie’s hot list this year:

1. Expensive airbrushing is out and self-tanning is in. Summer skin will be muted with self-tanners showing a softer side of bronze this year. Consumers who spent upwards of $70.00 a session to keep that glow for one week last summer, will find themselves at their local pharmacy getting a tube of sunless tanner from DHA, Hawaiian Tropic or Jergens for under $10.00

2. Understated highlights will replace Versace vixen
, foregoing the bold and demarcated styles of seasons past. Consumers will opt for the affordability of a subtle style’s longer lifespan versus the high upkeep of brighter looks. Teens are expected to look into classic favorites like Sun-In, with parents following the do-it-yourself trend.

3. Costume jewelry will continue to be the rage
with semi-precious stones being outside of most consumers’ price range. Look for jewelry made of acrylics and plated metals to see a growth in sales. Brands like Ben-Amun by Isaac Manevitz and pieces like Kate Spade’s "Mariposa Fleur" Butterfly Bangle will gain popularity. This jewelry trend is expected to last through the holiday season of 2010.

4. Coupons and value-added shopping will forefront in consumers’ minds
, with sales reaching record peaks during the summer season. It will be one red, white and blue sale after another. Consumers who favor gifts with purchase at the cosmetics counter will be in luck—rumor has it that those leftover goodie bags from this winter will reappear on the selling floor before June.

5. With massive layoffs and cutbacks, it will be no surprise to see some executives taking an extended summer off working on their resumes while sunning at the beach. This translates into higher sales for sunscreen brands like Coppertone, Banana Boat and La Roche-Posay.

6. Exercise is one of the best stress relievers and right now everyone needs to decompress. This summer, more and more people will be hitting the gym to burn off steam. Rather than stay solo on the cardio machine, don’t be surprised to see health club members heading to the classroom for a dose of group exercise. This summer people want to feel like they are part of a group and belong, more so now than ever before. A 60 minute spin class at your neighborhood gym can be just the trick to get your psyche back into the right gear.

7. The best stress buster next to reading a trashy romance novel is making love. That’s right—birth control brands such as Trojan, Durex and Lifestyles will see an increase in sales as love making will help to ease mounting financial tensions. And for the unemployed, what better way is there to spend excess free time? Playful lubricants and sex accessories from brands such as Booty Parlor, I.D. Lube and Astroglide will also see an increase in sales.

8. Vodka goes with just about everything from that Bloody Mary at brunch to the Cosmo at sunset. Spirit companies can expect to see an increase in purchases of their low to mid-tier brands like Svedka, Absolut and Smirnoff.

9. Many people reach for comfort foods in stressful times and this recession will not be an exception. Expect to see an increase this summer in the adverse Atkins suggestions: bread, candy, chocolate and spaghetti. Inexpensive, familiar, and bringing with them pleasant memories of childhood, comfort foods help consumers feel safe in an unsure world.

10. The economy has driven comfort to the forefront and you’ll find consumers being drawn to distressed denim and boyfriend jeans as their fashion statement of choice. This hot style has re-emerged from the 80s in brands like True Religion Brand Jeans and Levi’s.

Consumers’ purchases are becoming increasingly reflective of their moods and psychological state. Affordable brands that create a sense of stability and safety, that are at the same time fun, engaging and offer an escape from the challenges of the world, will win in this economy.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Congratulations to Miss USA 2009 - live from Las Vegas

Diamond Nexus Labs' CAD designer is in Las Vegas live for the events and shares these photos. Congrats on the beautiful crown Miss North Carolina Kristen Dalton and Diamond Nexus Labs!

Donald Trump
Next stop, Miss Teen USA

Miss Universe Crown - You Vote the winner!

For an update to this article and to view the winning crown and contestant click here

And it's on! Last week, Wisconsin-based DiamondNexusLabs unveiled the Miss USA crown, the first of three crowns they are designing for the Miss Universe Organization.

Now they have revealed the Miss Universe crown - but there are three choices and you can help select the final design Miss Universe will wear when she is crowned August 23, 2009. In voting, you'll also be entered to win a trip for two to New York to meet Miss Universe, you'll get a $5000 shopping spree at Diamond Nexus Labs, and tickets for dinner and Broadway show.

These are the first eco-friendly crowns commissioned in the history of the Miss Universe Organization and they are a beautiful alternative to conflict diamonds.

Go to to view and place your vote

Trivia: Do you recognize the former Miss Universe that graced Solessence space? Click here to find out.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Just a little off the top please

@bananza That doesn't look like a pedicure... Kinda looks like a toe amputation. #badclipart

New Miss USA Crown - Sneak Peak-eco-friendly diamonds

See the sneak preview now as the Miss USA crown gets unveiled on TODAY. Visit back here to see exclusive photos first!
In February we interviewed Franklin, Wisconsin based eco-friendly diamond company Diamond Nexus Labs when they announced they had been selected to create the first "green" crowns in the history of the Miss USA, Teen USA and Miss Universe. There will be a full reveal this afternoon in Las Vegas. Please check back!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Susan Boyle - The Beauty Within

A wonderful summation on true beauty, and what might have happened if Susan tanked.

Susan Boyle - Britains Got Talent 2009

Shame on YouTube blocking embedding of this video. You must see Susan Boyle - a 47 year old, unemployed woman from a "collection of villages" crush the stereotypes and competition. She is clearly full of gumption and mad pipes! She'll be living her dream from here on out.It is incredible, here is a version from Daily Motion

Join her fan page!
I Dreamed a Dream (lyrics)from Les Miserables

I dreamed a dream in time gone by
When hope was high
And life worth living
I dreamed that love would never die
I dreamed that God would be forgiving.

Then I was young and unafraid
And dreams were made and used
And wasted
There was no ransom to be paid
No song unsung
No wine untasted.

But the tigers come at night
With their voices soft as thunder
As they tear your hope apart
As they turn your dream to shame.

And still
I dream he'll come to me
That we will live the years together
But there are dreams that cannot be
And there are storms
We cannot weather...

I had a dream my life would be
So different form this hell I'm living
so different now from what it seemed
Now life has killed
The dream I dreamed.

Organic Buying Opportunities

If you are into beauty, health, trends, supporting your neighborhood or looking for a good deal, you know that extends from your wallet to your routine to your purchasing choices and to your pantry. It all starts from within, doesn't it?

In January I profiled Angel Food Network, a nationwide buying group (food coop essentially) that offers enough food for a family of 4 for $30 a week.

Milwaukee local Growing Power is going the same path with locally grown organic goods (no frozen or boxed goods). Grown on a two acre farm on Silver Spring Road, Growing Power uses a mix of traditional and hydroponic farming and additional off site growing locations. CEO Will Allen has received much recognition and, recently, the MacArthur Fellowship for his outstanding work in urban farming. You can feel confident about where your food is coming from.

The Market Basket is such a simple and affordable way to introduce organics and fresh produce into your diet on a regular basis. The catch? You'll still need to cook (but website recipes are on the way). According to their site:

The Farm-to-City Market Basket Program consists of weekly deliveries of safe, healthy and affordable produce to neighborhoods throughout Milwaukee, Madison, and Chicago. This program is run on a weekly basis, so that customers may engage at a pace that is right for them.

During the spring, summer, and fall months, the majority of the produce found in the Market Basket comes from:

*Growing Power's Farms in Milwaukee, Merton, and Will Allen's Farm in Oak Creek; and
*The Rainbow Farmer's Cooperative, a collective of small, family farmers.

During the winter months, produce comes from:

*Growing Power's greenhouses in Milwaukee;
*The Rainbow Farmer's Cooperative, relying on our farmers in the South and on storage crops such as onions, potatoes, and sweet potatoes; and
*Small-scale, locally or family owned wholesalers such as Goodness Greeness in Chicago. These whole salers keep fresh fruits and vegetables not grown locally during the winter, such as apples, head lettuce, and peppers, available and affordable year-round and provide local jobs in our community -- the very essence of a Community Food System.

Types of Market Baskets:

The Regular Market Basket

Provides approximately 12-15 varieties (20-25 pounds) of conventional and sustainably grown produce designed to last 2 to 4 people throughout the week. The basket contains a variety of both fruits and vegetables.

The Junior/Senior Market Basket

Provides approximately half the regular market basket designed to accommodate smaller households. The basket still contains 12-15 varieties of produce, but in smaller quantities.

The Sustainable Market Basket

Provides approximately 10-12 varieties (18-22 pounds) of certified organic and sustainably grown produce designed to last 2-4 people throughout the week. The basket contains a variety of both fruits and vegetables.


In addition to the weekly market basket, customers may also purchase pasture-raised meats, farm fresh eggs, and fruit baskets. Urban Clover Honey from Growing Power’s apiary is a specialty item that is seasonally available.

*Whole Chicken, $16.00 (Amish-raised in Wisconsin)
*Beef Liver, $3.00 (Grass-fed, Wisconsin raised)

Visit here for more information on Growing Power.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Lovelies at TJMaxx

Thanks @tjmaxx for stocking these pieces that make a great outfit: Nine West dress & sweater, sweet purse and gold strappies (not shown). This is a great work outfit that will segue through chilly Spring to warm Summer with ease and comfort and style.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Enchanted Doll - Expressions of Beauty

A while back I discussed the Enchanted Doll line, Lotus in particular. A creation of artist Marina Bychkova, Lotus is the symbol of the beauty found in feet binding. Aside from the stunning craftsmanship, detail and aesthetic beauty of these dolls, Lotus was a reminder to me of my great grandmother who was the last generation to have her feet bound. She had very small feet (under 4") and "walked like she was dancing" so I've been told. She lived well over 100 years, met my father, had 4 personal servants to assist her throughout her life, and was revered for the lotus flower shape of her tiny feet.

While I don't think anyone would wish this on their child today, I have always been fascinated that this practice touched someone in my family. Much like removing a rib to achieve a tiny waistline might intrigue someone from Western culture, it is incredible to think of what people, women in particular, go through in the name of beauty.

Russian born and Canadian based Bychkova can spend several hundred hours creating one doll. Each doll is fashioned as a visual narrative, and a story is told through details such as Indian mehndi, necrophilia (Sleeping Beauty), even Frankenstein's Bride.
Bychkova also uses the ethereal dolls as a way to express an alternative side to fairy tales.
"What interests me most about fairy tales is the implicit and often explicit violence that lies just beneath the surface of the magic."

Now, it is a great pleasure to announce Enchanted Dolls will be showing in Milwaukee at Villa Terrace, starting April 8th through June 7th.

Bychkova will reveal new pieces along with many that are on loan from private collections. Please take time to treat yourself to this unique collection that we are fortunate enough to have in Wisconsin.
A limited number of dolls will be available for purchase through arrangements with the artist.

This is a do not miss event at a beautiful location. Treat yourself to Enchanted Doll.

Marina Bychkova:
Enchanted Doll
April 8 - June 7, 2009
***Photographs are allowed in the Villa Terrace Museum. Feel free to bring your camera.***

Opening Reception:
Wednesday, April 8, 5:30 - 8:30 p.m.
With Artist’s Talk with Marina Bychkova

Villa Terrace
2220 N. Terrace Avenue
Milwaukee, WI 53202
(414) 271-3656
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